For the past four years I have been raising money to help the kids in Ghana. I have had many wonderful, generous donors... more than I ever dreamed of. But in the past few months I have gotten something that is so valuable to me that I cannot even begin to express my appreciation and gratitude: friends who are independently helping me to raise money, spread the word, explore other avenues of fundraising, and develop my first “real” marketing materials. As the bishop would say, “My prayers have been answered.”
The first of these is Joanie Butman who wrote the last blog after accompanying me to Ghana in February. Joanie has two talents that I completely lack; creativity and computer literacy. But she is also a beautiful writer and tireless editor... and just so happens to be related to other women who are graphic designers and writers... so they are a one-stop-shop for my fundraising materials and newsletters! At this point, GCF is practically a full-time job for Joanie as evidenced by the insane number of emails that we exchange daily. (My apologies to her husband and children who are most certainly feeling a bit neglected since Joanie started helping me!) Joanie also happens to be widely respected and loved, and by putting her name behind the Ghana Children’s Fund she has already brought in a number of very generous donations, in addition to her personal generosity which never seems to end. It’s no wonder that Bishop Addei named her “Wonderful Woman”.
More recently I was approached by another friend, Karen Amero, who told me that she was inspired by what I was doing in Ghana and wanted to help. After meeting with her for coffee, it became clear that this was not just “a little help” that we were talking about; Karen has single-handedly started a campaign to raise funds to complete the Good Shepherd School! Completing the school was at the top of my “must do” list, but it’s such a big and expensive project that I kept putting it off. Well, Karen has enthusiastically tackled it for me. She has organized a yoga fundraiser that will raise money and awareness in our community, and she’s hosting a tea next week to introduce her friends to GCF. She has also connected me with the local online newspaper, and has a number of other exciting ideas up her sleeve! And, to top if off, her financial support is truly remarkable... more than I could ever have dreamed was possible for my “small time” non-profit! To read more about the campaign to complete the school building THIS SUMMER, click here. And for any of you who are local to New Canaan, please join us at the yoga fundraiser on May 21st, 9:30-11:00, sponsored by Pryority Fitness and held at the United Methodist Church on South Avenue.
I’ve also met new “friends” on Facebook... two young women who volunteered at the orphanage last summer, and are incredibly motivated to raise money to help educate the kids they grew to love in Ghana.
To all of these wonderful women, I say thank you... more than you can imagine. Being a “one woman show” was, frankly, a heavy burden. Each trip to Ghana reminded me of why I could never give up, but also added to the weight on my shoulders, the feeling that I needed to do so much more than I was already doing. I could never begin to meet the needs of the kids in Ghana without your help, and I hope that others will join us as Ghana Children’s Fund grows, allowing us to bring help and hope to even more desperately needy children.