Natalie Branagan’s moment of obligation came on a family trip to Honduras to visit Global Playground’s on-site project. Her brother, co-founder of Global Playground Edward Branagan, took his family down to Honduras to see the work in action.
“We saw some really beautiful kids full of life, and it was definitely heart-wrenching to see,” Branagan said. “I was in the process of taking a job at a hospital to work on the weekends, kind of like overtime, so I decided that the money I made during that year would go to the kids that I saw down in Honduras.”
While in Honduras, they visited an orphanage. Although Global Playground does not directly support the orphanage, Global Playground’s nearby technology center provides educational opportunities for children in similar circumstances.
“They really didn’t seem like they had enough staff,” Branagan said. “When we went as volunteers to visit them it was pretty amazing that the kids were just so happy to get our attention.”
After returning to the United States, Branagan couldn’t quite shake those images from her mind. She channeled what she saw in Honduras to help the children there through her own career at home.
“It wouldn’t have been worth it if I had done it for myself, but since it was for the kids I was like you know, I can do this. I can put up with this,” Branagan said. “Knowing where it was going definitely made it possible for me to keep going.”
For a year, Branagan worked as an in-patient doctor on the weekends at a local hospital. All of the money she made at that job went into her annual donation to Global Playground.
“I was able to make a larger donation than I have in previous years,” Branagan said.
Branagan remains involved with Global Playground through her brother and made donations in the past.
“When I came home from the hospital I would be like I am really tired and that was a really stressful shift,” Branagan said. “It made me feel good that the money that I had made from that shift would be going to the kids.”
When writing out the check at the end of the year, Branagan knew where it was going.
“When you donate to Global Playground it may feel like a drop in the bucket but for those kids their lives are affected,” Branagan said. “You have helped educate them and build a more solid foundation for their future and their country. You really are donating to a child’s future.”