As many of you know, my family and I have become friends with a girl’s school in Agona Swedru, Ghana. I’ve gotten to know Pastor Frank Bennin and his children, and his extended family of young girls called the Alolites Unto Such (the link is to their Facebook Page). My son, Aaron, “chats” with them on Facebook and you can see his Archie comics among the box of book and things they just received, plus other books of his he chose to send to them.
I’ve written extensively about them, how we got to know each other, and the value of giving in various columns and articles such as these (more can be found in the blog section):
A Story of Giving – You ALWAYS Get More When You Give!
The recent earthquake/tsunami disaster in Japan hit me very hard. The images and stories that were available so quickly were profoundly scary, real, and heart wrenching. I immediately reflected on my gratitude for not suffering such a tragedy and remembered my own brush with death (written about in my “Gratitude” column) where I walked away from what could have been a deadly car crash.
There are so many cliché’s about how giving back, doing charitable works, and thinking and doing for others will bring you happiness, satisfaction, and maybe even bring you out of a depression. As with most cliché’s, this one is generally true and I wish more people would heed the wisdom of “repairing the world” as it is often expressed in my religion.
While my writing and focus tends to be gender-biased, from the man’s point-of-view, I will assert that in this regard, “giving” is something that is inherent in both men’s and women’s DNA. Men, as we well know, have the “fix-it” thing built into them while women have the “nurturing” one wired into their DNA. Before you yell at your computer, I am again making a generalization as, of course, this does not apply to every man or woman.
As you may know, I’ve developed a relationship with the Pastor, his kids, his community, and their school in Ghana, Africa. I’ve written about it in my A Story of Giving column, my “Africa Zebras” blog (with the great photos), and spoken of it on my Radio Show (August 12, 2010). They are wonderful young girls that we’ve sent books and more to. Soon, we’ll be sending some laptops (from The Wright Centre for Orthodontics). Pastor Frank Bennin is father to some (biologically), and “Father” to all, spiritually.
I wanted to share with you a chat I had with Pastor Frank, via Facebook, about what we hope to accomplish together and create our own story of giving. Please note their address if you want to send your own box of books, magazines, toys, stuffed animals, and more.
You all know my story about meeting toys, and more. The 3rd box just arrived and they were overjoyed. In the photos they just sent me, they included one of the Internet Cafe they go to when they want to communicate with the outside world. While I doubt they can get broadband in their small town, there’s NO doubt they could use a laptop or two!
So, I’m launching a fund-raiser, today on my radio show, to raise money for this cause. Details about who to make out the checks to and the charity will be forthcoming as I need to set this up “officially.” If, in the meantime, you’d like to send them some books, toys, games, and more, please do so to:
P.O. Box 719
I’ve had the great joy, via the Internet, of meeting a group of kids at a school in Agona Swedru, Ghana. As you can see by the photos with this blog, they are adorable, and their smiles transcend oceans, generations, color, creed, country, and make me light up as I’m sure they do for you as well.
Jesse, Eric, and Shebom