SEP–DEC 2009

10/16 10/19

Toronto, Canada

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....I was also involved with issues of hunger and homelessness. On July 4, 1999, I read a newspaper article with a picture of Zambian children and a caption that said, “These are some of the 100 children being fed by this organization, which has 2,000 children registered.” I was horrified at the thought of how a person would decide which 100 kids eat every day.

What was the next step? It’s always homework. I started going on the internet and reading books and finding out everything I could about Zambia. Then I talked with other organizations working there, and they tried to convince me to work for them. But by that time, I’d decided that feeding a child one meal a month is not doing much for anyone. I wanted to give these children food, shelter, education. So I wrote a letter to about 20 people who had supported me in other endeavors, raised $2,500, and flew to Zambia. I stayed for two weeks and pulled together a board of directors.

What mistakes did you make? I believed that I’d be able to write a few grant proposals, pull together a couple of hundred thousand dollars, and just go do it. But I have yet to receive any major funding from foundations or corporations. Many of the initial donors are still supporting me. And I’ve learned to keep my focus on these beautiful kids. You can’t allow yourself the luxury of being overwhelmed, because then you can’t do anything.

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