Stillwater News Press


October 2, 2009

Local church takes tripless trip, raises money for orphanage

By embarking on a “tripless trip,” the members of Mosaic Community have raised more than $20,000 this summer for the Kids of Hope orphanage in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

The congregation of about 75 people raised the money through various individual and group efforts, and says that while raising such a substantial amount is exciting, the opportunity to learn about the 18 children at Kids of Hope and positively impact their lives is even more rewarding.

“These children, along with their director Jonathan Yon, are in our hearts,” said Dawnell Reese, pastor of Mosaic. “Many of these children have never known the security of a home and we want them to have that, and so much more.”

The funds will support the purchase of land and the construction of a new facility for the orphanage, which has outgrown its current location. Mosaic heard about the orphanage’s need for a new facility through Cowboys with Compassion, a Stillwater-based non-profit organization.

CC intends to build the new facility complete with a sustainability plan that includes a safe water source, a pond for fish, a garden, an orchard, and animals for milk and a source of food.

Mosaic’s members took on the fundraising project by making commitments of at least $1,000 per family toward a tripless trip. They committed to raising the money as if they were actually going to fly to Cambodia and spend two weeks there.

Some sent out support letters, others raised their pledge in different ways such as selling homemade enchiladas and holding garage sales. Instead of taking the trip, however, they stayed at home in Stillwater and sent the money to the children at Kids of Hope.

“We felt like our money would be more effective if it were spent entirely on a new home for the kids,” said Cindy Schaefer, an elder at Mosaic. “Many of us do hope to one day really make the trip and meet the kids face-to-face.”

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