Hygiene items and soccer equipment may seem like strange bedfellows – but not for Jackrabbit when it comes to providing supplies that will help the neediest children in the world.
Last December, Jackrabbit made its behind the scenes relationship with Grain of Wheat International more hands-on by packing more than 300 back packs with hygiene supplies. These back packs were delivered to the children in a village outside of Bogata, Colombia in January of 2013.
The December “packing party” was a great success for Grain of Wheat’s Project Clean but it was also a heartening experience for the Jackrabbit team – so much so that the team committed to continue its hands-on efforts on a regular basis.
Hence our summer Project Clean efforts:
Even with the Jackrabbit team’s busy summer schedules filled with conferences and events, customer implementations and special competitive projects, each team member took back packs to fill with 4 basic hygiene items. They sought out gently used soccer equipment with the children of Madagascar in mind.
Image 1: Jackrabbit’s Sara Beth Jones helps organize collection items
Image 2: A closer look at the hygiene back packs and soccer equipment
Through Grain of Wheat’s Kim Westfall, Jackrabbit learned that – even in the very poor areas of Madagascar – children love soccer and play it at every opportunity! In fact, soccer is such a unifying activity that they find ways to play using cloths wrapped around their feet and balls made of masking tape because they have no equipment! This image sparked an idea for Kim. Providing soccer camps (with real soccer equipment) would be an amazing way to gather children so that Project Clean could then provide hygiene items that can help them to survive.
“This is perfect for us! With our market-base being children’s activity centers of all kinds, providing needy children with the supplies that will help them enjoy sports activities just makes sense,” comments Jackrabbit’s President, Mark Mahoney, “We’ve collected some soccer equipment from our own children’s closets but will augment that with orders of new equipment to hopefully outfit at least one soccer camp.”
So the first effort to supply a soccer camp is almost complete. Equipment – in the form of gently used and brand new – is on its way to Atlanta based Grain of Wheat office – along with the back packs, of course.
“Hope4Kids/Grain of Wheat International is such as resourceful group to identify ways to interact effectively with children and families who have tremendous needs but may not respond to simple offers of soap and toothpaste,” comments Jackrabbit’s President, Mark Mahoney. “That is one of the inspirations to work closely with them to help make their programs successful,” adds Mahoney.
There are more than 1.1 billion people in developing countries have inadequate access to water, and 2.6 billion lack basic sanitation, according to GlobalIssues.org, so there are plenty of areas in need. The most difficult decision is which areas to help first.
“We seek out ways to bring the children in the poorest areas of the world the basic necessities that they lack and to share with them the Word of God,” adds Westfall. “Our efforts go beyond one visit, to provide a series of programs designed to continuously meet the basic needs of these children. Jackrabbit’s continued support in both financial and hands-on ways is important to our ability to provide hope to children around the world.”