Rachel Dobyns has known her husband Steve since the 5th grade; in fact, they were high school sweethearts. Together they have three lovely children, Brooklyn, Drew, and Nate, whom Rachel describes as being her joy. In fact, her youngest son Nate is the reason that the Dobyns family become supporters of the work of the Restavek Freedom.
Kindergarten Lessons on Generosity
It all started about five years ago when Rachel’s youngest son, Nate, was given a crisp $50 bill from his grandparents as a birthday gift. Instead of rushing to the store for a new toy, he asked his parents if he could “give it to the poor kids that Andrew knows about.” Curious and a little confused, Rachel did some investigating and found out that her son’s school friend Andrew’s family had founded an organization designed to help child slaves in Haiti.
“When I inquired further, I discovered Andrew’s family had founded Restavek Freedom. I thought if my 6 year old was so convicted to help these children in need, then we should be too! We gave a year-end donation initially and were asked to have coffee with Nick and Joan. From there, we became convicted to do more than just give,” says Rachel.
Home Parties with a Purpose
One of the ways in which the Dobyns family raised awareness for the Restavek Freedom was by hosting in-home parties. Rather than selling makeup or cleaning supplies, these parties were designed to raise awareness for the needs of restavek children in Haiti.
“The idea was derived from all the home parties designed to sell products,” says Rachel. “What better way was there to spend time and money together than ‘freeing’ children?! We called it ‘Party for Purpose.’ We had 35 people attend, and 17 of those chose to sponsor children. We want our children to know how different their lives are from others in the world, and that God has called us to do more and give more for those with less. We are all His blessings no matter where we’re born.”
Spreading the Word in Their Community
When asked how she describes the work of the Restavek Freedom to those in her community, Rachel begins by explaining to them that “restaveks are poor kids expected to do labor for those families more well off. They often live their lives feeling unloved and without hope. Restavek Freedom works with the local community to get these kids away from restavek and into school. Child sponsorship through Restavek Freedom allows these kids to go to school, be valued, and escape this form of slavery. I would encourage people to support Restavek because the people involved are truly in this to help others. I also believe that our actions will affect our children’s actions someday. If they see us love others and give, they will too. When I put my three kids to bed at night, they know they are safe and loved. What a blessing that is! I want other children to feel that way as well, even if they aren’t my own.”
How Can You Support Restavek Freedom?
Restavek Freedom is one of the top charities working to end the unjust restavek system in Haiti. Click here to learn more about our mission and see how you can get involved in supporting our goal to end child slavery in our lifetime.