Charity is the mother of all volunteering. It is a spirit that makes us give of ourselves and pour into the lives of others through love, kindness, compassion and exuberant goodness. It makes us ministers of hope and goodness.

Here is a story of the expression of this spirit.

During his travels, Adam Braun met a child in India, in an encounter that would later frame the course of his future. “What do you want most in the world?”, he asked. “A Pencil”, replied the child. He picked one from his backpack and gave it to the child. It was at this moment that it dawned on Adam, the power of opportunity to ignite hope through such a small gesture in the life of such a little soul. Much happened afterwards, but it’s now part of the story of Pencils of Promise (PoP), that was born after this encounter.

On his return, Adams decided to start PoP at only 24 years of age and with only $25. He had no full-time employee or major donor but worked through like-minded people who volunteered of themselves in kind and in substance. In 2009, he was faced with a hard decision in which he chose to quit his full-time job to pursue PoP and transform it into a movement that would change people’s perception of education.

PoP is now a renowned organization that is providing education opportunity to children across the world, giving them hope and purpose. PoP has managed to educate over 31,000 students. Today PoP boasts of 531 schools built across Ghana, Guatemala and Laos with about 110380 current students and 2151 teachers being supported. Pencils of Promise believes that where you start in life shouldn’t dictate where you finish and with a motto of: ‘’everyone has a promise’ and we work to unlock this every day.” “Pencils of Promise believes where you start in life shouldn’t dictate where you finish. Therefore, our motto is ‘everyone has promised’ and we work to unlock this every day. The organization strives towards a dream in which they envision a world where everyone has access to quality education.

This is a testimony of what can happen if just one person decides to step out into the unknown and make an impact in the lives of others. Imagine we all did the same to our various levels of ability, wouldn’t this world be a utopia come true.

In conclusion, let me reecho the very words of Adam Braun from his book “Pencils of Promise:” “Purpose is found when you stop thinking about how you exist in the world and start trying to figure out why you are here. Once you solve that question, everything else will fall into place.”

If charity has a place in your heart, then this is a call to usher you into its faucet of volunteering. Join the movement, in whatever way hits you best, whether in person or kind. Find purpose in being a part of someone else’s journey by volunteering.

This article was written by Patrick Mugera, a volunteer Content Writer at VoluCulture.

At VoluCulture, we provide an online platform that connects grassroots nonprofit organizations in Kenya with local and global virtual volunteers.