Before we left we threw a party in order to raise money for soccer balls, polaroid film (most kids have never had their picture taken), crayons and paper and suture (stitches). It was a huge success, between financial donations (some snuck into our bags when weren't looking) & physical donations we were able to take:
~4000 strands of suture, 8 soccer balls, a pile of crayons and paper, hundreds of polaroid shots, many more miscellaneous supplies and a heaping pile of love.
To be honest, my heart was too proud to ask people to donate, I fought it until the weekend of the party. However, this proud heart of mine was melted as so many friends and family shared how they felt about our trip. We didn't just receive "stuff" to take, we received commitments to be prayed for and the opportunity to see our friends' hearts more deeply.
THE PARTY // Our goal was to allow friends to donate what they felt comfortable with, no one looking over their shoulders. So we put out buckets they could drop their cash or goodies in. Our other desire was to involve the kids as much as possible. They are the ones who love more simply. They "get it" even when my heart is still wrestling. Even our youngest friends (who eagerly brought soccer balls to share) were able to grasp the concept that "Aaron was going to help fix the kids boo boos in Africa". I mean... break my heart!
1. BAR CART // We had a self serve bar cart. Friends could make a Pimm's Cups (see recipe at ginger&birch), an old fashioned or, of course, crack open a juice box.
2. PHOTO BOOTH // Our photo booth had a hidden silverback gorilla (hopefully I'll share pictures of real ones when we get back) . The kids loved using the polaroid camera more-so than getting their pictures taken. It was perfect to see a glimpse of the excitement we hoped to see from the kids here in Rwanda.
3. FOURSQUARE // It may surprise you that this was the biggest hit of the night. When you play a game like this you can't help but laugh at yourself. New friendships were formed over this little game from our playground years.
These are our friends (so many who donated were not able to make the party). We are all have different interests, incomes, dreams, hobbies & family lives. However, we all have helped make life in the hills and hospital of Kibogora a little better. That's kind of cool, right!?