There are some fantastic creative givers in the Buyamba Community, and The Griswold family is one of these unique donors! I have had the privilege of knowing the Griswold Family for over ten years. God has blessed Buyamba continuously through them, and I have been impacted personally by this family, ongoing, and have had the privilege of going to Uganda with Natalie Griswold.
I recently visited part of the family at Mark and Sandy Griswold’s home in Huntington Beach. I was welcomed with cheerful hearts and lots of stories from the couple and their daughters Whitney, Natalie, and Annjolie, not to mention a fantastic lunch. I wanted to take some time to sit down with all of them to talk about the incredible legacy giving their family has been empowered over the years through the former patriarch of the family, John C. Griswold. Buyamba has been a recipient of part of their annual giving through the family foundation opportunity for over a decade.
The Griswold Family:(left) Annjolie, Whitney, Natalie, Sandy & Mark Griswold
The beautiful thing about how the John C Griswold Foundation (Est.1978) is set up is that the family gets together once yearly and is charged with giving philanthropically. The family has identified the charities they will financially support through grants. Every family voice counts; each person gives an update on the non-profit of their choice and what they have accomplished through the gift given in the previous year.
This wise man knew his family would be blessed by coming together once a year and having the opportunity to give. John started the family foundation in 1978 as a vehicle of giving, and then he passed it on to his two children as recipients after his passing in 1987. They continue to get their families together once a year for this particular purpose. As the years went by, John’s children married and had children who are now having their own children.
Today, John’s great grandchildren are part of the giving force, and some of their children are learning the concept too! I heard many stories of the growth and transformation of this man’s massive gift to the family over the years. It was not always easy, but love prevailed through the generations in this family, who are now passing it down. As I met with part of Mark’s family that day, I was touched by how they thoroughly enjoyed each other. As they shared the story of their family giving, they all recognized the value of their gift and the gift they continue to be empowered to share with charities they love. Buyamba is blessed to be among the recipients.
The Griswold family has helped Buyamba in the building process of God Cares Schools over the years, and have helped build classrooms, dorms, and the assembly hall, and even joined the effort to put on a bible camp for the primary school one year. Together the family has served the population of God Cares School through the years. Their generosity has touched thousands of children, and thousands more will benefit from their Buyamba-building efforts in years to come. This family has genuinely touched Buyamba with their love gifts for the ministry and each other with their creative giving!
By Julie Dimas
One of the fun things about partnering with our sponsors and donors is the creative ways they come up with to give! A recent example of this creativity was Tim Hutchinson's 70th birthday party. Tim decided that instead of having his guests bring something for him on his birthday, it would be more meaningful for him if his friends gave Buyamba Love Gifts to the kids in Uganda. Tim was not new to Buyamba, for he is a worship leader at Calvary Chapel Conejo Church in Thousand Oaks, CA, and he has been involved with sharing Buyamba with others for years. He and his wife, Kathy, are also faithful sponsors of a boy named Jonah Kalumba, who goes to God Cares School in Kampala, Uganda, and is in the 4th grade.
Tim and his daughter celebrating his birthday
Tracy Lynn, a Buyamba representative, hosting a sponsorship table
We were happy to be a part of Tim's big day. We were able to highlight some of our "Buyamba Love Gifts," such as a goat named "Surfer Dude" (to represent Tim's lifetime love of the sport). There were other choices of gifts his guests could choose from, such as a cow, chickens, school uniforms, shoes, bibles, and even a child's sponsorship could be given in honor of Tim's birthday.
At the actual party, Tracy Lynn, a Buyamba representative, was invited to set up a "Buyamba Table," highlighting a few of the students we needed to be sponsored and the additional Buyamba Love Gifts that his friends could choose from. Some guests had contacted us directly weeks before through Tim's birthday invitation and had designated a Love Gift to Buyamba. We sent Tim a Buyamba Birthday Card for each gift to say that a donation had been given in his honor on behalf of a particular guest for a specific Love Gift chosen with care.
Tim’s efforts were fun and productive, for among many gifts were 11 goats, 5 bibles, shoes, a child named Samson sponsored, and many general gifts to help the children given in Tim's name. Tim loved the part that his friends were excited about giving, and some who are not Christian got involved in the ministry he cared about.
Now that's CREATIVE!
We love partnering with our sponsors in their creative efforts! Call the Buyamba office if you have an idea about how to share Buyamba. If we can send a representative to be present at the creative event, we will try and be there or send one of our volunteer representatives to host a table.
This past weekend, Calvary Community Church hosted our fourth annual Buyamba Pumpkin Patch. This pumpkin patch is made possible thanks to the generosity of a donor who grew and donated over 2,000 pumpkins, in an assortment of beautiful colors, shapes, and sizes to raise funds for our dorm building efforts!
A good time was had by all and hundreds of people made their way through the patch and selected a special pumpkin (or a wagon full of pumpkins) to take home to decorate for the season. People gave generously and many took advantage of the great photo opportunities in the patch.
God multiplied the efforts of everyone and we ended up being blessed with over $37,000 towards the girls dorm building!
This idea was not only a great example of Buyamba Creative Giving, but more importantly, Brent believed that this gift would help honor a man whom he admired so much. He explained, "Mike's genuine passion and joy in serving Jesus and helping those in need continues to be a great example for my family and me. Having visited Africa on mission teams with church, Mike was especially passionate about Buyamba and the children of God Cares School. It has been a natural extension to share that joy and passion with our restaurant teams."