Thursday, September 15, 2016

5 Days To Go!


...The Countdown Has Begun!  

5 days and counting until our stellar students leap into a new school year! And it is purely because of your generosity that 233 children and youth will start this year off with the materials they need.

At this point, you have raised $2,325 for our youth, putting us at 33% of our $7,000 goal! But with 5 days to go, we’re still hoping to reach that final $4670!

Here’s a video recap of this campaign thus far; see where your generosity has been directed and what you’ve made possible for our youth this year:



Dimes for Dreams Cans: If you aren’t already, please keep filling up those cans! We will be collecting the cans closer to the end of this campaign. (Don’t know what “Dimes for Dreams” is? See the bottom of this email!)

Facebook, Email, Text, Sing it from the Mountain-tops!: Please “share” about this campaign on your social media (here’s our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/unitingdistantstars), post our flyers (attached below) wherever you have access to, and use the gift of word of mouth!

Make a Donation!: All donations are 100% tax-deductible! Please donate via PayPal (go to our website and click “donate” button) or send a Check payable to "Uniting Distant Stars" at:

Uniting Distant Stars
4010 Lawndale LN N
Plymouth, MN 55446

Thank you for all that you do.

Uniting  Distant Stars

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Liberian children need access to primary level education

Schools started opening this week in Liberia; however, not all children will be enrolled. In fact, "Liberia has the highest proportion of children missing out on primary school education, the United Nations said on Thursday, with nearly two-thirds of its children never stepping inside a classroom (source: Thomson Reuters Foundation News)." This equates to 62% of Liberian children not receiving primary education. As we all know, elementary school is the foundation for our educational careers and without it, we are less likely to secure a livable wage job.

UDS Star Supporters have been delivering school supplies to Russ Wood Students since 2012. They hold all classes in this one room building from kindergarten to seventh grade.
Since 2011, Uniting Distant Stars has provided scholarships to young students, who had no financial support to stay in school. Our sponsors are committed to supporting their students either through 6th grade or 12th grade. We had our first high school graduate in 2014 and two more in 2016. This is one of three programs that UDS supports the education of children and youth in Liberia.

During the 2015-2016 academic, four dedicated Star Supporters sponsored 15 students. Out of the 15, seven maintained an 80% or better for the year and six were between 70% to 80%. We have not received the grade sheets of the two graduates yet, but we know both passed. 

Unfortunately, we had our first drop out this year. This student was in the 5th grade and 18 years of age. Their education was disrupted by the civil war, poverty, and Ebola that forced them to be an older student in grade school. It is quite difficult and frustrating to be an older student sitting among younger children. All attempts were made to mentor this young person this past year to stay in school by their mother, teachers and vice principal, and UDS country director and  volunteers. However, this young adult decided to quit and we had to honor their wish. UDS doors are always open for this young person and we hope they will want to resume their education when they are ready. 


This student's story stresses the importance of helping children attend school at an early age. In addressing this concern, UDS has added to new young students attending kindergarten through one of our sponsors. We hope to add two more young children as we wait for confirmation from two other sponsors. We currently have 15 scholarship students enrolled and their total tuition is $4,025 for this school year. 

As mentioned earlier, our scholarship program is one way we support education in Liberia. The other two are our learning center and annual school supply drives. The UDS Learning Center allows students to access a library and after school study classes to complete homework and prepare for tests. Our annual school supply drive provides 700 students with the basic necessities they need to take notes, complete they daily lessons and so forth. Sadly, several students are returning to school empty handed because their parents are unable to buy these essential supplies. 

Your generosity is extremely appreciated by the children and youth you serve in Liberia. Also, your continued support ensures young Liberians have an opportunity to achieve their academic requirements. Finally, your investment in the education of Liberian students provides a return of their employability in the job market or ability to start a business. 

Our 6th Annual School Supply Drive is about to end but there is still time to donate, share and encourage others to support Liberia's young children. Click here for the different ways to donate or share this post on your social media sites. Remember #EducationMatters. Thank you!!!

Monday, September 5, 2016

School Supplies Drive, Final Stages!

...Less than 2 weeks left!

Right now, we are coming to the final stages of our “2016 School Supplies” campaign!

We are so very grateful! You’ve made it possible for 167 students to start the year off prepared with the materials they need, having raised a total of $1,675!

But, there are still 533 kids without funding for their supplies. Right now, we would like to review how you can still help us raise the final $5,330 of our $7,000 goal:
5
Dimes for Dreams Cans: If you aren’t already, please keep filling up those cans! We will be collecting the cans closer to the end of this campaign. (Don’t know what “Dimes for Dreams” is? See the bottom of this email!)

Facebook, Email, Text, Sing it from the Mountain-tops!: Please “share” about this campaign on your social media (here’s our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/unitingdistantstars), post our flyers (attached below) wherever you have access to, and use your gift of word of mouth!

Make a Donation!: All donations are 100% tax-deductible! Please donate via PayPal (go to our website and click “donate” button) or send a Check payable to "Uniting Distant Stars" at:

Uniting Distant Stars
4010 Lawndale LN N
Plymouth, MN 55446

And prayers/good thoughts sent our way are of course always welcome and make all the difference, as well.

Thank you so much for all that you do. You truly are rock-stars!

Uniting Distant Stars
______________________________


Dimes for Dreams: http://www.unitingdistantstars.com/2016/03/uniting-distant-stars-dime-for-dreams.html

Do you have a jar or little bowl at home where you dump your pocket change at the end of the day? Replace that container with a “Dimes for Dreams” can, and just like that, you’re effortlessly raising money for our youth in Liberia. Read more about it by clicking the link above, and to order a can of your own, reply to this email, or call UDS Co-founder, Heather Cannon-Winkleman at: 612-232-7541.

For free, a UDS team member can deliver one to your home as well, or we can mail you one!


Printable Flyer:

Saturday, September 3, 2016

A New School Year!


...School is just around the corner!


For UDS students, a new school year means so many exciting things.

It means being back with friends and dedicated leaders. It means getting the chance to learn about this incredible world we live in. And it means discovering how to go about in it as individuals with hearts, minds, talents, and dreams, totally unique to them.

As we start this new chapter, we are so filled with gratitude for the ways you’ve lifted these stellar youth.  We would like to thank you, (and thank you again), for the ripple of positivity you have created in their lives!

Right now, the end of our “2016 School Supplies Campaign” is fast-approaching. For this year’s campaign, we hoped to provide 700 students attending 3 different schools with basic school supplies.

According to a recent poll, the average American student spends upwards of $600 on school supplies, back to school clothes, and electronics. The same amount could support 60 liberian children and youth, with each student costing a total of $10!

So far, you’ve made it possible for 167 students to obtain the materials they’ll need, having raised a total of $1,675.

We are at nearly 25% of our $7,000 goal! If you can think of anyone who would like to join in supporting this effort, please forward our information along. Alternatively, below is a printable flyer which can be posted at church, work, or at coffee shop pin board near you!

Donations can be made by PayPal (go to website and click donate button) or send Check payable to "Uniting Distant Stars" at:

Uniting Distant Stars
4010 Lawndale LN N
Plymouth, MN 55446

To keep in mind:
The 3 highest donations made by the end of this campaign will not only receive acknowledgment on the site, but will also obtain special recognition when the school supplies are delivered to the students in September, in the form of a PSA Video! UDS students will get to express directly to you, through digital media, their appreciation for your continuous and selfless support.

Again, we want to thank you most sincerely for your support; be it through monetary contributions, sharing our message within your own circles, or directing prayers our way.

Your influence is felt with gratitude all the way across the world!

Thank you, (and thank you again),

Uniting Distant Stars


Sunday, August 28, 2016

UDS Youth & Children, Singing for Joy!

Dear Star Supporter,

You make our hearts sing! Your big-heartedness provided over 250 children with school supplies for their first four years at Russ Wood Christian Academy (2012). Then, just last year, City of Joy and Rogma International Schools were also added to our school supply distribution list, making our goal this year to provide for 700 students!

Your continued generous support and outreach to others can ensure these 700 students receive their much needed school supplies this year!

So far, you have graciously raised $1,661 to buy 166 students school supplies in September. This is nearly 25% of our $7,000 goal! In searching through our archives, we found this video of the children at Russ Wood gathered outside, having just received their school supplies in 2012.


These children feel your compassion immensely, on a daily basis.

And, as a token of our appreciation, we would like to remind you that the 3 highest donations made by the end of this campaign will not only receive acknowledgment on the site, but will also have special recognition arranged when the school supplies is delivered to the students in September. Your names will be recognized in a PSA video by the very students your donation supports!

A donation of $10 will lift these children up in song. A donation of $50 or more will have them singing and dancing. And, a donation of $100 or more will bring them joy beyond measure.

All donations are 100% tax-deductible, and can be gifted according to the following methods:

Donation by PayPal (go to website and click “donate” button) or Check payable to "Uniting Distant Stars" at:

Uniting Distant Stars
4010 Lawndale LN N
Plymouth, MN 55446
     ​ ✩ ​✩ ​✩ ​✩ ​✩ ​✩ ​✩ ​✩​

Please share this email with others to ensure all 700 young students attending City of Joy, Rogma International, and Russ Wood Schools will be given school supplies in September.
Alternatively, feel free to post our attached flyer at your church, coffee shop, or any other place that has a community board!

We so appreciate your light and generosity,

Uniting Distant Stars

Sunday, August 14, 2016

John Zarzar gives thanks for your contributions to UDS’ Academic & Vocational aid programs!

Recently one of our computer students, John Zarzar, expressed in an email to National Youth Leader, Anna Bertch, his joy and praise to everyone who has contributed to supporting the children and youth in Liberia. Your contributions are literally changing the world

This young man is fairly new to our computer training program, but immediately he saw what all of you, our community at Uniting Distant Stars, is doing to support these students at with their education and vocational training needs.

John was also proud to share that he graduated from Open Bible High School on Thursday, August 4th.  Here his email:

​“Hi Miss Anna we Liberians are grateful to God for You. Thanks for your love towards our country. And to the Board and members of the board of uniting distant stars globally. May God Almighty increase your leadership ability, give you wisdom and empower in you knowledge. The fact that Liberia will rise one day it will be through yours andother’s contributions in terms of Vocational and Academic aid and others. You are blessed. John M. Zarzar,Jr. student uniting distant stars (Liberia).

John gives Thanks to you, who contributed to Academic and Vocational Aid.
We are so grateful for John's email because his feedback confirms our unified resolve to Liberian children & youth. Since our last email on Wednesday, we raised another $426 (22%) and have a grand total of $1,536

The 700 children of City of JoyRogma International, and Russ Wood schools are in desperate need of school supplies for next month, as they will be starting a new year. 

​Your generosity in 2015, gave joy and smiles to these children from City of Joy, Rogma International, and Russ Wood Schools (left to right).
You can continue to move this campaign upwards in meeting our $7,000 goal by donating $50 or more today. Your gift is tax-deductible, but importantly priceless to the bright children you are helping. 

The first five individuals to donate over $75, until today August 14th, will receive special mention on our site for the month of September as “Honorary Donors.” (For those who have already made contributions of $75 and more, your names will be featured as well!)

The 3 highest donations made by the end of this campaign will not only receive acknowledgment on the site, but will also obtain special recognition when the school supplies is delivered to the students in September, in the form of a PSA Video! UDS students will get to express to you through digital media their appreciation for you themselves.

Please donate by PayPal (go to website and click donate button) or Check payable to "Uniting Distant Stars" at:

Uniting Distant Stars
4010 Lawndale LN N
Plymouth, MN 55446

The kindness you are showing these children is truly appreciated. They will have an opportunity to express their gratitude with a handwritten “Thank You” letter for donations of:
  • $100 or more, you will receive a letter from one student.
  • $500 or more, you will receive three letters from three different students representing each school.
Your letter will be emailed during the months of September and October.

Sincerest Thanks for Supporting Children and Youth in Liberia!!!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

2016 School Supplies Drive, Only Headed Upward!

Dear Star Supporter,

Things, thanks to YOU, are only headed one direction: upward! 

Everyday, we come closer and closer to reaching our $7,000 goal for the 2016 Annual School Supplies Drive. Just this week, an additional $401 was raised toward this very important cause! That means we’re at $1,386, which is about 20% of our total goal... ✩​And we’re only headed upward!✩​

We, and hundreds of youth on the other side of the globe, would like to express our sincerest gratitude for your unfailing generosity. Your contributions are literally changing the world. By providing bright young minds with the means to leverage their brilliance and problem-solving abilities, you are making a real difference.

With the funds raised from this campaign, UDS will provide 700 young students attending City of JoyRogma International, and Russ Wood Schools with much needed school supplies. 

In recent, exciting news, UDS leader, Kelvin Fomba, was honored on the behalf of UDS by the Hossana Children's Foundation. Hosanna is partnered with City of Joy school, and their mission as an organization is to serve impoverished children.

Here are photos from the recognition ceremony.

Kelvin (pink shirt) recieving an award on behalf of UDS’ work in Liberia.

Students from city of Joy School. Your generosity provided school supplies to these children in 2015, they can’t wait to start this school year off, too!

Kelvin (pink shirt) pinning a flower on a little girl for her academic efforts.
And now, we would like to shed a little light on you. 

The first five individuals to donate over $75, from now until August 14th, will receive special mention on our site for the month of September as “Honorary Donors.” (For those who have already made contributions of $75 and more, your names will be featured as well!) This is in addition to the the personalized handwritten Thank You letter received from a student for donations:

  • $100 or more, you will receive a letter from one student.
  • $500 or more, you will receive three letters from three different students representing each school.

Your letter will be emailed during the months of September and October.

That's not all! The 3 highest donations made by the end of this campaign will not only receive acknowledgment on the site, but will also obtain special recognition when the school supplies is delivered to the students in September, in the form of a PSA Video! UDS students will get to express to you through digital media their appreciation for you themselves. 

All donations are 100% tax-deductible, and can be gifted according to the following methods:  

Donation by PayPal (go to website and click donate button) or Check payable to "Uniting Distant Stars" at:

Uniting Distant Stars
4010 Lawndale LN N
Plymouth, MN 55446
      ​    ✩ ​✩ ​✩ ​✩ ​✩ ​✩ ​✩ ​✩​

Please share this email with others to ensure all 700 young students attending City of JoyRogma International, and Russ Wood Schools will be given school supplies in September. 

Alternatively, feel free to post our attached flyer at your church, coffee shop, or any other place that has a community board!

Many, many thanks,

Anna Bertch
Uniting Distant Stars, National Youth Leader