Chelsea Miller will be a sophmore at Hampton High school this year. She has always been a student interested in helping others. After many years of volunteering with fundraisers and dreaming about the opportunity to serve others, Chelsea's long awaited dream came true in June of this year.
Chelsea traveled with a local Guatemala mission group to Patzun, Guatemala. The mission group has been serving an orphange in Guatemala for several years. In the begining of June Guatemala suffered from tropical storm Agatha, which caused a huge sink hole in Guatemala city. Due to the flooding, another group which was supposed to travel down there had to cancel the trip. The group Chelsea was traveling with waited in antisipation that their trip was still scheduled. The group breathed a sigh of relief when they received the news that the long awaited trip remained on schedule. For several months before the trip the group collected items such as; cloth diapers, infant clothing, teething rings, socks, bottles and other basic items for the poor mothers and their newborns in Guatemala. A week before the trip the group dedicated their efforts in packing several large duffle bags filled with items to be taken to Guatemala. Upon arriving in Guatemala, Chelsea and another teen in the group, Hannah, organized the items into "Welcome Bags" for new mothers and their babies. "Many of these women will be receiving "new" items for the very first time," the group leader stated. "Many of the people in Guatemala don't have much materially," Chelsea said, "but they have such great love and joy inside their hearts that go far beyond words." Chelsea helped with several projects during her stay in the orphanage, which included; painting the childrens dorms, refurbishing bathrooms, and assisting with other duties within the walls. There are eighty children stay at the orphanage. Chelsea also shared that she was inclined to not only provide physical labor within the orphanage, but also to share her love and compassion with those children who live there. We take so much sometimes for granted in the U.S. The children here don't realize just how much they have sometimes. The children at the orphange have one another and those who care for them. Chelsea explained, "They basically have one plate and one cup to call their own. They share rooms, clothing, and other basic needs and somehow amongst all of this they still continue to be grateful for what they have instead of what they don't have. They always have a smile on their face. Each child is so unique and special. Each one deserves to be loved and cared for." Chelsea also mentioned, "They are so eager to also love you. As soon as you walk into the orphange its like having a second family. They are constantly trying to please you. They constantly love to make braceletes and braid your hair. As much as you try to make them feel special they seem to come back and make you feel twice as special. It's truly wonderful!" After Chelsea completed the days work the highlight in the evening included playing with the children inside the orphanage. On occasions they would have a special night for the children. One night was pizza night. The children never eat pizza except for that one night. Also they have a night for glow sticks. The children are so amused by them. Chelsea expressed, " This mission trip will be etched in my heart forever and I will most definitely be anticipating another journey to Patzun next year. I have started saving already. We all raise our own money to go on this mission trip.
Thanks to many generous family and friends supporting me I was able to fulfill a dream which I have had for a very long time. I will be continuing with efforts to volunteer my time for fundraisers to support this orphanage and the children who reside there. All of the money we raise during the fundraisers goes striaght to the orphange to help support them.