From the parents of Arpita Joyce for PenniesForAfrica.com

"Dad, I want to start a PenniesForAfrica.com to help the poor children in Africa, so they can eat and buy clothes." Arpita had this inspirational thought when she was 6 years old while she was living in Pennsylvania. Now in 2013, she is 15 years old and lives in Massachusetts.

Arpita does not yet know the value of money. All she knows is that a penny is money and money can buy food and clothes. Then she spontaneously asked, "How can you get a lot of pennies?" According to her Dad, "Arpita is good with the computer, sometimes even better than me." And so her answer was, "Uncle Dirk can help me set up a web site PenniesForAfrica.com, and all the kids will donate pennies and I will send them all to Africa and the children can buy food and clothes, and I will give all my toys to them."

Now wherever she goes, when she finds pennies, she collects them, and also from her Dad and Mom. Her Mom got her a piggy bag and she puts them all in there, waiting to be sent to Africa.

Arpita is asking you to do the same, to collect pennies (and also even nickels, dimes and quarters) and put them in a special piggy bank or container. When you have filled it, bring it to your Mom or Dad and ask them to send a check to Arpita for the children of Africa. She will send the money on to them so they can have something to eat.

PenniesForAfrica.com is not a typical fund-raising organization, but an outcome of a child’s spirituality to show care for the poorest of the poor as "God loves them very much," as Arpita said that when she wanted to do something in a child's way to the poor. PenniesForAfrica.com is a child's way to establish links with the poorest of the poor children and communicate through letters and through small donations of pennies that they care for the children who live elsewhere and God loves them as He loves them.

So, when kids write letters and donate pennies with the prayers offered to them that the children’s desire becomes a charity of the heart, that is what I understand talking to Arpita about this project.

PenniesForAfrica.com was able to adopt a small school in the Omuwa Parish Mission, Opuwo, Namibia, run by Missionaries of La Salette in Namibia. Namibia is an English speaking African nation, so children will be able to communicate with them. This would be facilitated by North American La Salette Mission Center based in Saint Louis, Missouri. When you donate pennies or dollars, you can send it directly to North American La Salette Mission Center, 4650 South Broadway, Saint Louis, MO 63111, USA, with a memo: PenniesForAfrica.com project (See Donations Page). Or you can donate on-line. The letters and other forms of communication can happen directly with the children at this Mission in Namibia or Madagascar.

As parents of Arpita we prefer to nurture her spirituality of charity and God's caring for the poorest of the poor. More than the money, it is the spirit behind such a desire we want to nurture. For example, when a friend of mine's daughter saw this PenniesForAfrica.com website, she asked that all her gifts for her birthday go to PenniesForAfrica.com for the poor children in Africa. So, it can help to create a great sense of charity among children and thus inspire adults, to the true Gospel sense of charity, as Mother Theresa often said that children can show us the way many times.

One final word. When Arpita saw the first draft of this website, she noted that something was missing. She felt that the political leaders also needed attention because it is in part through them that the children are suffering. In her words, "The leaders are also poor in front of Jesus, so we need to pray for for them while we help the children, so we ask pennies and I ask for prayers also to be sent to PenniesForAfrica.com." Thank you Arpita, for your concern for those who need our help, both physically and spiritually. And to you the reader, thank you for any support you can give, whether by pennies or by prayer.

-- Daniel and Punita Joyce.