“…we can do small things with great love” – Mother Teresa

I was born in New Delhi, India, and in September 2002, my family and I immigrated to Markham, Canada. Due to the fact that I was born in a developing country and spent the first six years of my life there, I have seen the predicaments that many people have to face in order to just survive from day to day. It also makes me realize how fortunate I am to be able to attain an education or have a roof over my head while many children my age have to work in order to be able to provide for themselves and their families. Thus, it is my experience of living in India that makes want to make service and being of help to others an important component of my life.
Although I knew that I wanted to help people in some way or another, attending a Catholic high school not only reinforced my beliefs but also showed me the path I could take to fulfill this aspiration of mine. My high school was very much involved with charitable events, including conducting casserole drives for homeless shelters, collecting books for Aboriginal communities in northern Ontario, and raising money to build an all-girl school in rural India. One particular event that my school does every year is a mission trip to Kingston, Jamaica to work with the Missionaries of the Poor. The Missionaries of the Poor is a Catholic congregation of brothers founded in 1981 by Father Richard Ho Lung as a solution to the struggles of the community of Mona Commons in Jamaica. The brothers’ work with essentially anyone who does not have a place to call home whether it is an older person who has now become a burden for their family and consequently neglected or a child abandoned because of a disability. It is because of the type of work these brothers do as well as their dedication that within the past 30 years, the Missionaries of the Poor are found throughout the world, with shelters in India, the Philippines, Mexico, and Indonesia. The brothers have sacrificed their entire lives, which involves seeing their families once every 10 years, for the purpose of helping others, practicing their faith through the service they provide. I went on the trip this past March and to say that the experience was transformative would be an understatement. The people I met and the relationships I formed were so foreign yet comforting and apt for me that I was an absolute mess when the time to say goodbye came. The trip overall is something that I could never forget and I can absolutely say that it formed me into the person I am today. Now, all I do is recall the memories of my trip as I count down the days to when I can go back to my third home.

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