“It doesn’t take a whole lot to reach out to your neighbor with a helping hand. It doesn’t take a whole lot to reach out to your neighbor with a helping heart,” David Vanningen said. “It takes effort to do more than reach out and embrace those people as your neighbors and friends.”
David Vanningen lives in a small community in Iowa, but the work he does makes a difference worldwide. Vanningen serves as the chief executive officer for Hope Haven Incorporated, an organization providing employment and opportunity for disabled people throughout the world.
“Right now, we’re looking at a facility in the neighborhood of 10,000 to 15,000 square feet that would provide a place of employment and an opportunity to be able to produce the wheelchairs, but also be central location for other ministries and activities (in Guatemala),” Vanningen said.
“The motivation for us is two fold,” Vanningen continued. “Number one: to fulfill what we believe is our calling from God, to serve others, and in doing so, that others might realize the opportunity they that they have to use their gifts and talents.”
Vanningen insisted that in countries where opportunities for employment are limited for all people, they’re even more limited for people with disabilities.
“The need is great,” Vanningen believes, “but it’s not so great that we can’t begin to address it.”
Meet the others who are part of the solution: