This month, Rwanda is in the throes of remembering, mourning, forgiving and persevering. It is the 17th¬†anniversary of 1994 Genocide.¬†¬†Many of my friends and¬†colleagues¬†lost loved ones during this time. My heart goes out to them so that they may continue to heal and look forward to Rwanda's bright future. Let us take a moment to honor the victims and to praise the survivors' generosity to each other, in forgiveness.¬†
I believe that this is the perfect time to express how much love and support is pouring out from our community, in so many meaningful ways, for the children of Rwanda.¬†It is only Wednesday and so many generous acts have already¬†occurred¬†this week alone.
On Monday, Shenandoah University, who has partnered with us since 2009, let us know that they will be offering scholarships to three of their students to travel with us this summer to Rwanda. This scholarship will greatly help to offset the cost of the students' trip. The generosity SU has shown to the children of Rwanda is truly amazing for without volunteers, our camps would not be able to run.
Also, on Monday and Wednesday, we received two big bags of toys, crafts and school supplies. (Some of the donated items are shown in the pic.) We will bring all of these items with us to Rwanda, much to the delight of the children.
On Tuesday, we received funds from a generous supporter in order for us to purchase a scanner. This may sound like a mundane item, but it actually helps us to build our organization. The more we grow, the more children we can support.¬†
On Tuesday night, Sensible Sitters, a babysitting company here in NY and beyond, partnered with¬†us¬†when they hosted a babysitter/employee social at SideBAR in Manhattan. SideBAR and their parent company, who Hope Shines has worked with in the past for other events, offered 4 hours of bar specials, a private space and 15% of the tab. The babysitters enjoyed socializing while much needed funds were raised in support of our camps. Sensible Sitters has expressed their generous want to continue developing our partnership by raising additional funds and awareness. ¬†
Today, Wednesday, we were contacted by another childcare service provider, located in the Boston area, who is interested in getting involved with supporting our programs. They have offered to run either a supply drive or fundraiser this summer. They have only just become acquainted with our programs and they are offering to help Rwanda.
Every single act of giving is meaningful. I have learned many life lessons from my work with Hope Shines. One of the most important, is that forgiveness can be an incredibly selfless act of generosity.¬†Thank you to our community of supporters for selflessly giving so much at a time when our friends and children in Rwanda need to know how much you really do care.
With all my gratitude,
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