Every day here at Rising Star is not only a gift for the kids that are here and the people in the colonies, but for me as well. Their lives will be better because of their education and care and my life is better for having the chance to know them.
The people here are just fabulous! Volunteers included. We’ve had our jokes and fun times, but we’ve also been able to have the more serious times as we talk about our experiences. These kids have next to nothing, but seem to be the happiest people on earth. Every single one of them has the goal of going to college and getting a job when they grow up. I know we all hope that they will be able to achieve their goals. 
There’s so much to learn about how to selflessly serve others, and Rising Star is one of the best places to learn it because it comes from the example of the people that live here; adults and children alike. I wish I could take them all home with me, or that all of you could have the chance to come here and see for yourselves how wonderful the Indian people are! The genuine love that radiates from the children’s faces every time they smile at you will just melt your heart. :)

I’ve loved my time here and will never forget all the things I’ve learned.  I could never explain my love for all the people I’ve met here. The children at the school and their parents/family members in the leprosy colonies are such examples of gratitude, unfailing love, patience, perseverance and the list could go on and on!  I am so grateful for the opportunity I’ve had to serve here and meet so many wonderful people!

— Ashli Barnes
Volunteer 2013 

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