Over the past several weeks as I have been winding down my time as President of Feed the Children, I’ve had the opportunity to visit two of our international field operations both in Honduras and Kenya.
I chose to visit these two countries in particular because of our residential children’s centers in these locations.
In Honduras, Feed the Children shelters 35 boys aged 6-18 and in Kenya we house close to 125 ranging in ages of 0-to young adulthood.
Over the past three years, my wife Elizabeth and I have built strong relationships with the children in these programs. We knew that we couldn’t leave without saying goodbye.
But, in the end, what we discovered as we traveled is that we didn’t say goodbye. It was just too painful. It wasn’t how we really wanted to end things. Our relationship with these kids would continue, just in a different way. So, we just said “See you later.”
The children of our residential centers have become an important part of our family. These places are where we’ve spent our holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. I’ve made this choice because while Feed the Children serves over 350,000 children internationally every school day, I’ve always said that for us on staff, the kids in the residential centers are truly our kids – the ones without any family. I knew I needed to lead by example.
Though I will no longer serve Feed the Children as its President, my commitment to these kids will remain strong as a donor. This is something that Elizabeth and I feel very passionate about continuing. I also look forward to visiting Honduras and Kenya again too.
One of the most touching things I heard when we were in Honduras was, “You came to Feed the Children as our President, but you are leaving as our friend.”
And in Kenya I heard from the staff, “Your legacy here will be felt for a long time. You empowered us. You believed in us. You will always be a part of our family.”
I couldn’t be prouder of all the positive changes that have come to the international offices of Feed the Children in the last several years. And I leave with great confidence in the team assembled in these places that will help these kids continue to be kids.
These dear ones will always be a part of our hearts. From the pictures below, you’ll know why. What great kids they all are!