How a summer trek in search of purpose led to an internationally acclaimed foundation straight from the heart of founder Caroline Boudreaux, December 2018
The first time Caroline Boudreaux traveled to India, she was a 28-year-old account executive at a television station, living the good life in Austin with a high-income job, new car and an active social life. Yet she felt hollow inside.
“I was sure there had to be more to life, but I didn’t have a clue what that was,” she says. “I knew in my heart I had a bigger purpose that I wasn’t fulfilling.”
Feeling at a crossroads, Boudreaux took a sabbatical from her job to travel the world with her friend, Chris Monheim Poynor. The year was 2000, and the women were “chasing summer” around the globe. One of the many stops on their map was India — not because Boudreaux had pinned the country, but because Poynor had been sponsoring a child there and wanted to visit him.
“I didn’t even think the little boy was real,” Boudreaux says. “I doubted she was making a difference, and told her it was a scam.”
As it turned out the little boy, Manus, was indeed very real and living in the northeastern state of Odisha. The women were given an elaborate ceremonial welcome to his village, where Manus has been receiving Chris’s support and kept all the letters she had sent him.
Boudreaux and Poynor would soon discover that Manus was one of the lucky ones.