The Power of Giving Back

I’ll never forget riding in a van for an hour and a half down this narrow, dirt road. Finally, we came to a stop in the middle of a corn field where there was nothing but a small hut made of mud and corn stocks. Two hundred people were waiting there for us in the blazing sun. They were waiting for what we’d brought along in the van:

Hope.

It is so amazing and extremely humbling to me to be able to walk onto a piece of dirt and change people’s lives. This month, I was in Guatemala with Possibilities International. For years I’ve been going with my mom, a nurse, on similar humanitarian trips. This time I brought my son, too. We were there to set up a medical clinic and provide basic supplies to people with virtually nothing. Things like soap, vitamins, toothpaste…things we can get at a dollar store here, we brought thousands of miles to give to people who otherwise would never have access to them.

I’m grateful everyday for the privileges I have at home in Ontario. But this puts privilege into a whole new perspective.

One story in particular really impacted me: involving a single mom of 5 kids. She was heartbroken because she had nothing. Absolutely nothing. She visited us towards the end of one of our clinics, starving. We weren’t in a position to provide food, but we managed to do something magical for her. You can listen to the whole story on my podcast by clicking here.

Giving someone a bar of soap or a small jar of vitamins felt so small. But in so many ways, it felt huge. It was offering hope. Hope that a life of unimaginable poverty can change and that someone else in the world cares about you. And through these small acts, we felt THEIR gratitude. The tears, the hugs, the expressions of hope we were able to provide were something I won’t ever take for granted. And we ourselves felt incredibly thankful just for the opportunity to serve.

I say this all the time in my podcasts and live events: using the privilege I have to serve others and serve the world is something I value most. Whatever stage I’m at, wherever I am, business or personal, I will devote myself to helping others.

It won’t always be a grand gesture like a mission trip. I believe we can do amazing things by just smiling at someone. In line at the bank, sitting at a stop light, or as they nervously wait to perform their first recital, a smile can change someone’s world. It offers kindness. It offers hope.

Check out some photos from my Guatemala trip here. And if you’re ever interested in going a mission trip with us, let me know! I promise, the bumpy ride is worth every second.