i went to dinner with a small group of friends last week. we got on the subject of humanitarian work. one of the couples has done several trips to nepal, the dominican republic, vietnam, and other places. one of the girls has traveled with the same group to mongolia multiple times and to haiti a few years ago. her husband served an lds mission in haiti. when i studied abroad in the dominican republic in college, we took a trip to haiti. it was the saddest and poorest place i have ever seen in my life. our dinner conversation turned to haiti and the sadness, poverty, and corruption there. my experience there was brief and barely over the border, but it definitely broke my heart.
i've been lucky enough to travel to many places. most of my trips have been for school, work, or fun. i had the opportunity to travel to mexico several years ago with a humanitarian organization. we painted and cleaned up an orphanage, constructed a brick wall, and worked on a foundation for an addition to a very small house. most of us didn't really know what we were doing before we went, but we quickly learned and got to work, it's so cliche, but it really is so rewarding to forget about yourself and help others.
there are a lot of great organizations involved in humanitarian work. i have always been really interested in operation smile. they travel all over and help children with cleft lip/palate, and other facial deformities. imagine not being able to smile, talk, eat properly and having someone come in and repair that. it gives me chills just thinking about it.
going on a trip with operation smile would be amazing, but we can't all just pack our bags and hop on a plane whenever we want. we can help contribute to the cause either by donation or for college students using campus book rentals for text books. they donate a portion of every book rental to operation smile. it makes the expense of textbooks a tiny bit less painful. they also have an option to rent books you own to other students through their rent back program. check out their website to learn more about their programs and how they help operation smile.
***this post was sponsored by campus book rentals. all opinions are my own.