Fundraiser May 10th at Mickey Finn's!

Our fundraiser will be at Mickey Finn’s in downtown Libertyville on Milwaukee Road.  It will begin at 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m in the upstairs party room at Mickey Finn’s.  It will be a great time, so please invite your friends!  For $20 you will get live music from the local band Sagebrush, pizza, pictures, drink specials, good people and a project update.  We have a growing list of auction items, so far including:

Golf at the Merit Club
Marian Hossa signed helmet
Luol Deng signed basketball
4 James Taylor Tickets for Ravinia
4 Cubs vs. Marlins tickets and parking pass
Tanzanian art and jewelry basket
Champagne Basket
Spa Package
Jewelry basket with a Pandora bracelet and charm
A Wine Basket with beautiful wine glasses
Wine Refrigerator with touch screen
And many more... :)

Check back in closer to the fundraiser date to see the updated list with more details!  So please come on out and join us in our journey to help the people of Mailisita.  Asante marafiki (thank you friends)!


Another Big Asante to NBC 5 Chicago!

With each media opportunity I find that I become more and more inspired by the the kindness people show me.  A very big asante (thank you) is owed to the NBC staff, Kim Vatis, Anthony Ponce and Cheryl Scott. They were all so kind to me and my older brother Chris throughout this experience.  I was really grateful to have my big brother Chris with me so I could relax before the show and talk about sports so I wouldn't get too nervous.  Also an especially big thank you is owed to Kim Vatis, she was so calming and kind for my first ever interview on TV.  It was truly humbling after the segment when Kim, Anthony and Cheryl were interested and asked more questions about these wonderful children and the Mailisita Foundation.  It is so inspiring to have such kind people show interest in these children and their stories.  I must admit I was quite nervous before going on air, especially after meeting Kim and Cheryl (both so beautiful it is actually intimidating) but they were very kind.  Also Anthony Ponce was a genuinely nice guy and for my female friends, yes he is a handsome guy.  The whole crew joked with us up until the moment they were on air.  Their genuine interest in the children was really touching and inspiring.  Not enough can be said about the NBC news anchors and crew.  They were all so helpful and I especially appreciated their last minute tips before going on air!

None of this would have been possible without Adam Mesirow and Lisa Trafficanta.  Their dedication to helping myself and the Mailisita Foundation is incredible.  They have really given us a greater platform to share our story and involve more people in the work being done in Mailisita.  They have been a great help to me as I prepare for each of these media opportunities since they are all firsts for me! It is pretty nerve racking to be on the radio and TV for the first time ever, since I am just an elementary school teacher, but they have been very supportive.

Thank you especially to my family, the Mailisita Foundation and St. Joseph Church in Libertyville.  They have been my greatest supporters personally and spiritually.  My work is only possible because of the incredible generosity and commitment to these children by the Mailisita Foundation and St. Joseph.  They have accomplished so much and I am so grateful to just be a small part of the work being done in Mailisita. I am looking forward to seeing all of you at our fundraiser on May 10th!

If you are looking for ways to become involved in the Mailisita Foundation's work or wish to help please come to our fundraiser at Mickey Finn's in downtown Libertyville on May 10th at 6 p.m.  There will be pizza, auction items, music, pictures, stories and many great people!  We are always looking for more people to share in caring for this community and it's children. So please bring your family and friends, so we can share in helping this community and the special children.

Malaria the first time
It is funny to me now to think that my getting malaria has been such a blessing but it is true.  It was a blessing most importantly because it brought me closer to the Mailisita community and my friends in Tanzania.  Over the course of about 6 weeks I lost more than 30 lbs while in a state of exhaustion, suffering from night terrors, lack of appetite, muscle aches, headache and many other symptoms.  Despite these things I was urged on and stayed committed to helping because of the love and generosity I was shown.  It was THEIR generosity and THEIR love that kept me in Tanzania and teaching.  It very simply had nothing to do with me, I was there because this community cares for all of us as much and more than we can ever imagine.  The Mailisita community is so grateful for the new hotel that provides jobs and their school that gives their children hope for a brighter future.  Whenever I would fall asleep at my desk during porridge time, the teachers (my mamas) would wake me up with fresh fruit and biscuits and literally force me to eat.  All the while the children would come with their pockets stuffed full of leaves plucked from a local tree (a local Masai remedy) and hand me leaves to chew on to help my stomach and give me "power".  They were terribly bitter, but as I would chew on them and make disgusted faces the children would laugh and hug me urging me on.  This was the most incredible showing of love I have witnessed.  Children without a family, home, money, toys or anything we typically see as necessities in America have something far more important and that is love.

Malaria the second time
Now malaria continues to be a blessing because of how odd it is for someone in our community to ever have it.  So I guess it makes my story unique. Whatever the reason I am just grateful for more people to hear of these children and find ways to become involved.  So in a way malaria continues to be a blessing, never thought I would say that.


Big Asante to Libertyville Patch!

Thank you so much to Libertyville Patch for the incredible article.  An especially big thanks is owed to Chi-an Chang.  Chi-an made my second ever interview so relaxed and simple.  She was very patient with me and gave me great advice too.  Also her article was very kind and humbling to read.  It has been quite an adventure these past couple years and my only hope is that these media opportunities can work to inspire more generosity and more people to become involved.  Chi-an did an incredible job with my story and the explaining how much work the foundation has accomplished.  She is clearly a talented writer, and was very kind to me personally.  Most importantly she truly understood that this is a story about a community and what their love inspired.  They welcomed the first visiting families from St. Joseph 7 years ago and from that point forward our relationship has grown and evolved.  They have worked side by side to build this school and hotel in order to provide a better future for these children.   Though we have accomplished so much, there is still work to do.  So if you get the chance please spread the story and join us at our next fundraiser!

Libertyville Patch Article

As Chi-an mentioned our next fundraiser is on May 10th at Mickey Finn’s in Libertyville at 6:00 pm.  There are more details coming, but you can expect pizza, auction items, music, pictures, stories and more!  So please bring your family and friends to show your support for these children, learn more about the foundation and find ways that you may become involved.  

Also make sure you check out our next interview on Easter Sunday on NBC News at 6 a.m (or just record it)!  Thank you all so much for your continued support.