Holly John is the Communications Manager for a Boston-based pharmaceutical company, and holds a B.A. from the University of Arizona. She enjoys good friends, family gatherings, her two cats, Snow and Chloe.
As a young girl and even into adulthood, I was sure I had it figured out. I would get an education, have a career, then marry a wonderful man and have two beautiful children, a boy and a girl. However, when I started to approach my 40th birthday and hadn't married, I realized my life had caught me off guard. I have the career I wanted, and in many ways a happy and fulfilling life, but on occasion, I’m keenly aware of the emptiness my heart feels because I am alone.
About nine months ago, I was again caught off guard when I had the opportunity to welcome a 13 year-old Haitian boy, Giovanni Pierre-Louis into my home and “mother” him while he receives burn care treatment from Shriners Hospital. Two years ago, Giovanni and a few friends were playing soccer in Haiti when they were exposed to a live electrical cable. Giovanni, risking his own safety tried to save a friend’s life when he was badly burned and injured, losing a good portion of the top of his skull. Giovanni miraculously survived this horrific accident. Local doctors were not able to do much for him, but fortunately an American doctor who was in Haiti helping victims from the 2010 earthquake, decided to bring Giovanni back to the United States where he could receive lifesaving medical care.
Since having Giovanni in my home, I have learned valuable life lessons about faith, service and gratitude. Many of these lessons I learned from him. Giovanni never complains about the painful procedures and surgeries, even when it hurts so bad he doesn’t think he can “stand up.” Instead, he gives a sincere “thank you” to those caring for him, including prayers of gratitude to God, thanking Him for the surgery.
Hearing Giovanni’s prayers often make me wonder, “am I aware of my blessings and do I have a grateful heart?” I have also felt Giovanni’s love and appreciation for the care I give him. Initially, when I would clean his wound each night, I would struggle with a feeling of queasiness. Although I never expressed this to Giovanni, he sensed it because he would sing his favorite spiritual songs in French to help distract me. We learned to serve each other during his bandage changes.
Having Giovanni and his family in my home has also opened my eyes to the difficulties that those living in Haiti face each day. Giovanni’s hometown, Leogane was badly damaged by the earthquake, leaving most of the residents still living in tents a year later. Clean water and electricity are considered luxuries.
Unbeknownst to me, I was recently nominated for my service to Giovanni and his family. While I don't care much for the honor, what I do care about is that Home Depot and MLS (Major League Soccer) have launched a campaign, Community MVP, that will reward the national winner with a grand prize of $10,000 to be provided to their charity of choice. The winner will be chose via a Facebook voting contest. My charity of choice – LDS CHARITIES/ HAITI RELIEF.
To vote on Facebook, log onto www.facebook.com/MLS and visit the MLS W.O.R.K.S. tab. (you must ”like” MLS before they can get to the MLS W.O.R.K.S. tab to vote)
The voting begins on July 8th and will end Friday, July 22nd at 5pm ET. There are no limitations, so you can vote as many times as you would like.
Will you click through to Facebook right now — and support Holly in her dream?
Will you then share this post with two other people that you know will also vote? Whether your children or friends?