Karen Maffucci named her organization Helping Other Prospers Everyone because she realized that not only did helping others benefit them; it brought her significant rewards, as well.
Here are a couple of comments from two other long time participants with HOPE.
The poverty was something I had never seen before and would have heartbreaking if I had not noticed the joy in all the children we were treating. Their inherent happiness was hard for me the fathom seeing the poor living conditions these children experienced every day. It finally dawned on me that their happiness came from inside themselves. They were not unhappy about what they didn’t have but happy in the little things they did have.
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I spent my elementary school years in Tegucigalpa, Honduras because of my dad’s job. I went to an English-speaking school but most of my classmates spoke Spanish on the playground. I kept up my Spanish as I grew up but I never felt comfortable speaking it. Around 2002, I heard about “Karen’s group” (there wasn’t an official name yet) and went on my first trip with them. Something clicked inside me during that trip, as if a floodgate had been opened and suddenly I felt comfortable speaking Spanish. Not just comfortable, but as if I were suddenly swimming in a place that felt like home. During one of my early trips I met a teenage girl and we had a great conversation about education and the Honduran natural environment as we rode in the back of a pick-up truck to drop off some people at their homes after work while we made a round-trip to the gas station convenience store. Several years later I was back in Honduras and this wonderful girl had grown up, gotten married, and had a baby. I became the baby’s godmother (at least unofficially because while they are Catholic, I am Protestant). Talking with my partner about how to best meaningfully carry out my role, we came up with the fact that speaking English is a commodity in Honduras and decided to help her learn English by sending her to a bilingual school. As it turns out, she is As providence would have it, she is a gifted learner and so has taken to learning with ease and enjoyment and therefore we’ve continued our support in this vein. I’ve gotten to know the family better over the years and through them, learned about current events in Honduras and daily family life from their perspective – details about daily life that forcefully shape my understanding. Today my friend works for another outreach group on a seasonal basis and her daughter has made an impression on some of the visiting groups with her English – she was even called on to translate a couple of times J. I envision my goddaughter growing up to become a proactive pillar in the community because she has the model of her parents – highly respected community members in their own right. Through H.O.P.E., I not only re-connected with a piece of my past, but was given a new relationship with Honduras. I deeply believe in what the name of our organization proclaims: Helping Others Prospers Everyone. “Whenever we strengthen one individual in our community, our entire community is strengthened, whether we are speaking of our local community, national community, or global community.
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No matter what your area of interest or to whom you donate your time, energy, or resources, giving to others will benefit you, too.
Learn more about the benefits of giving:
- The Benefits of Giving Back: The best-kept secret to a healthy life and a happy career. Sylvia Ann Hewlett, Forbes.
- Volunteering and its Surprising Benefits: Helping yourself while helping others. HelpGuide.org
- Benefits of Volunteering. Virginia Service.
- The Health Benefits of Altruism: A way of blessing yourself. Squidoo.
- The evidence is in – giving back benefits everyone. GoodInKind blog.
- “In virtually every area of your life, the more you give away, the more you get back.”
—Dr. Wayne W. Dyer