In 2007, Laurel and her husband Tony were planning their wedding and decided that they wanted to donate the money they received in wedding gifts to an organization that helps children in Africa. The question was, which one?
They wanted to choose an organization that would assure them of exactly how each dollar would be spent. Friends, Glenda and Kirk Collins, told Laurel of their experience with Joshua Orphan and Community Care in Malawi and it sounded like what Laurel and Tony were looking for. They began an email relationship with the executive director, Sylvia; and after the wedding they wired their wedding money to her.
Laurel and Tony were pleased that the money was used to purchase three acres of land where upon Sigerege feeding center was built. In 2008, Laurel and Tony went to Malawi. They visited the land and met the children who go to the feeding center each day for a bowl of porridge. Often times this is the only meal these children have for the whole day.
Laurel and Tony saw first hand, that the money raised by Joshua goes directly to the children’s needs. They were surprised to find that there are only four staff members on the ground who are running this organization with the help of volunteers.
Inspired by the work being done on a shoe-string, Laurel decided to establish Friends of Joshua Orphan Care in Malawi as a non-profit in the United States so that Americans would have the opportunity to directly support and improve the lives of vulnerable orphans in Malawi.