Below is a reflection written by Upper Midwest Associate Board member Kyra Knoff.
It's been almost a year since I returned from a year of volunteering at the NPH Guatemala home. Even though I don't live at the home any more, I am still active with NPH: I sponsor a child, volunteer in the office, and am on the Associate Board of the Upper Midwest Region.
There are a lot of reasons that people get involved with NPH in the first place. Ultimately though, I believe that everyone's heart is in it for the kids of NPH, whether someone has a personal connection with a child or just hears their stories from afar. I recently re-read the testimonial that I wrote before leaving Guatemala and found a piece that I wrote about my section of boys. It's a reminder to me of what makes NPH exactly what it is.
"...I accompanied a section of 13 boys ages 9-12. At first, I could hardly tell them apart, but they soon became dear to me - I learned their quirks, favorite foods and games, and how to make each one laugh. These were the boys I sat next to every Sunday at mass. They’re the ones who never failed to prolong bedtime by giving me hug after hug and insisting on pillow talk. They ate up my scary 'brains' (aka cold spaghetti) within the first 10 minutes of the haunted house we volunteers put on for Halloween. They’re the boys who wrestled me, purposefully messing up my hair so I’d have to walk all the way home looking like I don’t own a comb. It’s them who begged me to teach them how to make s’mores, knot friendship bracelets, and play Crazy 8's. They’re the boys that captured my heart this year, and they are the ones who make it so hard to say goodbye."