07 Jun Looking Forward to 2017
In 2011 when we founded The Sum of One, we had a very general idea of what we wanted to accomplish. Our main goal was just to help someone somewhere in the Philippines, but writing down “we just want to help people” didn’t seem like the greatest mission statement or the best way to convince others to contribute to the organization. Our first project was a <a href=”http://sumofone.org/projects/medical-mission-2012/”>medical mission</a>, where we were able to see hundreds of people being treated and blessed with medications, minor surgeries, and dental work, from young to old and everything in between. After it was over, we sat down and evaluated the event and what was accomplished during that short 12 hour period of time, in awe that we were able to participate in such a successful beyond our wildest dreams event. We knew now what could be accomplished, and we dreamed and planned of how to do it better in the coming years.
A few months passed by and our passion to plan the next medical mission just wasn’t there. Had we jumped in too fast? Were we in over our heads? The answer to both of those questions was yes, by the way. We sat down and had an honest discussion about what we had already done and where we would be headed in the next few years. What we realized during that conversation is that we hadn’t actually lost our passion, we just hadn’t found the thing that we were passionate about. After tossing around a few ideas, only two things really stuck. One was related to kids, the other to the Aeta’s, the people that are indigenous to the area we were serving. We didn’t quite know all of the answers as to how or when or what, but we knew that we wanted to do something.
Sometimes when we think of doing outreaches there is a tendency to build it up to be a spectacular event or moment that requires tons of finances and massive amounts of volunteers. What we have come to realize though is that any amount of effort given to helping the lives of others has a greater impact and further reach than we can imagine. And with that knowledge, we have had made adjustments to what we plan and who we are planning for. Through this journey of becoming the Sum of One, we have grown incredibly, learning how to be resourceful with our time and with the resources that we have so graciously been given to distribute to communities in the Philippines. Our mission has grown and morphed, and our connections to the people in the Philippines continue to grow.
In 2017, we are looking forward to a continued relationship with the school that we assisted in 2015. This time, we want to pass out small backpacks of supplies to each of the children attending the school and the families that they represent. With food, flip-flops, school supplies, small toiletries, and anything else that will fit that fills a practical need. We will also be using the school as a sort of home base for our other outreach to the Aeta’s in the area, and we will have more details on that as we get a little bit closer to February.
Thank you for believing in us as we embraced this journey.
Ervin, Lauren, Elliott, and Harper