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Hearts On a Mission

Local High School Youth Travel to Haiti and India to Help Children

Writer  /  Christy Heitger-Ewing

Local girls Aubrey Jones (14) and Julianne Fowler (17) chose to spend their school breaks helping others.

When Aubrey signed up to go to Haiti on a mission trip, she didn’t want to show up empty handed. She sold hand-made cards, held a garage sale, collected change and donated her own birthday cash so that she could buy sports balls and hand-deliver them to the Haitian boys and girls. Ultimately, she raised more than $700, enabling her to buy 100 full-size soccer balls and 50 durable playground balls. She then had the words “Balls & Truth for Haiti’s Youth: John 3:16-17” printed on them. Aubrey’s mom Tabatha is beyond proud of her daughter’s giving spirit.

“Her heart is so big, and the compassion she has for those less fortunate is truly inspiring,” says Tabatha, noting that ever since Aubrey was a little girl she has adored telling others about Jesus.

“I’ve always loved sports, and I wanted to combine that love of sports with sharing the gospel with others,” Aubrey says. “Boys and girls everywhere need to know how much they are loved and experience the joy of playing sports. I hope to always play a small part in making that happen.”

Julianne Fowler shares in Aubrey’s compassion for others. She recently accompanied her father on a mission trip to India to work with Save the Girl, a foundation that partners with schools and families throughout Southeastern India that helps families send their daughters to school.

“Life is so much better when you focus on how you can love others,” says Julianne, who recognized that in the United States schooling has become an expectation, not a gift. “I wanted to find a way to share that blessing with girls [in India who are] my same age.”

After raising funds through t-shirt, album and craft sales, Julianne spoke at the schools whose students she helped sponsor.

“Leaving the States was easy, but coming home was a million times harder,” Julianne says. “Giving up a small amount of my time to spend it showing God’s love to others is [a privilege.]”

To learn more about Save the Girl, visit savegirl.org.

About Christy Heitger-Ewing

Christy Heitger-Ewing is an award-winning writer and columnist who writes human interest stories for national, regional, and local magazines. She is also the author of the book “Cabin Glory: Amusing Tales of Time Spent at the Family Retreat” (www.cabinglory.com).

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