Almost a year ago to date, I traveled to Zimbabwe and South Africa, with a team of volunteers from Help End Local Poverty, to learn more about what we could do there. There are a lot of cool things going on, but a specific project I want to mention, is an orphanage called Musha Wevana, which is located in Marondera, Zimbabwe. As an organization, HELP has been HELPing support Musha for several years.
Two weekends ago, my small group at Soma, banded together for the Garage Sale of the Year, benefiting HELP. We wanted to raise money for a project for Musha Wevana, and decided to bring our entire neighborhood along for this journey.
We collected items for about five months, from people that we knew and by putting out a flier on our neighborhood list serve. About half our items came from people who just live a few blocks away. We ended up with some amazing treasures like a set of golf clubs in a vintage powder blue bag, 3 TV's, various pieces of furniture, a trash compactor, clothes shoes and housewares galore...and check out this rad paddle board! We akso had, not one but two wedding dresses! You can see them in the back right corner.
We started out around 7am, putting signs up in the neighborhood. We had also advertised in several spots, so bright and early we had people waiting outside for us. But despite this, we wanted to go the extra mile...you know what really gets people to come buy your stuff? Oh yeah. Free food.
Larry, our small group leader, and local grill master...did not disappoint. We handed out about fifty dogs, bags of chips, and bottled waters to our customers who came through the sale. We had so many families come through, and this was a great way to engage the ones who weren't doing the shopping.
We also had a table set up with pictures of some of the kiddos HELP helps. Many conversations were had with our customers about what exactly we were doing. You can see more of them here. In fact, child sponsorships are a huge, huge, huge way you can HELP!
As I type up this post, we have so far raised $670.75. How great is that! We expect we might sell one or two more big items, so this could very well hit the 700 mark. We are so blessed and grateful for the support from our neighbors and friends who helped us make this a success.
As a bonus, we got a rare visit last week, from Steven Nicholson. Steven and his wife Amy are on staff with HELP and live in Cape Town, South Africa. They are in the States right now doing some community fundraising and storytelling, so we jumped at this chance to have him come to town and talk about how we could use our garage sale money.
A few years back, HELP raised money for a chicken coop for Musha Weavana. We found out that our kiddos weren't getting meat on a regular basis...well on any kind of basis. In fact, when we were there last year, grocery stores had just opened back up...they had just been restocking their shelves. For a long time, we had to truck in food from Johannesburg, across the border. Conditions were devastating.
We learned from Steven, that it's time, again, to buy new chickens for the coop. And that's where we wanted our money to go. An immediate need, HELPed, by a garage sale!
Let me just take this one step cooler for you. We are about twenty child sponsorships away in Zimbabwe, from being able to hire someone locally, that we have a relationship with, to start a very special program within Musha Wevana. This program will teach about entrepreneurship. There are three business ideas that our local friends have, to start within each of the homes at Musha, to teach the kids skills they can take with them. You see, once they are 18, they are no longer able to stay in the orphanage. And part of HELP's goal is to bring renewal to a community. We aim to equip our kids, with ways to give back, and to also support themselves.
So the businesses. One of the businesses that will be started is raising chickens! So not only will our money be able to go towards food and sustainability, but our kids will have a hands on experience in how to feed, care and nurture these birds over a long period of time.
What a great way to HELP! They can take the skills they have learned here and use them to find work, or continue their own business once they have left Musha Weavana.
We are so blessed and grateful to have been able to participate in this HUGE thing God is doing. It's amazing that He can work in our hearts here in Texas, while He is doing halfway across the world in the southern regions of Africa. And they are both so incredibly important to Him.
Special thank you to Riverside Meadows, for being an awesome neighborhood, to Jana Gross, for all the amazing pictures, and to our countless friends and family who supported our garage sale by donating and buying our stuff. And also for just stopping by to drop off some money. Every single cent counts!
Moving forward, here are a few ways you can HELP.
1. Have your own Garage Sale! They are so much fun, and a great way to get involved with the people who live right around you. Have a cookout! Have a party! Invite others to participate in renewal work that is happening around the world. You can pick from a lot of different projects to HELP. You can get started here.
2. Sponsor a Child. This is huge. From experience and seeing this happen personally, I can tell you that 100% of these fees go to buying food, clothing, school uniforms, paying school fees, after school tutoring...and soon in Zimbabwe, entrepreneurship.
Thanks for reading!