Delivering Hope a World Away Local Relief Agency Strives to Help African Children Orphaned by AIDS
Granderson, Kimbriell, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Kimbriell Granderson Daily Herald Staff Writer
Craig Dyer's trip to Africa made him sympathetic to the plight of African children orphaned by AIDS.
For them, it's even more difficult to afford food, school books and supplies when they have no parents to pay for them.
"They were breaking pencils into three so that more could get pencils," said Dyer, president of Bright Hope International. "That has not left my heart. I want to do all I can to help those children."
The Bright Hope ministry next month will make its second trip to Africa in an attempt to deliver supplies and more than 7,000 packs of school items for youth in Zambia orphaned by AIDS. But even more help is needed.
Each year Bright Hope, a nonprofit Christian relief agency based in Hoffman Estates, collects supplies for Third World regions, such as areas in India, Haiti and countries in Africa. This year the beneficiary is Zambia.
"When you talk about a half million orphans or more in Zambia, children struggling for survival, that gets people's attention," Dyer said. "If we can keep it on the human side, people will respond. And we've seen that in our two projects."
The goal of the first project is to send 7,000 of what the organization calls "Hope Packs" to Zambia. People can buy the packet for $25 already filled with school supplies and toiletries, such as pencils, pens, notebooks and toothpaste. Others pay $6 to fill the packs themselves with a list of specified items, decorate the pack and include notes to the children who will receive them.
Area churches and civic organizations, such as Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington and St. Andrew United Methodist Church in Carol Stream, have already pitched in to help.
On March 2, Bright Hope exceeded its annual goal when members at the Mariners Church in Irvine, Calif., bought 2,000 Hope Packs and pledged to buy another 5,000. That puts Bright Hope's total at nearly 14,000 for the year.
"If we did 20,000, that would be an incredible help," Dyer said. …