Yesterday I traveled to Split for a press conference for one of the charity projects my company closed with handing over the purchased donations to different child care institutions. The event was held in local orphanage where we used the donation money to build little playing houses on their playground - this is what kids requested at the start of this campaign.
Children prepared a surprise theater play for my company, our client donors and the media - I was surprised how professional and dedicated they were in acting, the message they were trying to send with their performance was that material things are not what they need the most - mothers love, hug, kiss, kind word, human touch and some one-on-one attention is what they were craving for. The play was really emotional for us all, company directors, looking serious in their suits were visibly shaken by kids performance.
The catering was served and kids were shy to eat, they were just kind of walking around checking us all out. While directors were giving statements to media, I sat down to check gazillion messages on my phone received during the play. My pink iPhone cover attracted the little girl -Ana Marija. She asked me to see the phone, she tapped on it couple of times and found the game of dress ups on it. In first couple of minutes she broke my record (and she was 9, which was kind of depressing for me). I could notice the lack of trust towards people in her eyes. I asked her if she would like me to bring her something to eat, she nodded - no.
My motherly instinct kicked in, so I went to get a plate and put together some protein, veggies and carbs - a spoon full of each and offered it to her. She eyed me suspiciously and asked me to restart the game for her - I said I will if she eats something, so she did.
Seconds later a boy - Ivica ( skinny, dark hair, blue eyed 6 grader) approached me and asked me what's my name. I introduced myself. He asked if I am a singer, am I from Zagreb, how old I am and if I have a boyfriend. I said I am not a singer and laughed ( I though to myself - trust me hon, you do not want to hear me sing). I said I was 25 and he smiled and said - OK, thats just 12 years difference :) He said he played basketball and that he would love at least for once in his life visit Zagreb. Ivica sat down couple of chairs away and kept coming back next to me once he though of a new question to ask me.
In less than an hour I totally fell in love with these kids. When I was leaving Ana Marija was crying, she gave me a hug and shoot me with disappointed look. Ivica played it cool and quietly walked upstairs where their bedrooms are. I walked out to make some final arrangements with the agency and the media. As I was walking towards the car, somebody called my name - I looked up and Ivica was waiving through the window. A foot beneath him Ana Marija sticked her little pink nose from crying and her little two palms to the window glass.
This pushed me over the edge. I was crying during the whole trip home like a baby, as I remembered some recent personal challenges and a painful breakup.