Laura McCoy is a music teacher at St. Joseph Central Elementary School in Fort Wayne. During the summer months, she decided to take a trip to Peru. But she had more on her mind than just sightseeing.
McCoy lost her parents at a young age, and now devotes a lot of her time to working with children at Erin's House for Grieving Children, which helps young people learn to cope with loss.
This summer, McCoy took this passion to help orphaned children abroad, traveling to Peru with a group called Turning Loss Into Service. The trip included a total of twenty women who lost parents early in life.
The group hiked and camped along the Lares Valley Trail and participated in a service project at an orphanage.
There was also a fundraising component: the group raised more than $30,000 for the children they visited.
McCoy says one of the most touching moments she’ll take back from the trip came once they finally arrived at the orphanage. When a translator told the children that each of the adults in the group was visiting because they were orphans too, the children couldn’t believe it.
“The little boy that I was paired up with reached over and tapped my leg, and said ‘it’ll be okay,’” McCoy says.
She says the grace and compassion she found within the group and at the orphanage will be with her forever.