We helped the brother, can we help the sister?

Benigne Iradukunda age 12 copy

Benigne age 12, Patience’s sister

I’d be lying if I said that this was year seven of raising money for Patience, the young Rwandan I met in 2007 when I went over there for work. Due to Cheese-Its’ immense generosity last year, we raised double what we needed and thus were able to sponsor his education for 2014 and 2015, plus send some money for Christmas gifts for him and his family.

So we don’t need to raise money for him this year.

When his great-aunt, Sister Anna, who was my host in Rwanda and is now principal of an elementary school in the capital of Kigali, visited Chicago this Fall, she was incredibly touched by the welcome she received, when I curated an evening with her at Mac & Cheese Productions —

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Some of the Cheese-Its who’ve sponsored Patience over the years with Sister Anna

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It was a great honor to be greeted by your such good and supportive people thanks to your energetic leadership. Thank you for having me. I and my family owe you a lots. Benigne is now out of school and visiting me in Kigali so I take this opportunity to send you this picture. She just took the National Testing and is ready to start Secondary School in January 2015, hopefully she scores high so to be accepted in a school of excellence.

Sister Anna asked if Cheese-Its could sponsor Benigne’s education this year, since Patience is taken care of. As in the past I made no promises, told her I would ask, and if we raised all of the money needed – $600 – I would wire it over.

So dear Cheese-Its, whaddya say? Can we keep our giving streak alive?

I know there are many causes to give to and everyone is asking for money this time of year, so totally understandable if sponsoring her isn’t in the cards at this time. BUT if you can spare $5, $10, $25 for Benigne, let me know here. I’ll only collect if we make our $600 goal.

I don’t know about you, but I love knowing exactly where and to whom my money is going, and very much appreciate that what little I’m able to give, when amassed with all the other Cheese-It donations, really does make a difference. Being able to say I’ve helped someone receive a quality education that he otherwise wouldn’t have gotten feels pretty good in my soul.

Especially when I did it for the cost of a Venti latte.

Benigne’s turn!

UPDATE: We did it! In less than 24 hours. 29 donors raised $825; $600 will go towards Benigne’s 2015 education and $225 towards Christmas presents for the family. Thanks Cheese-Its, you rock!

Benigne in 2007 when I first met her (Patience in the background)