Theresa FoleyShowplace Box Office Manager
Theresa's Story :
I am uncomfortable writing about myself as inspiring but then I realized it’s not really about me but about sharing the story of what motivates me – and in turn might motivate others on their journey.
I am moved into action when I learn about a community unsupported by their government that clearly does not have what we would consider basic needs for survival. My focuses are safe water and education – two things we take for granted every day.
31 years ago I co founded a marketing company, which used its profits to fund our own not- for- profit organization: Humanwave.com. Humanwave’s mandate was to create awareness of global issues and present opportunities to help as well as highlight organizations we researched and found “safe” to send donations to. In 2007 my business partner and I were invited to tag along to Liberia West Africa with the Lifewater Canada team to visit the villages where we had raised the funds to drill 10 safe water wells in communities that were drinking unsafe water.
While there, we met a young girl named Josephine. On our last day in Liberia, Josephine brought her little brother (who was wearing pink plastic sparkling Barbie slip-on high heels) to ask us to sponsor his education. We had just enough time to meet with his principle, find out more information and set up his first year to attend school. Since then, I have been working closely with the principle and currently have 13 sponsored students who otherwise would not be attending school due to lack of funds. We have had 2 students enter trades, 1 student graduate from University and others working their way through grade and high school. We have 14 year old boys in grade 2 and 3 who are so thrilled and proud to be attending school, proudly wearing a uniform and improving their lot in life.
I always felt clean water was the most important thing to “give” to these villages but when you ask the people what they feel is most important, most of them will say “education”. In their minds, an
education brings promise of a better job, which in turn, promises an improved quality of life.
During my visits to Liberia I have met war orphans, victims of war violence, families living in one room huts or abandoned bombed out buildings. I went to church with them, recorded choir rehearsals , sang with them and spent time in 3 orphanages and 2 schools. I am inspired by their love, their generous sharing of what little they have, their faith in God and their sense of community. I feel I receive more from them and realized early on that it truly is in giving that we receive.
I find and co ordinate sponsors for the children, organize concerts, silent auctions and post special additional needs as I find out about them. I collect the money, send it to Africa and pay the transfer fees, but really what I do is create and share opportunities for others to safely donate and share in that good feeling. My hope is to inspire others to be “change-makers” and to know the joy of helping to make the world a better place for ALL people.
I always say “it doesn’t matter what project you take on as long as it benefits someone or something outside of your self”.
Be the change you want to see in the world.