Last year Children’s Hunger Relief Fund started a new tradition of awarding an outstanding member of our community of projects and friends with the “Good Samaritan” award. The award is given to individuals in order to recognize their incredible generosity, mercy, compassion and sacrifice for others. Last year’s award went to Judi Gentry, a wonderful grandmother, who just in her 70’s, decided to adopt an entire orphanage of children in Uganda after her journey there to visit the wild-life of the country.
This year we are pleased to present the award to Marisa White, a hard-working and selfless young woman that was busy being a full time mother to her two children, a student working towards her degree, and a full time diligent employee at her work. Marissa’s life was forever changed when she discovered the awful and dangerous living situation of three young children in her community. Their parents had neglected and abandoned these three innocent children including one young boy who has had his cerebral palsy worsen from neglecting the proper therapy.
Surrounded by drug abuse, not attending school, ignoring much needed medical attention, these children were rescued by Marisa from their desperate situation. Thinking not of herself or how much of her life would be consumed by having to raise five children instead of two, Marisa acted out of her incredible and heroic heart of compassion and mercy to raise these children as her own.
Perhaps she tells the story best as she writes to us:
“There are barely words to describe what it’s like to watch a child you love be neglected by someone they need. ‘Appalling’ is a pretty good one: anger, rage, sorrow, disbelief. I think that moms especially have a really hard time wrapping our heads around the concept of neglecting a child. Addiction is a powerful force. There are a lot of powerfully bad forces out there, and even if you can’t protect the kids from the consequences of those forces, you can give them what they need to cope with those consequences. THAT’s the gift we hope to bring to their lives. We aren’t going to replace their parents and we don’t want to. We are trying to give them the stability and safety that they need to develop into emotionally and physically healthy kids, and the foundation they’ll need as they get older to understand and work through that loss and pain. Children’s Hunger Relief Fund helps make this possible for many other children in similar situations. May you be forever blessed for what YOU do! You can’t even imagine how you help change lives.”
Perhaps what is equally incredible about Marisa is her astonishing humility. She protested receiving the award this year saying, “Surely there must be better people out there you can give the award to! I didn’t have a choice, I had to help these kids.”
Her quote reveals the frame of mind and attitude which perfectly exemplifies the parable of the good Samaritan and is exactly why we are presenting her with the award despite her frequent protests.
Our Chairman of the Board writes:
“Often times in our every daily lives we naturally get caught up in own problems and perhaps forget the great need that exists outside of what we even have time to consider. The fact is that most people would not drastically change their life and sacrifice much of what we have in order to help others. But we at CHRF want to honor the many people in our community who do. Marisa, it’s your turn. You are a real life hero. You’re one of the most incredible people I’ve ever heard of and it’s an honor to know you.”
To all of our CHRF donors around the world that make real life-saving stories like this one possible, WE THANK YOU.