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SparkleSister Michelle Dunphy has seen firsthand the impact that resources we often take granted can have on children in impoverished countries. Shedrack, the Tanzanian student she sponsors through the Brighter Tanzania Foundation had rickets, a disorder that causes the softening and weakening of bones, usually because of an extreme and prolonged vitamin D deficiency. He was only five years old, but his legs were so brittle he couldn’t run and play like a normal five-year-old. “His mom spent all of their savings getting him surgery, which didn’t fix the problem—malnutrition.”
“Now seven years old, Shedrack is running and playing; he’s thriving because of Brighter Tanzania’s school meal program,” said Michelle. “I got involved with this organization because we all need to give back not only to our local communities and country but to the world as well. There are so many in desperate need across the globe.”
Michelle, who has been with Brighter Tanzania since January, discovered the organization while she was looking for volunteer positions.
“I have really enjoyed dedicating my time to helping these adorable children. Like Nelson Mandela said, ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
In the past three years of its existence, Saving Grace (the school that Brighter Tanzania finances) has grown from a handful of students to 72! However, Saving Grace is only able to serve very young children (ages three to seven) due to Tanzania Ministry of Education regulations. The rented facility lacks the appropriate acreage to register as a primary school.
“By expanding into upper grades, Saving Grace school will grow with its students and increase its positive impact on this impoverished community. Our solution is to purchase land—a three-acre plot--and build a new school facility.” Michelle said the overall project costs, including land, materials, labor and even new desks and materials comes to $74,000.
They have launched a Foundations for the Future campaign with a virtual 5k event, Cheetah Challenge 5k. Those who register by July 7th will be entered into the early entry door prize drawing—you could win the $20 SparkleSpotlight gift certificate along with other prizes including two $50 Sparkle gift cards. The final race registration deadline is July 21st as runners are encouraged to complete the 5k between July 28th and July 31st. Help provide a brighter future for 72 current students and future students by participating in Michelle's virtual 5k, and who knows you could even win one of the SparkleSkirts gift cards or other great prizes!
How did Michelle get addicted to SparkleSkirts? Her quest for pockets and shorts that didn't ride up! She now wears them casually and for exercise—running, hot yoga, you name it. She says SparkleSkirts have made her feel empowered to get out there and move since she doesn't feel exposed, she can take her necessities with her, and they make her feel pretty.