Guest post from Megan Scott. Megan is a frequent volunteer at El Hogar San Francisco de Asís in Peru and started OLA PAZ BEADS to help raise funds for El Hogar. Help Them HOPE has provided over 80 educational scholarships to past residents of El Hogar.
Each day I know for certain that three things will cross my mind: my family, my school and El Hogar (El Hogar San Francisco de Asís in Chaclacayo, Peru). My name is Megan Schott, I am currently a sophomore in college and a returning Hogar volunteer. Since my first mission trip to El Hogar in 2016, I have thought about the home every single day. I feel blessed to have been able to return again and again each year for longer periods of time. I have watched the children grow and progress, I’ve developed connections, formed friendships and experienced one of the purest forms of love I have yet to encounter. I believe many Hogar volunteers can attest that leaving is hands down the hardest thing to do and it never gets easier.
It is that time when not at the Hogar that I’ve struggled to find a way to really help the home while being thousands of miles away. It seemed unfair to have been so involved for some time to then return home and carry on as usual. I would continue to donate, share stories and pictures to raise awareness but I wanted to do something more…
Beading has long been a passion of mine. Creating special jewels to give to friends and family I would bead everywhere and anywhere. I had long toyed with the thought of selling my creations but I was hesitant, I did not want selling my beads to cause me to hate something I had loved for so long. Then I thought of donating a part of my profits back to El Hogar, knowing that my work was helping the kids of El Hogar assured me that I would never come to dread making a bracelet.
I often think back to my second trip to El Hogar, I had brought along some beads and the kids and I were putting together some bracelets. Safe to say, it was a mess, the little ones knocked over nearly every bowl of beads but after the chaos each kid would wear the biggest smile when they put on their finished product. Across the table, Ana Flor, a teenage resident of the home, was looking through beads and asked me to spell out “este mundo es hermoso” (“this world is beautiful) with the beaded letters so we could string them onto a necklace together. I remember thinking that if I start to sell, my little business will radiate that mentality, always believing that the world is beautiful and choosing to see the good.
The beads Ana Flor and I laid our before stringing it onto her necklace.
Though now I wish I had done it sooner, I officially created Ola Paz Beads and launched my website (ola-paz-beads.myshopify.com). I developed the name by combining the Hawaiian and Spanish languages to highlight two of my very favorite places in the world. “Ola” meaning to live in Hawaiian and “paz” meaning peace in Spanish, coming together to be “Live Peace.” Each month I will be donating 25% of my profits to villalapazfoundation.org to directly help the children of El Hogar. Through Ola Paz Beads I hope to express my passions by creating jewelry for people to enjoy and share while in turn giving back to a place so close to my heart.
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