Africa is Calling....

Yesterday was a great day!!! I volunteered at a gala fundraiser for a local nonprofit, Africa Bridge. This agency serves communities in Tanzania, it doesn't just send money, it doesn't just send supplies--it actually helps empower the people in each community to build a better life, not just to be supported.

Africa Bridge creates cooperatives for families who are already attempting
to foster orphaned children on incomes that average less than a dollar a
day. Co-ops grant micro-loans to support raising a crop or a farm
animal. Significant training, mentoring, and monitoring accompany the
loans. We teach entrepreneurial skills to help fulfill dreams.

Africa Bridge assists schools in repairing classrooms, completing already begun construction when funds have run out, and equipping classrooms with materials such as desks and lab supplies. We have just built a model "poop powered" biogas system to provide electricity to the secondary school.

It's just a great organization. I contacted them to see if they would have a need/use for the alphabet posters my volunteer group and I made in the past and not only did they want them--the director was heading to Tanzania in ten days and wanted to take some with!! Very exciting! So my wonderful volunteer friends came together and finished the last steps of getting them together:
volunteers

When I contacted them, they let me know that they also need volunteers for their fundraiser in two weeks, so of course I had to say yes! I wanted to hear more about this organization and I had no reason why I could not volunteer. So I took the finished posters to the first annual Africa Bridge Gala on Saturday. It was held on a farm and had the perfect weather, a great turnout, great food, wine wine wine and some awesome music.

My friend Amy and her rugrats joined us. We started out helping with parking.

Africa bridgeafrica bridgeAmy and I thought it would be more welcoming if we had a choreographed parking monitor dance set ready, so we practiced that...though the kids weren't as into it as we were. We weren't on parking duty long, but we would have been the best at it...
We were wine servers and had the pleasure of offering up some wonderful red and white, and there was a LOT of red and white being poured! I have never been a food server, I have never been a wine person and I have never done any kind of drink pouring for large groups of people. I may or may not have totally leaked wine down the bottle my first time. And I may or may not have actually offered to refresh a nice lady's glass of white wine and then promptly poured in red wine. And I may or may not have heard two people wrong and gave them red instead of white. But overall, my job went well and it was lots of fun.
The founder of Africa Bridge spoke and played a video of the work being done there and made many people cry. It was so heart-warming to see how easy it is to make a difference, not just for a day--but for an entire life.
And lives were changed last night---there was so much money raised!! $6000 would build a new school - and a representative from Nike donated that much alone. And then there were people who donated $3000, and $2000, and $1500, and on down to $25.00. It was just amazing. The people who donated in a one-hour period last night have done SO much for this small community in another country far, far away.
I was actually not as excited for this volunteer event as others - it was just a REALLY long volunteer shift: from 3:30-10:30, but the time went really fast and it was absolutely worth every minute and I'm so glad I went. It was amazing to see such an outpour of generosity, from Bob the wine guy to each individual who bid on auction items (some for over $1000) and then to the people who just gave flat out donations of various amounts. Just amazing!!
africa bridge
Africa Bridge founder, Barry Childs

africa bridge

Obo Addy band played some amazing stuff as the sun went down.

I want to go to Africa!!!

4 comments:

  1. Nat said...:

    Go Kaylen, go Africa, go Kaylen, go Africa!

  1. Nicole said...:

    sounds like a great night to volunteer! Thanks for your kinds words at my blog, it's very comforting to know that we arent the only ones going thru all of this crap!

  1. WOW!!! Africa would be an adventure beyond adventures!!! Good luck!!! Thanks for coming by my blog too!! :)

  1. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

    I hope you get to Africa, I'm trying to go myself. My dad is a Missionary for his church and he went to Afica to build a church and the pictures he brought bcak were awesome!

    Everyone is super intelligent and they speak like six different languages. I was blown away!

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