*Clarification on amount needed: For the land and the house, the actual price will be $9720. Since First Giving charges 7.5% for credit card donations made through them, the actual amount needed, based on everyone doing donations through here [although many have mailed checks] would then be around $10,449. MINUS the amount raised offline, which today (3/26/11) is $2820. I don't even know the overage anymore, honestly--we blew it out of the water! LOL I will not shut up until I round up this money to buy that smaller stove DONE, a refrigerator DONE, and a sofa whole living room suite! that I want for their new home. The different write-ups in the papers and in my work's OnStage magazine this past fall WILL put us there, I believe. NEVER underestimate the 'Power of One' plus friends, family, and community! You all have been so good to us! Thank you and Muchisimas gracias!
UPDATE, Thurs., 8/25/11--The house has been completed. Gerardo's mother and stepfather had reconciled during the construction, and through some decisions they all made together, he is now living in the house alone. Since he would need money for utilities, food, personal items, and a once-a-year house tax bill, he has decided to leave school for now so he can seek employment. SInce there was some money left over from the school fund, I asked them to go ahead and pay the taxes for next year, and with the remainder, they will pay up on his utility bills and buy groceries. My sincerest thanks to everyone. This was a life-changing experience for him and myself. But, my first sponsored son is set for what life brings him--a new 2 bedroom home, basically furnished, and he has more education than most folks he knows. Not too shabby. This will be known as the house that love built!
Thank you for visiting my fundraising page! Many of you may know I made an incredible trip to Central America in January of last year to meet and visit the teenager Gerardo who I have sponsored through Children International (a great nonprofit based in Kansas City, MO) for almost 10 years now. It was an awesome experience, and January 26 was easily the best day of my life!
Throughout the years, I have been able through their program to provide for many special gifts to him, but the one that is most on my heart at this time, I cannot provide alone--that is to build him a home! (Hence, the name of the page: Gerardo's House!) And because of the exchange rate in his country, it could be done for so little! It would be similar to what they rent now, but it would be their own! It will also have TWO bedrooms, running, drinkable water, a full bathroom, and a small living room and kitchen. Since I work for a nonprofit as well, I am looking for help to do this, from the smallest to the most generous of donations.
Gerardo lives with his mother and younger half-brother in the gorgeous countryside of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, and as pretty as Honduras is, it is the second poorest country in the Western hemisphere. Right now, his mother is renting a tiny multi-purpose room in a rural area where farm animals run freely on the dusty, bumpy roads. Their home is simple and clean; they are very proud people, and happy and healthy, thank goodness! While Gerardo and his younger brother go to school, their mother is a domestic employee, and makes very little. The amount she pays for rent is around 33% of her wages. This fact blows me away! Since Gerardo is in the program until he 'ages out' at 19, I would like to build them a home that they could call their own so they could better spend their money on other things, and enjoy a nicer quality of life. (And possibly breathe a sigh of relief and sleep well at night!) Maybe if his mother were not spending this percentage of her earnings on rent, they could buy that refrigerator they need and not have to worry about an appliance running electricity all day long, OR buy an actual stove instead of the tabletop gas burner she prepares their meals on. To the left is a photo of him and his mother leaving their home on that beautiful day. This is a cause I am MOST passionate about!
Donating through this website is simple, fast and *totally* secure. It is also the most efficient way to support my fundraising efforts at this time.
Many thanks for your support -- and don't forget to forward this to anyone who you think might want to donate too! Check back here frequently for a link to a story about my trip that appeared on Sunday, July 25--front page of the Carolina Living section! AND on the website for Children International <first two full weeks ofJuly 2010>. Their website is www.children.org . You can begin sponsoring *your own* child there if it interests you for very little, and make so much difference--three of my friends already have!
With God as my witness, I will build my sponsored son Gerardo a home--won't you help? Get on board--let's do this together!
Thanks to everyone so far who has given and passed this info along. A big thanks to my friends Stone and Mrs. Cathey for their efforts, and for my friend Alex for his huge boost on Friday morning, 5/21.
Tues., 5/25 @ 10:10 p.m.--Through conversations with the folks at FirstGiving today, I am considering 'upping' the amount to cover for those who will donate later on. The response has been so incredible so far, and only 25 or so people know about this. I have promises from 2 e-mails to contribute, and am contacting folks by mail to tell them about this. I will also be making some key people at a few foundations aware of my efforts as well, and I know there will be gifts from some of them. I am ashamed I did not do this before now! Thanks to everyone for your generosity. klg
Wed., 6/30 @ 7:25 p.m.--The goal has been changed as of today (see above). Also, one of the 'Southern belles' called yesterday; she mailed a check today for $100., and I understand another mailed one also. My thanks to Miss Jean Boiter, and as soon as I get an amount from Mrs. Ann Morris, I will update the offline total raised. More to come. Thanks, everyone--your support has been incredible! Also, a very special 'thank you' to an old college friend from the Wingate days who gave the whopping $1,500. that last week of June!
7/19 @ 10:28 p.m.-- Many thanks to Ms. Julia Hite for her contribution of $100., and a BIG thank you to Donald O'Shields of Von Entertainment who made the biggest single donation yesterday. Wow! Y'all have all bowled me over with your generosity, and it hasn't even been 3 full months. Incredible!
7/27 @ 8:34 p.m.--Thanks to everyone who has contributed since the Observer story; the response has been wonderful, especially from my company president Tom Gabbard who sent out an e-mail to everyone, including the Board of Trustees, containing the link to that story.
8/2 @ 11:41 p.m.--A check was mailed today by a great friend from high school, Laura Thompson, for $100., then a former First Lady of NC, Mrs. Dottie Martin made an online donation; we are now just a few dollars short of paying off the house! I could shout from the rooftop!
8/10 @ 11:32 a.m.--A check was mailed on Saturday by a dear friend of mine, Ms. Susan Grove for $100. Many thanks to her! Looks like appliances and some key pieces of furniture will be in order as the amount needed to pay for the house was completed last week! Hip hip hoo-RAY!
8/22 @ 4 p.m.--Mrs. Marie Kirkman, the mother of my late friend Jerry Anderson, sent a check this morning for $50. I accept it in the memory of my old friend!