Episcopal Diocese of Rochester
Joy in Christ, as a way of life

Area pastor heading to Tanzania to help kids

Democrat & Chronicle, 8/1/2001 Dahn Gandell believes in sustainable change.The 45-year-old Perinton resident is practicing what she preaches as she embarks today for a two-week mission to Tanzania for Carpenter\'s Kids, a foundation run by the Episcopal Church that aids schoolchildren with supplies and other necessities.

'We need to do this,' said Gandell, the rector of St. John\'s Episcopal Church in Honeoye Falls. 'The gratitude becomes contagious. And I can tell you this after going there, that this really changes lives. Tanzania is like the U.S. in the 1950s, really very conservative and soft-spoken. Until you can form relationships with people, you can\'t confront issues in a really honest and truthful way.'

Gandell and her husband, David Gandell, sponsor 50 children in Kongogo, Tanzania. For $80 per year per child, they receive a school uniform, backpack, shoes, mosquito net, socks, one meal per day, health care and other necessities. Each person who signs up to sponsor a child makes a five-year commitment to see them through secondary school. The Episcopal Diocese of Rochester sponsors another group of 50 children, while 100 others are supported by people in the Rochester area.

While in Tanzania for two weeks with 15 other missionaries, Gandell will hand out 150 books and see, firsthand, what her funds are accomplishing, who she is helping. Joining Gandell on the mission trip this year will be another St. John\'s parishioner, Deborah Shafer, who heard Gandell speak about the life-changing experiences on her previous visit. Gandell and Shafer each raised about $4,000 to go on the trip.

'We tell you that when you get involved with Carpenter\'s Kids, you might change a life of a child, but you will probably end up changing your own,' Gandell said.

Gandell said she can see the differences each little donation can and will make.

'You are helping in sustainable change,' she said. 'You might be helping a kid who will be the next president of Tanzania. You never know who you might be helping.

'These people are telling us that we are helping them feel valued.'

For the article including pictures, click the following link: http://www.democratandchronicle.com/article/20110801/NEWS01/108010321