When Bishop’s School junior George Champion set out to build a house for a family in need in Mexico, he wanted to be a part of every step. From the fundraising to the final nail, Champion and his group of eight were active in the process.
Having been inspired by previous trips to Mexico with the La Jolla Community Church in UTC, which also built homes, Champion went to the outskirts of Tijuana in February for his own mission.
“The family that got the house was living in a space the size of a tool shed,” he said. “It was really tiny. It just had a bed and the only walkable space was right in front of the door. It belonged to a family of five with three children, ages 8 to 10. The conditions were appalling. It was eye-opening to see those kids live like that. It made me really grateful to live where I do.”
Using the model he learned from his church and with the help of some friends and family members, he built a simple, two-story home with a loft area upstairs and three rooms downstairs. Champion said it only took the group one day to build the house.
“It was such a rewarding experience and you feel really good and that you made a difference in someone’s life. It was all about doing something that’s bigger than yourself,” he said.
Before he could begin the project, Champion needed to raise the projected cost: $4,800. His mother Jill Champion said, “He started knocking on neighborhood doors in September asking for donations. Family and friends and neighbors on Virginia Way were generous and intrigued by George’s plan.”
Grateful to all, Champion said donors appreciated seeing their money go directly to a good cause.
“When you give to a small project like this, your money goes further than it might with other charities,” he said. “When you donate to charity, you may not see the direct impact your money has, but with this project, there was one thing the money was going toward.”
Champion said he would recommend an undertaking like this to anyone who wants to help others and suggested those interested contact the La Jolla Community Church at (858) 558-9020.
When not building houses, Champion said he likes to go to the beach, play pool and ping pong, and play water polo for Bishop’s. He hopes to study business when he enters college after his senior year.