Sunday, January 27, 2013

Heartstrings of the Giver

What is the best gift you ever received?
Better still, what is the best gift you ever gave?
Perhaps you will recall that in each instance,
the best gift was one that was tied with the
heartstrings of the giver, one that included a part of self.
~ Wanda Fulton

On December 31, I was in the car with Gregory traveling north to the Cities and I heard a pleasant chime from my phone indicating I had a message waiting.  I looked down to see an e-mail from PayPal announcing that Empowering Learners had received a gift!  (I so love these messages!)  It turned out to be a wonderful end-of-the-calendar-year gift from some lovely and dear friends.  I called our friends and expressed my thanks and then asked where did they wish for their gift to be used?   Should it be used to purchase more laptops for our next journey to the schools?  Should it be used for braille books, some of which we hope to start purchasing and shipping to Windhoek this spring?  Or should it be deposited in our endowment account? 

As I rather imagined they would, our friends responded joyfully . . . “use it for the endowment!”  These are good friends whose hearts are tuned to wise investing and to supporting long-term visions.  They gave a gift tied to self.  A gift of twice the value!  

This gift like hundreds of others have moved this project forward significantly.  How wonderful it is that so many family and friends who believe in education have responded with gifts tied with heartstrings!

And so today I write with really good news. 

With this last deposit into our Empowering Learners Endowment Fund at the ELCA Foundation, our fund now stands at just over $20,000 toward our goal of $25,000.  When fully funded, our endowment will annually send a distribution of approximately $1,000 USD (through the ELCA Global Mission network) directly to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia, designated for supporting our ELCIN schools in the far North. 

Now, here in the States, it could be very easy to deem $1,000 sent all the way to Africa as being hardly enough to do any good.  But we at Empowering Learners have seen the impact of just how much a distribution such as this can accomplish.  It could surely pay – or significantly underwrite – a teacher’s annual salary.  It could be used to purchase significant quantities of educational supplies.  It could allow for a few teachers to receive added professional training, and on and on.  The important thing, we believe, is that this future annual funding is theirs to use. 

And here’s the further beauty of this endowment fund.  It’s going to be there forever!  This fund will continue to do the good work of Empowering Learners far into the future.  And given the admirable investment record of the ELCA Foundation, we will look forward to seeing this fund grow.  All for good.

Many thanks to all of you who have responded so generously!  Your kind gifts are deeply appreciated and gratefully received.  Heartstrings of love to you and yours. 

Empowering Learners. 


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