Ridgefield's buildOn chapter aims to break cycle of poverty, illiteracy

A few weeks ago, my mother was using the copier at Squash’s Office Supply when she witnessed a wonderful act of kindness. A typical errand instantly became memorable.

My mom had been describing the journey that several local high school students and I are taking this July to Senegal, where we will start building a primary school. As she shared details about the trip with her friend, a man overheard the story. He patiently waited for her to finish, walked up to her, and placed a $20 bill on the counter.

“This is for your daughter’s trip,” he said.

My mom responded, “Are you serious?”

“Yes,” he said. “Good for her and her friends.”

She thanked him profusely, but was unable to get his name before he walked out the door. This simple gesture illustrates that compassion is very much alive and well in Ridgefield.

Thank you to the man at Squash’s for your $20 contribution. He donated to this incredible movement, and Ridgefield, we want you to get involved as well.

My friends Emily Furfaro, Jessica Bell, and Sara Flynn founded the Ridgefield chapter of buildOn this year. buildOn is a national organization with a mission to break the cycle of poverty, illiteracy, and low expectations through service and education.

Education is a basic human right. Yet those who need it most — children living in poverty — are least likely to attend and complete school. Through buildOn’s school building program, also known as “Trek,” in developing countries, we will change that and make a profound difference in the lives of children, parents and grandparents.

As our trip gets closer, we remain committed to raising money for the school’s construction.

Far from a vacation, our Trek this July will be a life-changing experience — as challenging as it is rewarding. We will stay with local host families and experience everyday village life, while accomplishing meaningful tasks that benefit people in one of the world’s most impoverished countries.

To learn more, visit www.buildon.org.

If residents would like to make a tax-deductible contribution to the Ridgefield chapter of buildOn, visit http://act.buildon.org/team/94830.