A Journey of Smiles: A Visit to Santa Lucia Children’s Home

By Rod and Ingrid McCarroll

A happy child plays at Santa Lucia
A happy child plays at Santa Lucia.

As longtime supporters of The Melaleuca Foundation, we have a place in our hearts for children of Ecuador who need a steady home and unconditional love. This past February, we traveled to Quito, Ecuador, to visit the Santa Lucia Children’s Home and see firsthand how our donations have changed the lives of so many deserving children.

Thanks to the generous ongoing contributions of its donors, the Melaleuca Foundation is the sole financial provider for the Santa Lucia Children’s Home. It offers hope, enhances lives and unconditionally reaches out to those children in need. We can all experience a wonderful feeling of truly enhancing lives in a major way there.

Ingrid McCarroll hugs a young boy
Ingrid McCarroll hugs a young boy.

In February 2013, we had the opportunity and good fortune of visiting the children of Santa Lucia Children’s Home. The moment we passed through the gates, we were met with a rush of happy, excited children eager for hugs, wanting to be our friends and just glad we came to visit them. We experienced an atmosphere of happy, respectful and loved children.At any given time there were several on our laps, at least one hanging around our necks and more trying to join.

Our granddaughters collected stuffed toys as gifts for the children and each child had the chance to choose one for their very own. How exciting! They proudly introduced us to their respective house mothers, showed us around their individual homes, explained all their toys to us and kept us busy in the playground: kicking the soccer ball, swinging on the swings, hanging from the monkey bars, sliding down the slides and climbing things.

Rod McCarroll plays with children at the playground.

We joined Melaleuca as customers and business builders 18 years ago looking for quality products, and also time and financial freedom. We will always remember something [Melaleuca CEO] Frank L. VanderSloot told us years ago: “Don’t make Melaleuca your life, but allow Melaleuca to give you a life.”

As a result we have become financially free with the time to enjoy this freedom. Thanks to Melaleuca we can enjoy traveling to places like Santa Lucia in Ecuador, serving people in need and enhancing lives wherever we go.