Christmas Blessings for Tenderfeet Kids


Brian is one of countless Tenderfeet students badly in need of a new uniform

What is Christmas like for a Tenderfeet child?

In Kenya, Christmas is by far the biggest holiday of the year.

Disadvantaged children like the students of Tenderfeet very rarely, if ever, receive gifts at Christmas time.

We want to change that this year and get every Tenderfeet child a new school uniform as a Christmas present.

But wait… wouldn’t they prefer a doll or toy car?

I’ll explain later in the article that, in fact, a uniform is probably the most fun and exciting present a student can receive.

You can help! By donating to our Christmas 2011 uniform fundraiser, you can ensure that every one of over 100 students has a Christmas they will always remember.

Just click here to contribute.  $25 will buy one uniform and pair of school shoes for the youngest students.  For the older children, a uniform and pair of shoes can be sponsored for $35.

We guarantee that 100% of your donation goes to uniforms and that we go to great lengths to ensure every penny is used wisely to get the best value possible (see photos below).

Let me explain in more detail why a school uniform is such an awesome present for a Tenderfeet child.

For one thing, as mentioned, most have never even received a Christmas present.

Although wealthier Kenyans exchange gifts, those in slums save what little money they have to travel and see loved ones. In many cases, Grandparents, Uncles, Aunts and cousins are visited in the countryside.

The transportation costs (bus rides) are cheap by the standards of the U.S. and other wealthy countries, usually $5 to $10 per person.  But for Tenderfeet families, traveling to see family takes what little savings they have.  This leaves no money whatsoever for Christmas gifts.

Making Uniforms

The process of making Tenderfeet uniforms is based on stretching every donation to get the most value for the money. It starts with purchasing cloth in bulk (left), the tailor sews the trousers (center), and the sweater maker sews the sweaters (right).

In fact, travel expenses leave them in a serious bind when it comes to educational costs in January, which is the start of the new school year in Kenya.  That brings us to the focus of our Christmas fundraiser this year.

Uniforms probably aren’t very fun by the standards of kids in wealthier countries. However, for a Tenderfeet student, a new uniform is probably the most delightful gift possible — even more than a doll or toy car.

Please note, uniforms are absolutely mandatory in all schools in Kenya; any school without uniformed children will be closed down by the government. For this reason, school uniforms are an important part of life for every child in the country.

Wave 2007

Here are Tenderfeet students in 2007, note that most are in second-hand clothes and very few have the proper uniform. We were warned in those days about uniforms, but because the school was located in the slum and struggling, officials were more patient. Nowadays, with a good facility in a nicer area, officials are much more strict about rules.

When January comes and the new school year begins, the Kenyan kids from richer families will be proudly wearing their high-quality new uniforms.

On the other hand, families struggling in poverty will have no money for new clothes. The children from these families will end up wearing the tattered, worn-out, and ill-fitting uniform they’ve had from the previous year.

You may be surprised to know that a poor child is keenly and painfully aware that he or she is wearing a school uniform that is threadbare and no longer fits. When they think of their uniform, they feel embarrassed and it hurts their self-image.

In a good-looking, well-fitting school uniform, Tenderfeet children will be on cloud nine.

We’ve been fortunate to have generous donors assist Tenderfeet children over the past few years by enabling us to purchase uniforms and shoes. Some articles about previous fundraisers and donations can be found here and here.

Last Year's Uniforms

Tenderfeet kids in the uniforms sponsored through the 2010 Christmas Fundraiser. Compare this photo with the 2007 photo above and you can see what a big difference this fundraiser makes to the children.

Would you like to have make this the best Christmas ever for a Tenderfeet student?

You can put a huge smile on a Tenderfeet child’s face by donating to the Christmas fund. Please click here and make a difference.

Thank you very much and Merry Christmas!

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