Heavy Suitcases & Empty Pocket   1 comment

Thirteen, I counted thirteen stamps from the Dominican Republic in my passport, and as I write I realize that I had a government issued Peace Corps passport from 2004 to 2006; so from 2007 to 2010, I’ve arrived thirteen times to Las Americas Airport in Santo Domingo.  That also means that I have stuffed at least thirty-nine pieces of luggage to the weight limit with donated items and prayed thirteen times that I wouldn’t have to pay the excess weight fee for my bags.

When I arrived to the American Airlines counter at Denver International Airport on December 7th, I knew I had two HEAVY suitcases.  I had learned two nights before that there was an embargo on extra baggage to Latin America during Christmas; only two bags.  My dad helped me lug my luggage to the counter and we waited with interest to see the final weigh-in.  Fifty-two and seventy-four!  We rearranged a few items and added some more weight to my super-carry-on, making it about a forty-five pounder.

Why such heavy bags you ask?  This time, I was transporting in my suitcases 222 donated books, two donated laptops, and hundreds of donated clothing items.  Why?  When people donate items, I can see them in the hands, or on the bodies of people in Consuelo.  Knowing the needs of individuals makes it hard to resist stuffing an extra t-shirt or book into a piece of luggage.

Knowing the needs of individuals and the community is also what keeps me traveling with empty pockets.  When I explain to friends in the US that there is intermittent electricity and water in my apartment, or that I take bucket-baths with cold water, many can’t understand why I wouldn’t stay in the comfortable United States and earn a dignified salary.  I guess I realize that the people of the population I intend to help have empty pockets too, and while mine may be void of money, theirs, currently, are void of opportunity.  This is what I hope Community Connection International can change.

This Christmas, CCI asks you in the spirit of giving, to consider the contents of your pockets to see if you can help connect humanity to its potential. CCI is trying to launch literacy courses, community service projects, and job preparation courses in January.  Your donations transfer into opportunity in the pockets and lives of the less fortunate.  Please donate today at http://www.cciinfo.org.

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Posted December 12, 2010 by anglynnbennett in Uncategorized

One response to “Heavy Suitcases & Empty Pocket

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  1. Angie,
    I have tons of clothes to donate and would love to put them to use within your organization. Please let me know how to get the clothes in your hands….

    Thanks, Ryan

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