Gemma is grateful for all the people who are coming onboard the good ship St Jude, and she is especially grateful to those people who helped build the ship, right back at the beginning.
I'll never forget that my local Rotary Club gave it support when the probability of it failing was quite high.
Gemma is featured in the latest issue of Rotary Down Under, June 2007.
In the article, she spells out the full extent of the current building program on two campuses. In the next six months she is building 26 classrooms, two food halls, boarding accommodation for 800 children, three staff rooms, four computer labs, toilets, a water tower and water tanks. All up, it is millions of dollars of investment. She has $60,000 in the bank – so money is needed!
The school sponsorship program attracts lots of people who want to sponsor a child, but the building works for a new high school to serve the kids in future years needs people who are prepared to pay for 'invisible' things like computer cable, cement, steel and timber.
I've never had to turn a sponsorship away, but it is getting close.
I have a photo I keep in my wallet of a parent who has just seen her child in uniform for the first time. When times are getting really bad, I pull that out and it puts things in perspective.
Wearing the St Jude's uniform has a big reputation in our area now. It basically says you're going to have a good life. Your life is going to be different.
If you are able to help with a little, or a lot!, check out the Current Campaign page on the School of St Jude website. Why not invite some friends to afternoon tea and invite them to contribute $10 each?
Everyone wants to see this ship make a safe trip across difficult waters. The destination is a land of hope for hundreds of bright children.
What do you think? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.