Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky 2021-09-17 06:30:01 –
Lexington, Kentucky (LEX 18) — It’s no exaggeration to say that Heidi Thompson, a STEM teacher at Squire’s Elementary in Lexington, has the hearts of children.
“It was my second career after I gave birth and saw how teachers made a difference in their lives,” Thompson said of becoming an educator.
She never imagined she would help children around the world, but she does exactly that after visiting her brother-in-law’s school in the Republic of the Congo.
“They don’t have a playground … it’s just dirt. They have about 50 children in each classroom,” Thompson said.
After meeting the children, she felt forced to give them a small piece of what her students in America enjoyed.
“I was very surprised. They don’t even have the basics they need,” Thompson said of schools in Africa. “He said they really needed a backpack. They had nothing to carry theirs.”
She started a small fundraiser, and thanks to the Kentucky people, she quickly got the money for 260 brand new backpacks. In May she was there to see their reaction.
“They were very excited!”
After that experience, Thompson set up an organization to share with Congo. Now she is preparing for the next big delivery: soccer ball.
“Soccer is their favorite sport over there. I didn’t tell them I got them because I didn’t want to promise I couldn’t,” Thompson said.
Once again, she was surprised that others would be happy to give. Soon she will ship enough soccer balls for each of the 12 classes to be two.
Despite her efforts, Thompson knows that school needs are still great. She wants to help provide whiteboards and technical improvements, and hopes that those needs will be met through her heart and the generosity of others.
“I just wanted to give them a little happiness. There are people who care for them in different parts of the world, something a little new they can hold to say they have hope.”
To contact Heidi Thompson regarding Share With Congo, please send an email to sharewithcongo @ gmail.com.