A Giving Heart

Irene - Houston, Texas
Entered on March 1, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
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Ever since I was little, I remember my trips to visit the family in Mexico but it wasn’t until I was a good ten years old when I realized the poverty that exists among many communities south of the border. I was so used to seeing my parents giving the kids in the streets the spare coins they had in currency but I never really understood why. Why it was that those kids where there at all times of the days seeing what they would get.

The usual routine was we would cross the border, then a couple hours after we would reach a toll bridge that always had outrageous paying lines. We would be at the line for at least two hours. At that specific place, I would always see kids of all ages, ranging from toddlers to teenagers walking down the street, in between the cars, but I never understood why they were doing this and why so many. I would look around and on the sides of the roads I would see pregnant mothers carrying newborns just looking into the street. I never understood why those women were just standing there in the hot sun with their kids.

I remember little kids would come up to the drivers window and knock on it. My dad would lower the window and they would ask him for help, a donation of any kind. The face that really left me in shock was that of a little girl, who looked like she was three years old. She had on an adult t-shirt with a pair of flip-flops that were falling apart. Every time I see someone asking for help I am reminded of that little girl and her desperate state of poverty.

From that day forward, I understood that those kids walking between cars were children of the pregnant women standing on the sides of the road. They were desperately seeking help to provide food for their families. I had no idea that what I in my life take for granted those kids would love to have. I believe that seeing all those kids, year by year has made me a more thankful and considerate person. Yes, I questioned why the parents would make their kids beg for money but at the same time realized that the children were doing what they could to survive. This taught me that one has to be thankful for what they have but at the same time be humble enough to share with those in need.