Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Nkosi's Haven: Bringing a Little Light

Vanessa on a previous visit to Nkosi's Haven.
  ***Note*** I have made several updates in the last few days to have the most accurate information available. Updates can be found below in bold text! Thanks SO much. ~ Sabrina

  Recently, though the wonders of the internet, and more-specifically, Twitter, I have come into contact with a pretty awesome group of chicks. Through countless exchanges of under 140-character banter, we have somehow gotten to know one another, and genuinely care about what is happening in each others lives. Even though many of us have not yet met, I would consider them very good friends of mine.

  Somewhere along the line, the conversations turned productive, and the team looked get into charity work. In February of 2012, a large group of them, joined/led by actress Vanessa Marcil, are going to South Africa to volunteer at Nkosi's Haven. Nkosi's is a shelter for mothers and their children infected with HIV/AIDS, and resulting AIDS orphans.

  The shelter, opened in 1999 by Gail Johnson, was founded with the idea of caring for the mother AND her child. Gail named it after the son she adopted, Nkosi, an AIDS orphan himself. Neither Nkosi nor Gail wanted another mother and child to be separated due to an HIV/AIDS diagnosis. They also wanted people infected with HIV/AIDS to be cared for without discrimination or prejudice. This is the premise under which Nkosi's Haven operates. Please watch the short video below about Gail and Nkosi Johnson, and Nkosi's Haven:

  ***One thing our team wants is every child, mother, and caretaker to have a new pair of pajamas upon their visit this Spring. It's something so small, yet so meaningful. Vanessa, herself, is working to get as many pairs of organic feety pajamas made. 

  She and her team are making it 'easy' to help get each of these kids a new pair of pajamas: buy one pair for a loved one in your family, and a second pair is donated to an AIDS orphan at Nkosi's. Our goal is to have 10,000 pairs of pajamas ordered. The cost of the pajamas will be $29.99. So for that amount, you will get one pair for a child close to your heart, while a second pair goes to a child at Nkosi's!

  To get on the wait list for pajamas, email: Itsokaytobe@babygagoo.com and you'll receive a follow up email about how to participate (or you can contact me as well, and I'll pass along your interest). This is a great option, and something I hope you all will consider! Sizes go up to youth size 10. 

  As of yesterday, December 8th, we had just over 6,000 orders received. So we still have lots of work to do for these kids! As we continue to work on logistics, email to get on the wait list, and hold on to your money for the time being! Please pass along this information to your friends and family if you think they might be interested!***
One of the kiddos at Nkosi's - photo by Vanessa.
  Obviously, their visit to Nkosi's lies smack dab in the middle of my basketball season here in France, so I will be unable to visit Nkosi's with the rest of the team. But I want to contribute in some way. And that's where I need your help! I need fundraising/supply collecting ideas, and I need to spread the word! Sure, I can write a check, and call it a day. But there are more ways to help than just opening up your pocketbook. There are supplies, clothes, shoes, etc...that need to be collected.

  If you are interested in helping, or have clothes/shoes/supplies that you are willing to donate, please let me know! OR, if you have a great IDEA for raising awareness, and spreading the word, feel free to share it with me. I'm terrible with coming up with ideas like that, so I hope to hear some suggestions from you all! Cash donations can be made directly, here: Donate to Nkosi's Haven

  If you are not comfortable donating to the children of Nkosi's, and feel a donation to a cause a little closer to home is more appropriate, I have great respect for that. In that case, Vanessa and team are also working with Sojourn Services for Battered Women and Children. Since 1977, Sojourn has provided battered women and their children a safe place to regroup, rebuild, and reestablish their lives. Cash donations can be made for Sojourn at: Donate to Sojourn

  OR, if neither of these options interest you there is ALWAYS a local organization in your community that could use a donation! It doesn't matter where things are donated, just that people in need are being helped!

Again, from a previous visit.
  No amount is too small, and no item is too trivial. It all adds up, and it all counts. All clothing items, shoes, slippers, art supplies, first aid supplies, vitamins, tooth paste, bed linens, toys, you name it, and we're collecting it! As we continue to work on logistics, if you are interesting in contributing, again, please contact me via Facebook, Twitter, or email!

  For me, it is extremely difficult to fathom the struggles that the mothers and children of Nkosi's and Sojourn go through daily. I can say I am lucky/blessed to have been born where I was born, and been given the opportunities at life that I have been given. We are so far removed from many of these things: HIV/AIDS, poverty, abuse, etc...but the reality is that these things are an everyday occurrence for a great deal of people around the world.

  Along with a great group of new friends, I'm hoping that this small effort, in turn, goes a long way and brings a little more light into these kids' lives.

gagoovmg@gmail.com  - Email for information about pajamas!!!
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1 comment:

  1. Hi Brina, I am proud to call you my friend. You are so much more than a great basketball player. Please email me information for sending money and pyjamas. ;) Love, Janne