The first annual JamQuest UMass is in the books! Students and friends came out from all over western mass to come play in the 3v3 basketball tournament and it was a HUGE success. The prizes were poppin, the music was blasting, and the buzzer beaters were ringing, leaving big smiles on all the participant's faces. After the day was complete, event organizer Kenan Mitchell said, “I feel I can go my whole life and say I witnessed a miracle. Together with my HOPE Team, we dreamed about raising $730 to send two children to school. To be honest, we weren’t so sure if it was possible, so we simply decided to pray. And then God multiplied. Today we raised $1551”. All who came and participated had a blast sweating for a purpose and are excited to see where JamQuest UMass will go in the years to come. Thank you to everyone who came out and played, to those who served, to those who donated, and to those who decided to care. Welcome to the family of world-changers!
The 2019 JQ NYE Party was nothing less than awe-inspiring! The evening began with special performances, starring Chris Guerra and the Misfits, Prince J+R, and Issac Jemes. MC and DJ, Bryce Thompson, continued the night with a WAKANDA musical twist that was nothing short of exhilarating and brilliant. All performances deserve a FIVE-star rating! With over 170 attendees, ranging from 14-30 years of age, we were able to raise over $4000 in a SINGLE night! How incredible is it to start the year off helping kids in need. Grateful that we could make a difference! 2019 has not seen anything yet..this is ONLY the beginning!
Drew and her dance studio raised $381 to help kids in Kenya go to school! Let’s go Drew! Thinking about changing lives this fall? Join Drew and JamQuest!
“The National Honors Society for Dance Arts students attending Mason Dance Center of Cincinnati, Ohio hosted a fundraiser as part of their community service enrichment for JamQuest, raising $381! Starting in April, the students put out jars in the lobby, each labeled with a teachers name. As students and parents put money into their choice teachers’ jars, 3 teachers quickly found themselves in the top spots. As two months passed, the jars were emptied and the ranking was updated daily. By the end-of-year recital, we had our three winners who received a pie in the face in between shows. It was such a unifying event for the kids and teachers as they would all work together to raise money to try and get specific teachers up the ranking! Lots of fun, low to no cost, yet very simple and effective. -Drew”
This spring, JamQuest is adding 6 new students to the program in Kenya! These students will now have the chance to go to school and build skills and relationships that will help them thrive in life. Thanks to your support, these kids now have hope! Meet some of them below!
from heART to heART, the first arts and crafts event hosted by JamQuest. On September 23rd, we gathered at Radford University in Virginia. There were art stations taught by three art and design students. The stations included collage, the usage of graphite to draw the hand symbols “I love you” and “peace", and stamping patterns and letters on copper pieces for necklaces and bracelets. Through engaging with the teachers and being exposed to the various mediums that were offered, participants had the opportunity to have their creativity drawn out. Based off the biographies and interests of the children, piece of art were made and notes of encouragement were written to each of the nineteen children supported in Kenya. Live music, faceprinting, and an art gallery featuring works by those in the New River Valley were offered.
We were blown away by the outcome and how much it was blessed by God. Over seventy people attended. In total, $2,271.69 was raised. Eighty two pieces of art and many notes will be mailed to the children to meet emotional needs. It was an incredible experience to use our passions of creativity and art to impact the children by giving them love, encouragement, and inspiration, while raising money to further their education.
JamQuest World Changer
In the United States, 21st birthdays are usually a time of unique celebration. For Kaleigh, she chose to use it as a time to truly make a difference! Imagine a world where everyone decided to use their birthdays to help others? You inspire us, Kaleigh!
"On April 22, one of my best friends, Maya, threw me a 1920's party for my 21st birthday. Everyone came dressed in classy, Great Gatsby style outfits. It was a night full of fun, friends, food, and dancing! What made the night even more amazing was that all the while we were raising money to help a child go to school.
I started thinking about donating three weeks before my party. It started with a desire to do something greater as I go into my 21st year of life. I have had opportunities to travel to third world countries and see the poverty that overtakes much of the world. I thought about the children that are living in poverty; who do not have the same access to an education that I have. I also desire to live a life to the full through God (John 10:10) and I fully believe that being able to give back in this way is apart of that. As I began thinking about ways that I could give for my 21st birthday, JamQuest was one of the first non-profit organizations that came to mind. As I thought about my party, I realized this was a perfect opportunity! The event had already been planned and all I had to do was get the word out about donating money! It was that simple!
From the event we raised $423 which went above and beyond my goal of $365! I am so grateful to have had this opportunity and to have been able to witness a miracle like this from God!"
Have you ever thought about the saying “to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes?” I mean, really thought about it. If you take the time to consider the words, the saying is a bit silly. I mean, walk in someone else’s shoes? Well, what size are they? Do they smell? Where are we walking?
Obviously we all know that this is not the true meaning of the phrase, yet it is funny that the phrase uses something as insignificant as feet to describe a much deeper motive. I suppose if someone truly wanted to walk in someone else’s shoes there would have to be a real eagerness, but why? Why walk in another’s shoes if yours fit perfectly? I face this question every time I consider traveling to places like Kenya. It is terribly selfish, but if I am being honest, I have to consider how walking in someone else’s shoes may make mine uncomfortable, or worse, they may make mine never fit the same again.
As I walked onto the HOPEww site in Mukuru I could feel the flood of emotion. I had not been back to this place since 2009 and still the memories were fresh upon my heart. I could remember the sounds of the kids singing, the smell of the sewage and unsupervised cattle, but most of all, I could remember the joy of the days I spent there, and the pain that had stayed in my heart until this return. Tabitha escorted us onto the site and was eager to show us all of the advancements that the place had made. It was truly extraordinary to see the growth that has come to this place which serves as a beacon within the community. (Read the rest of Emily's visit to Kenya, including updates from some of the JamQuest kids!)
JamQuest North Carolina was an astounding success. It surpassed my expectations in just about every way. We had 31 people and 10 teams play in the tournament, and about 60 people there total. Our goal was to raise $500, but we soared past that goal and raised $765! The biggest thing I learned about this whole experience is how enjoyable it is to serve the poor and needy. Once I got over my laziness holding me back, I realized how much fun it was to organize and run this event, and how rewarding it was to see the difference we were able to make in impoverished children’s lives across the world. It was so amazing to see a group of people thousands of miles away from Kenya, coming together to help children across the world just by playing basketball. I definitely think that others should get involved and not be afraid to host their own JamQuest tournament. There is nothing special about me, I’m just a regular guy that goes to college in North Carolina, and yet God was able to use me to make a difference in the world. No matter who you are, you can make a difference too, and you’ll be surprised how fun it is!