Saturday, September 19, 2009

Our son is dreaming big for Uganda!

So, I've debated putting this up on our blog for various reasons. The biggest is simply because of the fact that people might not agree with allowing a child to ask for money (you know...tugging at peeps heart strings). But, in this instance this is the real deal for our son, a real dream that he is pursuing and I hope and pray that he is able to discover that dreams can become reality if and when you try and you walk with Jesus in them.
This past May was our son's 7th birthday. My sis and I made him a "playground" birthday cake as inspiration for him to continue dreaming big!!Ever since O has been home from Liberia he has talked about wanting to be a pilot and a builder. More and more his dreams of becoming a builder have grown and have evolved into building something very specific. He has told us over and over that he would like to build a playground in Africa. At first I wasn't quite sure if it was a passing phase or something he really wanted to do. It's been almost 2 yrs now and after our last trip to Uganda for 7 months, his interest to bring fun to the kids of Uganda has become a daily conversation.
O and I have talked about what it would take to be able to build a swing set and/or teeter-tater and raising money was the first step. We brain stormed about the different fundraisers he could do and he liked the idea of a lemonade stand for his first attempt! When we moved into our new house this summer, our small church group called Bridestone and family came to lend us their time and muscles. O and his friends set up his stand in our front yard and sold all his lemonade!! He made $23.00. We also visited their Grammie in Michigan this summer and she gave each grand kid $5.00 to spend on some toys for the beach. O couldn't find anything he wanted so he decided to put his money towards the playground, bringing him up to $28.00. My good friend, Laura gave O and his sister, F each $5 to buy something fun and both O and F wanted to put their money in the "playground fund". So the final total as of today, Sept. 19, is $38.00!!

O is on his way to building a playground in Uganda with the help of friends along the way. Our good friends, Kami and Jeremy ( just returned from Liberia after building of a school/home for the kids of Addy's Hope. They also built a playground for the children with the help of some loving friends who donated the money. You can check it out by clicking here

Jeremy has offered to help O pick out the hardware for a swing set and share his knowledge on how to build one in Africa. So O's next step after raising money is to purchase the gear, like seats, chains, eye hooks, etc... We will only take over what we need and what we may not be able to find in Uganda. There have been many learning opportunities with this project including expressing/writing his feelings, practicing handwriting, counting money, planning and organizing, and learning what motivation and perseverance looks like. Below is O's final draft of his "playground project". It's a bit hard to read because it was written in pencil but worth reading!

So, here it is. O is asking for your help to bring joy, laughter, and fun to kids in Uganda. As many of you know, Jeff and I, together with our church community in Fort Collins, are working in a village in North West Uganda called Ombachi. We hope to continue our community development projects once we return and O would like to join us by building the first playground in Ombachi. A few bucks goes a long way, especially when we join with one another. So, if you would like to donate to O's playground project you can email me at and I can send you our address. I know O will be so excited to actually see his dreams become reality!! Thank you!!