I’m from Florida, as were six generations before me. I have been accused of having “thin blood”, because I start wearing long sleeves in early September, and have been known to wear a wetsuit if the water temperature is below about 78 degrees.
I also do NOT like to sweat. That led me to have a young life filled with swimming pools, diving boards, sailboats, water skis, and canoes. No tennis or (heaven forbid) cross country running for me!
All that to say, I was never part of a TEAM. Yes, swimming and diving means you’re on a team, but they are individual sports at heart. You can win a First when the team comes in last. Really, you just need a ride to the pool!
I’m also an introvert, and could (honestly) probably be a professional hermit.
But THIS, Ten Eighteen Uganda, is truly a TEAM. It’s way beyond me, and that’s wonderful!
Our team in Uganda is 22 paid staff and another handful of full time volunteers who work tirelessly with and for our teen mom and teen girls. They are all from the Namuwongo slum themselves, and live there or nearby still, so they are well aware of the circumstances in which the girls live.
Our team outside of Uganda — me and our small board — does all the communications, fundraising, technical stuff, and project development. For free.
But NONE of that would have produced the incredible program we have now if it wasn’t for YOU. Every single donation, no matter the size, is put to work immediately. 100% of it. Day in and day out, you come through.
It’s not because I’m such a great communicator, or that the media team produces such great content, or that Ronald is an extraordinary administrator. It’s because, for some or all or none of those reasons but also because our mission lit a fire in you, you saw the need, you saw that you could do something, and then — most importantly — you took action.
Trust me, most people get hung up after that second one! They don’t think $5 or $10 or $100 can “do anything” so they end up not doing anything. But hundreds or thousands of people doing something equals an incredible movement that can shift a culture.
That’s what you’re doing. Shifting a culture!
I wish we had the budget to send you all… something. A hat or a shirt or fly a banner over your house to thank you. This will have to do.
We really can’t ever thank you enough…
Jennings (and the team!)