This past weekend, Nate and I packed up our carry-ons (no need to pay $15 to check bags!) and headed to Dallas, Texas to attend a Buckner Trip Leader Training Course. By going to the training, we can now lead groups of friends and groups from friends’ churches (let us know if you’re interested!) as well as go down to Guatemala on our own through Buckner.
Apart from the training itself, we were glad we went because we got to meet the Buckner staff. After having a strictly email relationship with people like Timeka, Susan, and Jouleen, it’s nice to meet them finally face-to-face! And let me tell you, these girls are awesome. They’re all young and fun and funny. On top of all that, they did a great job presenting the info. After hearing more about Buckner firsthand, I’m totally pumped about working more with this organization. You know what I learned? 100% of all donations to Buckner go to ministry programs! That’s unreal! According to Charitynavigator.org, the American Red Cross uses 10.6% of its money for administrative and fundraising expenses. And World Vision (another organization Nate and I support and recommend) allocates 14.1% to fundraising and administrative costs.
How does Buckner do it? Well, in the late 1800s and early 1900s, the founder of Buckner, Dr. R.C. Buckner, bought land in East Dallas and when the value of the land appreciated, some of it was sold off and put into an endowment fund. Today, money from the endowment is used to pay Buckner’s overhead expenses.
After the training, we got to take a quick tour of the Shoes for Orphan Souls warehouse. This is where shoes come in from all 50 states and are then shipped out all over the world.
Since 1999, Shoes for Orphan Souls have distributed 1.6 million pairs of shoes and socks to children in 55 countries.
The final highlight of the weekend was meeting up with our Texan friends Sarah and Jenna and their friends, Shane and Tamara. They were awesome enough to drive 2 hrs. each way to come spend the night with us in Dallas! We studied in New Zealand with Sarah and Jenna in 2005, and we love hanging out with them. We look forward to them someday making a trip to the Midwest or one day meeting up again in New Zealand!