The 2019 Sun of Hope Lenten Campaign
Although families come in all configurations, ABVM’s most unique one consists of 43 children who reside in Africa. The Holy Spirit Sisters (for their 50th anniversary) founded the Sun of Hope Orphanage for children whose lives have been greatly affected by the AIDS epidemic. Because few Tanzanian children, especially girls, are able to attend and succeed in secondary school, the Sisters’ goal was to provide these children with a strong foundation in education, as well as in faith and love, in order to break the cycle of poverty. The Sisters trusted that God would multiple their limited resources to ensure their success, but they couldn’t have imagined that assistance would come from a group of strangers on the other side of the world.
When Lisa and Kevin Shire heard about the orphanage from the Holy Spirit Sisters living in our convent, they also stepped out in faith. They felt the parishioners of ABVM might be willing to expand their already generous support of charitable causes to include these children. Rather than simply ask to have a special collection at Masses, they envisioned asking parishioners to select a child (or children) to “sponsor” and to underwrite the cost of modestly priced items that the children needed, such as school supplies and material goods. In return, the sponsors would get pictures, updates, drawings, letters, and videos.
That initial “seed” of an idea has produced an abundant harvest. Individuals, families, and even parish organizations have become sponsors. When people wanted to provide additional support at Christmastime for the children—but extreme custom taxes made shipping gifts unrealistic–a “Christmas Campaign” (held in October) was added. In just three years, the parish has donated almost $60,000!
Once the material and personal needs of all the individual students are met, the remaining funds are used for group items like daily food, electronic tablets, fruit trees and now livestock! Through ABVM’s generosity (including donations made in memory of deceased loved ones) the Sisters are in the process of building a barn to accommodate their purchase of two cows, so soon milk will be available for each child on a daily basis. All of this is made possible because of Assumption parishioners and friends!
Updates from the orphanage are provided to sponsors throughout the year and also in every issue of
News from the Pews.
Here’s how you can take part in this year’s Lenten campaign, which is running March 2nd through April 28th:
1) In the back of church you will find the displays of the children who currently reside at the orphanage. The children’s pictures are also included in this issue’s article,
“Meet the children at Sun of Hope!”
2) Please look the pictures over and decide which child(ren) you would like to sponsor. Children are not limited to only sponsor–each child can have multiple sponsors. Don’t forget to take a sponsor form located on the displays.
3) Take the sponsor form home and fill it out–you choose the amount you would like to donate. Place the completed form with your
one-time donation in an envelope. 100% of all donations go directly to Sun of Hope!
4) Drop your donation in the box as you enter church until April 28th.
5) You will receive a picture at the end of the project–look for an announcement in the Church Bulletin for photo distribution dates. The picture is just a little reminder that you are making a difference in the life of that little child you chose to sponsor.
If you have any questions about the project or would like more information, please contact Lisa Shire at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Lenten Campaign Kickoff Weekend