Change for Change: Fundraiser raises money to help children
SHEPHERDSTOWN – Jennifer Satterlee couldn’t ignore it any longer. Four years after visiting Kakamega, Kenya on a mission trip, she couldn’t forget the conversations she had with local residents about the city’s children. And so, in 2013, Satterlee founded 29:11 Incorporated, to help get children off of the streets and into safe living environments.
“We’re a local-based nonprofit from Shenandoah Junction,” said 29:11, Inc. board member Maria Brown. “We have the Hope Feeding Program for street children there – there are hundreds of children living on the street. We feed about 200 of them on Saturdays and try to help them.”
“Street children” are children who depend on the streets for their survival – whether they live on the streets, work on the streets, have support networks on the streets, or a combination of the three, according to www.streetchildren.org.
Satterlee said volunteers with the organization talk with the children to find out why they left home, and decide from there how to address their living situations.
“We try to integrate them back home, so they don’t have to go to an orphanage. Sometimes they come from an abusive situation, but a lot of the time it’s poverty that makes them leave home and beg,” Satterlee said, mentioning 29:11, Inc. works closely with an advisory board formed from children’s home directors, government leaders and pastors in Kakamega, Kenya. “All of the actual work is done by native Kenyans. We partner with them to make sure it is sustainable.
“We work in Kenya and partner with a couple of children’s homes there. Our main mission is to ‘see a world where children thrive in their own community and grow to impact future generations,'” Satterlee said, mentioning that the children, if they cannot return home, are placed in orphanages and educated. “Along the way, we help them get an education. Or, if they’re older, we help them get a trade by sending them to a trade school or small business.”
Currently, the organization is able to support 50 children living in orphanages through its fundraisers, like the one it held in Storer Ballroom on Saturday afternoon, a Change for Change Quarter Auction. The event featured nachos, burritos and a live auction of donated items from local businesses, including a Traveling Vineyard, a Keurig Gift Basket, a Sunday brunch for two at the Bavarian Inn and a Learn to Ski/Snowboard package from Whitetail Resort.
As the live auction kicked off, Emcee David McCauley encouraged attendees to enjoy the unpredictability of the game.
“Yes, I’m calling your number – Destiny picked your number! So if Destiny didn’t pick you, don’t blame it on me!” McCauley said.
To learn more about 29:11, Inc., visit www.hopeof2911.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to P.O. Box 139, Shenandoah Junction, WV 25442. The cost for a preschooler/kindergartner is $50 three times a year, for an elementary schooler is $90 three times a year, for a middle schooler is $120 three times a year and for a high schooler is $300 three times a year, with boarding costing $500 three times a year.