Once Tina Bow glimpsed life across the border, she knew she’d never be the same. The San Diego resident traveled to Tijuana to initiate a project designed to bring donated clothes, food, and supplies to people in need. “People are living in cardboard boxes and there are hungry children everywhere,” Bow says.
At first, Bow was afraid to get out of the car. But, as she unloaded supplies, she noticed how kind and grateful the Tijuana residents were. “It touched my heart,” she said. “I’d always focused on achieving greater success, not in making a difference in my community or in any other community, especially with people I didn’t even know.”
Inspired, Bow started Simply Help an all-volunteer organization that works with homeless groups and helps the needy in several countries, including Honduras, Haiti, Cambodia, Korea, and Somalia.
Simply Help has expanded its scope from distributing donated goods to offering other forms of help. In Cambodia, for example, Simply Help established a sewing school for women who previously had no option but to sell their bodies. Many women have graduated from the program and 80% of them have already found jobs. In El Salvador, the organization started a homeless senior center; in Somalia, it began a computer school; and in Nicaragua, it helped provide roofs for the homes of 150 families.
“The enormous satisfaction and reward I got and continue to get is far greater than anything I ever experienced before,” says Bow. “My participation in Landmark made the difference. I looked at everything and said ‘Yes’ about what I could change. It’s a very simple word, but a powerful one.”