People ask Carol Van Bruggen and me, “Why Zambia? Why not do good work at home?" Our answer is that we do both and so do our board members/directors. Sharing our abundance with others doesn’t have borders.
Borders are political, man-made barriers. Elephants don’t know what a border is; they just know where they are safe. Children in the South Luangwa Valley in Zambia don’t know anything about borders either. Their parents know that education will help them navigate the future, and we know that helping them learn that the wildlife is their inheritance can help everyone.
Carol and I both contribute and volunteer at home. My church, St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Carmichael, California is working with St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church located in a struggling part of our community and overflowing with a variety of immigrants and poverty. I believe in helping this community as much as I believe in helping children in Zambia or saving elephants. I’ve worked with the homeless and employed them when I had a small store downtown. We help support our church because we believe our money is put to good use benefiting others.
Carol has too much nonprofit volunteer work in the greater Sacramento area to list. Her Rotary International work alone is social service at its best. I know she’s worked with Habitat for Humanity, Volunteers of America, and through her church. Carol also helps in another way because she is a financial planner. Carol has a message to convey, “I’ve been a financial planner for over 25 years. During that process I have really become aware of how money doesn’t make people happy. It’s particularly obvious with those who amass a great deal and are very afraid that they are going to lose it. They are constantly seeking something for enjoyment. Overall, I find that people who don’t have some kind of a passion or commitment to making a difference somehow are constantly seeking something.”
Join us in the war to save elephants from extinction. The next chapter lists ways you can help. I want our grandchildren to see elephants in the wild when they grow up. Not in zoos, circuses, or museums, but in the wild in huge families, trunks twined around each other in greeting, and trumpeting loudly with joy.
Written by Patricia Cole
An Africa Hope Fund board member for 7 years, Pat is a writer and a conservation activist. After traveling to Zambia, she became dedicated to helping Africa Hope Fund provide education to the next generation of Africans and ensure their future by protecting wildlife. Find Patricia on Facebook and Twitter, or on her websites www.writepatwrite.com and www.patmcole.com.