Reflections from Carly, USANA Director and recent service trip attendee
Meet Carly Dow- USANA Director
I grew up listening to music —mostly country classics and modern pop crossovers, but have recently broadened my horizons with various genres. Despite the type, I love the unique sound of each artist’s voice and the power, poise, presence, and unmistakable message that backs each song. Each song tells a story, reminding us of a profound moment or memory and I’d like to share one with you.
Vicente Guerrero, Mexico
November 27th, 2016 was the day I embarked on a journey that would completely alter my understanding of poverty. I had seen poverty, but never to this extreme. I hadn’t been the witness to such poor living conditions and an overall lack of all we consider essential. “Basic” needs are not so basic in many parts of the world and before serving in Mexico, I didn’t understand the impact my commitment to being of service could have.
Our second evening at the Mission was spent house-sitting a home of 12 teen girls ranging in age and background. We took over for a night and shared our hobbies and interests with each other; I told the girls of my love for music and how I’d been singing since age 11. Music has always been a gift I could share with others, but as I’ve grown older I’ve stopped sharing this gift. That evening one of the girls asked me to sing and I denied her multiple times. The feeling left in the pit of my stomach was overwhelming and after an hour of discomfort, I remembered why I had hopped on a plane solo to visit the Mission in the first place. I was there to serve, and I’ve since learned that at times we must show up in a space of vulnerability to have an impact.
How does this story conclude? I sang “In the Arms of an Angel” by the beautiful Sarah McLachlan. I started to sing and the chatter in the room slowly silenced until all eyes were on me and I was immersed in one of the most profound moments I’ve experienced to this day. The impact on each person differed but one little girl’s reaction stood out in my mind. I hadn’t spoken to her yet but she came running up to me after the song, put her arms around my waist, laid her head on my chest, and stayed there until it was our time to go. After just a few moments with me, however, she looked up and told me she loved me. There is no greater gift I could’ve given and what I received in return is not easily described in words.
I get it
It can be challenging to give any part of ourselves, money and time included. We think about what else we could purchase with those dollars and where else we could spend that time. But if we were able to shift our perspective ever so slightly, we would see that the potential for greatness resides only in serving others. I assure you that the return I’ve received by serving in Mexico and donating monthly to the True Health Foundation has been worth far more than anything else I could have bought or done.
We have the choice to witness with no action or stand up and take action. We get to choose whether we serve only ourselves or all others, and I now understand that any amount donated can change a life.
I watched the faces of those we delivered food to. I watched their eyes light up and I witnessed the intense gratitude expressed by each and every person whose life we were able to touch.
Our power to serve and give back is now so apparent. For many, food is hard to come by, never mind clean water and a reasonable place to sleep. The great need for our assistance exists globally and we get to choose what we do with this information. It’s these choice points that provide us the opportunity to leave our comfort zones and experience infinite connection. We can attract more simply by being, doing, and serving more, and believe when I say the ripple effect cannot be measured or contained by any currency. It takes people like you and me who are willing to make a difference and it is in this space we can undoubtedly change the world.
Remember, 100 percent of all donations made to the USANA True Health Foundation ALWAYS go toward changing lives across the world.