YMCA after school care provider From San Diego, CA
I found Heart’s Home at Gonzaga University through Amy Koreski, an ex-missionary who, after having gone on mission to Honduras, returned to Spokane to teach. The more I listened to stories about her mission and read texts from Fr. Thierry, the founder, the more I realized that I wanted to be a part of this experience that made Amy’s eyes shine with pure joy and made her heart burn with love for God’s little ones. Within 24 hours of finally arriving at the Heart’s Home in New York, I felt more at home than I think I ever had in my life. I learned during formation that my joy would come from living in a house like this and welcoming those whose pain is so deep with the same open-armed embrace, bright-eyed, loving smile and appreciation for beauty that I saw from the members of the New York community.
When I think of welcoming the broken-hearted, I think of Roman, an 11-year-old boy whose parents and siblings are almost never in the house. He started spending his time in the streets with a gang of 18-year-olds who do drugs and rob buses. The more Roman hung out with these boys, the more his face and attitude would harden, but when he came to our house, we could see that hardness melt away. When he cut his head open on some rocks in the nearby river, he came directly to our house, scared and child-like but knowing that he had friends at Heart’s Home that cared for him.
Now back in the United States working with at-risk kids in an after school program, I try every day to help the children see how wonderful they are and how much they are loved. I feel more profoundly in my job, in my house, and in my friendships, how blessed I am for what am given, and I try to show others in the concrete details of my actions how thankful I am for their presence in my life.