Growing to Roar

RP Imagery, La Cuchilla

RP Imagery, La Cuchilla

…we believe that magic can happen inside people. Magic can’t happen inside projects; magic can’t happen inside inanimate objects. Love. Loving people is our end goal. And it’s just difficult to describe why unless you’ve seen the results.
— Riley Fuller, President and Co-Founder

As Humanity and Hope United embarks upon building relationships within a new village we will be partnering with called "La Cuchilla," it’s important to be reminded of the potential for magic dwelling in each person we meet. The village of La Cuchilla consists of 27 families living in 20 small homes. They all share one well to obtain life-sustaining water, which must always be boiled in order to make sure it’s safe to drink. The villagers of La Cuchilla have told us they have been praying for seventeen years for our arrival, and we do not want to let them down. 

RP Imagery, La Cuchilla

RP Imagery, La Cuchilla

So where do you start when you are called to help others prosper? Transformation isn’t something you can achieve overnight, nor is it something that should have a planned trajectory. There are a lot of unknowns along our path to serve the people we partner with, but the one thing we do know for certain is that people grow when they are loved well. 

We are reminded of this truth when we look at this recent photo of some of the young girls in La Coroza, a village Humanity and Hope United has been partnering with for years. The girl to the far right is Sarah. From this photo you may never know the suffering and hardship she has faced in her young life. She has been thirsty. She has felt alone and scared. But, these experiences do not define her as you see her today, hand on her hip, ready to face the world. 

RP Imagery, La Coroza

RP Imagery, La Coroza

If you look closely at the slideshow below, you can see the progression she makes as time rolls on. In the earlier photos, you still see joy, but it is also coupled with exhaustion and hesitation. She is not yet ready to believe that the love being given to her by strangers is something that will endure.

Flash forward a few years and we are now able to revel in the fact that she is becoming a force to be reckoned with. Sarah sees the people of Humanity and Hope United as her friends. She welcomes volunteers with open arms because she knows that they are there to love on her, and will always believe in her. Not only that, but she has clean water to drink, food in her stomach and experiences of joy and stability at home. The power to dream big has been inside of Sarah since the beginning, now she just has a little more “roar” behind it.

It is our deepest hope that one day the children of La Cuchilla will pose for a photo with courage in their eyes and a strong stance to take on the world, just like miss Sarah.

So let's ask Sarah...

What would it be like if his character was supported and encouraged? 

(click right to see her response) 

What dreams would live in her eyes if she knew she had a stable platform from which to soar?

What would happen if he met new people and they held him with love? 

Magic would happen. 

Together we are so, so strong. Magic happens when we focus on serving the world, not saving the world.
— Ben Higgins, H&H Board Member

Upon returning from a trip last month (which you can read about in our previous post ), Ben and the rest of the team at Humanity and Hope United were encouraged by the stories they heard and the path they travelled, admiring relationships old and new. They travelled from Sarah's village of La Coroza to La Cuchilla and were able to compare the two. And just like the old photos of Sarah demonstrate, despite immense hardship, love grows abundantly in the hearts of the children and adults of La Cuchilla. But, these hearts are tired. They long for a brighter future, but how can they look to a future growth without present work? 

Jobs give people a purpose and a means to provide. Purpose and stability bring hope, and that's where the real magic lives. Without motivated adults to look up to, Sarah's story would have turned out much differently. Please help us to give voice and power to the wishes of the villagers in La Cuchilla by joining us in our campaign to provide them with jobs, a way to provide stability they've not yet known, which will enable them grow into the best version of themselves. Together let's help them grow to ROAR. 

By: Kelly Segar with Ally Browning

Serving, Not Saving the World, with My Mom

A recent blog post by Ben Higgins on The Mahogany Workplace.

I’ve always loved stories. When I was a kid, I used to read the wild stories from the Bible, like the time a fish ate a man and he lived to tell about it or the time when the entire world flooded and Noah not only survived but got to hang out with all the animals on a huge boat he built. I love those stories because they are so intense and vivid, but I also love them because I believe that I can live a great story if I let God lead.

Thanks to being on The Bachelor (something that’s still hard to believe sometimes), I have the opportunity to intertwine my life story with more people than I ever imagined. It’s a dream come true, but it’s kind of stressful at the same time. Sometimes my head spins with all the opportunities I receive (a great problem to have). When I get overwhelmed, I know how to make myself feel better: start serving others.

For the past week, I led a group of about 40 Americans and Hondurans on an adventure to invest as much love as we could into the lives of some of the most isolated, marginalized people in the world. And I got to do it with my Mom, who happens to be the No. 1-ranked mom in the world (according to me).

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During our eight days in Honduras,  I got to be a part of so many incredible stories. We painted houses, built fences, walked through rivers, and ate freshly grown pineapples on a Honduran mountainside. In the midst of all the meaningful work, we focused on the fact that our biggest impact came from the love we shared through relationships, not the accomplishments we achieved through projects.

Since we focused on building relationships, we got to listen to others — a lot. We heard stories of heartbreak: One woman’s husband drowned while walking to work because the river he crossed didn’t have a bridge and a storm hit quickly. We heard stories of violence: A man’s brother was killed by his brother-in-law in a senseless, drunken fight. We heard stories of triumph: One woman encouraged her daughter to stay in school through college and that girl returned as a kindergarten teacher for the village. I heard stories of love: Several parents told me how they would skip meals to make sure their kids didn’t go hungry.

A recurring theme during our visit: before and afters. We heard stories about life before and after having clean water, getting a job, receiving an education, building a home, and so many other things we take for granted. Most importantly, we participated in story of hope that is so much bigger than any one individual.

Since joining the Board of Directors at Humanity and Hope United, I’ve seen what can happen when we work together to invest in people with love. I’ve seen 13 businesses grow from nothing to supporting parents who need to feed their children. I’ve seen entire villages be able to access clean water, buy houses, and build bathrooms for themselves. I’ve seen children attend high school in villages where no one else had made it past sixth grade. And I’ve seen women who expected to sit at home making tortillas — although there is nothing wrong with a good tortilla — become entrepreneurs and change their communities.

Endless amounts of hope result from these opportunities… and I’m convinced that it all happens because we did it as a team and we did it with love. My friends and I realize that no one person can save the world, so on a weeklong trip we don’t even try. We just try to be a part of a story that’s bigger than ourselves; one where everyone works together with love to bring out the best in others.

Together we are so, so strong. Magic happens when we focus on serving the world, not saving the world.

So how did this lead to a trip with my Mom? Well, she almost broke her leg while riding a banana boat on our beach day. And I almost lost her when she took an accidental four-hour hike in the wrong direction. But I’ve never been more proud of her, and we’ve never shared so much purpose. And that is why we did this together.

Side note: I did not leave empty handed. I also got a pretty sweet haircut in one of the villages. There are so many reasons to come on a trip with us. If you’re interested in participating on a Humanity and Hope United trip, please send them an email. We’d love to have you.

Thankfully, I got to spend even more time in Honduras after the H&H trip. Once the group left, I headed to the coffee-producing region of Honduras to continue the journey of Generous Coffee, with our goal to make the world better with each cup of coffee you drink. Stay tuned for more stories. We hope you become a part of them.

By Ben Higgins with Riley Fuller

Welcome to our new site!

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Welcome! Today is a big day for Humanity & Hope United. We are launching our new website which has been in the works for quite some time. We have some amazing people to thank for volunteering their time and determination to create a space that truly emulates the heart of this organization.  

We’d love for you to take a walk through the different sections and make yourself at homeget to know the leaders, learn about the country and the villages we serve, and let the snapshots of their world sink into your heart. There is a lot to take in and we are excited to share it with you.

This “Journal” section of our website is our gathering spot for collecting stories, taking a deeper looks at relationships, and catching up on project updates from the team. It is here that we will attempt to capture the day-to-day of our friends in the villages we serve. We will remember the times we laughed with them and the times they overcame odds. They’ll teach us what it means to be persevering and holding tight onto the wings of a hopeful, giving existence. 

This is an honest, safe space, which we hope will attract your heart to the possibility of something greater for yourself, and for the people we serve. We want this site to make you BELIEVE: in magic, in possibilities, in a brighter future, and in a love story that is bigger than us all.

We don’t just want you to be an onlooker; we want you to be a participant. This is your love story too.

So, come on in. The door is always open.