Standing with Sarah to restore her sight.
Fellow Liberians and members of the Liberian Community Association of Connecticut:
The time has come for us to once again demonstrate our commitment to making meaningful contributions to our country and the ordinary citizens. One ordinary Liberian woman called Sarah along with her daughter will be hosted by the Liberian Community Association of Connecticut from Tuesday October 29, 2013 to January 29, 2014 while she undergoes surgery to restore her sight.
Sarah has a very serious eye problem that has left her partially blind for most part of her life. Dr. Rose of Yale University was performing free eye surgeries in Monrovia in June 2013 when he came across Sarah. Her eye surgery was so critical that it couldn't be performed in Liberia or any part of Africa. Dr. Rose and his wife decided to pay for medical, travel and visas but needed help with lodging for Sarah and her daughter in Connecticut. The Liberian Community Association of Connecticut was contacted and the general membership voted unanimously to take full responsibility for hosting Sarah and her daughter for 3 months during her surgery and recovery.
The good news is that Sarah and her daughter received their visa and they will be arriving as guests of our community on Tuesday October 29 at JFK Airport.
Connecticut has been blessed with some of the diaspora most dedicated Liberians and we must be very proud. Hon James Galakpain and Family has offered their home to the community to be used for hosting Sarah and her daughter for the 3 months period. The Galakpain family did not request any financial contribution from the community for this wonderful gesture.
During an emergency meeting on Tuesday night, members suggested that the community should be reasonable not to allow the Galakpain family to stand alone as they shoulder this responsibility on our behalf. An estimate amount of $4,500 was unanimously agreed upon as a token to help the family offset cost for related expenses for our 2 guests during the 3 month period.
On Sunday October 27, 2013 the Executives and Board of Directors will meet to discuss this further. On Tuesday night at 8:00PM, all Liberians in Connecticut will be attending a mass teleconference to finalize modalities with your ideas and suggestions in regards to this matter. The number to call is 2188958202 and the access code is (LCAC) or 2555.
Meanwhile, we are asking for any donations of female winter coats that our volunteers will take with them at 4:00am on Tuesday to JFK to pick up Sarah and her daughter. For Coat donations call Henry Wilson at 203-645-4951.
The general fund raising process will be chaired by our Ethics and Bereavement chairman, Rev. Caleb Yalartai who can be reached at 203-606-0814. We are equally benefiting from a generous voluntary effort from Sis. Dwede Wilson who is helping with fundraising ideas to support this initiative.
Please join me in congratulating Hon. Wonldy Paye - Chairman, LCAC Board of Directors for opening the donation with 2 bags rice.
On Sunday, November 3, at 4:00 PM, we will all meet at the home of the Galakpain at 376 Pine Rock Ave. Hamden, CT 06514 for a formal welcome of our guests, and official launching of the fundraising. We are encouraging members and friends of Liberia to bring any food, non food items and monetary donations during this time. Rice, oil, winter gears, calling cards, fish, chicken, Gift cards, make-it-thick, even chicken-soup etc......
Donations will go to the Galakpain family to support their effort to host our guests. We are hoping that another event to help the guests with donations before they leave for Liberia will be organized in January.
We've done more in the past and we can do better now. We've stood strong and tall behind those bereaved and give honorable home going to those with whom we share the same heritage. We've provided 20 scholarships to poor students at the University of Liberia for 4 consecutive years and we've never grown weary when it comes to helping Liberians directly.
We should be very proud of these contributions to our country that put us above most Liberian Communities in the United States.
Our commitment to this cause will also help in the acknowledgement of the kind gesture from Dr. Rose and family, and others who are non Liberians but continue to commit thousands of dollars to help improve the lives of ordinary Liberians.
We will encourage everyone to support the Year-End Party in December as proceeds will help LCAC achieve more meaningful projects that strengthen us as a community and help more under privileged Liberians gain access to this pursuit of happiness that we all have access to in the United States.
On her journey for the pursuit of her sight, Sarah will be relying on your contribution for moral and psychological support during this critical moment in her life. A moment that she has been waiting for all her life.
This community is very proud to be an important part of Sarah's journey in the pursuit of happiness that is rooted in one of the greatest gift of all --- Eye Sight.
Thanks for standing together.
Joseph Morris Kalapele
Liberian Community Association of Connecticut