Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Shipment of Blessings

Last September, we shipped nearly 1 ton (yes, 2,000 pounds!) of donated school supplies, teaching materials, books, clothing, sewing machines and more to the villages of Seela and Mwika in Tanzania.

It was a long journey! From Wisconsin to Iowa, boxes of donations then loaded into a shipping container. After 3 months of transport on the high seas, entry into the port of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, processing through customs, and another month of ground transportation within Tanzania, this shipment of blessings finally reached its destination.

And now, a gift back to us – a few wonderful photos and another email with so many thanks…this one from Mama Itikisaeli Sikawa – one of the 19 teachers at Seela Primary School.

“Its a great pleassure to get another chance of saying halloh (Habari yako wewe na familia na marafiki). Here at Seela Primary School, all teachers and pupils are extremly happy proceding with daily activities. Futhermore we received the rewards you sent to us. Teachers and pupils received the boxes with great joy seeing you (imaginary) though you were not there physically. How happy everry one felt. These shows how you love us. We do the same to you. Every one holded his or her reward in hand saying thanks Sue, GOD bless you. We also share the rewards with our neihbours school Sing'isi Primary School, and of course they thanked a lot saying may GOD bless you and all donars participated. We would like to say Good Easter to you and your family, pastor and all friends.”

Heartfelt thanks for the amazing generosity of all who made this shipment of love possible, including:

• The students of Ben Franklin School in Menomonee Falls for donating over 800 pounds of school supplies.

• The Girls Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast for making more than 400 Swahili/English textbooks for the students of Seela Primary School, and also for their generous school supply donations.

• The local dentists (We love Dr. Timothy Poser!), Girl Scout troops and youth groups who donated more than 1,200 toothbrushes – special thanks to the Freistadt 4H and the Germantown Youth Futures for their help with this project.

• Both adults and children, with a labor of love, who have sewn hundreds of fabric school bags for the students in Tanzania. Special thanks to those who donated their hand-sewn school bags through Bigsby's Sewing Center (Brookfield) and Holy Cross Lutheran Church (Menomonee Falls). Together, you have touched the hearts of both teachers and the children in Tanzania.

• The kind individuals who are helping to support the women of our Sewing Co-ops in the villages of Mwika and Seela. Many thanks for the sewing machine donations (from Sophie Schaarschmidt and Janet Wendtland), and for the abundanance of thread (a donation from Lori V's mom!). Thanks also to so many who donated yarn for the women of the Mwika Sewing Coop to use in knitting sweaters for the children of that village. Through all of these gifts you give the women employment and income opportunities so that they, too, can care for their children.

• The many generous friends, especially kind-hearted co-workers at Northwestern Mutual (Milwaukee), who helped donate over 600 pounds of clothing and shoes for not only the children, but also for the men and women in the villages.

Special thanks also to NAI-MLG Commercial (Milwaukee) and to Holy Cross Lutheran Church (Menomonee Falls) for the generous and much appreciated donations towards shipping costs both here and in Tanzania, and to UPS Corporate for their generosity and assistance with the transportation of the donations from Wisconsin to the shipping center in Iowa.

It is a testament to the amazing things we can accomplish to help the precious children of Tanzania when we join together with our hearts in unity.

Asante sana! Thank you very much!

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