Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Many Ways to Make a Difference

There are times when I am so touched by how many people find a unique way to participate in our work. The matching challenge from Newman's Own Foundation is really an invitation to all of our supporters to get creative and help us maximize our impact.

I was really touched and inspired by this story from one of our amazing supporters (and a sponsor of a student at the Kibera School for Girls), Chad Smith. Read what Chad has to say, and perhaps get inspired with ideas of your own!

"Last year our neighborhood created a luminary walk at Christmas time. Candles are placedin little white lunch bags which line the sidewalks. As the sun sets, the candles are lit and the illumined bags trace the sidewalks with light. It is a beautiful sight. A dozen neighbors or so go around caroling and the evening concludes by gathering for wassail, hot cocoa and desserts. It all makes for a lovely evening.
This year instead of only taking in a beautiful experience, the neighborhood wanted to do something beautiful as well. Each house chipped in for the cost of the luminaries, but in addition, agreed to give to a community development project. One of the neighbors came across an article in a magazine this past summer about work being done in one of the largest slums in the world and submitted we give to the project. $500 dollars was raised for Shining Hope through the luminary walk.

Instead of only taking in a beautiful experience, a little neighborhood in the Chicago suburbs was able to reach out half way around the world and do something beautiful."
-Chad Smith

Thank you so much to you Chad, and to your community. Our work is really only as strong as the grassroots movement of support that we are building. $50,000 ---- here we come (but only with your help!!)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Newman's Own Foundation hosts a $50,000 matching campaign for us -- Now through the end of January!

Every day at our projects in Kibera is filled with significant victories—a clinic opening, a new boarding facility for students like five-year-old Sarah who was abandoned by her parents, a student reading for the first time. We want to express our gratitude to you for helping us to make these moments, and many others, possible. We asked a mother of a student at our school if she had a message that we could share and she said this: “Tell them that they have given me the best gift possible—just by caring about Shining Hope for Communities they have given me hope that tomorrow will be better than today, because today is already better than yesterday.”

We need your help to continue making a profound difference in the lives of our students, their families, and the residents of Kibera, Kenya—Africa’s largest slum. Our work is not possible without your support.

This holiday season Newman’s Own Foundation is hosting a $50,000 matching campaign! Help us make this match!

This means that every dollar you donate to Shining Hope for Communities this December and January will be doubled, allowing your gift to go twice as far. You can track our campaign's progress on the homepage of our website by clicking here!

Every dollar counts—$5 feeds an entire class of students for an entire day, $25 feeds an entire class for a week, $250 provides all of our students and staff with a daily meal for a month. Please give now to give the most. You can make a donation online by clicking here or by mail to Shining Hope for Communities, 14 Red Glen Road, Middletown, CT 06457.

Peace and best wishes for a happy holiday season,
Jessica Posner & Kennedy Odede & the whole SHC Team

P.S. Please consider helping our campaign by forwarding this information on to friends, family, and anyone else who might be interested. Thank you so much!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

World Aids Day in Kibera, 2010

Today, December 1st, is World Aids Day, and the community of Kibera came together to commemorate. The Community Health Workers of the JJJ Clinic and members of SHOFCO joined a Kibera-wide parade, marching to music from the Kenyan Police Band. The CHWs handed out fliers advertising the clinic and its services as they marched, and passed out condoms to all who asked.

We stood out in our bright blue t-shirts as we carried our makeshift banner at the front of the line, leading the parade to the final rally at the railroad tracks.

This World Aids Day theme was "Universal Access and Human Rights," and everyone in attendance resolved to help embody this theme.

Today, we urge everyone to remember that the fight against HIV/AIDS is far from over, even if it sometimes feels far from home.