Lilongwe, Malawi … In this modern age, it is hard to imagine there are parents who cannot afford to purchase a pencil for their school age children. But in Malawi, one of the poorest nations on earth, the income for many of the village families is only $ 1.90 a day. They must weigh the cost of buying a pencil against the rising costs for essentials needed for the survival of the family. 

Dan Challenges and Gabriela Responds

Recently Dan Brewer, a member of the Board of Directors for the Malawi Project challenged supporters to gather pencils for Malawi Schools. The first person to respond came in an email from Gabriela, a 9th grader in southern Florida. She had helped gather pill containers for an earlier campaign and had successfully collected 1,000 pill containers. She was under 10 years-of-age at the time! Her most recent letter reads: 

My name is Gabriela Q________., a 9th grade student at American Heritage Plantation in Broward County, Florida. A few years back when I was in 3rd grade, I did a project where I collected almost one thousand pill bottles to send to Malawi. When I saw this email, I immediately thought of how a small child, not even 10 years old, could take the initiative and collect that many pill bottles to support a good cause, then why can’t I, older, more mature, and a smarter, better student can’t do that again. There are around three thousand students at my school, so collecting 50,000 pencils shouldn’t be an issue. I believe if this year I put my mind to it and really help to benefit a good cause, I can even surpass that goal and collect around 55,000 pencils. My school would without a doubt pick up this opportunity and help me to benefit the lives of other students across the globe at any means necessary.”

Richard Stephens, co-Founder and Secretary of the Board of Directors for the Malawi Project shared his response to Gabriela’s email. “I read her email and remembered when she contacted us 6 years earlier. She was inspiring to us when she was not even 10-years-of age. Now she has approached us again, “more mature, smarter, older and a better student.” Her email brought tears to my eyes and stopped my work in its tracks. What would the world be like if there were more young people like Gabriela? Who will she be when she grows up? How many people is she going to help? How much encouragement and positive thinking is she going to spread in the world? What a day of excitement to receive her email.”

If you want to help Gabriela reach her goal of 55,000 pencils for Malawi, please send your contribution or a box or two of pencils to: Malawi Project, 2421 Golfside Drive, Lebanon, Indiana 46052

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