Every donor is very important to us. Your kindness and generosity means the world to us. We want to thank you for your constant support because we really wouldn’t be able to do what we do without you! You are all incredible and we’re very grateful for you! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
This is what Michael Bayne, one of our donors, had to say about being a donor and CRP.
Could you please tell us a bit about yourself?
I am an American living with my family in Amman. My wife, son, daughter, mother-in-law, and I have been happily living in Jordan for three and a half years, but unfortunately will be leaving next summer. I am the Coordinator of the English Department at Al-Hussein Technical University (HTU), a project of the Crown Prince Foundation.
How did you find out about CRP? When did you get involved with CRP? What attracted you to the cause? What attracted you to this organization in particular?
When I moved to Jordan, I knew that I needed to be involved in the refugee crisis in some way. It is such a tragedy what has been and is currently happening to Jordan’s neighbors. As a Christian, Jesus’s command in Matthew 22:39, Mark 12:31, Luke 10:27, John 13:34, and Paul’s reminder in Galatians 5:14 to love our neighbors is always on my heart. I initially researched organizations that specialize in helping orphans and found another wonderful organization called Syrian Orphans.org, which I started donating to. However, I was moved to keep looking for other places that help and found Collateral Repair Project. I was especially impressed with the holistic approach of CRP. They help everyone: men, women, children, widows, orphans, families, Syrians, Iraqis, Somalis, Palestinians, Jordanians, and probably even more people than I am aware of. They also help in every way: mentally, physically, spiritually, culturally, socially, and in ways that empower. I saw an organization that is more than a place that helps people, but is a home for people who have lost their own.
Of what contribution or achievement are you most proud?
I am actually most proud of my children’s contributions. A couple of years ago, my daughter Michaela, who was ten years old at the time, got together with her friends and made CRP key chains out of Jenga pieces. They spent all afternoon making them and then took them to the American Community School’s Christmas Bazaar. They gave them away as free gifts to anyone who donated to CRP. I was proud of their efforts and the money they raised, but I was really impressed by the girls’ explanation to the community about the importance of CRP.
Last year, my son Griffin, who was eight years old at the time, made a New Year’s Resolution to save 50 JD (about $70). Upon reaching his goal, which was an achievement in itself, he promptly told me he wanted to give half to CRP. I was blown away. This past month, he was able to see some of what he contributed to when his Cub Scout den volunteered to clean up one the rooms at CRP. He saw beautiful paintings and lovely dioramas in a room that serves as a yoga studio, craft room, library, and so much more.
What do you hope the organization will achieve in the near future? In the long term?
CRP is always working hard to meet the immediate demands of those it serves, although that is getting harder as international attention is falling away from the plight of refugees. Hopefully, they will continue to receive enough funds to continue their mission. I see what they are doing now as something that will make such a huge difference in the long term. It makes a world of difference when people are shown a little kindness, a little hope, a little generosity. When people are put into desperate situations caused by war, poverty, oppression and violence, the powerlessness they struggle with as a result puts them in an incredibly difficult position. However, when given a little kindness and reason for hope, the desire to reciprocate the kindness seems to far overpower the desire to react in other more negative ways. There are so many stories of people who could have easily fallen into the despair of hopelessness who were lifted up by a spark of hope that turned into a flame of passion that spread far beyond their own situation. These people become the future leaders who govern in a way that works to end the oppression they themselves went through.
Every time I see a picture on Facebook of a little girl participating in CRP’s Supergirls project, I imagine her twenty years from now leading from the perspectives that she learned at CRP. That is the long-term achievement I see from Collateral Repair Project.
What might someone be surprised to know about you?
To be honest, there isn’t that much that is surprising about me. I’m a pretty normal American. I get caught up with consumerism, American football, and a good hamburger as much as any other American. Maybe I could take this opportunity to talk about what may be surprising about Americans. These days the culture of “America First” has been dominating the narrative. However, at an individual level Americans are quite open and generous. Sometimes it takes personal stories to really get through to us. We, unfortunately, tend to view people in categories. Nevertheless, when personal stories shatter our preconceptions, we can become fiercely loyal to both individuals and to the causes that support them.
Do you have a message to share? What would you tell someone who is thinking about donating or volunteering?
Let me tell you a little bit about Jordanians. I’ve traveled and lived all over the world, and Jordanians are some of the most welcoming people I’ve ever met. I’ve experienced this in the north in Ajloun where I was invited into an olive press and then into the home. I’ve seen this in the south in Wadi Rum where I was invited into a tent and then into the family. Jordanians will truly invite a stranger in. This quality is obvious when you consider the refugee situation. Jordanians took in Palestinians, then Iraqis, now Syrians, and most recently Somalis. Jordan is not a rich country; it has no natural resources of its own. Its only real resource is its people. The refugee situation in the world is still dire. Refugees are increasingly refused and turned away at the borders of many nations. These are our neighbors. They deserve our love. They need our help.
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