Wiring money to Rwanda: what a way to end 2013

So, this happened today —


In case you don’t speak Western Union, RWF = Rwandan Francs.

For the sixth year in a row, Cheese-Its have come together to sponsor the education of a young Rwandan whom I met while I was over there in 2007, whose heart-wrenching story stuck with me, and today, I got to wire $1200 to Rwanda! What a great way to end 2013.

Patience dancing

Patience giving me a tour of his house

I ask people to pledge and collect if we get enough. This year, not only did we get enough, we got double what we needed! And it only took about four weeks: one email to past sponsors, two inclusions in my newsletters, two inclusions in an email to my alumni group, one Facebook post, and one tweet. Not bad, especially this time of year when seemingly every other email or post is someone asking for money for something.

Helping the advancement of another human being is in itself enough goodness.

The fact that none of the sponsors (save for myself) have met Patience lifts the generosity to another level.

The fact that some of the sponsors have never met Patience OR me elevates this outpouring of support to… well, I can’t even think of an appropriate way to describe such angels. Some of them are in the my alumni group and thus know me through my emails (I coordinate the volunteer-arm of our Chapter). Some of them are friends of friends who saw our mutual friend share Patience’s story. Some of them just stumbled upon Patience’s story on my website. And honestly, I’m not sure where some of them came from.

But yet, here they are, year after year —

  • 2013, 31 people, $1200 ($600 was the goal; $600 will go towards this year’s education, $100 will go to gifts to Patience, his sister and his mother, and $500 will go to next year’s education)
  • 2012, 29 people, $600
  • 2011, 31 people, $750
  • 2010, 21 people, $400
  • 2009, 19 people, $400
  • 2008, 30 people, $400
Reactions when I asked past sponsors to sponsor again —
  • Thanks for organizing! Merry Christmas!
  • Heck yeah, I’m in for $50. 
  • Count me in for $30.00. So awesome! Thank you for keeping me on the list for donations.
  • Thanks for the opportunity. It feels good to help Patience.
  • Sign me up, Saya, same as last year? 
  • Hi! I’m in for $25 and happy to double that if needed to meet the goal. 
Reactions when I asked why people decided to give to this cause —
  • I love knowing who will actually receive my help. I love that it is a child and that it will further his education.
  • Because Saya has met this young man and told his story. Every cent she raises is sent to him so he can continue his education. 
  • To honor my parents who provided excellent education opportunities to me and many other children.
  • I was touched and moved by Patience’s story. I helped last year and am committed to keep doing what I can for this sweet boy.
  • It seems very tangible since Patience is a real person and I can see his picture. You also make it easy to do.  
  • I totally trust Saya and know that this is a noble cause, that all money will go to his education.
Reactions when I let everyone know we reached our goal —
  • Thanks for doing this. glad we made it!
  • Hurray for Patience, Hurray for Team Patience!! And HURRAY for you!!!
  • Yay….this is great news! 
Thank you, Cheese-Its. On this note of strangers helping strangers and adding such beauty to this world, I wish you and yours a Happy New Year!
There is one other fundraiser which I’m currently championing, raising funds for a fifteen year old girl who is battling leukemia (I do not know Jadisha personally, she is the cousin of the volunteer makeup artist for Fear Experiment, which occurred on December 14th)Since I blogged about Jadisha four weeks ago, donations have gone from 9 people giving about $500 over three months to 58 people giving $4290 in a month; amazing! But she still has a lot to go, needing $20,710 in the next seventeen days. If after reading her story, you feel you can help, any amount or any sharing of her story would be most appreciated!