Frederick Buechner wrote “Purpose is the place where your deep gladness meets the world’s needs.” I couldn’t agree more. To the point where I will probably adopt his saying and add it to my email signature in days to come, because it strikes a chord in the recesses of my heart.
My deep gladness is most evident around this time of year, due in large part to EC’s Annual Appeal. You might be inclined to say that I’m happy to be bringing in the funds that support our programs, specifically the lunch program for the orphans and the sponsorship program for the orphaned secondary students. There is truth to that, but my overarching gladness comes with being able to connect with so many friends and family members whom I rarely see anymore.
Every November I send a letter out to EC supporters, telling them what has happened with the donations they sent throughout the year, and asking them to please consider contributing again so we can continue supporting the 300+ orphans who benefit from the daily school lunch program and the 10 – 15 secondary school students who we sponsor. I also tell donors about my aspirations for the coming year. This past November I shared the exciting news of the two new preschool buildings that our donors built in Lanet. I also wrote about the hope we have of bringing our mentoring program for high school orphaned students into new areas of Kenya with the help of our new Program Coordinator, William Aludo.
The responses have been arriving in my mailbox and via Paypal since the second week of November, usually accompanied by a smiley face, hand-drawn hearts or “xoxo”. Sometimes people have included a short note with their contribution telling me about their lives and families, and almost always they have something encouraging to say to keep us going. This year I wanted to share a few of the responses I have received from people who have a heart for what we are doing for the orphans in Kenya. I’ll use first names (or first letters) to maintain anonymity.
Adam: [My wife] and I would love to support Everyone’s Child! A cause that will always be close to my heart.
Carole: Keep up your wonderful work!
Alison: You can count on me for a donation prior to year-end. Thank you for explaining some of the costs as it gives me a better idea of how much I should donate. I’m so proud of you for spear heading such a great cause.
Cynthia: I’m planning to give a donation to your passion and am happy to help. I admire you for dedicating yourself to helping these kids. It must seem overwhelming at times but heartwarming to see the successes.
Ellie: Wonderful organization Ruth. I know your heart is with these children. My contribution will go out in the next week.
N: It is especially meaningful to me to help out your organization where I know the money goes directly to the kids!!!
Elizabeth: Keep up the great work for the children.
Catherine: I know it’s not much, but hopefully every bit counts! (Me: It definitely does!!)
Dave: So happy to support these children who can use our help.
Linda: Yes. I will donate now! Thank you, Ruthie!!
Carrie 😉 : Done!
Martha: What great work you do! Amen and thank you! We will continue to support what you do, so count on us!
Some people donated in the memory of a loved one. Here are two such cases:
One of my nieces: Aunt Ruthie, I am so proud to be your niece. The work your organization does is incredible! I opened your letter today and around the holiday season, donating in the name of others to such a wonderful program is a very special gift for everyone involved!
Connie: Heidi was a dynamic, caring person. As her friend you must really feel her loss. Even those who didn’t know her well feel sad and depleted. She is missed but she lives on in love – and in your work for others.
So there it is, an example of why I have such deep gladness in my heart. In the past eight years I have found my purpose in the carving of this work, which has been nothing more than an opportunity to express my faith in God and in the seed that is sown in all of us to serve and care for those less fortunate than ourselves.
We are a little over halfway to our goal of $20,000.00 for this year’s Annual Appeal. The funds we raise help us to continue our orphan lunch program and our secondary school sponsorship program. Currently, it costs $30 per month per student to fund the orphan lunch program which is feeding between 250-300 students a day in three separate locations. The school sponsorship program costs between $250 – $400 per student per year, depending on the grade they are in. Next year we expect to be supporting between 8 – 10 students in Nakuru, and hope to be sponsoring additional students in new areas of Kenya as well. If you would like to donate to Everyone’s Child and help us reach our goal before the end of 2016, please click here.
I pray that you all have a wonderful and blessed holiday season. I look forward to talking and serving with all of you again in 2017.