Friday, September 26, 2008

Where money means everything

Supporting education in Africa continues to be vital

Express Staff Writer

Two guides pose with Emmy O’Reilly, Lexi and Maddi DuPont and Theresa Grant on a fundraising climb on Kilimanjaro this summer.

Together, Wood River Valley students Emmy O'Reilly and Madi and Lexi DuPont raised $8,000 for Make A Difference Now before heading to Africa to work with the non-profit organization.

"In many ways their journey really started here in the valley just asking individuals from the community to support their climb," said Theresa Grant, founder and director of Make A Difference Now. "I truly love our community and how we all come together to support each other. The $8,000 that they raised sent 22 of the children at my orphanage in Tanzania to school for a year."

Additionally, while the girls were in Africa they painted a government school, taught English, worked on the school's newsletter, worked on the MAD Jewelry Program and participated in an AIDS workshop. They also helped the children with the pen pal program, worked on the Read for Life program that focuses on literacy and took part in the Kilimanjaro Fundraiser Climb.

"Their work was endless," Grant said.

Additionally, students at the Wood River High School raised more than $600, enough to build a library at the Center for Street Children that Grant supports in Tanzania.

"None of the work that is done is done by me. It's through the power of God," she said. "I have so much joy that comes from being around the children. They actually feed my soul. You don't have to travel all the way to Tanzania to make a difference. It can happen right here in the valley, but still change the world."

In fact, last weekend Grant and some volunteers put on a garage sale and raised $700, which was just enough to send two more orphaned children to school for an entire year, including two meals a day, transportation and an excellent education at a private school. Grant will hold another sale Oct. 10-12, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at 40 Buttercup Rd., just south of Indian Creek.

Items may be dropped off for the sale no later than Wednesday, Oct. 8. Items should be marked with name, phone number and a price.

"We would love furniture, bikes and appliances," Grant said. "Clothes are also welcome. And if you have time to help work the garage sale, I would greatly appreciate help organizing, setting up tables and finding children to make and sell food items for the children such as cookies and lemonade."

For information call Grant at 309-2100, or go to

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