It is often thought, those who are the most willing to help a person out are the ones who know what it is like to be in their position. Denise McCormick of Thomaston feels that way when it comes to providing clothes to children in need because she was once a child who had an empty closet and had to borrow clothes from a friend just to be able to go to school. With that thought in mind, she is collecting clothes for an upcoming mission trip to an orphanage in Africa and is seeking the help of the Thomaston community in completing this task. She will be stationed in the Colony Bank parking lot this Saturday, March 8, and Saturday, March 15, from 1 p.m.-3 p.m. for anyone who wishes to drop off a donation for the cause.
McCormick will be in Kenya from March 23-April 5 and is going on the trip with an organization called Providence Ministries, a 501(c)3 non-profit which operates an orphanage near Ngong, Kenya known as Providence Children’s Home. Providence Children’s Home is an all-girls facility which takes in children whose parents have passed away from HIV/AIDS and they have become homeless because they have no one to care for them. It is the only school with computers and internet services in the area and there are plans to expand the facility to accommodate a boys school on the campus.
As part of the trip, each person attending is asked to bring one extra suitcase filled with clothes for the girls at the orphanage, which is what McCormick is asking for help with from the community. She can take up to 50 pounds of clothes. She did state there are a few stipulations for the types of clothes due to the culture of the area. The girls wear long skirts and dresses, pants, short sleeved and long sleeved shirts and closed toed shoes. She noted they are a very modest culture, therefore anything low-cut or short in length are not allowed; as neither are shorts or open toed shoes. McCormick also asked that those wishing to donate make sure the items they drop off are in good enough condition that they will be wearable.
“I feel when you give to someone in need it is like you are giving to Jesus. You need to give your best,” she said.
She continued noting that a group of nuns operate Providence Children’s Home and anyone wishing to donate items for those women would be greatly appreciated. One of their greatest needs is undergarments, however she feels this is something which would need to be new rather than used.
This is the first trip of this type for McCormick and she will be traveling to Kenya with a group made up of people from all across the United States. She will be the only one from Georgia. While at the school, the group will be bringing clothes donations, planting trees on the campus and painting the buildings that will be turned into infirmaries for the school to use as a clinic to care for the students, as well as others in the community. They will also be working personally with the girls to teach them things such as painting and knitting, hosting Bible studies, and above all else, being a friend.
McCormick noted a word that is used often in Kenya is” pamoja,” which means “together,” and she believes the together we can change the world.
Anyone wishing to find out more about the Providence Ministries or the Providence Children’s Home or make a financial donation can visit www.providencekenya.org.
Ashley Biles can be reached by calling 706-647-5414 or on Twitter @AshleyBiles1