And Lo! The Archangel of Arithmetic Appeared before Them.

Several years ago I watched hopelessly as my effusive, happy, youngest daughter sank deeper and deeper into the dreaded, grade school, mathematical abyss.  She was so confused she no longer had any idea what was going on in class, she lived in mortal fear of being called on, and she started to hate school. It was clear she would never catch up without help, so I set out to find a tutor.

I knew nothing about tutors, but by a lucky twist of fate, we ended up in the hands of Martha Cummings, a remarkable teacher who rebuilt my daughter’s faulty math foundation and slowly, painstakingly got her back on track. Martha was serious, kind, demanding, friendly, strict, smart and funny. She was a godsend, and I have never been so happy to write out a check.

Later in my parental journey Martha provided compassionate, sensible counsel as I struggled with a difficult, unpopular (but as it turned out, the right) decision about where to send my kids to school. As I yammered on indecisively, she dished out the verbal equivalent of snap-out-of-it-slap-in-the-face saying, “Leslie! You’re the parent. Education is EVERYTHING. Just do what you know is right.”  Armed with that kick in the pants, I pressed on with my unpopular decision which resulted in a life-altering, insanely rich academic experience for my most fortunate children.

Lorraine, a game lodge employee who helped deliver books donated for a new library, wrote: “Oh, how I wish you could’ve been there.  I couldn’t stop crying… all the way back home, I cried.  It was an amazing day — one that you have to experience.”

Today, I want to tell you about the good work this inspiring woman is doing for impoverished kids in Cape Town, South Africa. She dispenses her passion for education to a village in Africa where it is gravely needed and immensely appreciated.  She donates her time, sells beautiful products made by these villagers and accepts donations to raise money for education vouchers.

If, this holiday season, you find yourself in a place where you really don’t need one more thing, read about Martha’s recent trip and visit Martha’s website to see how much a small donation can do in the hands of the right person.