“I take a small step. I walk to the front of the room. In this auditorium there are more than 800 people. The only thing I have with me is a dream in my heart. I share with the people that each day 4,500 children die on the planet from a lack of clean water to drink. And before these 800 people I declare that I am going to do something to stop this from happening. I tell them I do not know how I am going to do it, I do not know what will be required, and this is something I am standing for and going to change.
After I shared my yearning and all the people listened to me, I started to receive business cards from many persons that were there and now people are looking for me, they want to be in communication in order to help.
A whole new world was opened before my eyes,” commented Marcos Elizondo, deeply moved.
“The response of the people is the assertion of, that which was a dream for me, now is completely possible. That is how The Elijah Initiative was born; it is Marcos Elizondo’s Game in the World. This name is to honor Marcos’ son. The game is a program for children who live in North America. They will be saving the lives of children in developing countries like Haiti, India, Tanzonia, Zimbabwe, Unganda, etc.
“The organization Living Water International provides a child with clean water for one year, for 98 cents”, Marcos told us. In the State of Texas, for example, when 28 aluminum cans delivered to a recycling center, a dollar is received in return. This, simultaneously, provides the children with the experience of what it is to recycle. It also provides children an education of helping other children through this simple task.
“Children can make a difference; they do not look at skin color, the clothes that people wear, or the way you speak. With their innocence and good heart, when educated for this end, they can achieve what the adults still have not been able to achieve: delivering healthy water for children to drink in developing countries.”
All of this would not have been possible without my participation in Landmark Education’s Team, Management and Leadership Program. I am working with several teams in different States, and in Mexico. After I was clear about my intention and after planning a few things, it became very easy, since it was simply sharing my passion with people and that was all. We began to play together and it was something that happened naturally. It was as if I had turned into another person after I shared my dream, Marcos said.
“I am present to the fact that to work as a team is what is needed to succeed in achieving our goal”, he asserted. There are many teams playing this game. We are in the process of building an Internet site and there are plans to give out pens, cards, and T-shirts with the message of The Elijah Initiative. Also, we are in conversation with an organization called Build-A-Bear. After children collect $100 from recycling the aluminum cans, we will acknowledge them and they will receive this toy bear as a prize.
Other organizations are taking note of this simple way of raising consciousness and involving children. I was approached by an organization which plants two trees in a developing country for every dollar donated. And a few days ago we were invited by some officials from the city of Houston. Four government officials gave us an hour of their time in order to know how they can support us with the project.
Everywhere I go now, I am collecting aluminum cans. I am also asking people in all areas of my life, to recycle. The response has been extraordinary. For example, my neighbors gave me a huge bag full of aluminum cans. Everything has changed in my life. If I am driving on the freeway and I see a can, I immediately think what that can might be able to do. I am completely aware that with 28 aluminum cans it is possible to save a life. Those 28 cans will bring in 98 cents, and with that, a child can have clean water to drink for one year.