Washing Cars, Changing Lives, $7 Bucks at a Time

Hey all.  I am happy to report that the Journey for Change Ambassadors have done it again!  A little over one week ago, on Saturday, August 1, our group came together to hold the second annual Journey for Change Bushwick car wash and raised over $1300!  As usual, they charged $7 per car.  I am so proud of our entire Journey for Change Ambassadors, the parents who came out to support us, and The Salvation Army staff.  And of course, we thank the Bushwick community for supporting us. 

As you may remember, during the Journey for Change service mission to South Africa, the participants met a little girl named Nobubele.  The group noticed her because her face was badly burned and we subsequently found out that Nobubele’s shack had caught on fire and she and her mother had been severely burned, her mother critically so.  When we returned to the U.S., the Ambassadors decided that they wanted raise money to help rebuild her shack.  Sadly, Nobubele’s mother passed away from her injuries and she became an orphan living with relatives.  However, the kids hosted two fundraiser last fall, a bake sale and the first car wash and decided that the proceeds would fund Nobubele’s schooling, as there is no free education in South Africa.  I am thrilled to say that I have since seen Nobubele twice and the school she attends and she is doing beautifully.  She is completely aware that U.S. school children are funding all of her educational needs.

So on Saturday, we continued our efforts to help little Nobubele and the other orphaned and vulnerable children in South Africa.  Part of the money raised will ensure that Nobubele remains in school and that she will be able to purchase a new school uniform, books and supplies.  To read more about Nobubele’s story, please click here.  We are also hopeful that the Ambassadors can fund the education of another orphan.  It pleases me to no end that these young people understand their inherent blessings of attending school in the U.S., even if it is not the best school, and are choosing to help to ensure that children a world away have the opportunity to go to school too.

We were lucky that we had a gorgeous and HOT day for the wash.  The day started off with some help from the local fire department who stopped by to get the water started and hoses running.  Thanks to the generosity of the school P.S. 299, we were set up in front of the school, on a prime corner spot on Bushwick Avenue.   Our Ambassadors got right to the business of advertising by running up and down the block with handmade posters, flyers, and balloons.  They were perfect spokespersons for our cause and they proved it by raising over half the money from donations given from people in cars they stopped at red lights who were taken by the cause but couldn’t stop for a wash. 

The day was a family event as well because a number of our Ambassadors brought their siblings, cousins, and other relatives.  My children couldn’t wait to get to the car wash to help out; though I think they got more suds on themselves than on the cars.  But their real motivation was to see all of their Journey for Change friends.  Even my babysitter and her son came by and were two of our best advertisers competing to see who could pull more cars in.  Thanks to one of our dedicated moms, lunch was an absolutely delicious meal of Caribbean-style food.  We were all so thrilled to have a break from scrubbing for a home-cooked meal instead of our usual pizza!  I have got to get her pasta recipe.  One of the best aspects of the fundraiser was seeing all the community friends come out and support our efforts. 

Towards the end of the day Channel 12 stopped by, which we owe a big thank you to the Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and his press secretary Mark Zustovich.  I had a great meeting with his office the week before and they were kind enough to help us get the word out for the event.  I am excited to be starting a new partnership with their office which will focus on local advocacy work for our new Journey for Change Alumni program.  

By the end of the day, at about 5:00 PM, we were all exhausted but we knew it was well worth it.  We counted the money right away and I was able to announce that we had raised over $1300!  I can’t say thank you enough to everyone who helped out at the car wash.  It would not have run as smoothly or been as much fun without everyone who pitched in to help.  From making signs, to setting up, to washing or drying a car, to bringing food – it was a major team effort and every little bit helped. 

And like I said, these Ambassadors continue to rise to the occasion when it comes back to giving back to society.  They understand that “service is the rent we pay for living” and they continue to pay their rent.  Click here to see pictures of the fun and philanthropic day in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

Peace and blessings,



By: morgan
On: 08/11/2009 11:34:29
I really loved to hear about all the communtiy service that the Journey For Change group is doing. It has inspired me so much. And I loved the "Service is the rent we pay for living" I like it so much cause it's so true. I wish my parents would one day take me to one of your car washes but they would say it was just to far. I also like watchin all the videos that you guys put on this website. :)

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