As 2019 draws to a close, I find myself reflecting on the blessings, growth, challenges and lessons we’ve learned at Rapha International over the past year. This year-end blog series is dedicated, not to the large achievements and show-stopping miracles that took place this year, but to the quieter moments that continue to take my breath away and keep me picking up my sword to fight another day.
“I was a Rapha Girl”
It is always an encouragement to our staff when we see you all using your birthdays as Rapha fundraisers on social media! When we each use our voice, awareness multiplies and change takes place.
Sitting in my bedroom in early November while scrolling through my Facebook feed, I landed on a post that took my breath away. Sophorn, a former Rapha girl, who is walking in freedom and is now in early adulthood, was using her birthday to raise funds for Rapha! Here is what she posted-
“For my birthday this year, I would like to raise donations to support Rapha International. The reason why I chose Rapha is because this organization means a lot to me. Let me tell you why.
My name is Sophorn and I was a Rapha girl. Rapha really helped me a lot and I’ve learned so much through this organization when I was living there with lots of girls that had been through the same situation as me. What I learned was how to be patient, how to control my feelings with anger even though sometimes I fail but I still can get through this. I learned how to be independent wherever I go and because of my life-experience, I can use my voice to help other young girls that have been through difficult times in their life.
I am not perfect but I consider myself strong and can handle problems that I face. Thank you to the people who have supported me before and please continue and help me to reach my goal to help these girls.”
Now, if you know me at all, you know that my tear ducts live very close to the surface of my eyes. I read this post with one hand over my heart while the other hand wiped the steady stream of tears that were slipping down my cheeks and landing on my laptop.
You see, Sophorn had started a new life in a new place and there weren’t many people in her new realm who knew her story. And yet, here she was, using her voice in this big way to raise funding so that other girls could receive the same care that she herself had received. She was laying it all on the line. Friends, that is PRECIOUS stuff!
On the day of her birthday, Sophorn posted on her fundraiser and said that one of her dreams had come true- that she had always wanted to earn money so that she could support the work of Rapha International, and that day, she contributed to the fundraiser herself!
As our girls grow up and walk into freedom, it is our hope that they will be strong women who are empowered to help others. Sophorn is a beautiful example of that.
Sophorn closed her fundraiser with these words- “I always wish that one day those girls will become strong and have freedom.”
Thank you for your love and support in making stories like this possible. The ripple effects of your generosity not only saves girls’ lives, but it creates world changers.
As this year draws to a close, we invite you to remember Rapha International in your year-end giving. Your support means the world to the children we serve...
It’s not too late to make a year-end gift to Rapha International. You can lock in your charitable deductions for 2019 by donating on or before December 31.
There are even more ways to give. 2019 is a great year to donate stocks or other assets that have increased in value, which may be exempt from capital gains taxes.