In May, I had the honor to travel to South America to be a part of the Sales meeting's volunteer project at our Collette Cares Global site, the Hogar Mercedes de Jesus Molina Orphanage in Peru. As part of Team Peru, along with Daniela Hildebrand, Beth Myette, and Kevin Ferguson, we have been working hard for many years to make this volunteer project a success. Never had I imagined that I would be part of something this big that would reward me in such an emotional way.

I was able to arrive ahead of the sales team to meet the girls at the orphanage and was lucky to spend some one-on-one time with them. I brought some gifts for them including the necklaces and bracelets our RI volunteers made and a supply donation from the sales team. In addition, the money Collette Cares collected for dress down Friday in February was put towards new sneakers for all the girls as well as food supplies. We also had a passenger donation that went towards kitchen supplies.

When we arrived on volunteer day, the girls had a big sign welcoming the sales team into their home, and then joined me in dispersing our team around the property. Our volunteer's painted over 15 interior rooms and built shelves. Outside, some of the exterior walls of the orphanage were also painted and the team cleared a portion of yard for future planting. Our time there was limited, but I know that by helping spruce up their home and bringing the supplies made a huge impact on all the girls' lives.

When the work was done, the girls interacted with everyone, and they even did a little "talent" show for us before we departed. At the end of the day, we left the Hogar feeling blessed and grateful for the opportunity to give back in such a special way and to have the privilege to get to know the girls. We all felt such an emotional connection with them and the good works of the Hogar. The sales team wanted to do more, so they generously reached into their pockets and gave to the Hogar. We were sad to leave but happy to know that our efforts will continue to help these special girls grow into their full potential.

Thank you Collette and Collette Cares for the opportunity to change these girls' lives for the better. Since my return, our team has been asked by many how they can learn more about our efforts or to donate. If interested please visit:  http://www.gocollette.com/en/collettecares/projects or http://www.gocollette.com/en/collettecares/donate-page.