Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Leigh's Blankies begins a Care Project in Kenya!!

As many of you know, this last July, I led a team of 20 volunteers to Huruma Children's Home in Kenya. Mama Zipporah, the director and mother to all 200 children at Huruma invited us to set up a sustainable sewing program at Huruma last year. This year we had the opportunity of teaching 40 students the skill of sewing versus the 15 we taught last year. Among the students this year, were 20 seniors that will be graduating from Huruma's high school in November. We got to know them very well and developed a close relationship with them. The concept of them aging out of the orphanage really impacted me. They have lived with 200 brothers and sisters their whole life and own next to nothing. Instantly I felt a pull to do something to support them.

The day before we left for the US, I had the opportunity of visiting the home of a student that graduated last year. She lives in a tin shack all by herself. She had a Leigh's Blankie as her tablecloth, one as her sofa cover and another as a blanket on her bed.  (Yep, that moved me.) I asked her what it was like to transition to life on her own. She said it was lonely and very difficult. Even though Mama had provided her with $40 when she graduated, it was not enough. Her monthly rent alone is $20. Mama Zipporah loves her kids immensely, but she is limited on resources to provide for them beyond the doors of Huruma.

God began to open my heart and mind to what we could do for them. Huruma began 25 years ago, those little ones that began there are now getting older and the groups of graduates are getting larger. 

So with that said, Leigh's Blankies is beginning a Care Project for the Transition Students at Huruma. We want to provide each student with a housing kit.  It will provide them with first month's rent, food/clothing, bed/mattress, a propane stove, a garden and some other supplies. We need to fund raise at least $300 for each student to have a housing kit. Would you consider a donation of $300? Or perhaps sharing a part of this amount with other friends, coworkers, small group/community members, etc.? All tax-deductible donations for this project can be made at

On November 15th, I will lead another team back to Kenya. While we are there, we will help each ‘transition student” or graduate set up their home and provide them with the supplies they need. We will teach them budgeting skills and set up bank accounts for them. We will lead other life skills classes like managing their home and gardening.  We'd also like to connect them with you by email or Facebook! Our desire is to show them God’s love during this life transition and set them up for success in their future lives and education!  Mama Zipporah is thrilled with this Care Project. Her response to our program was, “Praise Jesus. I love you. Permission Granted.” I just love that lady!

I truly believe God has orchestrated this and now we are anxious to see how he provides!!  If you would like to help support our project through prayer or through finances, we would be so grateful!! If you have any questions, please feel free to email me!

Another area of need that our care project could provide is meeting some needs of the teachers at Huruma. They live more poorly than the students, yet they serve the school at Huruma day in and day out, plus raise their own families.  Depending on how much we are able raise financially, we would love to reach this group of wonderful people as well. 

Thank you for considering supporting the Care Project in Kenya!! I pray we make a big impact!! 

With much love and gratitude,
Andra Good
Leigh's Blankies-Director

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Day 6-Teaching 40 sewing students!

Wow we are having unbelievable time teaching and experiencing love at Huruma!! 
So far, we have taught the mothers that care for the children at Huruma how to sew Blankies, pillowcases and how to mend uniforms. We enjoy this class so much!

After we teach the mothers we head to lunch and then back to teaching high school students by 2. We were so surprised to be teaching 40 students this year as we only taught 15 students last year!! Even though our time together can get a little nutty, it's so much fun!! The kids are excited to be experiencing something new and creating something on their own.  We have really enjoyed the boys in our class, they are pretty proud of themselves! Many of them would like to be clothing designers or tailors. So far, we have taught all of my students the fundamentals of sewing, a Leigh's Blankie and a pillowcase. Some of the more advanced students are learning the messenger bag. 

After chapel and dinner in the evenings, we go back to the sew room to catch up on mending school uniforms. We usually have lots of laughs at this time as we are exhausted and amused by things easily!!

After our mending sew time, even though we are exhausted, we enjoy heading to the kid's dorms to read and play games with them. I'm currently reading Charlotte's Web to the little boys. We pack into a bunkbed and the snuggles begin. :) I even got to help my Samuel with his math! 

We have found that not only are we developing relationships with our team mates but our relationships are growing deeper with the children here. Trading written letters between volunteers and the children is a very common thing to do here. We are definitely developing some pen pals! 


(The Gardens)

It's hard to believe we will wake up tomorrow and it will already be Friday.  We will finish up on some sewing projects tomorrow, and look forward to some free time on Saturday! I look forward to sharing more with you again soon!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Day 5-Teaching in full swing!!

We are still having an incredible time here at Huruma!! Our schedule is full as we have chapel in the morning and evening, class at 10 AM and three classes in the afternoon. They are feeding us well and we are receiving lots of love!! 

Yesterday we began teaching the dormitory house mothers. There are five mothers in our sewing program and they're very eager to learn the skill of sewing. These lessons will provide them the skill to mend the many clothes in need of repair here at Huruma. We love spending time with these mothers!! They care for 200 some children here. Can you imagine the loving care they pour out each day!? Sometimes I feel that raising my children is a difficult task, when I see what these mothers accomplish day in and day out, I am truly inspired. Their patience, their joy and their willingness to serve is a gift from God. Take a moment to pray for these mothers... they're truly a blessing to many. 

We provided each house mother with their own mending kit, a folder of sewing projects and lessons in sewing. Thank you for your donations!!

In the afternoon we began teaching the high school students. We are excited to be teaching boys along with the girls this year!! Many of the students are faced with her own challenges, Some greater than others. They all have the joy of the Lord in common and eagerness to learn!!
We began teaching the students with a worksheet, where they were able to practice straight stitching using straight lines on paper. This was an excellent tool for them to practice with!! 

After they completed their worksheets, they began learning to sew a small basic Leigh's Blankie. I shared with each class about our Leigh's Blankies ministry and how the Lord continues to work in the lives of those that work with the Blankies and the children on the receiving end. I explained how we began this Blankie ministry not knowing that the Lord had great plans for it Internationally. And that we have seen his hand guide us here to Kenya. They loved hearing about how we take their completed Leigh's Blankies back home to the US to sell them and then return all of the profits to benefit their home. They're all very anxious to begin sewing the Blankies! 

Thank you all so much for your continued prayers!!  We are so thankful for the support of all of you and our families. We have another full day ahead of us, and look forward to sharing more pictures and stories with you!! 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Day 1, 2 3 and morning of the 4th- Travel, travel and pure joy at Huruma!!

Hello to all our friends and family!

We have arrived safely and are so thankful for incredibly smooth travels! It took 30 hours for our trek from Phoenix to Chicago, Chicago to Paris and then the Paris to Nairobi! We met one of our team members from Canada in Chicago, so great to meet someone new that would soon be family to us! We were very sad that two of our team members were not able to travel here with us due to illness.  They are here with us in spirit and we are so thankful for the many ways they have contributed to our team!!

We all were very short on sleep as we woke up to our first day at Huruma. But the joy of God here is so incredible we soon found ourselves with the energy we needed. (that a power nap mid day!!) Mama Zipporah was anxious to show us the brand new sewing rooms that were build under the girl’s new dormitory.  Her excitement for this sew program thrills all of us.  Unpacking the MANY sewing supplies that we purchased in the US was quite a project, but so fun to do as a team.  Quickly, the room came together and we were ready for our first class that afternoon.  We had some familiar students from last year and some new students as well!! They are excited to see the new projects we have brought to them, this is going to so fun!!

Every morning and evening we meet for prayers, singing, dancing and Bible time with the children.  The singing and dancing is probably our favorite part.  Seeing these children with so little but singing out songs of gratefulness and joy for what God has given them is absolutely priceless!  God has provided so much for them through Huruma.  They are cared for, shown the love of God and given all their necessities.  The children care for each other, leadng and holding each other accountable. I walked in to the boys dormitory last night to read “Charlotte’s Web” to the boys and I found Samuel (he calls me Mum) caring for a room of primary boys.  He explained that he is responsible for them. Although there are mothers in the home,  the older boys and girls are given responsibilities for care giving.  Since he knows me well, and my heart, he said he makes sure they each have their Leigh’s Blankie at night.  Yes, my heart is full here! I think I can speak for the rest of our team, we are falling more and more in love with the children of Huruma. I’m particular in love with the “unicorn boy” who fell asleep on the ladder as I read to him!!  What a cutie!!

A big excitement for all of us was the purchase of all of the sewing machines!! Particularly an embroidery machine!! I think you’ll love the pictures of Mama Zipporah opening up this new machine.  She kept beaming as she spoke of her hopes for the sewing program. She LOVES embroidery and would like to use this machine to embroider uniforms with Huruma’s logo.  And hopefully, in the future,  they will make uniforms for surrounding schools in Kenya and be able to embroider their logos as well.  This could provide a good income for Huruma and skill set for the students here!! Praise God!! To everyone who has prayed and gave to this project, thank you!!!

Today we will have a full day teaching the dormitory mothers and Form 1-4 students. The mothers are excited to learn so that they can keep up with the heavy demand of mending the clothes. Through donations, we have provided them with the sewing room and a sewing kit for them to keep for themselves.  Form 1-4 students are Freshman, Sophomore, Junior and Senior students.  We are teaching the beginning students on Leigh’s Blankies and our returning students we are introducing a new project, a messenger bag.
I pray this finds are families well, we miss you all!! Thank you all so much for your support as we prepared for this trip and while we are away.  Continue to pray for good health, safety and energy as our days are FULL!!!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

We are headed back to Kenya!!

We are so excited to be heading back to Kenya this July to further our sewing program at Huruma Children's Home!! We will be following up with the sew students we taught last year and teaching some new students.  We will also be setting up a Sewing Program for the students that are in transition from Huruma to life on their own.  We will be buying sewing machines, sewing notions and fabric for their orphanage. If you would like to contribute to the costs of our sewing supplies, please visit the DONATE link in the right side bar. Thank you so much for your support!!