There are plenty of news stories right now that leave our hearts heavy, however, we have one that will make you smile.
Back in March of 2011, our Sandpiper Youth Club kids wanted to do something to help the Tsunami victims of Haiti. Together, armed with the power of baked goods, they raised over $1000! Well, the philanthropy bug has struck again. This time, in the form of footwear!
Last Summer, one of our great Recreation Leaders, Michael Benjamin (he is also our skilled videographer) went on a Summer trip to Rwanda, Africa to volunteer at an Orphanage. His stay lasted only 3 months, but the impact of this vacation will last a lifetime. Upon his return, he brought details of his experience to the children of our Sandpiper Youth Club, After School Program. He spoke of the poverty, and how the children there were so impoverished that many didn’t even have shoes! He also mentioned that despite their situation, many of the children excelled in sports, like soccer. The children were clearly touched by the situation, and their wheels started spinning regarding how they could possibly help these Orphans in Rwanda. Mike and Telisha (our fearleass SYC Director) suggested the idea of a shoe drive.
The SYC kids loved the idea of sending shoes to Africa, and quickly set a collection goal of 100 pairs. In two months time, about 80 pairs of sneakers and cleats were acquired, just shy of their goal. The next task was to raise money to ship the shoes overseas. The Sandpiper Youth Clubbers decided to sell popsicles every Friday until they earned enough money to send their donation to Africa. Michael’s wife was heading back to Rwanda for work and packed two extra suitcases full of shoes to bring to Rwanda. The extra baggage fees were covered by the hard work of our awesome kids!
We are so proud of the children in our Sandpiper Youth Club Program for being so philanthropic. The excitement level for taking donations, bringing in shoes and raising money, never slowed down. Great job, kids & staff!
Happy Holidays, Everyone!