It seems like just yesterday I was a high school student in Belize. When I went home to visit in the fall of 2003, I met with former classmate Dianne Lindo, who directs social outreach programs to children in many of the poorest neighborhoods in Belize City.
When I returned to campus, I met with our staff and students to see if there was some way we could help Dianne’s outreach. We settled on a Valentine’s Day flower sale. We bought wholesale roses for $1 apiece and sold them for $2 each.
By setting up at several locations throughout campus, our MS Accountancy students, Class of 2005, were able to sell more than 2,000 roses on a single day. With a few added donations, we raised $3,000.
A couple of months ago, I opened an envelope and read the report describing what our money had bought for the students of St. John Vianney Primary School.
They constructed five new picnic benches with roofs on them, so that they can hold some classes outside and ease classroom overcrowding in the school. All 21 teachers bought basic classroom supplies. The remaining $470 paid for nutritious school lunches.
Two dollars a rose. No one at Notre Dame will ever miss this money. The lesson for me is how little it takes from us, and how much it can do. Dianne wrote in her letter, “The happy face of each child in the photographs tells a story.”
You know, Mary stands on the Dome and looks down on all of her children, whether they are in South Bend or elsewhere. They are all God’s children. If we can give just a little bit to all of them, we’ll make the world a much better place to be during our journey.
School Supplies Bought (From teachers' reports)
Multiplication and division flash cards
Two packs of typing sheets
Glue and Glue sticks
Math and Science Posters
Colorful art materials
Loose leaf paper
Stapler and remover
Teacher's guide books
— Linda Espahbodi is program director for the Master of Science in Accountancy Program in the Mendoza College of Business. As told to Mary Hamann.