Volunteer’s vision widens

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DRC/Al Key
At her home in Denton last month, Morgan Taylor holds photos of two of the children with whom she bonded during her previous trip to Uganda. Taylor left Denton on Thursday for a four-week trip with the Global Volunteer Network to aid orphaned children in remote Ugandan villages.
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Woman had dreamed of serving in Africa; friend joins her for return trip

Dreams really do come true. Just ask Denton resident Morgan Taylor, 21, who departed for Africa on Thursday to embark on a four-week journey to assist orphans in remote villages in Uganda.

“Last April [2011] I had a dream I was a dance teacher in a Third World country,” Taylor said.

The very next day, she said, she found a Christian organization that visits children in underprivileged areas of Africa, and soon after, she was flying out with 30 others to a village near Jinja, the second largest city in Uganda.

“I was just incredibly touched after my first visit there; I had to go back,” Taylor said. “I have a calling from God and I know what it is now I am supposed to do. I am here to provide emotional and physical support and anything else those young kids need.”

It’s not just the emotional support, Taylor said, but the spiritual connection.

“The light in the eyes of these children when you kick a ball around with them for 10 minutes, it’s awe-inspiring and their expression just shows how much they truly appreciate you,” she said.

After her last visit, Taylor spent a year fundraising to have the chance to go back. This time she’ll be working with the Good Spirit Support Action Centre, founded in 2000 by Vincent Wandera, who was diagnosed with HIV in 1992.

The center provides a home to more than 300 orphaned and vulnerable children from across Uganda. About half the children have nowhere to go and live at the orphanage permanently, Taylor said.

She is taking her trip through the Global Volunteer Network.

“Morgan will be working five days a week and will be provided simple living arrangements,” said Colin Salisbury, founder and chief executive of the Global Volunteer Network. “Her dedication, and the impact she will have, is a noteworthy one.”

What’s special about this trip for Taylor is that she’s sharing it with her friend, Jordan O’Glee, a junior at the University of North Texas.

“My friend, Jordan, is getting to go and I am so happy,” Taylor said. “When I got back from my last trip, we stayed up all night talking about my experience, and from that moment on, we started raising money to go on this trip together.”

O’Glee, 20, said she’s just excited she has the opportunity to go.

“There are so many crazy cool people in the community who wanted to help our goal,” O’Glee said. “My brother had a battle with addiction and cleaned up and started trying to go too — he has changed his life and now wants to help change others.”

Thanks to an anonymous donor, O’Glee’s brother, Chase, is attending as well.

“I’m super excited, super blessed and anxious to share what will be such an enlightening experience with my brother and best friend,” O’Glee said.

Uganda is severely affected by poverty and the HIV/AIDS epidemic. According to U.N. estimates, children ages 15 and younger make up more than half of Uganda’s population.

“God has put me in this position and given me a gift to connect with children, I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Taylor said.

MEGAN GRAY can be reached at 940-566-6885. Her e-mail address is mgray@dentonrc.com.

 

ON THE WEB

Morgan Taylor and Jordan O’Glee’s “Ugandan Christmas” page: www.facebook.com/groups/ugandanchristmas


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