Miss A Columnist

Amanda Ivarra is a graduate of Texas A&M University. After graduating with a degree in Health, she moved to Austin and started working for a national non-profit organization. She spent 5 years coordinating community events and programs. After leaving the organization, she started to focus on her creative pursuits. Currently, she is working on developing her own jewelry line. Writing has always been a hobby for Amanda. For most of her life, she’s kept journals. It wasn’t until recently that she decided to take her writing public and began blogging and guest blogging. The one thing this girl can’t live without is music. Not really one to sing or play an instrument, she just loves music. Perhaps, it’s the songwriting that she admires so much or a good beat that she can dance to. Whether she’s attending a concert with friends, hanging out with the guys watching sports, volunteering in the community, hiking or visiting the newest places in town, Amanda lives to enjoy life. But, nothing brings more joy to her than being able to make someone smile or laugh!

Recap: Party With A Purpose Benefiting Dell Children’s Surgical Global Outreach In Partnership With The Shalom Foundation

It was Party With A Purpose and an effort to assist those who are about to embark on a very humbling experience. In a few weeks, Dell Children’s Surgical Global Outreach will travel to The Moore Pediatric Surgery Center in Guatemala City to provide urology and general surgery needs to the children of Guatemala. This group of surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, techs, pediatric medical support and volunteers aspire to bring surgical care to under served children across the globe.

Brooke Wood, Lydia Matthews, Dolores Garza and Cassie Pittman

Brooke Wood, Lydia Matthews, Dolores Garza and Cassie Pittman (Photo Credit: Amanda Ivarra)

Their first mission is in partnership with The Shalom Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to demonstrating Christian values while providing humanitarian aid to children and their families living in extreme poverty. The organization provides educational opportunities for children and adults, essential food and clean water for the malnourished, community outreach and medical assistance for basic health care and critical care needs through The Moore Pediatric Surgery Center in Guatemala City.

On Friday, November 9, many of Austin’s most generous donors came together for an event that benefited the Dell Children’s Surgical Global Outreach’s upcoming trip. The event included cocktails and bites, a silent auction, a special performance by Grace Potter, a musical performance by Vallejo and an after party with DJ Manny. It was a night of good times for health care professionals and philanthropists, but the spirit I captured most was one of humility.

When I asked members of the Dell Children’s Surgical Global Outreach group about their upcoming trip, many felt humbled by this opportunity. I felt their hearts immersed in the work that they do and go beyond the city limits of Austin to treat, heal and care for children and their families. The work that they do in pediatric care is an extension of who they are and what they feel they are called to do in life.

Julie Sanchez, M.D. with colleagues and friends

Julie Sanchez, M.D. with colleagues and friends (Photo Credit: Amanda Ivarra)

This is the first time that several members of the surgical team will travel internationally to treat children living in extreme poverty. I asked one surgeon, Julie Sanchez M.D., if she ever thought she would get to do something like this, and she said she had always wanted to, but the opportunity had never presented itself until now. Personally, I believe a humble heart leads to opportunities in life and the goodness we experience.

In a few weeks, these individuals are about to have their lives changed and their hearts touched. Chairman and founder of The Shalom Foundation, Steve Moore, told them that they will never forget the look on a Guatemalan mother’s face when she leaves the hospital with a healthy child.

Guatemala is a beautiful country, yet one of the poorest countries in our world. Seventy-five percent of its people live below the poverty line, many in extreme poverty—a poverty level we find difficult to envision or understand.  And, due to chronic malnutrition and poor health conditions, Guatemala’s children suffer from the third worst childhood growth rate in the world behind Bangladesh and Yemen. But, The Shalom Foundation works to transform lives in Guatemala. In partnership with contributors like Dell Children’s Surgical Global Outreach, The Shalom Foundation works to provide love, hope and support for children and their families and meet the physical and spiritual needs of the poor while providing them with the resources to improve their lives and rebuild their communities.

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