Thursday, May 01, 2014

It's Go Time!

I'm going back to Africa in 80 days.

I'm beyond excited... but also anxious. Financially, the decision to go on this year's trip was a struggle for me. With my surgery happening early on in the year our insurance deductible was back to zero. With the medical bills and the fact that our Swaziland team is going back to back years I wasn't sure if we could swing it. I went back and forth on the decision, prayed about it religiously (see what I did there?), and decided that I just couldn't let the financial aspect get in the way of me going back to Bheveni. Honestly, the thought of not going was heartbreaking. 

This time around I decided not to send out support letters. My friends and family have been generous in past years with financial donations that have helped me get to Africa. It's safe to say that I couldn't have made either trip without the help of those who supported me. But it's tough asking people for money - even when it helps support a good cause. So, this year I'm not asking for people to help me pay my way to Africa... but I'm asking for support in a different area.

In the past, as with this year, our team has sold t-shirts as a type of fundraiser. With each purchase of one of our shirts, you get one for yourself and one is donated to a child at Bheveni Carepoint. The shirts have been an amazing highlight for the kids - and I'll admit I was surprised at how excited they were to receive them. We hand them out and tell the kids to wear them on our "fun day" and every single person shows up wearing them. I can remember on my first trip when we were approaching the carepoint for fun day we could see a sea of red and green shirts. Last year when we were at Bheveni I saw many of the the kids wearing the shirts from the previous year - and they would make sure to point it out to us as if showing us a trophy.






Another chunk of the money that comes in from the t-shirt sales goes toward buying supplies for the fun day and also for the home visits that we do. I've described the home visits here before, but basically we go to several different homesteads during our time there and bring along some much needed supplies - mostly food items that can help feed the families for a few weeks. These are families that are in desperate need and most likely have no other food to eat.

At minimum, our team needs to sell 200 shirts. That would get each child at the carepoint their own shirt and we would have enough money to cover the cost of the supplies for the fun day and the home visits. This year's shirt sales have been a little slower than in previous years so I'm reaching out to all of my friends asking for help. The cost of a shirt is $20 - and remember, that covers a shirt for you AND one for a Bheveni child. 

If you aren't interested in a shirt you can just donate the $20 and it would go towards two shirts for the kids. And if $20 is more than your budget can take right now ANY amount will help. You'd be surprised how fast the smaller donations add up!

This year we've added two different hats and a onesie to the collection, all of them sending the proceeds to where it counts: the kids.

Will you consider helping me with this cause by purchasing a shirt or making a donation? You can contact me through facebook or email (mileslinus@charter.net) to place an order or you can send it to me through the mail:

Margaret Brown
931 6th St. NW
Maple Lake, MN 55358

Shirts come in adult sizes S-4XL and kids XS-L, onesie in 6 month - 24 month.

I honestly appreciate all who have and who may support me in any way in my Swaziland adventures. I love the people there so much and I love sharing it with all of you!