Hannah Vincent was at a bonfire with friends when someone through a can of spray confetti into the fire. Hannah was injured when the can exploded. It’s been a long road to recovery and continues to be. For a class assignment to write a self-portrait in the third person, Hannah wrote about her journey to heal and the motivation to pick up the pieces and get her life back on track. Like other teens, she loves Facebook and instagram, and is passionate about playing volleyball and the piano. She also stated that she loves Dodger baseball and wanted to someday meet Clayton Kershaw. What she didn’t know is that her teacher, Grace Hinojosa, sent a copy of her paper to the Dodgers.
After reading Hannah’s paper, Clayton wanted to meet Hannah and welcomed her and her famliy to the game on July 28. A dream come true for Hannah and a moment in time that now is an experience that brings brightness to the dark days.
The work continues in Zambia. Inspired by his teammate and long-time friend, Dodger reliever Shawn Tolleson and his wife Lynley made the trip to Zambia with the Kershaws. With pitchers and catchers reporting in less than 40 days, Clayton and Shawn are trying to keep up with their routines while in Zambia. Just before lunch Shawn and Clayton took to the dirt road in front of Hope’s Home to play catch. The Dodger duo began with a stretch, where two of the children, Peter and Brian were quickly outside to watch.
Today, Team Kershaw was hard at work on various projects at the orphanage. The boys got an early start making mosaic stepping stones for a path from the house to the vegetable garden, digging a trench to place a cement block border around the play area of the back yard, and hanging wall decorations. Time was also spent with the children tutoring them in reading, and most importantly, getting to know them.
This afternoon we visited a school to play with more children, took a tour of the community surrounding Hope’s Home, and witnessed where several of the Hope’s Home children were rescued from. More from the Kershaw’s Challenge Blog:
“…we hopped back in the bus and headed to Matero compound- where Destiny School is located. Our big blue bus is a dead giveaway to the community that Americans have arrived & we are here to play! We had at least 50 kids chasing our bus down the road, and probably another 50 at the school gates waiting for our arrival. Word travels quickly around here. We stepped off the bus into a sea of big smiles, giggles, and children launching into our arms. There is no such thing as a stranger here, and it is wonderful!
Buseko Market is only a short 10 minute walk from the school, so we were going to take turns being led by the Zambian staff over there. Buseko is a dark and dreary place to see. It is eye-opening and often difficult to take in. People make homes out of tarps, and sleep 10 to a tent. We visited our dear friends there, who graciously opened up their home for us to see. The rainy season makes it especially difficult, since it is near impossible for them to keep dry. The adults often times sleep standing up to let the children lay on the mattress that is soaked on the floor.”
Follow the Kershaw’s Trip: http://www.kershawschallenge.com/
The 2012 Roberto Clemente Award winner, Clayton Kershaw, arrived in Lusaka, Zambia earlier today with his wife Ellen, and 21 of their closest family and friends to witness the opening of Hope’s Home. Hope’s Home is an orphanage built with the help of Kershaw’s Challenge, and is named after a young girl the Kershaws met on a previous trip to Zambia. Hope, 9 years old and HIV positive, captured the Kershaw’s hearts and her story has inspired them.
On Thanksgiving, the Zambian government approved the first 8 kids to move into Hope’s Home. These children are experiencing running water, electricity, flushing toilets and sleeping on a mattress for the first time in their lives. More importantly, they now have three house mothers who provide three meals a day, administer HIV medications and just simply, care about them.
Today, the Kershaw Team of 23 arrived at the orphanage, and were greeted by eight smiling faces and big hugs from the children who have been rescued from the most dire living conditions. The day was spent meeting the children, touring their new home and garden of vegetables, playing games in the backyard, and unpacking 46 large suitcases and trunks full of donated household and school supplies, clothing, shoes and more.