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Going the Extra Mile to Give Back

11/02/2015 05:29PM ● Published by Hood Magazine

By Jessica Brovold


One local family is teaching kids about giving back in a unique way. The Jensen family went to Haiti and stayed in an orphanage called Tytoo Gardens in Simonette, Haiti. Since their first trip, their lives were forever changed.


“Three families came together to fundraise to purchase bikes for children that walk miles to school everyday and live in blue tarp tents, said Jenn Jenson. “The bikes were passed out at ‘Touch of Hope’ school.”

 Jenson’s children, Kortni and Kayla both decided one Christmas to not buy gifts for their parents and to each sponsor a child in Haiti instead.

 “Kortni our oldest picked out a four year old girl,” said Jenson. “Her mom cooks at the Tytoo Orphanage we stay at. So we get to spend time with her while mom is at work. Kayla, our youngest, picked out an older sister to sponsor.” 


During a recent trip to Haiti, Kayla was able to visit her sponsor sister and bring her a back pack full of items along with a bag of rice, oil and beans, all purchased in Haiti to help the economy there.


Paying for the sponsorship means making sacrifices at home. It costs $35 a month to sponsor a child. The money covers a uniform, an education and two meals a day.


 “The girls help pay for the sponsorship each month by selling some of their clothes and toys on swap pages,” said Jenson. “They also auction baskets off at events and help at home with household chores to make extra money.”


While the children are giving to those in Haiti, they’re also gaining life-long friendships and lessons. They’re hopeful for another trip back to Haiti soon to see their friends and continue their mission of giving back. 



Touch of Hope:


The average person in Haiti makes $2 per day, which results in many families not being able to send their children to school.


 Touch of Hope was started with help from a family in Rock Rapids, Iowa and supports a school that is providing a free education to children who are at risk of not having an opportunity to attend school and get an education. The sponsorship program is what keeps the school open and operating. The program allows sponsors to start a relationship with one of the students, but to also be part of educating the future generation of Haiti. The program covers all of the school’s operating needs, provides the staff of 66 with fair salaries, giving daily meals to the children and helps purchase uniforms and school supplies.

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