Project RED founder and alum speaks to students

Posted October 23, 2012

Kara Wilson ('06), founder and director of Project RED, recently spoke to ACU students about her organization, and about how they should listen for God's voice. "I want students to be inspired to recognize and go for their callings and passions," says Wilson. "I want them to see from my story that God brings things together."

Project RED is a nonprofit organization focusing on reintegration, education and development, or RED, for underprivileged families in El Salvador. Project RED currently sponsors 50 families using a holistic, sustainable and educational approach. The organization hopes to sponsor 100 families by next year – only its second year in operation.

Wilson's journey to Project RED began when she was 14, on a mission trip to El Salvador. "I knew I was called to be there the second I stepped off of the plane," she tells students.

Wilson moved to El Salvador and began Project RED in July 2011. The aim was to help families better care for their children. During the first year, Wilson found a deeper problem facing El Salvador's families. The government was working to shut down orphanages and force children back into their families' homes, even to family members who were not willing or able to raise the children.

Project RED's services include building homes for families, educating them about proper hygiene and parenting, and providing food, home supplies, cleaning supplies, clothing and counseling services. At the same time, Project RED's work allows families to learn about and experience the love of Jesus. 

While Wilson always knew she was called to serve in El Salvador, her ACU experience gave her the skills to start the organization. Wilson earned her interdisciplinary degree in vocational missions and Spanish and led an annual Spring Break Campaign to El Salvador.

Now, six years later, Wilson is sharing the story of her journey with the Lynay and Pulse on-campus scholarship groups. "We wanted to hear Kara speak because her story about calling is sure to 'lift the lid' on the callings of other students," says Dr. Gary McCaleb, vice president of ACU.

"I believe that God is doing something big with my life, and every believer's life," says Wilson. "Callings are not small."

Learn more about Project RED.