When little Bailey Guillotte heard a Food For The Poor speaker talk about barefoot girls climbing rocky Honduran hillsides to fetch water for their families, the solution seemed simple to her. Bailey, 4, handed her pair of black patent shoes to Fr. Barry Thiering on the way out the door, and accepted a ride in her father’s arms to their car.
She asked one thing – that the shoes go to a little girl in Honduras. The international relief and development agency Food For The Poor did just as she requested.
The little girl who received the shoes lives on the island of Roatan, Honduras, with her mother, father, a brother and three sisters. The family lives in a village of 38 houses built by Food For The Poor. The terrain is steep and rocky, just as Bailey learned in her New Iberia, La., church service. The good news for the little girl in Honduras is that she has new shoes, and because of the new village, she and her sisters no longer will have to go for water. Now, they will be able to go to school instead, thus completing another step in breaking the cycle of poverty.
“Bailey is only 4, and I wasn’t sure how much of the message she understood,” said Gwen Guillotte, her mother. “But she wanted to give her shoes, and I watched as this really tiny girl looked up at the very tall speaker and told him she wanted to give her shoes to another girl ‘so she won’t cut her feet.’ ”
The Rev. Canon Larry Wilkes, rector of the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany in New Iberia, unsurprised by Bailey’s generosity, said, “The Guillotte family has a wonderful heart, and this demonstrates that Bailey is learning from her parents to be a loving and giving child.”
In many developing countries, it is the mothers and daughters who are charged with the responsibility of finding and hauling clean water. They often have to go many miles to find the water, and it consumes so much time that getting an education is out of the question. Providing housing with sanitation, and clean water sources is a proven way to get the girls in school and start to break the cycle of poverty.
“Bailey’s simple, sacrificial gift shows all of us the powerful difference that one person – even a very tiny one – can make. That is how we measure what we do,” said Angel Aloma, Executive Director of Food For The Poor. “We count our victories by saving one child at a time, one family at a time, one village at a time.”
Food For The Poor, the third-largest international relief and development organization in the nation, does much more than feed millions of the hungry poor in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian agency provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance, with more than 96 percent of all donations going directly to programs that help the poor. For more information, please visit www.foodforthepoor.org.