Thursday, January 22, 2015

Redeemer House Extreme Home Makeover

Happy New Year everyone! I am so excited about what is to come in 2015! To start, I am kicking off a fundraising campaign to refurbish a home for 12 of the most precious boys at Family Legacy Tree of Life!

This project started with Macnab, I met him several years ago at church in Zambia. All of the children in Family Legacy's full time care who live at Tree of Life gather for church and invite the American campers to join. We found ourselves sitting next to each other on the back row. He is quiet, sweet, SO smart, very attentive and just simply adorable. I texted MR from Africa and said I just might sneak this one home with me. I poked around for some details of Macnab's story and how he found his way to Tree of Life.  He and his siblings (3 brothers) have similar stories as many of the children at Tree of Life, orphaned with no family, living in the ditches, begging for food, barely surviving and in Macnab's case, HIV positive with some extreme medical needs. When I met Macnab, he had been in Family Legacy's full time care for a  couple of years, his medical needs had been addressed and were being monitored. He was healthy when I met him. From the staff of Family Legacy, I found out that Macnab had a rough start at Tree of Life. Like in any child setting, you have bullies, he was on the receiving end and struggling with self esteem issues and not wanting to take his HIV meds. Luckily he had some awesome mentors and siblings there to encourage him along. You can't see a trace of that kid today, he is always all smiles, very smart and has set some outstanding goals for himself! Last summer he told me he wants to be a Dr when he grows up (which is a huge improvement bc the year before he told me he wanted to be an entomologist... study BUGS!) He recently passed his 7th grade exams, which is a huge deal in Zambia. I have no doubt this kid will be a college graduate and experience great successes in his life!

Macnab has a younger brother Chrispen who is just sweet as pie. They are two peas in a pod and I have never seen them not by one another's side. Along with these two, 10 other boys live in their house at Tree of Life. The house is named Redeemer House and was built many years ago. As you well know, keeping a house maintained with a family of 4 is tough, but put two house mom's and 12 boys in a home in Zambia and things can get a little beat up and run down rather quickly.

Like all good and helpful organizations, Family Legacy has learned some lessons along the way. The first homes at Tree of Life were built with the materials that were available at the time. Just like with our homes, there are newer, safer and more efficient materials available. So lets just say Redeemer House needs some upgrades.

The original windows were slated windows, with the rainy season and general wear and tear, many of the window's glass slats are gone. We now have access to sliding windows with locks. This is my first priority, to replace the windows, to provide warmth (it is in the 40s at night) and safety for these kids.

The shower is broken, if you can imagine 12 boys and one shower, it is in constant use.

The walls need a fresh coat of paint, again 12 boys running through a 3 bedroom home get tight!

General home goods. The Moms use the same pots/pans/plates/cups/sheets/wash rags/towels/blankets over and Over and OVER again, they need replacing. A lot of the dishes have broken, the sheets are barely hanging on by a thread. 12 boys, many years of use, washed by hand (no delicate cycle) and things wear down quicker.

This is my first leap into raising funds for this project. I am looking to jump start this project with cash donations and become more creative as the process continues. If you ever thought about helping one of my kids, this would be a great time. Tonight, when you lay your head down on your warm pillow (none of these kids have pillow) covered in your heavy blanket (they only have a sheet and very thin fleece blanket) take a moment to consider helping these kids know they are loved and blessed with comforts.

Donations can be made to

I appreciate your help and I promise, these boys will be beyond appreciative and grateful for your love.

Keep in touch...