Hiller left world of finance for service in Guatemala

by Len Lear

When Brendan Dwyer was 4 years previous, his mother, Marianne, grew to become the director of Youngsters, Inc., a nonprofit that goals to attach teenagers to the world by way of neighborhood service. Working from an workplace on Bethlehem Pike close to Chestnut Hill Avenue,  Marianne Dwyer served in that position for almost 20 years whereas additionally elevating seven kids on the household’s residence in Chestnut Hill. 

So Dwyer spent lots of his youthful years serving the Philadelphia neighborhood,  taking part in park clean-ups and Operation Santa Claus, handing out scorching meals to the homeless on the St. Francis Inn in Kensington, delivering flowers and presents to shut-ins throughout the holidays and volunteering with the St. Vincent DePaul Society and rather more. 

“My mother and father all the time put others forward of themselves,” Dwyer stated in a latest interview. “If not for his or her great affect, there isn’t any method I may have ever boarded that airplane to maneuver to Guatemala.”

Dwyer is referring to a frightening resolution he made at age 16 to begin spending summers in Guatemala, doing neighborhood service with the nonprofit God’s Little one Venture. His sister, Caitlin, had earlier volunteered with the initiative as a part of a Villanova College group.

A 2010 graduate of the now-defunct Bishop McDevitt Excessive College in Wyncote, Dwyer graduated from Villanova College in 2014 and began working full-time on the Janney Montgomery Scott brokerage agency in Middle Metropolis on their buying and selling desk, the place he stayed for 5 years.

Then, in the summertime of 2019, he returned to Guatemala. 

“That turned out to be the journey that will propel me in the direction of the choice of quitting my job and shifting to Guatemala for a long-term volunteer expertise,” he stated. “Whereas I liked the individuals I labored with at Janney and cherished the expansion and friendships I left there with, it was onerous to neglect the numerous faces of poor kids in Guatemala who nonetheless wanted assist.”

“I had every thing I wanted in life – a heat residence, meals on the desk, clear water to drink, garments on my again, an training beneath my belt, a household that cared about me,”he continued. “It was time for me to dedicate my time serving to others attain the identical ranges of consolation that I’m lucky sufficient to take pleasure in day-after-day.”

Guatemala has the second highest charge of malnutrition within the Western Hemisphere and the fourth highest on this planet. One in each two kids beneath 5 years previous suffers from power malnutrition. In a rustic with a complete inhabitants of 18 million, 55 to 60% of the inhabitants lives beneath the poverty line, which is outlined as $2 a day.

“I got here face-to-face with excessive poverty throughout a number of service journeys through the years,” Dwyer stated. “However I felt like I wouldn’t really perceive it until I lived there among the many individuals.”

Upon arriving in Guatemala in January of 2020, Dwyer grew to become the nationwide director of The God’s Little one Venture. His duties included two colleges, medical clinics, dental clinics, a disaster care clinic, the Casa Jackson Hospital For Malnourished Kids, a house constructing program, worldwide volunteer and repair workforce coordination, clothes and meals drives, catastrophe reduction efforts and a moms membership. He additionally supported the stateside fundraising efforts that maintain these tasks and have become proficient in Spanish out of necessity.

“Regardless of all of the duties, I realized to all the time make time for individuals,” he stated. “I’ll have discovered myself working towards a good deadline solely to have a younger mom knock at my door searching for assist for her sick little one, or a household asking for a brand new residence to dwell in as a result of the one made from strung-together sugar cane stalks, battered steel sheets and plastic tarps on a dust flooring was not retaining them wholesome or secure.”

Dwyer is now again in Philadelphia working within the monetary companies trade, however he nonetheless serves The God’s Little one Venture by talking to organizations, recruiting volunteers and elevating funds. 

“We want volunteers to go down and construct houses and hug and maintain malnourished infants in our hospital,” he stated. “There isn’t a better feeling than presenting deserving households with a house that none of them had ever imagined would at some point be theirs.”

Dwyer could have a desk/sales space arrange with a vivid yellow“The God’s Little one Venture” signal on the Fall For the Arts pageant on Sunday, Sept. 25. 

Len Lear could be reached at

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