Meet Our Ambassadors
In November of 2019, we announced the upcoming launch of Ambassadors for Kids at TRS. We set a launch date for January of 2020, and we quickly had ten people jump on board. The goal of Ambassadors for Kids at TRS is to serve The Raining Season by sharing our mission and our amazing kids. Our Ambassadors said yes to introducing two new sponsors to The Raining Season each month.
Sponsorship funds are the primary way we provide for the children and keep The Covering open. Each child requires multiple sponsors to continue to cover their basic needs. When our Executive Director, Francis Pyle, began brainstorming how to continue developing our sponsorship program, he saw the power in simply inviting others to share an organization that they care deeply about. So many people have been impacted by our amazing kids, whether through traveling or sponsorship. Why not focus on sharing those stories and inviting others to link arms with us? With that, Ambassadors for Kids at TRS quickly became a reality. We did the math and discovered how powerful our Ambassador program could be. These sponsors will help to provide financially for our kids, but we also see the power in creating a sponsorship program that values the relationship between the child and the sponsor. Our kids will continue to know that people love and care about them.
Our Ambassadors for Kids at TRS will potentially connect 240 new individuals or families that will impact the future of our children. It’s because of sponsors like YOU that our kids continue to grow and flourish. It is because of sponsors like YOU that our kids have an apartment and center to call home; a warm and dry bed to sleep in every night. It is because of sponsors like YOU that our kids received three meals every day and a top-notch education. Thanks to sponsors like YOU and our Ambassadors who have partnered with us, we are continuing to serve the most vulnerable children in Sierra Leone and envisioning how we will continue to serve them in 2020 and beyond.
Today, we are thrilled to introduce you to a group that has said, “Here I am, send me.” Before we officially launched in January, many were already hard at work sharing The Raining Season. We are excited to share that twenty-one new sponsors have partnered with us this year! Without further ado, and in no particular order, we introduce you to our fabulous ambassadors!
Meet Rachel Staab:
Rachel and her husband, Nick, have been married for five years. They live in Papillion, Nebraska, a suburb of Omaha. Rachel works in the Corporate Actions Department at TD Ameritrade. In her free time, Rachel enjoys reading and relaxing with her family. Rachel became involved with TRS when our founder, Erica Rust, along with Kelly Grams visited her church in Nebraska. They shared about the orphanage and sponsorship. Rachel quickly saw the value and impact that sponsorship can have. She began sponsoring Kadija Amara. When Kadijah was adopted, Rachel and Nick became sponsors to Aquila and Alfeda Kai. In addition to child sponsorship, they also do a general sponsorship of the Roots House. Rachel has traveled to our center in Sierra Leone two times. In 2013, as a college student, she made her first trip with her mom, Karen. This past summer, she was able to once again travel to Sierra Leone, this time with her husband, Nick. Rachel shared why she said “yes” to being an Ambassador for Kids at TRS, “I said yes to becoming an ambassador because I am extremely passionate about TRS, their mission, and the kids. I am very excited to take on a more active role in the organization. I hope to help spread the word about the wonderful sponsorship program and the impact it has on the lives of everyone involved, both the child and the sponsor.”
Meet Stephanie Girard:
Stephanie and her husband, Thibaut, live in St. Louis, Missouri. They have two children, Stella, 15, and Théo, 6. Stephanie works as the HR Director at The Chase Park Plaza Hotel. Together, with her family, Stephanie enjoys traveling, hiking, and playing board games. Stephanie became involved with TRS by sponsoring a child after seeing a post from our founder, Erica. She traveled to our center for the first time with her daughter in April of 2019. After her trip to Freetown, Stephanie and her family began sponsoring Abdul Ngegba, Aminata Musa, and James Rogers. Stephanie shared why she said “yes” to being an Ambassador for Kids at TRS, “I know there is a great need for sponsors, and I want every kid to have the sponsorship they need. I want to introduce more people to TRS and the amazing kids who live at The Covering and in the Roots House. I didn’t realize until I visited Sierra Leone that TRS is such a small, grassroots organization. We just need to bring more awareness to the center and the good work that is being done there to give these kids a better future. When you sponsor a child at TRS, you become part of the TRS family. You develop meaningful relationships with the kids that will enrich your life!”
Meet Tiffany Lancaster:
Tiffany lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband, Brandon. She enjoys being on the road traveling with her husband and also being a part of Lancaster Christian Academy. She became involved with TRS through her friend, Melissa Spillman, who has three boys from Sierra Leone. She traveled with Melissa on her first trip in 2018. Tiffany recently traveled for the second time in October of last year. She began sponsoring a year and a half ago, after her first trip. She sponsored Abdulai (before he was reunited with his family), Josephine, and Adama. Since he left, she now sponsors Mohamed, as well as the girls. Tiffany shared this about becoming an Ambassador for Kids at TRS, “What made me say yes to sponsorship is that sponsorship changed my life. I met these kiddos in Africa, and I get to talk to them once a month and have an ongoing relationship with them. I want peoples’ lives and love to be impacted the same way mine has: in a beautiful relationship with some amazing kids. I know they are well taken care of and loved at The Covering with the staff there, so it makes me so thankful to be able to give. TRS has always had a special place in my heart. The people I’ve met that are involved in TRS- on the ground and in the US- make me continue to love the heart of TRS. I see how much everyone takes care of the kids spiritually, physically, and emotionally, and it fills my heart with joy to be a part of this family!”
Meet Adam and Sarah Keogh:
Our next Ambassadors are a husband and wife duo. Adam and Sarah are also another Midwest couple living in Papillion, Nebraska, with their dog Nacho. Sarah is a first grade teacher and Adam is a service advisor at a trailer repair and sales company. In their free time, they enjoy traveling. Adam also likes to play guitar and work on vehicles. Sarah likes to bake and crochet. Adam and Sarah began sponsoring their first child after a presentation at church in the fall of 2015. They talked about sponsoring a child from TRS before but never made the commitment until then. Adam and Sarah traveled to Sierra Leone for the first time last summer. In 2015, they began sponsoring Esther, and after traveling, they added Gabriel to their sponsorship. Adam and Sarah shared this about being Ambassadors for Kids at TRS, “The main reason we wanted to be ambassadors stems from our own personal convictions for this cause. We found ourselves asking the question, 'How can anyone afford NOT to partner through sponsorship?' It is such a simple commitment for such a great return. We are excited to continue our TRS commitment through aiding sponsorship. We are also planning to adopt from the center so it is great to be able to support this mission!”
Meet Lisa Rippy: