For Sheree Bowie, passion and giving go hand in hand. As the U.S. Director of Danita’s Children, her work exemplifies her values: the organization manages a center that feeds, educates and takes care of nearly 450 Haitian children. By connecting donors and volunteers with fellow trailblazer Danita Estrella, whose life-changing project began in 1999 with a small house and 14 children, Sheree makes altruism accessible and fulfilling for all.
How do you define generosity?
I believe generosity is an intangible matter of the heart; a willingness to freely give of yourself spiritually, emotionally, financially in ways that benefit others and not self. True generosity doesn’t require the recognition of others
What qualities are common among donors?
Donors are passionate, caring investors with a purpose. They are looking to invest their resources in organizations or ministries that have a purpose other than financial enrichment. Helping donors find ways to donate or invest in programs and projects that match their passions is a priority.
What have been your most memorable experiences working with Danita’s Children?
When I read this question, two important memories came to mind.
One of my most poignant moments came in June of 2010. The name ‘Emmanuel’ means God with us. I believe God visits us each day through those He puts in our path. For me, on this day in June, it was through a dirty, nearly naked, hungry and physically disabled child begging at the Haitian and Dominican Border. His name was Emmanuel. I was able to get him some food and water although he could barely hold the fork because of his disability. He didn’t speak except to tell me his name. It was a moment that deeply moved me and since then, I’ve tried to look more closely for those visits from God in every day.
Another very memorable moment with Danita’s Children would have to be the week following the earthquake in Haiti in January 2010. Thousands of people from all around the world called, emailed and got involved to help us rescue orphaned and abandoned children. I watched in amazement at the generosity of hearts and hands. It made me realize how important each person is to just one child and how truly generous and compassionate humanity can be when given the opportunity.
Could you offer me insight into your future plans?
Every day comes with new opportunities to make a difference in someone’s life. I hope and pray that I am awake and aware of each opportunity whether it be in my personal life or work life. There’s a song that says, “We don’t know what tomorrow holds, but we know who holds tomorrow.” I trust in God’s plan for my life and stay open to His leading. Right now, I am so happy for the opportunities to serve and I’m grateful to be on this journey.
Could you tell me something you have not shared with other publications?
My heart is broken for the millions of lost and hurting children around the world – the orphaned, the child-slave, the hungry and lonely. There are times I lay in bed at night and cry thinking about them. I believe all of us have a responsibility to speak up for the orphaned and needy – they are all around us, wherever we may live. Whatever our skills, talents, abilities may be, there is a way for all of us to use them to help others if we’ll just open our hearts and our eyes.
How do you define balance in your life?
Finding balance in my life is a daily challenge. I’m a wife, mom of four, and grandmother of three. In addition to my work with Danita’s Children, my husband and I are involved in several other organizations. My goals are to stay healthy spiritually, physically and emotionally to be able to enjoy all that life gives us.
How do you inspire others?
I can only hope that I inspire others in some positive way. My greatest desire would be that somehow through my work and advocacy, others may be encouraged to realize they can make a difference wherever they are. God visits us every day with an opportunity to be a difference.
What is your motto?
At Danita’s Children we have a program called Won-by-One, which I think is a great motto. I really do believe that change happens one by one through you and me.
Want to know more on how you could help Danita’s Children?
Visit the official site for information on the many ways you can help make a change!
You can also keep track of Danita’s Children via Facebook!