Right! So I know you are thinking-um she got the sports really mixed up! Actually, I am going to twist and abuse this phrase in several ways before we are finished here!
When we began planning our first golf tournament last year, the intent was to raise general funds to feed and educate the children in Soweto. However, soon after the date was picked and advertising was underway, a greater need pressed hard on our hearts. Soweto needed a well. As most of you are aware, the initial proceeds from the tournament allowed the members of Soweto to begin drilling. As you all know, the well flows with clean water and a community will never be the same.
As the time drew close to begin planning this year’s tournament, we brainstormed for several weeks as to what project we needed to most raise funds for. Going back to our three basic goals for 2010, which were to provide food for every child every day, provide temporary housing for those in need, and provide a small stipend for our teachers, we realized we needed to raise the funds to secure the housing for the kids. As you may have read previously, the most in need live in a small “dorm” behind the church. Taking on the responsibility of caring for 14 children full-time without secure housing is a bit risky. Our hope was to raise enough funds to make sure that the building was completely owned by the mission in Kenya. Owning this building would not only provide the security of knowing that the kids have a place to stay, but it would also allow the team to renovate as needed. In addition, the unused “rooms” could be rented out for a profit to the school. This would allow the administration some independence in meeting the needs on the ground in Soweto. We thought it a worthy project.
We needed to “bat a thousand” in the sense that we needed to exceed our own expectations, but in reality we needed a bit more than a thousand! Actually, we needed to “drive,” “chip,” and “putt” our way to a net profit of $8,000 plus legal fees. The legal fees are simply to make sure that the mortgage is actually free from outside debt before the final payment is made.
Thanks to the amazing recruiting skills of Everett Smith (our golf tournament coordinator), the awesome volunteers of We Are Kenya, and the incredibly generous support of our golfers and sponsors; on September 25th, The 2nd Annual Swing for Kids “batted a thousand” and swung its way to a total that exceeded our expectations and our need! The final count is not in, but we are all humbled by the way sponsors and golfers gave of themselves to meet the needs of kids they may never meet.
In the next few weeks, I will introduce you to the lives you touched. I’ll begin with Dorcas, the girl who never smiled. It might have seemed like a small project, but to a little girl whose bed was a trash heap, whose food was someone else’s waste, and whose heart was closed to love, the gifts given by our sponsors, golfers, volunteers, and of the countless hours by Everett, translate to dignity, security, and a future. Talk about “batting a thousand!”