BENEFITING: HOPE COMMUNITY CHURCH OF KING OF PRUSSIA
EVENT DATE: Apr 18, 2012
Happy 2012! I am writing to you because I am going to Ghana, Africa with a group from Hope Community Church (based near my hometown in Pennsylvania) this spring. The church has sent teams over the past years and this year, the team consists of people trained and experienced in working with people with special needs. This is where I come in. I have been volunteering and teaching people, specifically children with disabilities since I was nine. This opportunity to travel to Ghana to continue this work is both exciting and a dream come true. In my own classroom in the Bronx several years ago, I taught a student who was from Ghana. She lit up my day and thus began my first experience with singing a song in Twi (a language spoken in Ghana). This is only one step in my long journey in special education which started back when I was a little girl who had a friend with special needs that lived next door. She and I became friends and she became an instrumental reason why I continue to work in the field of special education. The steps continued, crossing through middle school where I volunteered every week with students who had special needs. I spent time doing work with the Special Olympics. I learned through my stepbrother’s family how to include a child with Down syndrome and how different only makes us more interesting. With little tidbits of volunteering along the way, I took a big step, changed my career and became a Special Educator in New York City in 2007. I had the opportunity to teach and interact with students whose needs varied significantly. Not only did I teach them, but I found myself among a group of adults that truly cared for these students and demonstrated the passion that I feel for working with people with special needs. Now, I am out of the classroom, but I work with special educators and administrators to ensure that the needs of students with disabilities in NYC are met with care. It is this work and my passion that have placed this opportunity in front of me now. I always knew I would reach beyond the boundaries of our country, but I never knew when or how. My dear friend Kelley, who I’ve known since I was nine, invited me on this mission and we together will be serving the people of Ghana with our unique expertise and compassion. Kelley and I first became friends as we volunteered with students with special needs at Eisenhower Middle School. She invited me to join her on this mission with her church and I graciously accepted. I now look forward to the amazing work we will do together, not only as friends for more than 25 years, but as humans beings who are passionate about helping others
Our team will assist and support the partners in Ghana that work with people with special needs. We hope to share some techniques and information to train them, and most importantly work with some of the clients one-on-one. The workers do not have a lot of help and several of them live and work with the ministry 24/7. You are an important part of that as you support our team with donations of items, prayers, and finances.
The trip is April 18 – April 27, 2012. The money raised through this effort will fund my expenses during the trip (primarily airfare, as well as food & supplies). My fundraising goal is $2,800. Every dollar donated to this opportunity will help the children and people of Ghana who have special needs and who do not have access to the services that we take for granted here in the United States. One of my promises in doing this work, is to tell you about it when I return through pictures, a journal, and a lifetime of memories.
I thank you in advance.
Peace and love,Alexa