This is a story of success shared by a child once homeless in our program.
Personally, this story is one that also taught me the power and importance of Social Media. Just when I was ready to give up on social media due to the negative and unnecessary comments, I received a personal message from this amazing young lady.
The Barbie that went to College
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Her Story ~ From the Social Media Letter
To protect her identity, we will call her Ashley throughout the letter.
Imagine waking up on Christmas morning by the raindrops hitting your face through the puka (hole) filled tent knowing it is just another day to survive. There is no gift under the forgotten tree, no smell of cookies in the oven, not even a glimpse of holiday cheer surrounding your makeshift tent.
Once upon a time in a small homeless encampment along the oceans edge I met a little girl with no bed to lay her head, no running water or even hope for a better tomorrow. (To protect her identity we will call her Ashley.)
Along my journey through these makeshift houses, we are not always able to have a long and binding relationship with all the children. Sometimes Project Hawaii is only the small moment in time, a life changing touch that will last in their hearts forever.
Some people ask what their small donation does, or how a simple act can change a life. Well on Christmas eve, Santa's elves delivered a BARBIE to Ashley that was that simple act you ask of. The glimmer in her eye and the excitement of a gift with her name on it delivered by an elf from the north pole is indescribable.
Life goes on and she just happened to be one of the children who disappeared from our programs outreach. Years later through the miracle of technology, Ashely reached out to me. She thanked me for that Barbie she received so many years ago and wanted to let me know that she still had that Barbie, that Barbie represented a hope of a better future for her. She hung on to that treasure and slept with it every night….and then she took it to her college dorm room.
This is a RARE and unheard of act from a homeless person in general. Most will never graduate high school, some will be pregnant before the age of 16, and others will lose their life to drugs. This girl, because of the kindness of another, went to college!!
Thank you for taking the time to feel the joy of saving a life. This is the meaning of our mission. We help homeless children succeed by instilling their own self-worth and the permission to dream bigger than what they are born into.
Ashley is just one of many who have succeeded, ended the cycle of poverty and actually changed her path of homelessness. This can only happen with the continued support of those who share our passion and continue to support these programs.
Fast forward to our programs progress... this story will remain so special in our hearts, and one of the reasons we have the drive to continue to grow and implement even more life-changing programs. Our dormitory will have a tribute to our young lady and the Barbie who went to college.