After Terry’s first trip in 1988 he was sharing some pictures of the trip with friends. A couple that were teachers asked Terry to show the kids at each of their schools what school was like for kids in Uganda. Newport Heights and Cascade View (Picture 1) were the first two schools Terry ever presented in. The kids asked if they could help by sending supplies and since Terry was going back to Uganda in April of 1989 as part of the Orange County Soccer Club team to compete against the top Ugandan clubs (Pictures 2 & 3) Terry said he’d gladly take what they brought in. Since his wife Melissa was going with me to experience Uganda for the first time (Picture 4) they thought they’d have plenty of room. The response of kids at both schools completely surprised Terry and Melissa and they were overwhelmed with supplies (Picture 5). The two teachers, Dan & Cindy Montzingo helped Terry and Melissa sort through it all to take what they could (Picture 6). Melissa and Terry managed to hand carry some great stuff on that first trip (Picture 7).
Melissa and Terry are headed to Uganda and the night before their departure, which happened to be their fifth wedding anniversary, they’re trying to sort through the last of the donated supplies despite the fact that Melissa is fighting a bad cold (picture 8). As they sort through the final few bags in the middle of the night Melissa finds a small doll with a very special note attached (picture 9). It’s so touching they hand carry it all the way to Uganda. Between soccer matches (picture 10) Melissa and Terry recruit some of the other players to join them for our visit to Naguru Reception Center (picture 11). They spend the day delivering supplies and playing with the kids (picture 12) and Melissa connects with a wonderful little girl and gives her a new dress and the doll (picture 13). The impact of the donations on the kids and staff is so powerful Melissa and Terry decide to go back to the U.S. schools when they get home to show them the difference they’d made. They took a picture of the little girl who got Kirsten’s doll (picture 14) and gave it to her when we returned to her school. She was a morning kindergarten student but when her mother came to pick her up that day Kirsten insisted they stay so her mother could see the presentation to the afternoon kindergarten students. Afterwards, Kirsten’s mother shared how deeply Kirsten had been affect by her experience and that’s how one little doll started it all 25 years ago!
After getting back from the 1989 trip Melissa and Terry still had a house full of donated supplies to get to Uganda. Luckily they tracked down a container heading to Uganda with a little extra space for the supplies. So Melissa and Terry rented a U-Haul trailer, packed up the supplies and drove 20 hours straight through to Santa Barbara, getting the supplies there just in time. Four months later they were back in Uganda with more supplies. This time it was just Melissa, Terry and their close friend Steve Malsam. Sister Schools was off and running.