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Meet Rachel Brown of Touch A Life in Irving

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rachel Brown.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Rachel. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I have been privileged to work for Touch A Life in January 2009. In terms of my career path, I always had an interest in working in some service-related capacity. I was blessed with community-minded parents who instilled within me a sense of serving others from a young age, and I got to travel through middle school and high school on service projects in places ranging from inner-city Chicago and the Appalachian mountain communities to small towns in Mexico and the English countryside. I attended Pepperdine University for college and participated in a life-changing Social Action & Justice Colloquium that exposed me, in greater detail, to the nonprofit world. I interned for a variety of nonprofit organizations as a result, including St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and I was so inspired by the multitude of ways I could make a difference in the world through my career.

In the spring of 2008, just before I graduated from Pepperdine, I met Touch A Life’s co-founder (and my future boss) at an event on campus. After getting to know each other a little better, she extended an offer to join her on a service trip that summer to Ghana, West Africa, with her organization. The rest, as they say, is history: Touch A Life hired me a few short months later, and I’ve never looked back.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Nonprofit life is an interesting one, certainly: organizations are supposed to run as efficiently as businesses do, but they’re expected to do so with very little resources. Fundraising can be challenging work, and since nonprofit work is so emotionally charged, it can sometimes be difficult to navigate work relationships, especially with donors and foundation partners. Of course, working in a third world country has its own very specific challenges, too! Touch A Life is so lucky to work in Ghana, a country, and culture that is very hospitable and has welcomed our team with open arms. That being said, there are always logistical issues (read: nightmares) that we laugh about with one another that only happen to folks working for nonprofits in developing countries.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Touch A Life story. Tell us more about the business.
Touch A Life provides long-term rehabilitative care for children rescued out of slavery. Specifically, we operate the only long-term care facility of its kind in Ghana, West Africa. We work with Ghanaian governmental agencies to rescue children from forced labor situations, specifically in the fishing industry. For children who can’t be reunited with their families, Touch A Life provides a loving home where they can heal, grow, and thrive. This commitment to long-term care truly sets our organization apart. We promise to walk alongside these former child slaves as they heal, and we ensure that we are part of their lives forever — through high school and college and into early adulthood. The children in Touch A Life’s care are so resilient and inspiring. We always say that we need the children in Ghana way more than they need us — they teach us more about life and forgiveness and hope than we could ever teach them.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I don’t believe in luck! 🙂 The successes and challenges that Touch A Life has faced equally are a part of the overarching plan that’s been laid out before us; in work, as in life, there is always a set of ups and downs that we face no matter what. Doing the work we do requires tenacity, flexibility, determination, and a release of any set of expectations. Operating with this mindset has helped me be successful in my career and it’s ensured that Touch A Life is influential as an organization.

Pricing:

  • It costs $150 per month to sponsor a child’s food, clothing, housing, and medical costs.
  • It costs $125 per month to sponsor a child’s education.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Nancy Borowick

Getting in touch: VoyageDallas is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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