JBFC on the Road: Los Angeles

May 9, 2016 2:00 pm Published by

Editor’s Note: JBFC’s Founder & CEO, Chris Gates, and COO-USA, Ashli Sims, are back on the road, raising money and awareness about JBFC and its mission in Tanzania. The JBFC Team travels several times a year to speak to young people about global citizenship, share with supporter the impact of their donations, and recruit more people to help end poverty one child at a time. If you’re interested in JBFC visiting your area or would like to host a fundraising event for JBFC, please email asims@jbfc-online.org.

Coming off of a successful fundraiser in Tulsa, OK, Ashli and I have hit the road. We have spent the last week in the Los Angeles area with the Gortner family.

Cindi Gortner and her daughter, Devyn, visited JBFC over 6 years ago. After that first trip to Tanzania, they were hooked and wanted to help us spread the JBFC mission to their community. Cindi Gortner has rallied her friends, helped raise money and served on JBFC’s Board of Directors. Five years ago, the Gortner family hosted the first JBFC-LA fundraiser at their house in Thousand Oaks. Thanks to their dedication and support, the Los Angeles community has grown into one of our strongest communities of support.

JBFC’s Sponsor a Child program wouldn’t be what it is without our California friends. The Los Angeles community sponsors more residential girls than any other area of the country. This network of supporters provide food, shelter, and education for 14 girls. Collectively, they donated more than $10,000 last year, which paid for 14 school tuitions, more than 12,000 meals, and hundreds of medical check-ups.

We got a chance to catch up with the Frazier family, who sponsor four girls. It was wonderful to see the girls are really a part of their family, with the pictures and cards from Tanzania displayed around the Frazier home. The Frazier’s got a chance to visit the girls they sponsor and JBFC’s campus last summer. They invited us to speak at Sophia Frazier’s school, Viewpoint, about the experience. Sophia told her friends and classmates about her summer. And I was able to talk about 40 middle and high school students about JBFC’s mission, how I started JBFC, and how they can make an impact in their world. (It’s always great to see the faces of teenagers, when I tell them I started JBFC when I wasn’t that much older than they are now!)

I also got a chance to speak to middle and high school students La Canada. Kyle Kevorkian started a JBFC Club at La Canada. About 30 members came to the meeting eager to learn more about what we do and how they can continue to raise funds and collect supplies for our students at JBFC. This past year, they have collected more than 500 books they plan to ship directly to Tanzania.

And finally, we ended our school tours with an all-school presentation at Wesley, a K-8 school in North Hollywood. Wesley’s 2nd graders have taken part in a pen pal program with students at JBFC’s Joseph & Mary School. I was thrilled to be a part of their presentation to the whole school about what they’ve learned this year.

To wrap up our week in LA, the Gortners and several other California friends hosted a fundraiser for JBFC at the Gortner home. More than 70 people came to learn about JBFC and the work we do in Tanzania. Many people joined our mission by participating in our Giving Tree, purchasing much needed items like books, school supplies, and chickens in support of the JBFC Girls’ Home. This was a great time for the whole family. The kids at the party were able to make t-shirts for the JBFC girls.

We are so grateful that so many people in the Los Angeles area have not only welcomed us into their homes, but their hearts. We truly appreciate all of the support they have shown us. JBFC wouldn’t be where we are today without the support of their community and others like them.

Ashli and I will continue on the road through the first of May. Our next stop is San Francisco. Stay tuned for more updates.

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This post was written by Mainsprings