Dallas Johnson, a Minneapolis-based musician and life coach, got more than she bargained for when she sent emails to strangers asking for travel advice about the Congo. “I was raising funds to send my Congolese sweetheart back home to visit his family,” she explains, adding that he had not seen them for more than 40 years. Thanks to the Internet, Dallas stumbled across Finca, a micro finance organization operating in the DRC. The country director, Tom Kocsis, had recently returned from visiting a remote rural hospital in Equatorial Province – Lotumbe, one of HandUp Congo’s project partners. Tom asked Dallas to bring medical supplies for the hospital.
More internet research led her to www.medwishinternational.org, an organization that collects and distributes surplus medical supplies. Before long, Dallas and her sweetheart landed in the DRC and handed over a bulging suitcase filled with eyeglasses and medical supplies for the Lotumbe hospital. Before returning home, she delivered money she’d raised to an orphanage in Kinshasa. Before long, Dallas and her sweetheart landed in the DRC and handed over a bulging suitcase filled with eyeglasses and medical supplies for Lotumbe hospital. Before returning home, she visited an orphanage in Kinshasa and delivered money she’d raised. None of this would’ve happened without the engagement and advice of so many people she found online. What a great salute to networking and the power of partnerships!
“Today, I’m forever transformed, knowing that anything is possible,” says 46-year-old Dallas. “I started with a small idea and each step of the way both need and opportunity were laid out in front of me. The key was just to take the first step.” For more information about Dallas’ experiences, please visit her blog www.dallasjohnson.wordpress.com