SCOTT WILLIS LEGACY FOUNDATION UPDATE APRIL 2019
Seventeen volunteers for the Scott Willis Legacy Foundation are preparing to head back to Africa on May 27th to finish the projects at Mama Jane’s, visit the children and Shades of Hope and travel into vulnerable communities to deliver Beau’s Bundles. Three in our group, John, Tommy and Luke will be heading over a week earlier to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro with Respicius. We wish them luck as they head to the roof of Africa – the highest freestanding mountain in the world.
This will be our third trip to Africa in as many years. It’s hard to believe all that has been accomplished in Scott’s memory with your help and financial support. We are returning to Mama Jane’s Orphanage to finish the projects started there in October 2018. There will be a lot of construction projects as we build a permanent home for Mike Squared Sports as well as a rooster pen for Micah’s Chicken Coop. We have a lot of painting to do including a tribute wall and scoreboard for Healy Field. We will bring supplies for Susanne’s Salon, Eileen’s Sewing Center and Helen’s Closet.
We will be painting and outfitting Sara’s Kitchen and Pop’s Pantry. We will be building Connor’s Toy Boxes for Mama Jane’s and Shades of Hope School and delivering them filled with toys. We are painting a mural for Wyatt’s Garden and have collected nearly 300 packs of seeds to take over. We will finish Hayden’s Playground by building a box around the swing set and monkey bars. It is our goal to finish all the projects at Mama Jane’s as well as help her with some of her other priorities.
We have been so excited about “Beau’s Bundles.” Family and friends have spent the past 6 months collecting cloth diapers, baby clothes, formula, bottles and other needs for to be given out to moms and babies at orphanages, hospitals and rural communities. Principal Noreen Heffner and St. Casimir’s Catholic School children over-filled 20 bags with supplies and we visited this impressive school which does so much to help the community. Members of the Prayer Shawl Ministry at Sacred Heart Church of Glyndon, Marylee McCusker, Lee Ann Walsh and many of their friends and family have made almost 300 comfort dolls to be included in each bag. Scott’s Aunt Kim had people fill bags for her birthday in lieu of gifts. Acadia Lankford put up a sign in the ice cream store where she works and collected items. Her grandmother, Susan Skiles, and so many others took bags and asked others to fill them. Katie and Brian Benden and their families filled many bags and Katie even created a link on Amazon for those too busy to shop. We know that in Beau’s name, so many babies will have the supplies they need.
We can’t wait to return to Shades of Hope School. It currently has close to 80 children from extremely poor backgrounds. Scott’s family and friends currently sponsor 9 of the 11 children that live full time at the school. We are grateful that our dear friends Anna and Rick are now sponsoring Najima. Najima has some medical issues and she is now thriving at Shades of Hope. We will be providing a wheelchair for her to better meet her needs. She is the latest child to benefit from the kindness of our donors. Anna and Rick have been introduced to this beautiful and brave child and we k now that they are planning to visit her one day in Arusha. Steve and James continue to do an amazing job operating this school. Through our Valentines of Hope Project we were able to supply food for the children for 10 weeks. Through our Dress a Student program we were able to provide 11 uniforms. Their needs are many and our funds are limited but we are so grateful that we were able to help them with educating children as well as this special project:
BODDICKER-CHARIPAR LENTEN PROJECT: Lisa and Mike Boddicker requested donations from family and friends as part of their Lenten sacrifice. The Boddicker and Charipar families and their friends raised the funds needed to provide a clean water source to the school. Shades of Hope was able to tie into the local government water pipes and bring clean water directly to Sara’s Kitchen as well as the bathrooms. The funds also provided for a 5000-liter water holding tank with stand which guaranteed that the children will have safe clean water at their disposal. This gift is life changing not only for the children but also for their families, as children that are not living at Shades of Hope will be able to take clean water home as well. The Boddicker and Charipar families have supported Scott’s Legacy from the beginning and we are grateful and blessed by their kindness. Please visit our website to read more about this project and the people who supported it.
The cornerstone of Mama Jane’s Orphanage is Sara’s Kitchen. It honors the beloved Sara Stepanian and her husband and daughter donated the funds for its construction. It’s beautiful inside and we cannot wait to make the outside as beautiful on this trip. This week, we surprised the Stepanians with “Sara’s Kitchen at Shades of Hope.” The school needed a kitchen as well and it is constructed, painted yellow in Sara’s favorite color and we will stencil “Sara’s Kitchen” on it when we return in May. The Boddicker-Charipar water project has been tied into the kitchen. We know that Sara is smiling in heaven as her kitchens are now feeding 45 children a day at Mama Janes and 78 children a day at Shades of Hope in addition to volunteers and staff.
We continue to be graced by the kindness of so many – especially those to whom we have no direct connection. This was evident when we were looking for a solution to provide soccer goals for both Healy Field at Mama Jane’s and Shades of Hope. At an athletic complex in Glendale, CA we saw sturdy and portable soccer goals made by Fold-A-Goal. We thought this could be perfect as they need to be transported by us and cannot be shipped to Africa. I contacted the company asking for help and in a few hours Aaron reached out to say they would be donating 4 goals! There will be a pair of goals for Mama Jane’s and a pair for Shades of Hope. “Anything for the kids,” he said! By the following day, 24’x8’ soccer goals were on their way from California to Maryland with shipping kindly donated by Mollie Bracigliano at MAB Celebrity Services.
We found Sunshine Designs in Forest Hill, MD with an internet search. They got great reviews on Yelp. Kate met with the owner to get aprons embroidered with Sara’s Kitchen to take with us to Africa. During their encounter, the owner asked about Sara’s Kitchen and Scott’s Legacy. When asked the price he said we should consider it his donation to our project and he was glad to help. Thank you!
Scott’s Legacy is expanding into Zambia where it will work with the Flamboyant Special School. There are currently 84 children with physical and mental special needs being served by this remarkable school. It was founded by Sr. Andrea with the support of the Mazabuka Association for the Disabled, Irish Aid, Mercy Support and others. Sr. Claude, our dear friend and former nun at our grade school – St. Clare’s – has been helping Flamboyant since 2012. We reached out to her to learn of their needs and their greatest need right now is new uniforms as the current ones are tattered and they are moving into cold season. Our goal is to raise $5040 to supply 84 new uniforms and accessories. We currently have raised the funds for 18 uniforms. Please consider donating funds for a uniform. We cannot post photographs of the children for privacy reasons.
We have also helped fund a beautiful garden that the school had built. They have rededicated the garden “Scott’s Garden” and we know that it will provide much needed food for these children and their families for years to come.
And finally, we again want to thank our dear friend Mark Butler. The Mark L. Butler Foundation provided the initial donation and a four-year commitment to launch Scott’s Legacy. This year his funds will help with our projects as well as the logistics required for the group of 17 to travel to and throughout Africa. We are forever grateful.
Thank you for your support as we continue our efforts to help vulnerable children. Whether you’ve made a donation, filled a Beau’s Bundle, knitted a comfort doll or passed the word along, we appreciate your love and support. We can’t wait to share photos during our journey and update you on our return as well. Please visit our website: www.scottslegacy.com. Asante Sana!