Ren Lear

When Brendan Dwyer was four years old, his mother, Marianne, became director of Teenagers, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to connecting teenagers to the world through community service. Marianne Dwyer held the role for nearly two decades while working from her Pike office in Bethlehem near Chestnut Hill and her family home in Chestnut Hill while raising seven children. I did it.

As such, Dwyer spent much of his youth serving the Philadelphia community, cleaning parks and participating in Operation Santa Claus, handing out hot meals to the homeless at Kensington’s St. It was delivered. St. Vincent de Paul, such as vacations and volunteer work in his society.

“My parents always put others before themselves,” Dwyer said in a recent interview. I guess.”

Dwyer refers to the difficult decision to spend a summer in Guatemala at age 16 and do community service with the non-profit God’s Child Project. His sister Caitlin was a volunteer in this initiative as part of a group at Villanova University.

A 2010 graduate of Bishop McDevitt High School, now in Wincourt, Dwyer graduated from Villanova College in 2014 and began working full-time at the trading desk of Johnny Montgomery Scott Securities in Center City, where he has been for five years. Did.

In the summer of 2019, he returned to Guatemala.

“It turned out to be the trip that drove me to the decision to quit my job and move to Guatemala for a long-term volunteer experience,” he said. Although he loved the people who worked for him and cherished the growth and friendships he left behind, he could never forget the many faces of the poor children of Guatemala.

“I had everything I needed in life: a warm house, food on the table, clean water, clothes on my back, an education and a family that cared for me,” he said. continued. “It’s time to dedicate my time to helping others achieve the same level of comfort that I am fortunate enough to enjoy every day.”

Guatemala has the second highest malnutrition rate in the Western Hemisphere and the fourth highest in the world. One of her two children under the age of five suffers from chronic malnutrition. In her country of 18 million people, 55-60% of the population lives below the poverty line, defined as $2 a day.

“I faced extreme poverty during several service trips over the years,” Dwyer said.

Upon arriving in Guatemala in January 2020, Dwyer became the National Director of The God’s Child Project. His responsibilities include two schools, a medical clinic, a dental clinic, an emergency management clinic, Casa His Jackson Hospital for malnourished children, housing programs, coordination of international volunteers and service teams, clothing and food supplies. It included drives, disaster relief efforts, and the Mother’s Club. He also assisted in state fundraising to sustain these projects, and out of necessity became fluent in Spanish.

“Despite all the responsibilities, I’ve learned to always find time for people,” he said. It was nothing more than a young mother knocking on my door for help with her sick child, or a family asking for a new home made out of sugarcane stitched together. We couldn’t stay healthy or safe with the tarp on the dirt floor.”

Dwyer is now back in Philadelphia working in the financial services industry, but still contributes to The God’s Child Project by talking to organizations, recruiting volunteers, and raising funds.

“We need volunteers to go to hospitals and build houses and hold malnourished babies,” he said. “There is no greater feeling than providing a deserving family with a home no one ever dreamed of.”

Dwyer will have a table/booth with a bright yellow “The God’s Child Project” sign at the Fall For the Arts festival on Sunday, September 25th.

Len Lear can be reached at [email protected]

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