Sue Werner is the founder and director of Hearts in Unity, a local non-profit organization dedicated to a mission to feed, clothe and educate the orphan and at-risk children of Tanzania. Join us as we explore a world on the other side of the world and life in the small, remote villages of Tanzania, Africa. Karibu! Welcome!
So what do you do with the greeting cards you receive from family and friends throughout the year?
Do you save only the cards that come from the really special people in your life such as a spouse or parents or children?
Or do you put all the cards in a box and tuck the box on a closet shelf (next to the boxes filled with greeting cards from all the other prior years) thinking that you will "save them for a while" to read them again sometime later? (This would be the category that best describes me -- a self-acknowledged pack rat always trying to climb out of the clutter and "simplify my life" ).
Or perhaps you are a "crafty" person who saves greeting cards because they are too pretty to throw away and you are CERTAIN they can be used in a craft project someday? (OK - as long as I am confessing, I fit in this category too).
Did you know that all those greeting cards you receive can be "recycled" in a way that will bring hope and joy to an orphan or other at-risk child in Tanzania, Africa?
All it takes is a few minutes of your time and you can send a simple message of encouragement and a smile to a child on the other side of the world!
It's really quite simple!
Just cut off the front of the card and use the blank side as a postcard on which to write a short note of greeting and encouragement. Recycled Christmas cards that have Merry Christmas or other similar Christmas greetings printed on the card are fine -- we hand these out in our Tanzanian villages at Christmas-time. Cards printed with the words Happy Birthday, Thank You, Happy Mothers Day, etc. are best avoided. Choosing cards with colorful pictures is best.
Including the following traditional "blessing" written in Swahili, the native language of Tanzanians, would be especially treasured by the children who receive your postcards (though this blessing is not required on any postcards you write.)
Haya ndiyo ninayokutakia katika maisha yako...
Bwana awabariki na kuwalinda,
Bwana awainulie uso wake na kuwabariki,
Bwana awaangazie nuru ya uso wake na kuwapa amani.
Postcards written in English are fine, and will be translated for the younger children in our Tanzanian villages who have not yet started to learn English. If you wanted to include other Swahili words/phrases, consider including one or more of the following to the message on your postcard:
Jambo = Hello
Habari yako = How are you?
Mimi ni mzima = I am fine
Jina langu ni _____ = My name is ______
Uwe na siku njema = Have a good day
Amani ikae nanyi = Peace be with you
Once you have written your postcards, you simply enclose them in an envelope or box and mail them to our Germantown address. The postcards will then be shipped or hand-carried to Tanzania where we then hand deliver them to Tanzanian children who are especially in need of your message of encouragement.
This is an ongoing project through Hearts in Unity. Completed postcards can be mailed to us at anytime. Our mailing address is:
Hearts in Unity
P.O. Box 41
Germantown, WI 53022 USA
It's easy to make a difference in the life of an orphan or other at-risk child living in Tanzania, the 5th poorest country in the world. Through our "Message from the Heart" project, you can give a simple gift that truely touches a child’s heart and lets them know that they are loved. And it’s easy for everyone to do.
To learn more about this project you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the "Messages from the Heart" page on our website www.heartsinunity.org/message.html
We welcome all individuals and school, church, club and other community groups interested in participating in this heartwarming project.
Karibu watu wote! Welcome all!