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LuAnas Bookshelf

$1,140 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 9 people in 15 months
I have encountered many children on my journey that will do anything to go to school.  For example, in Peru the children are hiking hours down the mountain side to attend the school in the valley.  Because their homes are so far up in the Andes these children are sleeping on the streets and in the jungle, just to be able to attend school.  They are not eating breakfast or dinner, just the measly little lunch the school provides, and they are defiantly not getting homework done or even sleeping properly.  But, these children know the value of education.

Here in this valley, a wonderful woman from California started a dorm.  This dorm allows the children to have a bed, breakfast, dinner, and a tutor.  But, it is so much deeper than that.  In this safe environment the children eventually open up, tell about the abuses that may go on at home, they trust and feel loved and safe.  This dorm holds 19 children, there are about 70 children sleeping on these streets.  By creating a book with these children we can raise money to open a second dorm!

I grew up just North of Toronto, ON Canada; we didn’t have a lot of money but we had enough, and lots of love.   I always loved school and when the end of summer would come I got so excited to have a new backpack and fill it with fresh new things for the classroom.  There was nothing like the first day back.  When I got older I still felt like that, there was always something about being in a school and working with children that came so natural to me, it made me feel centered and peaceful. 

I have also have a deep passion for travel; learning about different cultures, languages and foods.  On day when I was in Dominican Republic on an all inclusive vacation I met and started chatting with a local, who was selling jewellery on my resort.  While we were talking he told me about his work building homes and schools with the missionaries that come down from other countries.  I expressed such an interest that he offered to take me to see some of these places.  When I visited the school and saw the condition it was in compared to our schools here in Canada, my heart was so overwhelmed with love that I became determined to try and raise money for them.  I told the director of that school that I would do whatever I could when I returned to Canada.

When I got home I found it very difficult to raise money.  At the time I was selling my beeswax art at craft shows and festivals, so, at these shows I would raffle off some of my work and other various things, to raise money for the school in Dominican Republic.  I started a go fund me account and talked to everyone I could.  What I discovered was that everyone wants something for their money; I knew I needed something tangible to sell. 

For a couple months I tried to think of something that I could sell, that people would want, and that would raise enough money to help this school.  The more I thought about it, the more I really wanted it to be something that the children created.  I wanted to empower them by feeling apart of raising money for their own education.  

One day, in August 2015, it hit me, a children’s story book!  I contacted the director of the school in Dominican Republic and pitched my idea.  I suggested I could come into the school to work with the children and have them draw all kinds of pictures, which I would cut and paste together to create the illustrations for a children’s story book I would write.  He loved the idea. This was my first of many school, to which many have followed.

All the costs in creating these books I pay for with my with my own income.  The plane tickets, transportation, accommodations, food and etc.  I also pay for the supplies to create the books, (including about $80 worth of pencil crayons and paper that I leave at the schools as a donation), and printed copies of the books, accountant, craft shows, etc., all out of my own pocket. 

Please donate today and help me help the children, monies will be used to help me create and sell these books as well as go towards needs in the schools themselves.
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Today I'm here for 2 weeks in the mountains of Guatemala with CCAMRE (canadiancamre.org), a mission charity group out of Canada. I thought it would be a good experience for me and that I could learn more to help me with my work with LuAna's Bookshelf. I am learning more than I could have ever imagined.

This last week there was a dental team and a medical team. The need of the people was so great, no cavities here to fill... solely extractions... after extractions after extractions; one lady had 24 teeth pulled her mouth was so bad! One of our amazing dentists offered to buy her dentures. Our small team could only provide so much, all hands were needed on deck. I found myself working as a dental assistant, as a translator speaking Spanish I didn't even know I was capable of, handling intake forms and eventually running the sterilization station. It was an exhausting and extremely gratifying 3 days of crazy.

Another part of amazing experience, and I will continue to experience more of next week, is the sponsorship and scholarship program. One little guy shed some very bothersome light on why these people are so poor. The main source of income in these mountains is working in the fields picking coffee berries. This is not easy work in general, but especially here; these coffee trees grow on very step mountain sides, making it difficult to access. The people in these mountains make 95 quetzales per sack of coffee cherries. This is about $16 CAD per sack. Harvesting season lasts about 3 months... per year. If the whole family works, children included, a family of about 7 may produce 50 sacks per year... about $820 CAD per year... no wonder these people are starving. Think about this next time you enjoy a nice hot cup of coffee, comfortable in your home; these people have mud huts... didn't think they really got that bad? I'm telling you first hand... it is that bad.

Lets change this; it all begins with awareness. Thank you for reading. Xoxo
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Hi everyone!

Nova Scotia proved to be a very wise decision. Not only did it help center me so that I could regain my energy, it gave me a drive and a focus I desperately needed.

While spending my time there, dedicating myself to LuAnas Bookshelf, I am pleased to say that on August 22 it was Federally registered as a Non Profit organization!

Also, I was able to get the books properly designed and sourced a printer that allowed me to drop the cost of the book and therefore have a margin for sales! So, I am pleased to announce that the books now are only $11.99, compared to the $20 I was having to charge before.

From Nova Scotia I traveled to Peru to do another book, and from there to Dominican Republic to revisit the first 2 schools, and drop off a donation. You can watch videos, see pictures and read stories about all this on my facebook page, LuAnas Bookshelf.

I am also excited to announce that my new website has been launched! My wonderful graphic designer has worked her butt off creating the most beautiful website I have ever seen! I may be bias but I sure don't think so! lol. But don't tank my word for it, check it out for yourself and let me know what you think! LuAnasBookshelf.com

I hope you are all well and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your love and support.

Heidi-Marie
xoxo
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I have had a friend offer to let me live with her for free so that I can quit my job and focus full time on LuAnas Bookshelf! So I am jumping in my car and travelling East to make this dream a reality!

I have just over $4000 to my name and am jumping into the arms of the divine and trusting it to catch me. This is how much I believe in this being my calling, my reason for living. Any help towards this would be wonderful and greatly appreciated. I need to order books, register the company, hire a graphic designer to make my website professional... and so much more.

I'm going all in and making this dream a reality.

Together we can give these children the education they deserve!!!

Heidi-Marie
xoxo
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$1,140 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 9 people in 15 months
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JK
$100
Julie Kagan
3 months ago
$100
Anonymous
3 months ago
JJ
$60
Jennifer Jahnke
7 months ago
JK
$100
Julie Kagan
7 months ago
KR
$25
Karen Raymond
7 months ago
KT
$40
Kirsten Thomson
14 months ago
$200
Merry Gagnon
15 months ago
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15 months ago
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15 months ago
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