Guest post by Jody & LynnAnn, from the charity Finding Freedom through Friendship. Finding Freedom through Friendship works to support widowed indigenous Guatemalan women by providing basic necessities and dynamic support. The charity distributed LuminAID lanterns to women without dependable access to electricity. Below they reflect on the surprising wide-reaching impact of the solar lights.
These lights were a blessing. We stayed in one of the homes of the locals while we were in Guatemala. The word "dark" does not begin to describe what the inside of the home was like. It was a total lack of light....no streetlights, no houses nearby with ambient lighting...nothing but our cell phones and a small battery operated flashlight the widow owned. The flashlight batteries were dying. Purchasing new batteries was not a viable option financially for this widow or any that we met on our trip.
We distributed one LuminAID light to each of the widows who have no electricity in their homes, they were the women without a proper house, like you see in the pictures. The women were ECSTATIC!!! I cannot tell you how excited they were to get them! Their eyes and smiles got bigger and bigger as I explained how they worked and that they were each being given one for free. I've had to use one at least three times in the last couple of weeks when we've been without power at night for hours, and these things are bright! What blessing!
The oldest son of a Guatemalan family had just won a full scholarship through the Loving InDeed program. The picture is him signing his scholarship contract by the light of a LuminAID lantern. It was a special moment.
One night, we had the privilege of delivering one of these lights to a family of 7. I cannot tell you how thrilled they were to get it! They were just astounded at how much light it provides, and so so grateful to get to keep it for free! Sadly, the husband of this family had passed away just two months before we arrived, but the family was hopeful and optimistic, especially with their new lights!
What LuminAID is doing is making a difference. Thank you for allowing us to brighten the nights of many women in rural Guatemala.
-- Jody & LynnAnn, Finding Freedom through Friendship
Learn more about their work here: Finding Freedom through Friendship
After a devastating hurricane season, LuminAID partnered with local Chicago organizations to get more safe light to those in need. Through the Chicago4PR campaign, Chicagoans came together to raise solar lanterns for families without power in Puerto Rico.Through October and November, over $100,000 was raised through the Give Light Program and matching contributions of the Chicago4PR campaign. Thanks to the generosity of LuminAID supporters and Chicago organizations, more than 10,000 solar lanterns were pledged for disaster relief in Puerto Rico.