As you may know, I’ve developed a relationship with the Pastor, his kids, his community, and their school in Ghana, Africa. I’ve written about it in my “A Story of Giving” column, my “Africa Zebras” blog (with the great photos), and spoken of it on my Radio Show (August 12, 2010). They are wonderful young girls that we’ve sent books and more to. Soon, we’ll be sending some laptops (from The Wright Centre for Orthodontics). Pastor Frank Bennin is father to some (biologically), and “Father” to all, spiritually.
I wanted to share with you a chat I had with Pastor Frank, via Facebook, about what we hope to accomplish together. Please note their address if you want to send your own box of books, magazines, toys, stuffed animals, and more.
The best way to do this is via the USPO international flat rate. You can get the boxes for free at your local Post Office, but be aware that the cost to mail the box is $55. So, be sure to be selective and pack that box fully.
I can guarantee you that if you involve your children in doing this, the rewards will far outweigh the costs. Ask your other friends for their used and no longer even looked at books, small toys, games, and such. Doing this is sending them somewhere where they are really appreciated!
Here’s my chat and their address highlighted within it. As it was quite long, I’ve edited it a bit, but the pertinent material is right here:
7:53 a.m. Me: Hi! Are you at the Internet Cafe?
7:54 a.m. Alolites (one of their Facebook names): Yes
7:54 a.m. Me: Who is there?
7:54 a.m. Alolites: Frank himself
7:55 a.m. Me: The ONE and ONLY?
7:55 a.m. Alolites: The big daddy is here
7:55 a.m. Me: BBBIIIGGGG Daddy!
7:55 a.m. Alolites: Uncle Bruce! I love you
7:55 a.m. Me: I think the laptops will be coming soon! They are being re-conditioned. There will be 2 or 3 of them
7:55 a.m. Alolites: Thanks in advance
7:56 a.m. Me: If I’m “Uncle Bruce” then what are you? “Uncle Frank?” “Poppa Frank?”
7:56 a.m. Alolites: I am Brother Frank
7:56 a.m. Me: Brother Frank – Got it. We want to come to Africa in 2012 and will visit you then…we can bring some things too
7:57 a.m. Alolites: We can’t wait for your visit!
7:58 a.m. Me: You’ve gotten 5 boxes now, right? 3 from us, 1 from the Wright Centre and 1 from the Blaines? Correct?
7:59 a.m. Alolites: Yes we did
8:01 a.m. Alolites: We need them (the laptops) badly
8:02 a.m. Me: You have electricity easily in Agona Swedru, but no Internet ability, correct? And the Internet access (I assume you can’t get internet access at the school or home)?
8:04 a.m. Alolites: We will buy Broadband and use it
8:04 a.m. Me: GREAT! So you can get Broadband at home?
8:05 a.m. Alolites: Yes
8:05 a.m. Me: We need to get you more for the library to be real! (note to readers: Pastor Frank has said they intend to build a library named after my column!)
8:05 a.m. Alolites: Concerning 2012 visit, I will ask you email to tell me more about it
8:06 a.m. Me: I’ve made no plans yet. It’s just a desire. I am speaking at an important Social Media conference next month. It will be heard and seen by many people. I will be mentioning you so I want to be sure to have the right address. I will also hopefully be able to project some of the great photos you sent. It would be nice to have a photo of where you hope the library will be? A building, land, whatever? And, another one or two of the school grounds
8:07 a.m. Alolites: Ok. Powerful!
8:08 a.m. Me: Yes. It’s an important conference and a big opportunity. Please give me the address now as I may “share” this chat with some others…the address for the laptops…
8:09 a.m. Alolites: It’s going to be buyaaaaaaaaa!
Pastor Frank Bennin
Unto Such Academy
P.O. Box 719
8:11 a.m. Me: Okay. If you can please send those photos of the place where the library will be and more of the school…we may be able to really get some help from my talk at the forthcoming conference
8:11 a.m. Alolites: Please look among the Alolites Unto Such (Facebook) page for school pictures you like and going to send you more maybe today
8:11 a.m. Me: I will…but maybe you could take one with that great sign you made…
Seeing our books and that sign is so significant because it feels very real
8:13 a.m. Alolites: At the moment we do reading club in front of my house
8:14 a.m. Me: No, wherever you will be having the library is what I’d like to see? Will it be in an existing building or will it be new?
8:14 a.m. Alolites: We don’t have a building
8:14 a.m. Me: So, what is the plan then? How will you do it? Where will you house the books, laptops?
8:14 a.m. Alolites: We could have done that in our school but the distance is a bit far for children may be in future unless we have a school bus, but for now I prefer within the community to have more impact
8:15 a.m. Me: What about your church? Is there a church in your community?
8:17 a.m. Alolites: We rent a school for our church services every Sunday morning
At the moment we use my rented house for the reading. Sometimes we sit inside; other times we sit in front of the house. We send some of the books to the school when the children in the community have finished using them
8:18 a.m. Me: We’ll get you more books soon
8:18 a.m. Alolites: Great. I will look for a place to organize the library
8:20 a.m. Me: Obviously, I can’t do anything about a place for the library. I can just work to help supply it with books, magazines, and computers!
8:20 a.m. Alolites: We can build a simple but meaningful library for kid’s service and kid’s library and all kid’s programs for the community
8:23 a.m. Me: Okay, I need to go now. I’m going to copy all of this so I have it for future reference.
8:24 a.m. Alolites: I love you like pure waters
8:24 a.m. Me: The Wright Centre has become a sponsor of my radio show thanks to our interaction with you! How is that for a blessing?
8:25 a.m. Alolites: A blessing indeed! Mmuaaaaaah!
8:25 a.m. Me: Bye for now!
Okay readers, now it’s your turn and chance to send my new friends some books and more. It is a wonderful activity to do with your children, your school, and your friends. Please be sure to say that Bruce Sallan and “A Dad’s Point-of-View” sent you to them. Let’s get this library full!
Bruce Sallan’s second book is an e-book only – “The Empty-Nest Road Trip Blues: An Interactive Journal from A Dad’s Point-of-View” – and costs a whopping $2.79 for PDF and $2.99 on Amazon/Kindle. It’s a travelogue, an emotional father-son story, and it contains 100 photos and 7 original videos. Bruce is also the author of “A Dad’s Point-of-View: We ARE Half the Equation” and radio host of “The Bruce Sallan Show – A Dad’s Point-of-View.” He gave up a long-term showbiz career to become a stay-at-home-dad. He has dedicated his new career to becoming THE Dad advocate. He carries out his mission with not only his book and radio show, but also his column “A Dad’s Point-of-View”, syndicated in over 100 newspapers and websites worldwide, his “I’m NOT That Dad” vlogs, the “Because I Said So” comic strip, and his dedication to his community on Facebook and Twitter. Join Bruce and his extensive community each Thursday for #DadChat, from 6-7pm PST, the Tweet Chat that Bruce hosts.