This July, I returned from one of the most life changing weeks I have ever experienced. Our mission trip’s goal was to inspire, share and express unconditional love on the 58 incredibly, sweet and generous kids in the Reynosa, Mexican orphanage.  The children ranged from ages 1 to 16 years old and the experiences we shared collectively changed my outlook on the life I was living back in Franklin, Tennessee.

After a heartbreaking goodbye, my youth group hopped into our vans and traveled back across the border to a Double Tree hotel in Texas where we spent our final night of the trip. (The boys were pleased due to the fact that our hotel was coincidentally a PokeStop.) That night, we all gathered to discuss a unanimously decided challenge: How can we continue our mission experience once we return home? The question had been floating in my mind since we left the orphanage. It got me thinking about different ways I could give back to others in my very own community.

Not too long after that, I heard about Threads of Care for the very first time. Instantly my heart started to lead me toward this organization. I knew I had to get involved somehow. I started contacting people involved with TOC and was able to take up the responsibility and pleasure of starting a chapter at my high school. After lots of hard work and dedication, I am now continuing my mission as president of a 42 member chapter and I hope to spread the love I received in Mexico to other youth in my very own community through Threads of Care.  I highly encourage all of you to experience giving back and get involved in your community. This could mean serving at a food bank, donating any extra clothes you may have laying around to Threads of Care, or even paying for the person behind you in the drive-thru. Even the smallest efforts can make a difference. I realize that caring and loving others doesn’t always mean flying to a foreign country on a mission trip.  YOU can make a difference anywhere as long as you put your whole heart into it.