This is why Light Up Hope has a piece of my heart.
Years ago, I was a first-grade teacher in California. I was fresh out of college and was hired to teach in a small school where 90% of my students were the children of migrant farm workers. These parents worked very hard all day for very little money.
The school received special funding for supplies and most of the children were enrolled in the free lunch program. For them, a mere human need – food – was a “luxury.” For many of the children, lunch was the only real meal they would receive that day. This was not because they were neglected. Their parents simply could not afford to fill the refrigerator with food.
I saw firsthand how hunger can affect a child’s ability to learn. Hunger makes it hard ot focus, hard to retain information, hard to learn. So I started stocking my supply closet with granola bars and fruit. I also started buying school supplies during Back to School sales, to use as “prizes” in the classroom. I loved to see how the kids’ faces would light up when they chose a box of crayons or a pack of colored pencils from the prize box. It was something so simple, something that my own children too often take for granted.
Then I had the parent-teacher conference that would forever change my life. I was sitting at my table, paperwork in my folder, ready to meet the parents of one of my favorite students. They sat down and informed me that they did not need to see the papers. I was the teacher, and they trusted whatever I was teaching. They only wanted to know how their child was behaving. I quickly told them that their son was one of my best students. He always put in his best effort and was doing excellent in class.
They got teary-eyed and thanked me. The mother thanked me for the granola bars, and the father thanked me for teaching. He looked at me and said, “You are giving him the way out. You are giving him a better life. We know he is meant for greater things, and education is the only way out.”
I held these words with me for the rest of my teaching career.
Every child deserves food. Every child deserves a chance at education. It breaks my heart to see the children in Kenya without food and school supplies, without state funding for schools like we have here. These children want to learn. They want to better themselves. They just need the opportunity.
Our donations can make a difference. Our donations can give these children and young adults the tools they need to create a better life.
~Kristy, Light Up Hope Supporter
Won’t you join us in raising funds to help children like Kristy’s students, who are living in the worst kind of poverty, where they don’t know what they will eat each day, or whether they will eat at all?
This week, we are focusing on raising funds for our LIFT – Linking Individual Families To. . .food, education, and health care – program. We hope to add food assistance for our LIFT families in Nairobi’s Kwa Njenga slum. But we need to raise $3000 for this program alone by Dec. 31, in order to do it.
Our donations DO make a difference. A big difference. In fact, just $1 per day provides lunch for a child at Gifted Prince School in Kwa Njenga. There is not much you can buy in the US for $1.
Join us to help alleviate hunger and provide education to impoverished students in Kenya.
Thank you for your giving heart and willingness to help those living in extreme poverty.