I made this!

Abundance is created when we have the sense to choose community, to come together to celebrate and share our common store.    —Parker J. Palmer

Cause Canada KIDS Sulamania School - Sierra Leone

How do you feel when you write a cheque to an international cause?

Do you feel that you’re doing the right thing? Do you wonder if your money will get to where it’s supposed to go? Do any results of your donation seem unreal or disconnected from your life here in Canada?

I feel all of those things. But on Sunday, I received reassurance.

In the past I’ve contributed to the Trinity Jubilee Foundation, usually as a memorial to a friend who passed away. I have a lot of friends who hold the foundation dear because it took root through my church in 2000—the year of Jubilee.  (The foundation began through our congregation but operates separately from the church.)

The foundation works on a “pay it forward” principle. It’s all about passing our many blessings forward to others in need.

Over the years I have heard of the good work they do redistributing wealth in Canada and around the world.  I heard, in particular, about their work with CAUSE Canada: building a school in Africa, making sure the students are fed, and teaching children how to grow their own food.

But it all seemed so unreal and disconnected from me somehow.

Then, on Sunday, Bev Carrick from CAUSE Canada came to speak. She showed us pictures of the school we helped to build. She showed us the vegetable garden that is part of the school curriculum. She showed us the faces of boys and girls (now being educated in equal numbers, thank God) in the classroom. She made it real for me.

As I listened to her speak and looked at the visuals, I recaptured a feeling I used to have when my children were younger. When I met them after their pre-school playgroups, they ran out the door waving their craft projects over their heads. “Look, Mom! I made this!” they shouted.

I had that same feeling of proud creativity on Sunday morning when I heard Bev Carrick speak. I saw children smiling, and I thought, “I helped to do that.” I saw a colourful blue and pink school standing in a place where nothing was before, and I  thought “I made this.” Not by myself, of course. But every little bit counts.

http://www.cause.ca/

http://www.trinityjubileefoundation.com/

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About Arlene Somerton Smith

Writer, laughing thinker, miner of inspirational insights, sports fan, and community volunteer

Posted on February 8, 2011, in Inspiration, outreach and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I was fortunate to share a meal with Bev and the other TJF members on Saturday evening, after which I have even more admiration for her. On graduating as a nurse, she felt ‘called by God’ to help others beyond Canada’s borders, and soon found herself the sole medical practitioner in an isolated African village with zero amenities. And she’s never looked back. The smiles on the faces of the school childred say it all.

    • I’m pondering taking up her offer to go there and see for myself. That could be my 50 adventure . . .

      • Hi Arlene,
        For my 50th birthday I built a school in Koromansilaia, Northern Province, Sierra Leone. You can read all about it on Facebook – “Knight School -Sierra Leone. I have since been to SL twice with Bev. As a school teacher here in Ontario, I have offered some assistance with language arts and mathematics curriculum;providing workshops to teachers at 5 schools there. Take Bev up on her offer. It is a wonderful exeperience and you will meet some remarkable people.

      • Sounds great, Betty. My 50th is coming up . . .

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