By: Devin Vanderpool, Director of Communications
I knew, even at a young age, that I was blessed to be growing up in Kerrville. There is just nowhere else in Texas (or the world, for that matter) in which one could find such a spectacular combination of country living, sports fanatics, healthy church life, and some of the best barbeque and Mexican food around. I had the privilege of being cast in plays at the Callioux Theater and the Point Theater. I danced in ballet and tap recitals; I participated in church outreach activities. I even got to go to state in Mock Trial and girls’ basketball.
But the best thing about living in Kerrville was seeing how much folks cared about each other. I can’t tell you how many times my parents dragged me to some hospital room to visit one of their sick friends. Or how often I helped people with lawn maintenance through youth group outreach. Or how amazing my teachers and coaches were at encouraging me to do the right thing.
And all of this taught me that I wanted to take my little piece of Kerrville and share it with the world. I couldn’t take the bluebonnets with me, but I could take the hospitality. And that’s one of the many reasons I ended up in Haiti.
Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. I have had the privilege of traveling to India and Ukraine and Ghana, and the poverty just doesn’t compare. I have seen people starve to death, moms and babies die in childbirth, special needs children mistreated. And after knowing what the world should be like from my life in Kerrville, I just couldn’t stand by. So, I moved to Haiti for two years to teach Creole Literacy classes for adults and English as a Second Language classes for adults and children. And now I work from Fort Worth for LiveBeyond as their Communications Director. I am honored to get to share the kindness that I grew up knowing in Kerrville with the world. My Haitian friends Sophie and Badi and Mackendy may never know where Kerrville, Texas is, but they have experienced it in some small way through big Texas hugs and friendship.