This organization was inspired by friends who are both former and present parishioners that I have served here in the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago since I was ordained a priest in 2007. These friends have visited Kenya, or heard about Kenya through social media, or through Kenya’s famous Animal Safaris or they have seen pictures that I regularly post in my social media. They’ve heard me preaching through the pulpit about how blessed the United States of America is compared to the rest of the world. They, the people, have heard about my stories, how I grew up in the farm, my jokes about my village, how is I used to walk to school every day to and fro and yet I was determined to succeed. These friends heard these stories on how difficult it was for me and others to pursue education in Kenya, yet for me it was a daily routine in the village and I always thought it was normal until I came to study in the Capital city, Nairobi, and eventually settled in the USA.
What I thought was a normal lifestyle and usual in the Village, for someone who grew up in the USA, it was shocking to hear! To some extent, I consider myself an eye opener and an ambassador of the people of my village in Kenya. That God sent me, to be ordained a priest in the United States so that I can share their stories to the Americans and this is no coincidence but, rather, divine providence. Even though most Americans have seen the kind of images in the television news I grew up with, (for instance: the sufferings of orphans, pregnant mothers dying on the way to the hospital, lack of clean drinking water, no health center to offer general medicine, no ambulance to transport patients to hospital etc.); speaking to them gave them a totally different new experience that has contributed to the founding of this organization. We are therefore excited about this organization and we hope you as a reader will find our foundation exciting. We invite you to be part of our family by supporting us in any way possible!
Here in the United States, for instance, I do not have any brothers or sisters or relatives but I have been embraced and cared for by so many people. That’s why these friends wanted me to start an organization that can address some of the basic needs of the people in my village. The American friends want to appreciate the work I am doing here, in return, by supporting my village back in Kenya. What a better way to show love to others by sharing your extra time, talent and treasure. Indeed, one friend told me,” if you educate the people, they can eventually figure out how to feed themselves”.
I must truly say that, were it not for the inspirations of these friends, this organization would not be in existence today. At first, I was hesitant to share these stories because I was not sure about the people’s response, but surprisingly the people wanted to learn more about Kenya, more about my family, more about Kenya’s weather etc. Time, Talent and Treasure International Foundation is the people’s organization formed and founded here in the United States of America to assist a village in Kenya which is more than 12,000 miles away. I am their ambassador here in Chicago and I hope with the assistance of my friends--known or unknown here in the United States and the rest of the world-- to transform this rural village in a big way, though starting in small ways.
One challenge that confronted me in starting this organization was the “NAME.” I wanted to come up with a name that is both practical and appealing to people knowing that there are so many organizations in this world! I wanted an organization that embraces and invites people to share their gifts. My experience as a priest tells me that, to run an organization, you must pull together all the resources that you have, you will need to request people to donate their time, to donate their talents and treasures. Some people have time but do not have surplus income to donate, while some people have the gift of leadership or the ability to mobilize people for a cause and others have money but not time to spare!
YOU ARE ALL INVITED TO BE A PART AND PARCEL OF THIS ORGANIZATION. The uniqueness of this foundation is that anyone qualifies to assist it! If you know someone or an organization that is willing to support us, please be our ambassador; if you have any talents like writing grant applications, web design etc., please support us. If you have extra income or even if it is a dollar, we invite you to support us. A stool needs three legs to stand firmly on the ground. If the stool has two legs or one, it is obvious that it will fall down. We need either your time, or talent or treasure and together we can transform my village and give hope where there is hopelessness. By providing such resources, the villagers can then develop their own talents to then help others.
Finally, remember that our goal is to utilize all the gifts people can bring to the table. No matter who you are and where you live, remember that you have a place to participate in this foundation. In the end, what counts is the impact you and I have had on others in the society. Time, Talent and Treasure Inc. was born out of a burning desire to lift up the neediest members of Bogesumwa village, Kisii County in Kenya where I come from. My friends have laid the egg (they are the source of my inspiration to begin this foundation) and I want to hatch that egg they have laid (bring the foundation to reality) with your support of Time, Talent and Treasure International Foundation.
Fr. George Oruko Omwando