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HEAR FROM OUR SCHOLARS

Scholarship Students Worldwide

4 schools of medical care provided on medical missions

Service trips conducted

%

Wealth increase for scholarship graduates

Patients served on Medical Missions

3 service groups can complete a home

FROM OUR VOLUNTEERS

 

I’m so happy that I went on this trip. The joy that people have in Guatemala is incredible. It’s bittersweet: When I went to Guatemala and I was serving people, it was the happiest I’ve ever been in my life, and I don’t know if I’ll ever be that happy again.

Anonymous, Marian High School

GUATEMALA, February 2019

Medical Missions like this allow you to come home and look at your own patients a different way. I think it’s very rewarding, both personally and professionally.

Dr. Harry Carr, M.D.

GUATEMALA, Summer 2017

We did this exercise where we had to buy a week’s worth of groceries on $7, and it was absolutely eye-opening. It was really hard, and what I came up with wasn’t food that I wanted to eat. But that’s the reality for them. I get a Starbucks every morning that costs as much as their food for their whole family for the whole week.

Anonymous, Saint Michael's Catholic Academy

GUATEMALA, January 2019

Full Financial Transparency

We want our supporters to be confident that every dollar that they invest is going toward a good cause. To see our most recent financial documents, click here.

International Samaritan in the News

Learn more about International Samaritan’s press coverage, campaigns, and community involvement.

Note: We are committed to respecting and uplifting our scholars. Due to some stories containing sensitive information, we redact or change the names of the scholars, their parents, their schools, and other details that could compromise their anonymity.

A Letter from Emanuel

Hello, I am Emanuel. I am 20 years old.

When I was in my mother’s womb, she did not want me to be born, so she hit her belly and took medication to cause a miscarriage, but I was born anyway. However, I was so badly damaged that when I was born I had to be hospitalized for two years and I still have physical deformities. When I was young, my mother hit me a lot, and she didn’t take care of me. By the time I was three, I had to feed myself every day; by the time I was five, I was in charge of all the cooking and cleaning for the whole house.

When I was five, my mother finally left me. She changed her name and fled to the United States. Soon after my father left, too, to be with another woman that he was seeing. He left me on the doorstep of my mother’s old boss.  I hoped that things would be better with her, but she also treated me badly. I remember that once she broke my head with a stone and put corn on my head so the birds and chickens would attack me. By the time I was six I wanted to die, and I began to plan how I could kill myself.

My aunt first started coming to see me on the weekends when I was seven years old. Until then, she had lived far away. Even though she couldn’t afford to keep me, she wanted me a lot. She did not hurt me and she took care of my injuries. She begged my dad’s parents to adopt me, and one day she finally convinced them to rescue me from the hell I was living.  When she and my paternal grandparents arrived to bring me home, they found me all naked and dirty. That was the day that my life changed, when my grandparents legally adopted me. They were very nice to me: They took me to the doctor for my injuries, they bought me clothes and shoes, they cut my hair, and after two years of preparation they put me in school with other people my age.

We thought that I would have to stop attending school after sixth grade because it became too expensive, but when I was ready for high school, International Samaritan found me. They gave me the resources to continue schooling. Thank God for this program that has helped me, not only in study but also in moral and psychological ways. Little by little I have changed, because this program believes in the young people who benefit from it. Thanks to International Samaritan my dream to graduate has come true, and I now have the opportunity to go to university. My hope is to get a degree in auditing and form my own company. Finally, my future seems bright.

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president’s blog

When the Facts of Life Don’t Make Sense

“We would get to the dump at 4:00 in the morning to get food to eat.”  We hear this frequently when talking to families in the garbage dump communities.  Invariably, they say this as a simple matter of fact, much like we might say, “I leave the house at 7:00 in the morning to get to work before rush hour.”   

Such a thing should never be a fact of life. To get a sense of how grievous this fact is, please take a few moments to watch even a little of this three-minute BBC documentary on recycled food from a garbage dump in the Philippines.  Be forewarned, it is disturbing to take in.

If what you saw in this video moves your conscience, I ask you to join me in our Fast2Change tomorrow, Friday, February 28th.  Our team here and in other nations, students who have travelled with us, and others like you will be limiting what we eat on Friday to $2 for the day–the amount that one out of ten people live on in the world. 

I did this last year and was challenged by it. Fasting for spiritual reasons is ultimately edifying, but not eating because you don’t have the money to is aggravating. I experienced both in the Fast2Change last year.

If you can’t fast, please support us by donating the cost of a meal, which you can do through my personal fundraising page.  Know that you are not giving to International Samaritan, you are giving through us: 100% of your gift goes directly to people living and working in garbage dump communities.

There is one encouraging fact about the families telling us that  “they would go to the dump at 4:00 in the morning,” It’s past tense.  The work you have done and the investments you have made are making a difference.  People who picked garbage are now raising chickens and goats. Kids who used to help their parents in the dump are now hard at work in school and nutritional support is being provided to their families.  Please help them continue to grow and thrive by giving the cost of one meal today.

Walk in Wonder with us Next Wednesday Night

In a letter we sent out to our supporters this week, I wrote about the “awe” that our scholarship students show in approaching their studies as a way out of a life of working in the garbage dump that lies waiting outside their door.  I have found that that same sense...

Heroes of Faith who Have Shaped Us

When I interviewed for this position last year, I was intrigued by the fifth bullet point in the job description: Articulate the spiritual values and policies to execute the mission of International Samaritan and develop an internal culture that supports those values....

Who are the Saints in Your Life?

A year ago this morning, I walked in for my first day on the job at International Samaritan.  When I mention this fact to friends, old-school Catholics are quick to tell me, “Ahh, All Saints Day, that’s a good day to start your new job.”  For those of you who are not...

Your Role in Winning the Nobel Prize

This past Friday morning, I was with Dan Weingartz, one of our board members at International Samaritan, on a tour of a medical clinic we helped to renovate in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital city.  Just as we were finishing our tour, Selam Terefe, our inspirational...

A Reflection on Life and Love

"Lift your head, Isabelita.” “You can do it!” “Come on, Titi!  We need you to lift your head…” I stood in awe, watching my wife, her sister and their aunt encouraging the matriarch of their family to lift her head off the pillow of her bed in an intensive care unit to...

What’s the Worst Job You’ve Ever Had?

I’ve written before about the best job I ever had, but the worst job is a whole different story.   The worst job I’ve ever had has been the work of finding a job.  Twice in my life, I’ve lost a job. Both times came as a complete surprise, not only to me but also to my...

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