Although for my family and I and a few friends the charity trips to Kitui (Kenya) are not new, this year we decided to go an extra mile because of the year of mercy. The usual procedure has been to ask people for donations in kind to take to St. John Eudes Youth Rehabilitation Centre which is under the diocese of Kitui but without a budget.
This year, mobilizing people was particularly hard especially because the few friends were too busy to be practically involved. I was also really busy but I decided to go out of my comfort zone and beg from other friends and colleagues. I was surprised how generous people are, some of whom never heard about St. John Eudes before. Although not many people have an idea what St. John Eudes is all about, I got donations from my friends and colleagues and managed to fill a pickup. Things like mattresses and dry foods like flour and rice were donated. Someone delivered a new well packed set of bed linen and left a message that she was my friend. Up to now I do not know who donated that. I also got more than thirty thousand shillings in cash from my friends. This has never happened before but I have never asked anyway. Four friends of mine who have always supported by way of material goods and cash sent five thousand shillings each which added to the shopping for the centre. My best maid offered to pay school fees for one child for one year and people are calling up now to find out how they can help. It was exhausting to say the least but it was worthwhile and the St. John Eudes family was really happy.
It seems all I needed was to lose shame and tell people that it is the year of mercy and they would bend backwards to support the small project.