A Personal Story

personal story

To set the proper tone for our encouraging tale, start with viewing this brief video.

“Kind-Hearted Hands” (2:22)

Years ago, a friend of mine and I taught a children’s class at our place of worship.  We wanted these grade school kids to begin to realize how very different our lives are from the lives of children in the developing world.  We also wanted to help these young ones begin to have a sense of ecological responsibility.

We explained to the children that there was a way in which we could turn our trash into treasure!  We invited the kids and their families to save their return for deposit soda, beer and sparkling water beverage containers so we could bring them together to the local recycling depot.  In no time at all the  nickels began to pile up like magic! Soon another faith community and a local elementary school got involved in our trash transformation project.  That project continues to this day, many years later!

The funds raised by the recycling project continue to support a number of small scale development projects in Belize and elsewhere, sponsored by a non-profit, non-sectarian NGO – Plenty. Plenty’s motto is “If we are willing to share, there’s PLENTY!”

Here is a glimpse of Plenty in action:

personal story 2

During Plenty’s first international project in Guatemala after the 1976 earthquake,
Plenty volunteers and their families lived with the Cakchiquel Mayan people of the Central Highlands.

If you want to learn more about “PLENTY”, check out the links that follow for information about their projects in Belize , Guatemala , El Salvador, Liberia , Nepal , Nicaragua , the Philippines and the USA . Here is a link to the Toledo Ecotourism Association (TEA) – a Plenty supported program in Belize: http://www.southernbelize.com/tea.html. You can have a unique tour of Belize via the TEA. One town you may wish to visit on the TEA tour is San Miguel. This next link tells about the TEA interface with San Miguel : http://www.southernbelize.com/vil_sanmiguel.html.  (Ask me about the night I spent there in a TEA guest house!)

My favorite Plenty project is a school garden and hot lunch program in San Miguel, Belize.  Located in a poor area of the Toledo district of southern Belize, the San Miguel project is part of a larger program called “GATE” (Garden Based Agricultural Program for Toledo’s Environment). The GATE project in turn, interfaces with CAFSI (the Central American Food Security Initiative), which operates in several Central American countries. To learn more about Plenty’s work in Belize and the GATE program, link here: http://plenty.org/programs/plenty-belize/.

Here is a picture of children working and playing in their school garden that our kids’ recycling project helped to make possible.

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Ten years after we started the Plenty support project a group of parents and young people who had been involved with the recycling effort right from the beginning traveled to BelizeOne of my happiest moments on Earth was when – standing in the midst of the school garden you are looking at above one of the young people declared “Now I get what this was all about!”

Well, that’s my story.  And now I would love to hear yours.  I hope that the young people featured in the Peace Now pages have put you in touch with your own desire and power to participate in planetary transformation.   What are your efforts and dreams of working for peace?  While you are chewing on that question in the days ahead, this could be the perfect time to strengthen your experience of internal guidance by taking one of the free self guided “Wisdom Courses” offered by the PEERS Empowerment Network.

Then for further encouragement, from the Imagine Peace and Plenty branch of the Planetary Transformation Team, as you are sorting out your own pursuit of service, link here for some good news.”