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Martha Van Trees' Fundraiser:

Global Camps Africa

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EVENT DATE: Oct 15, 2013

Martha Van Trees


Since my older sister gave me my first coloring book, I have been blessed with the talent and the opportunity to be creative and practice many arts and crafts. I believe that every child should have the opportunity to express themselves through the arts and I am proud to have been able to see my own children and grandchildren develop their talents in that direction. I believe that the ability to create is one of the greatest gifts given to us and one of the ways to move closer to the ultimate Creator, no matter by what name you may call him or her.

However, there are children in the world who are not afforded the opportunity to create works from their imagination. In fact, they are seldom afforded the opportunity to just be children. They are forced by various circumstances to become adults before their time.

An organization that strives to rectify those instances is based right here in Reston, Virginia. They are Global Camps Africa. GCA operates camps for children in South Africa. Children who attend the GCA camps have had their lives in some way affected by AIDS…either a parent or family member has been afflicted and perhaps died from HIV or the child has contracted the disease. Many of the children are orphans who have been sent to live with relatives and there they suffer the most base kind of physical, sexual, and mental abuse. Global Camps Africa educates these children in the ways of preventing HIV; an education that is sorely lacking in even many developing countries. They also empower them to stand up for themselves against their abusers. But just as important, in my mind, the camps allow these children to be children: to run and play games, to swim, to paint and draw, to create.

I recently attended a fund raiser held by GCA. I was not able to contribute financially to their cause as I would have liked. My heart was so touched by the children’s stories, especially when I thought of my own children and grandchildren, that I became determined to do something to help; no matter how small my contribution might be. For the past two years I have been creating and selling my own jewelry designs. I decided to create a series of African-design earrings and contribute a percentage of the profits from the sale of all my earrings to Global Camps Africa. Then I met Phil Lilienthal, the founder of GCA. Phil encouraged me to come to Africa to teach arts and crafts to the children. Those of you who know me know that I have a huge fear of flying! And I rarely travel outside of my home state of Virginia! But here was an opportunity to put my fears aside and put my time where my mouth is: I could make this contribution.

Now I come to the reason you are receiving this post: I am asking you to contribute toward the funding of this trip. No contribution is too small…it can be the price of a cup of Starbucks coffee, the cost of a package of Crayola crayons, any amount you can afford.

In order to make this trip a reality, I need your help. My pledge to Global Camps Africa, is to raise the $2,500 necessary to cover expenses, which is a condition of my participation at camp. I will contribute any collected money beyond this commitment to the camp.

Each donation, no matter the amount, is tax deductible in the US and South Africa (US Tax ID: 91-2191939).



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