10 Jun A Celebration of Courage: Love Made Visible
In years past, Unstoppable Foundation’s gala was held in-person, with hundreds of people flying in from all over the world with one goal: to provide the resources needed to help families in Kenya lift themselves out of poverty.
This year was different. After having to cancel the 2020 gala due to the worldwide pandemic, the 2021 event was conducted completely online. Instead of supporters flying in on airplanes, they simply watched from phones, tablets, and computers at home. “Celebration of Courage” was the title of this year’s event, but “Love Made Visible” was the thread that connected every performance, every speaker, and every gift.
I know in my heart with a love this strong
We can move mountains…
When you believe in miracles
Nothing in this world can bring you down
Yes, I believe in miracles
Nobody can stop us now
Supporters watched videos of the courageous children and families in Kenya and heard their stories of transformation from barely surviving abject poverty to thriving fostered by the generosity of Unstoppable supporters.
Cynthia Kersey, Unstoppable Foundation’s Founder and CEO, emotionally recalled the events in the Spring of 2020 when Kenya shut down with the rest of the world, effectively cutting off our beloved communities from jobs, food, education, and healthcare. It was a life-or-death situation. All resources and efforts moved from building sustainability through the 5-Pillar Model to a survivability model – Save A Village.
“We were so moved by the speed in which people gave. Some gave while they were uncertain about their own futures. Because of you, Unstoppable Foundation was able to provide 1.6 million meals, supplies, and healthcare. Your generosity was a bridge of survival. Thank you.”
In the first Profile of Courage segment, we heard from entrepreneur Kathrin Weishäupl who shared how giving her first gift to Unstoppable Foundation stretched her financially and was even a little scary, but her life started to change after that one selfless act.
“I was reminded that you first give, and then you receive. Every time I gave, it felt a little bit crazy and scary, but also so good and right.”
Jim and Kathy Coover, recipients of this year’s Unstoppable Legacy Award, shared similar sentiments.
“You never have anything until you share it,” Jim said. (Read more about Jim and Kathy.)
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your grace
To a place where we’ll be safe
A world where pain and sorrow will be ended
And every heart that’s broken will be mended
Angela Sopiato, the second Profile of Courage during the evening, grew up in the Laila community with limited access to education, food, and health care. Angela was smart, capable, and brave, but she lacked resources, and like many girls in Laila, was destined to become a child bride and continue the cycle of poverty. But because of the generosity of Unstoppable supporters, Angela was given the opportunity to attend high school and receive a first-class education and is now an Unstoppable Scholar in her 2nd year of college.
Wali Shah told what could be Angela’s story… any little girl’s story in Kenya… in his powerful spoken word performance.
Every day she gets up in the Masai Mara. The sun rises on her dirt floor.
She lives in a mud hut, but she strives for so much more.
Her six siblings need water. They are who she hustles for.
So, she grabs her plastic jug and walks out of the door.
She walks for miles, barefoot, on a rocky path.
She’d rather learn English or study science and math, But the water in her jug weighs heavy on her back…
And finally, the Tenors returned with a performance of “Forever Young”… a wish for the courageous people of Kenya and those around the world who have supported them, even when their own futures were unsure.
The goal for Celebration of Courage was to celebrate the courage of our Unstoppable family – generous supporters around the world and our beloved children and families in Kenya. And it was also a night to celebrate moving forward again after the 2020 crisis and to raise $480,000 to take the next community – Sosoni — off the waiting list. These are hard-working people who have been waiting for Unstoppable to provide the resources to lift themselves out of poverty and become self-sustainable.
Generous people made love visible and gave $641,870 – enabling us to provide families with access to healthcare. Communities will learn to grow their own food. Mamas will learn how to start businesses to help provide for their families. Little girls will be able to go to school instead of becoming child brides. And because Sosoni was fully funded, we’re able to start the 5-Pillars in the Kadzandani community.
We are grateful beyond measure to everyone who participated in the Celebration of Courage.