Just around this time last year, I was boarding a plane to Ghana. It was my 14th trip to the country in just eight years, but, as I do each time I begin my travels to the Touch A Life Care Center, I felt like I was experiencing the trip for the very first time. The journey from Dallas to Accra is long, to be sure, but it was filled with anticipation and excitement as I prepared to head back to a place I consider to be a home away from home.
Travel is one of the keys to understanding other perspectives and cultures. At Touch A Life we are often asked why a potential traveler should spend hard-earned money to travel abroad when he or she could give the money to our organization as a donation instead. This is a very valid question, one our team has pondered over and batted back and forth before coming to an answer. But we all concluded that while the donated funds are an incredible gift indeed, travel connects our supporters with the Touch A Life children in a profound and life-changing way. Our staff members always joke with travelers that they should be very, very emotionally prepared to travel to Ghana because once they meet the Touch A Life children, their lives will never be the same—and they’ll be stuck with our organization forever.
Nearly 30% of Touch A Life travelers and volunteers have made repeat visits to Ghana, which is an incredible statistic. It is expensive and time-consuming to travel to Ghana, so learning that one third of our supporters choose to make the trip again and again is a reminder of the profound impact the face-to-face experience has on our volunteers. One third of our supporters decide, year after year, to spend their hard-earned dollars and hard-earned vacation time to return to Ghana to spend time with the children they’ve come to love as their own. That is no small thing.
The world is ever-changing thanks to technology, and I am always amazed by how a small device in the palm of my hand can instantly connect me to loved ones through texts, email, and video-chatting. But nothing really compares to sharing an experience in person with someone, and at Touch A Life that’s no exception. Traveling to Ghana with Touch A Life is an experience like no other, and we’d love to connect with you if you’re interested in joining us on an upcoming journey. Adventure awaits!