AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Tragic events are inevitable in our world. From natural disaster, famine, or the spread of poverty leaving children orphaned.
In many cases the world steps up to aid people in desperate need, but did you know that many of those efforts start right here in Amarillo?
I spoke with Milton Jones of the Christian Relief Fund.
"CRF, or the Christian Relief Fund, was started in 1971 here in Amarillo, and its headquarters has always been in Amarillo," said President of Christian Relief Fund Milton Jones. "It's just an international relief agency, funded by a lot of people from Amarillo, and we do a lot of different kinds of things.
I think maybe our focus is in three different areas. We do child sponsorship, we help orphaned and destitute children especially in third world countries. We also do water wells , we drill wells in places where it hasn't rained like in the horn of Africa. And then we do disaster relief wherever that may be, be it Nepal or Houston."
Close to home, CRF's Hurricane Harvey disaster relief met the needs of many of our neighbors on the Texas coast as they set up, ironically, just a few blocks from where my family lives.
"Right now we have gone from the feeding and giving water stage to actual rebuilding," said Jones. "We are rebuilding many churches that were destroyed and helping with many houses in that area."
CRF is active in many parts of the world, where simply drilling a well for clean water can transform a region making it life sustaining,
"Once you get the water you can start a farm, you can have a church. We plant churches there," said Jones. "We start schools there and will have all these kids that show up. Famine orphans that will show up and we start giving them water."
And, perhaps, some of the most uplifting stories include children in heartbreaking situations rescued as CRF steps in.
"Well it changes their life because they get a place to live if they don't have one. They get clothes to wear, they get a uniform to go to school," said Milton. "They get to go to school, they get spiritual training, they get kind of a community. If they are orphaned, our director helps meet some of the parental needs. So pretty much they get a life."
CRF strives to bring hope to children whose communities may not offer hope.
"CRF brings hope to the world. The reason our motto is 'orange is the color of hope' is because that is our goal," said Emily Bell with CRF. "These children were hopeless, you can see it on their faces.
Their communities don't believe there is hope for them, then all of the sudden these are children that are finishing primary school, they are the first people in their villages to finish high school, they are going into universities. They are making a difference in the world. It's amazing to see children transformed from desperate people that can't see beyond the next day, they don't know what will happen - to children that are planning what they will be when they grow up."
Through the activities and programs of CRF, right here in Amarillo, hope is introduced for desperate people and lives change in positive ways all over the world and right here in our region.
Now that's some good news.