On June 3rd, 2015 several TEN FE students got the chance to Skype with Badin High School students. It was the first technological exchange of TEN FE with any school in the U.S. TEN FE students got the chance to ask BHS students questions and vice versa. It was hopefully the first of many exchanges to come. Go Rams!
On May 20, 2015, it was an honor to come talk with Mrs. Hartke's 6th-grade social studies classes about Guatemala, TEN FE, and our mission and goals for the future. I had no idea that after I left Beechwood Elementary School that day, Mrs. Hartke and the 6th grade students secretly started collecting money for TEN FE. I was shocked when they called me back into her class and presented me with a check! Unbelievable work by diligent, motivated 6th graders! Thank you to all of the 6th grade students, their parents, and of course, to Mrs. Hartke for helping to make a difference in the lives of underprivileged children in Guatemala.
A huge thank you to BHS student, Jenna Puccini, who organized TEN FE Tuesday on May 5, 2015! She even started a 'Badin TEN FE Club' at school. The students collected $125 during lunch to help sponsor a child through TEN FE. This was a student-driven idea! Thanks Jenna and all of your classmates for making a difference in some pretty special, but underprivileged, Guatemalan children's lives. Thank you for all of your efforts. Jenna also set up a technological exchange (a Skype call) that will take place between TEN FE students and Badin High School students on Wednesday, June 3rd. Thanks, Jenna!! Go Rams!
A special thank you to the 30+ volunteers who gave up a Sunday morning to help pass out Gel to runners and cheer them on at mile 22 of the Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati, Ohio. It was a huge success and we had a lot of fun. Volunteers came from Badin High School, Thomas More College, and 4 Corners Church, among other local supporters of TEN FE. Thank you for your hard work! TEN FE raised over $1,000 from your hard efforts. We couldn't have done it without you!
Troop 1391 in NKY has chosen TEN FE as their organization to help raise awareness of and they are highlighting the country of Guatemala for their International Day contest at the end of the month. Tonight they made bracelets that say "TEN FE" on them. They each made 2 bracelets; one to keep for themselves and one to give away. The receiver of the second bracelet is supposed to keep it only one week and then pass it on to someone else. Each time that a bracelet is passed on, the receiver will register on TEN FE's website with their first name and city and state. Each bracelet has been given a tracking number. The girls are excited to see how far these bracelets might travel across the U.S. Never underestimate the power of Girl Scouts. Muchas gracias y TEN FE. Check out the log periodically to see how far the bracelets have traveled.
I had the great pleasure today of speaking at Badin High School, my alma mater, about TEN FE. Today BHS celebrated service and community as part of their culminating Catholic School Week celebration. It was a tremendous honor to be asked to participate. The students were very interested in how they could partner with TEN FE and help out our students. They talked about hosting a collection drive of vitamins, toothbrushes and toothpaste to send to Guatemala. Who knows what these talented and creative minds will come up with? Proud to be a Ram. :)
There are several ways that you can help TEN FE raise money through the Flying Pig 2015.
A) You can run any of the events during the weekend of May 1-2-3 and sign up with a TEN FE code for a discount on your entrance fee. Please email me or call me (firstname.lastname@example.org or 513-325-2118) for the TEN FE discount code to register and then to http://flyingpigmarathon.com/
B) You can ask for pledges/donations on your behalf for running in any of the Flying Pig events.
C) You can help work at a water/gel station (sponsored by TEN FE) during the marathon race on Sunday, May 3.
D) You can buy a $5.00 pig raffle for a chance to win several large prizes. Drawing will be help on Friday, May 1. All proceeds from the pigs will go directly to TEN FE. http://www.piggestraffle.com/
A special thank you to Katie, Monica and Mrs. Kemper for helping spearhead this missions collection initiative at St. Ursula Academy. We appreciate all of your help and hard work! Great job girls! Muchas gracias y TEN FE!
Come out and honor Orphan Sunday on Nov. 2 at Four Corners Church to help support the orphans of TEN FE.
TEN FE was selected as an official charity of the inaugural Queen Bee Half Marathon race in Cincinnati, Ohio. Thank you to everyone who ran, walked or volunteered at the race on Saturday, October 11, 2014. It was a great day and a great way to raise money and awareness for TEN FE. Without your help and support, TEN FE would not be all that it is becoming. We hope to be able to participate in the Flying Pig Marathon in May. Check us out in the spring to see how you can participate in the Flying Pig and help TEN FE. Muchas gracias y TEN FE.
Courtney Smalley, a (recently) former student of Julie, has just arrived in Guatemala, where she will spend three months volunteering for TEN FE. She's keeping a blog here. Check out her most recent post, all about Guatemalan Independence Day traditions and how our kids got to share in them!
Interested in helping TEN FE? Sign up to run or walk in the Queen Bee half marathon in Cincinnati, OH on October 11, 2014. Use discount code TNFQB14 to save $15 off the registration for the half marathon or for the 4-mile event. Don't like running, but still want to help? Sign up to be a volunteer the day of the race, on behalf of TEN FE, and TEN FE will earn money. Email Julie at email@example.com for more information or to be a volunteer. Races are a lot of fun! Come and see what the excitement is all about AND help TEN FE at the same time. Muchas gracias y TEN FE!
A special 'thank you' to the 4 amazingly talented and energetic Zumba instructors who helped make TEN FE's Zumbathon a great success: Keith Mefferd, Lindsey Kellerman, Bibiana Salguero, and Tracey Schaeffer. You guys did a fantastic job! Also 'thank you' to Lisa Fields from 4 Corners Church for organizing the event. It truly was a lot of fun! Your efforts raised over $400.00 for TEN FE. This money will go much farther in Guatemala than it does in the U.S. and will help support the 30 children currently being served by TEN FE. Check out our FB page to see more pictures from the event. www.facebook.com/tenfeguatemala
Guatemala: A Personal Reflection 6.1.2014
If one were to ask a young American child what he or she would like to do when older, stereotypic responses would often include law enforcement, fire fighting, and healthcare. However, when some of the children I met in Santiago, Guatemala were asked a similar question, they responded as if they did not understand the question and they could not formulate a response. Though at first I was surprised, I quickly realized why: For them, thinking about the future, let alone choosing a career, was secondary to simply surviving to adulthood. None of the children whom we visited lived in a two-parent household and many were orphaned; they lived day-to-day, surviving on basic corn products and occasional beans with little access to the essentials easily taken for granted in the United States like, proper nutrition, clean water, electricity, and quality healthcare. The utter poverty in which many of these destitute children (and their families) lived was staggering and reminded me of how blessed I have been throughout my life. More importantly, however, what I saw cemented within me a desire to maintain a social responsibility and to remember that there are always individuals who are less fortunate and who are in true need of help.
The situation for the children that I met (and thousands more) in Guatemala may seem bleak. But there is hope—for these children and many others in Guatemala and other third world countries—and that hope rests with education. As is often the case in the U.S.A., education creates opportunities where there were none. With adequate schooling, these poor Guatemalan children can lift themselves out of poverty and achieve a higher standard of living that will satisfy their basic human needs and potentially much more. What is more, with an education and a skills-based job (rather than simply working jobs based on hard, physical labor) they can ensure that their children and future generations will also receive an education, obtain higher paying jobs, and not slip back into the poverty through which their ancestors have endured and suffered. For the poorest of the poor in Guatemala, the hope of education does not necessarily exist or ring true. Although primary education is ‘free’, all elementary students are required to wear school uniforms; though a simple and seemingly inexpensive requirement to most Americans, this uniform represents a kind of glass ceiling for many indigent families who cannot afford that which makes an education accessible for their children. This is where TEN FE brings hope to those children and families who have none. TEN FE buys the school uniforms and school supplies for these students, allowing them to experience school, literacy, and hope for a brighter future. Despite this, however, it still may not be easy for these children because in many parts of Guatemala the schools are packed with students beyond their capacity and each school day lasts only four hours. In the afternoons following school dismissal, there are few constructive activities with which these students can occupy themselves. Given that so many children in Guatemala have lost one or both of their parents, they are often forced to disregard school altogether in order to seek employment and earn enough money to support themselves and their siblings.
These children truly deserve the new and brighter future that is possible through education and TEN FE is striving to transform that possibility into a reality. The time and money that TEN FE has invested into these children (and their families) will allow them to attain the education they desperately need in order to one day lift themselves and their families from debilitating poverty. The transformative impact that this organization is having on the thirty children it currently sponsors is already palpable, but what is even more exciting are the construction plans for 2016 that will feature a grade school/youth community center offering full-length instructional days and after-school programs so that these students, and numerous more, can stay engaged, be safe and continue to grow and learn. Thus, TEN FE is striving to bring the hope of education to all children in Santiago, Guatemala, especially to the poorest of the poor. In such an environment, students will be able to learn more than they currently are and they will be able to take advantage of the time that they previously had no choice but to squander or work in the fields and spend it at the youth community center learning to use computers and speak English, playing organized soccer or getting extra help with homework and school projects. This is indubitably a bold initiative—but I am very confident that this endeavor (The Endeavor for New Futures through Education, TEN FE) will truly lead to brighter futures for these and many other students in Guatemala, a brighter future that they all need and deserve.
In May, 2014, I was blessed to take 3 wonderful TMC students (and my daughter) to Santiago, Guatemala to visit the students of TEN FE and don Romeo and his family. It was an amazing trip with lots of laughs, hugs, pictures with bunny ears, heartfelt moments, quality time with the students, and some hard goodbyes. The TEN FE students, who often are desperate for love and attention, made us feel beyond welcomed and special. While we were there to help these underprivileged students by bringing them clothes and supplies, helping them with homework, visiting their homes and school, and spending quality time with them, it was they who helped us. We, the gringos, walked away feeling rewarded, blessed, and with a true sense of gratitude for what we have in this world. There is something unique about spending time with people who literally have nothing, yet feel as if the world is theirs. The kids of TEN FE live in the moment of 'here and now' because that is the place where their situations have brought them to--they often have no idea what tomorrow will bring or where there next meal might come from...yet, they embrace life with a present simpleness. A simpleness that includes joy and peace (which would surprise many Americans). There are many lessons to be learned from these impoverished children, and the millions of others just like them around the world. Every time I return from Guatemala, I feel humbled. I feel motivated to rid my life of the complications, the excess, and the busyness that we, in the USA, tend to know all too well. Yet more than that, the key is to find their same sense of joy, peace, and contentment. There's a lot to be learned from these children (and their families)...it's an experience I hope to share with many more of my friends, family and TMC students in the years to come. I feel blessed.
WHAT: a 'Zumbathon'
WHEN: Saturday, May 24th from 9:30-11:30am (Stay for the whole 2 hours or drop in for a quick 20-minute workout!)
WHERE: 4 Corner Church (7740 Service Center Drive, West Chester, OH 45069)
WHY: Exercise, have fun, and make a difference in the life of a child. All proceeds will go to provide care and education to orphans and children living in poverty in Guatemala.
Cost: $15.00 per person
"Thanks to Julie Luebbers, who made a presentation to my friends in the Roundtable Group about TEN FE. Spanish for "Have Faith," TEN FE is a charity dedicated to providing an education to the neediest children in Guatemala. Here, my good friend Tony Milburn presents the group's second annual contribution to her efforts. Julie is to be congratulated for founding and growing such a worthy organization."
- Todd McMurtry via LinkedIn (2/21/14)