Monday, January 25, 2010

COU: on Children, and loyalty

I have recently been elected to serve on the Board of Directors for Children of Uganda. They were kind to choose me, as I have none of the Money, Influence, Connections we so massively could use, but they know I am loyal and devoted. I have volunteered my time, energy, and address book to their service since 2005. Once you begin this sort of service, and especially after one or two kids say shyly "can I call you Mum?" it's pretty hard to abandon it.

I was superexcited about joining the Board. Full of vision for the future, etc, etc. During my January vacation I stayed over with Sarah, another board member, and the excitement of planning our next trips to Uganda very nearly overwhelmed me... to the point where my hunger for dinner -- a good Ugandan meal -- dissipated into butterflies in my stomach, jumping beans in my toes, squeals of joy choking up into my throat. I took a moment to look at myself, dancing around Sarah's kitchen, and sternly told myself that if I am to have the dignifed position of Board member I ought to work on the problem of controlling my enthusiasm at least a little.

My first day as a Board member, however, gave me the opposite kind of problem. There was no dancing as I received emails, opened attachments, and composed replies.
COU is coming up to a major deadline -- Spring semester fees are due in about a week. Every year this time is a squeeze, a push, a call for help.
This year, however, as everyone knows, our world has occupied with the disaster in Haiti. And although we rejoice in the outpouring of financial generosity toward the relief effort there, at the same time with a certain amount of shock we (and most other charities) saw our donations drop sharply as money went to Haiti instead.
I'm in a hard place. I'm donating to Partners In Health for the relief work in Haiti and feel overwhelmed with grief for them just reading a few newspaper articles. Haiti is facing the worst of times ahead, and there will be thousands upon thousands of orphans looking to call someone Mum. But even as all this unfolds I have to throw myself even more wholeheartedly into our work in Uganda. I have to be that person standing in the painful gap between needs and funding, asking you to help us in whatever way you can. At a time when many of us, looking at the TV and pictures of desolation, have reconsidered what it means to "have enough," I must ask you if you have enough, if you have enough to spare, if you can help me close that gap to keep our children developing and learning and building a positive future for themselves and for Uganda.
Please consider whether you can make an extra donation and help COU through an already tough time that has now become much more difficult.
Thanks for walking this road with me, friends! Your support means so much.

There are several ways to donate:
If you have $5 to spare, TEXT uganda to 50555, and your mobile company will immediately donate $5, charging you on your next bill.

ONLINE we have our website and the facebook Cause

by MAIL please send to Children Of Uganda, PO Box 659, Charles Town, WV 25414   

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