Last year around this time, we worked with our boys to raise funds for Heifer International. Our goal was to buy some bees and a goat for people around the world that are in need. We didn't quite make that goal, but were able to purchase a goat and some chickens. My boys learned just a little bit about what it means to love people as Christ did.
This summer we met Mr. Baxter at our garage sale. He had stopped by to look at something and began to share with us about the ministry he heads. This local ministry reaches out to children and families in Jamaica who are in need. They work with 3 local "Basic Schools" as well as churches and individuals to improve the lives of Jamaicans through Christ-like relationships. Mr. Baxter travels regularly to Jamaica to continue these spiritual ties.
We loved talking with Mr. Baxter about Jamaica UpRiver Outreach. As we spoke, he shared that it only costs about $35 a month to feed one of their basic schools. That's 28 kids from ages 3-6. We brainstormed about ways that we could connect with these schools and how our children could be in touch with some of the people there. It has been great to begin learning about Jamaican culture with the boys.
Manasseh, our 5 year old, has fallen in love with the people, the music, and the culture. He is extremely enthusiastic about working to raise money to help the children at one of the schools - Fustic Grove Basic School. I asked him the other day what kind of goal we should make regarding how many days to try and feed the students, his answer? 100,000. I figured out that would cost about $117,000. That's do-able, but I'm not certain it's within our reach this year.
Our goal this year is to raise $420. This would feed the children at Fustic Grove for an entire year. That's 1 meal per child, 28 children per month, for 12 months. It breaks down to about $1.17 per day - less than most people in the United States spend on a hamburger or a coffee.
Our plan is to sell crafts and baked goods at our church sale this weekend. We will have handmade felt masks, felt crowns, some Christmas ornaments, banana bread, a variety of cookies, and someone is even donating a diaper cake. There will be a variety of other items available at the sale for donations to this project.
The boys and I are also available to help with yard work such as raking, picking up sticks and nuts, etc. We would love to bake or cook in exchange for donation, or even do a little light cleaning around the house.
Will you consider helping us feed these precious children in 2014? $420 is all it will take - can you give up a soda this week to feed an entire class in Jamaica? You won't only be filling their bellies. Feeding these children will help them learn better, they will be more successful as adults, and have an opportunity to know Christ's love in a new way.
If you're interested in helping the students at Fustic Grove this season, feel free to contact me through my personal email address - firstname.lastname@example.org - or on Facebook. I will be glad to answer questions for you. We are also able to mail some of the craft products in exchange for donation. ALL proceeds will be donated to the children at Fustic Grove Basic School.
Many blessings to you and yours as we enter this season.