|Yes, it really is mine! Thank you!? |
A smile of appreciation from a patient at the Hospitality
Center after he's told he can keep the toy.
When Miss Ginny heard that two members of the church would be volunteering full-time with Mercy Ships onboard the Africa Mercy , she quickly invited them to talk to her class about the mission of the organization. Their presentation included a short video showing life onboard the hospital ship.
The children were fascinated - especially when they saw the children recovering in the wards. They excitedly wanted to know how they could help those kids.
Miss Ginny encouraged them to come up with some creative ideas. And they did! They sponsored a circus in their classroom one Sunday morning before church. They also sold tiny toys and even did chores around their homes to earn money for their Mercy Ships Fund.
In a few weeks, they presented a check for over $150 to the Mercy Ships volunteers to buy stuffed animals for the children in Togo, West Africa. "They need something to hug ," explained one of the children.
The first batch of stuffed animals was distributed to children at the Mercy Ships Hospitality Center in Lomé,Togo. People who are recuperating from surgery or awaiting surgery stay at the center. Children on crutches. . . children with serious burns, massive tumors, and cleft lips. . . tiny crying babies. . . all received their own huggable toy.
The mother of one young patient told a nurse that the toy was kept for in-the-house play only, so it wouldn't be lost or stolen. When asked if the toy was her little boy's first teddy bear, she responded, "It's the first gift he ever got !" His first gift was a gift of love from children thousands of miles away in Miss Ginny's class.
Written by Elaine B. Winn
Photo by Mercy Ships