Penguin/Random House has made a commitment to donate $1.30 for every copy of Walking Home that is purchased. For this six month period this resulted in a donation of $5025.21! This money will be used for education and ongoing expenses of the orphanage.
This is both an incredible donation and an incredible act of kindness from the people at Penguin/Random House.
My name is Nicole Benes and I am the Teacher-Librarian at Signal Hill Elementary in Pemberton, BC. A group of my students and I came to hear you speak at Spring Creek School in Whistler last October. Perhaps you remember Brock? He is a boy from our school who you used as an example throughout your presentation.
We all loved hearing you speak and were inspired to do a novel study of “Walking Home.” This book and its unique format was a great hit with my students and led us into a study of Human Rights. We decided that we wanted to support both your Creation of Hope project as well as those less fortunate than us. The question was what to do as a fundraiser and how to make it all happen. As we learned from reading your wonderful novel, “…even the longest of journeys must begin with just one step – and a bit of hope.”
We decided to hold a used book sale and for the main event, a family movie night with a concession/bake sale at intermission. Through our district subscription to AudioCine, we were able to show the new release, Zootopia. Since our small town does not have a cinema, this was a popular activity choice last Friday night and we raised a grand total of $1800!
We are very happy to be able to donate this amount to the Creation of Hope to do with as you see fit, possibly funding the residence operations for 18 days or whatever is most needed. A check will be arriving for you soon and we would love an update of what you decide to do with the money when you have a chance.
Thank you for providing us with the inspiration to make a difference,
Nicole Benes and the classes of Madame Hamonic, Madame Lemieux, and Monsieur Benes (École la Vallée)
Pine Grove P.S. held a bake sale and raised $324.00 bake sale. This money is being applied for three days of support and the next food distribution. The three days of support will be July 15, 16 and 17 (see thank you sign in section below) and food distribution.
Eastdale Public School in Woodstock, under the leadership of Lori Marsh, donated $213.92. This was used for two days of support, June 20 and 21 (see thank you pictures in section below) and for the food distribution.
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Walters,
We are writing this to you because we had a garage sale… and we raised $313! We sold all sorts of things likes books, DVDS, toys, house hold items, plants and more.
We were inspired to do a garage sale by your book ‘My Name is Blessing’. We made our items low – priced so more people came and that’s how we got a lot of money. We had people be the cashiers and sales associates. Most adults wanted to buy plants and most kids wanted to buy toys. Thank you for reading our letter.
We are really impressed by all that you are doing. Thanks for your example to us. Even though we are young we can help others.
Our school will send the cheque to you soon. We will send you some pictures too.
Mrs. Scott’s Grade 3/4 class
This money will be used for two days of support – August 25 and 26 – and for the June food distribution.
After a presentation a student named Josh donated $5.00 which was used to purchase for a blanket (see thank you picture below)
After a presentation Paige donated $2.00.
After a presentation Logan donated $1.00.
Pauline donated money to support the residence August 14 and 15.
Gerry, a volunteer at the Sault Ste. Marie Forest of Reading festival donated $20.00.
Jack, a student at Midland S.S. pulled all the change out of his pocket and donated $3.20
Emma and Maddie, two young people at the Sault Ste. Marie Forest of Reading donated $20.00.
Jackie donated $68.00 and asked that the funds be used in the following way: We would like to donate for purchase of 1 blanket, 1 chicken, 1 set of farm tools and 100 trees. You can see below that some of these items have already been purchased and distributed.
Monisha donated funds that supported the residence for July 10, 11, and 12.
Zoe, along with her parents Michelle and Paul, sponsor one of our wonderful children – Benjamin. Zoe has made a further donation – to honour June’s life – and this donation supported our residence for the days of July 19 and 20.
Liza donated money for one day of support – which will be July 18
Margriet and Kees donated money for two days of support (July 13 and 14)
I was attending the Forest of Reading ceremony and a number of students came up after presentations and made donations:
Seth donated $50.00! This money will be used for a goat and the thank you sings forwarded to Seth through his teacher.
Alexander donated $20.00 which is being applied to blankets or food distribution. He will receive the thank you signs to indicate exactly how the money was spent.
Nick gave $5.00 which will go toward a blanket.
We received a $20.00 donation and thank you signs will go for Kane. The thank you signs will be sent to his parents.
Avery and Will sold cupcakes and raised money to purchase a chicken.
Thank you Signs
We are digging one of our wells deeper to have a greater supply of water. These funds were used to help with the digging.
Every month we give out up to 2.2 tons of food and supplies to sponsored children and other impoverished children in the community. The majority of this expense is provided for by our sponsors but each month we have a shortfall (as we give out to non-sponsored children) and these donations cover this additional cost. In some cases this additional donation might be as little as $1.00 but we still direct it and give credit to the donor with a thank you picture
Days of Support
$100.00 provides for our Rolling Hills Residence for 1 day. This is food for all 66 children, the salaries of the staff, and the utilities of the building.
Previously I would have noted that this amount also covered routine medical care and school supplies for the day. This is no longer the case as currency exchange rates, increases in food prices and salaries have taken effect. This is not to diminish this incredible gift people make in their donations but to acknowledge that their donation – our funds – don’t quite go as far as they used to. As always, we try for complete transparency and accountability.
Education Sponsors and Supporters
We have sponsors for most of the 69 children/young adults who are in high school and post-secondary school. While some sponsors have increased funding to pay for these additional costs we also have specific educational sponsors who help to support the ongoing care and education for our orphans.
Education has become our most expensive ‘line item’ with food second and salaries of on the ground staff as the third. We made a conscious decision to provide for our children as far as their abilities would allow them to go. This means that they are supported beyond their 18th birthday if they continue to move forward in school. Our ideal is that each child will leave our program with a university degree, a college diploma or a trade. We want to push them ‘all the way up the hill’.
One of the most inspiring elements in all of this is how many of our children/students tell us that they plan to support the next generation of orphans when they have become employed and self-sufficient.
We have recently completed a new survey to identify 20 orphans in the community who are in need of ongoing support due to their life circumstances. These children, while still under the care of The Creation of Hope program in Kenya, will be administered directly by Kids Alive here in Canada. We are appreciative of the new role that Kids Alive is offering as a transition plan over the coming years takes a first step.
The first ten were sponsored immediately by an incredible donation from a Kenyan company. In addition another child was sponsored in Kenya by Dr. Koki.
This month we are so happy to announce that we have two new Canadian sponsors:
Gina, who works for Kids Alive, along with her husband Ryan are the new sponsors of Dennis Wambua Ndinda.
Denis with his grandmother coming to his first food distribution
Heather Walker is a new sponsor who has been matched with Rose.
Karen is the new sponsor of Dominic.
Here are the ten children sponsored by AGSC in Kenya preparing to go to their new school. Wonderful smiling faces ready to take the next step on their journey.
Mary is one of the 10 sponsored children