CHARLOTTE -- She’s a former pageant queen with several titles, including Ms. Earth Americas.
As a kid, Amanda Sowards watched her grandfather give back to the world with his non-profit, “World Missions Outreach.”
“My first trip overseas was to Nicaragua and it's a third world country where it's very poverty stricken and it completely turned my life upside down,” said Sowards.
Seventeen years later, Sowards is diving into her work, carrying on her grandfather’s legacy, and impacting the lives of children and their families in Nicaragua. She spends several days away from her own family and friends, making sure familes are fed and clothed.
“Last year, I think I was out of the country or traveling, more about seven months out of the year,” said Sowards.
World Missions Outreach volunteers, like Sowards, provide fifteen thousand meals a day, more than five million meals a year, and to date, more than sixty-million meals.
Those feeding programs have made a difference in the lives of many kids and their health. "From the point where we started doing feeding programs, we've been able to see kids who had these white streaks through their hair, from malnutrition, completely have a head of color pigmented hair," said Sowards.
Sowards works countless hours, at all different times, day or night, to help provide not just food, but also clothes, and she even washes the feet of those in need. "It is the expression of showing that no matter what, you are cared about, that you're loved, and that you're important enough and i'm here to serve you by washing your feet,” said Sowards.
Sowards does all of this without pay, but she gets a bigger reward when she sees a kid smile or when she knows a family isn’t going hungry. "It is something that gives my life purpose and meaning and just to interact with the kids and families that we make a difference with is the most rewarding thing,” said Sowards.
There might be a language barrier, but Sowards says there is one universal language that everyone can understand. "Showing love, that is a language that knows no barriers."
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