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#GivingTuesday – Tuesday December 2nd

This is the first year that Reason2Smile will be participating in #GivingTuesday, the non-profit world’s answer to Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  It’s a day when we ask that you reach out and make a specific donation to our non-profit organization.  This year, #GivingTuesday will be on Tuesday December 2nd.  Our goal for that day is to raise $10,000 in support for continued quality education at Jambo Jipya School.  We have up to $15,000 available in matching funds so every dollar you donate will be equally matched!  You can give online here or by sending a check made payable to “Reason2Smile” and dated December 2, 2014.  Please visit our Facebook page for updates throughout the day! Any donation you can give will make a huge difference in the lives of the children at Jambo Jipya School so please consider giving and encourage your friends and family to do so too!  We’re looking forward to making this the biggest single fundraising day in Reason2Smile history and we’re grateful for your involvement in making it happen!

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3rd Annual Reason2Smile World Music Festival! – Saturday March 7, 2015

R2S-17MARK YOUR CALENDARS!! On Saturday March 7, 2015 the World Music Festival will return to the Lake Placid Center of the Arts in Lake Placid, NY!  Complete with workshops for children and adults alike, this event has something for everyone!  Come learn a new dance, drumming technique, or spiritual practice.  Broaden your cultural horizons!  And then be sure to join us in the evening for a wonderful performance put on by various cultural groups across the North Country.  This year you will be able to purchase a full day pass which will allow you to attend as many workshops as you’d like!  More information to come soon!

 

 

 

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Craft Fair – Saturday December 13th

IMG_3345Reason2Smile will have a variety of Kenyan made goods for sale at the Adirondack Community Church Craft Fair from 1-4pm on Saturday December 13th.  Jewelry, baskets, wire toys, carvings, scarves, cloth, and much more!  Perfect gifts for the people on your list who seem to have everything!

Also for sale at the event will be our world famous homemade donuts!!!  Come on in and warm up with a hot drink and a delicious donut!

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Craft Fair – Saturday December 6th

Join us on Saturday December 6th between 10-3pm for the Keene Central School Craft Fair!  Reason2Smile will be selling Kenyan handmade goods.  Jewelry, cloth, carvings, wire toys, baskets, scarves, and so much more!  Unique gifts for the person on your list who seems to have everything!

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R2S Profile: Donna Rosenblum

IMG_3575This past July, Reason2Smile Board member Donna Rosenblum visited the Jambo JIpya Academy in Mtwapa, Kenya. This was Donna’s second trip to the school and she plans to return again during the summer of 2015. She stayed with the Jambo Jipya Director, Christine Mwende, spending time at the school and with orphan students at the Children home.  Here is an update of her trip:

It was wonderful getting back to Mtwapa after my visit the year before with my family. The children at the school seem very happy and are learning a great deal. It was exciting to see many faces that I recognized from the year before as well as how much they have grown. I spent time visiting the different classes and watching various types of instruction. It was clear to me that everyone (both student and teacher alike) works hard and was committed to the educational process. While the school and classrooms conditions at Jambo Jipya are nothing like what we have here in the United States; as a board member, supporter and child sponsor I am thrilled to see the impact Reason2Smile in making in their lives.  Children are children no matter where they live in the world but not all have the opportunity to receive the education and skills they will need for the future. There is definitely so much more that needs to be done (slow and steady wins the race) but together we are truly helping to make an important difference for these particular students.

While the school and classrooms conditions at Jambo Jipya are nothing like what we have here in the United States; as a board member, supporter and child sponsor I am thrilled to see the impact Reason2Smile in making in their lives.

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Along with time at the school I also got to spend time with the orphan students who live at the children’s home. We had lots of fun singing, dancing, playing games, drawing and just talking. The highlight for me was taking them to a nearby beach where we spent the day just enjoying the ocean, dodging the waves and digging in the sand.

I am looking forward to my upcoming trip this coming July and can’t wait to get back to see all that has happen since I have been gone.  Some people don’t seem to understand why I want to return but these trips reaffirm why I got involved in the first place. I have been blessed with many reasons 2 smile!

 

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R2S Profile: Clinton

Clinton attended Jambo Jipya School from tenth through twelfth grade when his single mother was no longer able to pay for his school fees at the public high school in the area.  Clinton always performed with top-notch grades and while his classmates could be found socializing, Clinton was almost always studying or working on homework.  His teachers always said that of everyone in his class, he had the best chance of going on to university after graduating from Jambo Jipya.

Reason2Smile board member and volunteer John DiGiacomo teaching Clinton how to properly tie his tie.

Reason2Smile board member and volunteer John DiGiacomo teaching Clinton how to properly tie his tie.

Clinton’s goal after high school is to become a professor of science at a university and he is well on his way!  Clinton scored the highest out of his class (the first class of graduating seniors from Jambo Jipya School) on the KCSE (Kenyan Certificate of Secondary Education) exams in November 2013.  His scores were then sent on to universities he applied to and he received an acceptance letter on August 14, 2014 from Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology in Kakamega, Kenya.  On September 1, 2014 he began his first year of university and became the first student from Jambo Jipya to be accepted into and attend undergraduate school.

On September 1, 2014 he began his first year of university and became the first student from Jambo Jipya to be accepted into and attend undergraduate school!

 

Very professional!

Very professional!

Due to Clinton’s family’s financial situation, he was offered tuition assistance through the Kenyan government.  The remainder of his university fees were paid by a generous donor through Reason2Smile, and he is well into his first semester!  Clinton shared, “I am so grateful to Jambo Jipya School for giving me a good education during high school and for my Reason2Smile sponsor for giving me the opportunity to attend university.  I plan to make you all proud and work my very hardest!  I am so honored to have this opportunity!”