Thursday, June 18, 2015

Announcing For A Reason; June 18, 2015

About three years ago, people started to ask me, "What do you charge to announce?"

Honestly, I hadn't thought about it because it wasn't my focus to make money doing that - even though I gave a significant amount of time to do so.

I came up with a schedule that was dependent upon race distance and the size of the race and I gave it to The Woodlands Marathon and Texas 10 Series race director Willie Fowlkes to review.

He advised me to make a few adjustments and it is what I use when I get a new inquiry.

I made a public announcement on Facebook that I intended to use a majority of the monies for Waverly's ministry aspirations.

And I've followed through on that.

Two years ago, I put monies towards her first trip to Kenya and Tanzania.

Last year, I paid her way to work at four summer Christian youth camps over five weeks in four states last summer.

With some other charitable efforts, I think - prior to this year - we've given (and I say "we" because I've given Waverly an opportunity to have a voice in where these monies go) about 40% of what I've taken in from announcing.

After Waverly graduated from high school - and turning 18, which occured about at the same time, she took a certain portion of her monies that she received as gifts and used it to sponsor the high school education of a young person in need from the slums of Kibera in Nairobi, Kenya.

It is my understanding that youngsters take a test either before or after they reach what we know to be as our 8th grade.  If they pass, they can go on to receive a high school education, but there's a fee or expense to it.

Kind of like private school, I suppose.

With Waverly being in college the last two years (where she's done incredibly well), she hasn't been able to work to continue that donation on her own.

Therefore, I've been able to do so last year and will again this year.

I learned from Waverly that the young girl's name that we've been sponsoring is Dorcas.

Waverly was hoping to meet Dorcas, but since she was attending school about three hours away (if I heard her right via FaceTime the other evening) it didn't work out I just found out.

However, Waverly got to meet her sister, Beatrice, who is in the 7th grade.

Our church's ministry partner, New Hope Initiative, pays for the children from the Kibera slums to go to primary school.

I'll interject that I've always been a little skeptical of these types of initiatives on the surface, especially from organizations and people that I'm not familiar with.

And that's the point.  When you're able to put your trust in the people involved and you know those who have seen these needs in person, it easily washes away the skepticism.

New Hope was starting to look for individuals who could sponsor a primary school student, like Beatrice, so they could spend those funds on some other projects in need.

"Since it is your money, what are your thoughts?" Waverly asked about sponsoring Beatrice.

Well, if you're a person of faith, you believe that God has provided us all that we have and that, essentially, it is His money that He is entrusting us with.

I gave the green light, of course.

"I didn't get to meet Dorcas today, but I got to tell her sister, Beatrice, that we would be sponsoring her," Waverly wrote.  "Priceless face."

So, yes, when you see me enjoying myself announcing, know that - in addition to helping produce a quality event and celebrating people's accomplishments - I'm also honoring a young woman's faith and helping a couple of young women in a foreign land who need some support to help achieve what God has planned for their lives.