2002 was the year I first went to Uganda. What I learned and saw in Uganda changed my life, my focus, and my understanding of this world. During my stay, I met so many wonderful people. According to our standards, these people should have been unhappy - they had nothing! They were, however, amazing in the wealth they possessed in their hearts. The sickness, poverty, hunger, and bloated bellies were all around me, but so was peace in the eyes of the locals. One sight always disturbed me, though, and kept me awake at night. This was the sight of a home with tombstones out front and children playing in the yard or working in the fields. When I asked if there was supervision for the children I was told, "No, the parents are dead." With the area's limited resources, these children were left unprotected in their own homes after the death of their parents. Many of these children had been exposed to or infected with HIV.
Once home, I shared my heart with my husband, Larry. He felt the same pull to help these children. Together we starting our own 501.C.3 not-for-profit foundation called HUGS. We determined to choose projects that would help village inhabitants become self-sufficient and care for their own needs. Sharing this with friends and family, our board members became evident. The first meeting of the board of directors of HUGS was held in July of 2003. Since that time we have worked to get the details of life in the whole of Uganda to as many as possible. When people hear of the poverty and need in Uganda, the result has been overwhelming charity. Larry, the board of directors, and I are encouraged by the response to the need. We would like to thank all who gave and keep giving so the people of Uganda can have a better life. Together we have changed their future – one project, one village at a time.