We told you guys about Pros for Africa and their mission to support the work of Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe and her Saint Monica Girls Schools in Uganda last week and we’re excited to say that you turned out for our Serge Ibaka jersey auction to benefit the work that she’s doing over there. Thanks to you, we’ll be sending a check for $1,043.55 to Pros for Africa this week that will help fund the Saint Monica Girls Schools and the building of their third campus in south Sudan, a corner of the world that’s been torn apart by war.
Above, that’s Sister Rosemary, pictured with Serge Ibaka of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The giving didn’t stop there. With Ibaka headlining, we sponsored Pros for Africa’s fundraiser at the Oklahoma governor’s mansion in Oklahoma City last Wednesday and it was a huge success. Hall of Fame basketball player, coach, and commentator Nancy Lieberman hosted an evening that included visits from fellow Thunder starters Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Thabo Sefolosha. Not gonna lie: We got pretty starstruck.
There’s Serge, being all gentlemanly and pulling a chair for the governor of Oklahoma, Mary Fallin.
That’s Landon, our compliance director, with Thabo Sefolosha.
Always dapper, Kevin Durant.
The women of QuiBids get to meet Russell Westbrook who, I’m told, is a dreamboat.
Most of us managed to squeeze into this picture with Serge. He’s the really tall one in the back in case you couldn’t tell.
Luckily Jeff Geurts, our chief financial officer, is much more confident than I am, and he gave a short presentation to the crowd about the jersey auction you guys bid on and QuiBids’ role as a startup online business in Oklahoma City.
There’s Jeff, doing his thing while Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin, Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka, and Sister Rosemary (that’s her white head covering popping up from behind the podium) listen.
Governor Fallin spoke as well, praising both Lieberman’s inspirational work in the field of professional basketball (“You’re a trailblazer who’s broken the glass ceiling for so many women.”) and Sister Rosemary’s work with the hurting children of Africa (“You’re making a difference in the lives of people.”). After that we got to hear from Sister Rosemary herself, who shared stories about her time working with abandoned girls.
“The greatest pain in my life is to be with these people who were rejected when they should have been accepted,” she told the crowd. “What we are doing is trying to repair the damage of life over 20 years. The repair of buildings and bridges can be fixed in a year, but how long does it take to repair a whole group of people?”
It was sobering but also inspiring to hear the stories of helping and healing going on in Sister Rosemary’s schools. The girls who come to Saint Monica schools learn trades like sewing, so that they might reintegrate into society after suffering trauma brought on by war. In so doing they learn how to trust in others, and how to come to terms with the evil they had to witness. Sister Rosemary shows these girls how to make purses and handbags out of donated soda pop tabs, which they sell online (please note that they’re updating their inventory and won’t have any available until February 8). You can actually donate pop tabs to them at the Sisters United website too. And if you’d like to donate money directly to Pros for Africa (something we highly recommend) you can do so at their website via PayPal.
All photos by Erik Gause
Read more about QuiBids’ work with nonprofits and charities, both in Oklahoma City and elsewhere:
You guys raised more than $7,000 with our Sandy Hook/Hurricane Sandy relief auctions!
PHOTOS: QuiBids’ canned food drive for the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma
PHOTOS: #BringOnTheFun Make-A-Wish Oklahoma’s Walk for Wishes
PHOTOS: #BringOnTheFun block party with the City Rescue Mission
PHOTOS: #BringOnTheFun visit to the Oklahoma Children’s Hospital