Misha Wines was adopted from Russia as an infant, which has sparked his passion to help orphans. For example, Wines, a member of St. Monica Boy Scout Troop 412 and a junior at Dallas Lutheran School, used his Eagle Scout project to aid orphans in Guatemala.
His mother, Tiffany Wines, is one of the founding members of the Dallas chapter of Women for Orphans Worldwide. WOW is an auxiliary of Orphan Outreach. While on a previous trip to Guatemala with WOW, Misha visited a ravine where trash is dumped. There were many children working there, and he found out they were trying to start a school.
“I was wondering if they needed anything for the school, and was told that they still needed to get up to code,” Wines said. “[They needed] signs, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers — and I thought, I can do that.”
He realized this was a tangible way he could help, and a way to get his troop involved for his Eagle Scout project. He filled out paperwork to get the project approved, because the Boy Scouts require that projects fill a need, show leadership, and require the entire troop to get involved.
Together, Wines and his troop created 60 signs — detailing safety tips and other information — for the school and a nearby orphanage. They stained the wood and added hardware to hang the signs. But finishing the signs themselves was the easy part.
“Getting 60 wooden signs and power tools through customs in a duffel bag was a big question mark,” Wines said.
They managed to bring all the signs with them on their last trip to Guatemala, and the WOW team hung the signs at the school. They were also able to interact with the children, something that has always made Wines feel very fortunate for all he has.
“Being adopted, knowing that there are people that have a life that I could have had, makes me feel so grateful for my life and all of my opportunities,” he said.
This is the reason Wines wants to pay it forward. He will take any opportunity he can to volunteer and help orphans, and hopes to go back to Guatemala soon. His heart for orphan missions will stay with him as it has with his mother.
“Once you’ve seen the children, you can’t get their faces out of your mind,” said Tiffany Wines. “Now we know these kids by name, and this is just something we will do for the rest of our lives.”