A Tribute to Our Dear Friend, Barbara Rogers
We are incredibly saddened (and shocked) to learn that one of our dearest friends and active supporters is no longer with us. Barbara Rogers was a dedicated super-sponsor through Children International and considered herself (in her own words), “Aura’s House’s number one fan.”
Her close friend and fellow super-sponsor, Mckenzie Fritch broke the news in a wonderful tribute over at Lift One. In it she writes, “At 11:58 last night, I received an email informing me that our friend Barbara Rogers passed away quietly in her kitchen on Friday, June 22. She was taken by either a heart attack or stroke, about a week(?) before she was scheduled to begin her Healthy Heart programme.” Mckenzie couldn’t have phrased it better when she wrote, “I don’t need to tell you how active Barbara was here in the sponsorship community – how much she loved her children and the children of others. She was a tenacious and diligent advocate for their needs and best interests. Her sponsored children will miss her even more than we all will!”
No doubt! Barbara tirelessly fund-raised for her sponsored and co-sponsored children at Aura’s House and saw four projects successfully completed. They were:
Income Generation Project for Eloina (Guatemala)
Barbara also recently lobbied to have two more projects for her sponsored children added to our waiting list. They are, a second Tuition Project for Nsenzeni (to fund her second year of private school) and an Income Generation Project for Angel of Colombia. We look forward to still running these future Aura’s House projects in Barbara’s memory to help make the lives of her sponsored children a little easier.
I never got to actually meet Barbara in person, and yet I feel that her larger-than-life personality always extended itself beyond the computer screen. She always took the time to fight for what she wanted for each of her sponsored children in an attempt to secure the best for them. It’s almost as if she knew that her time with us was limited and had none to waste. Mckenzie so wisely writes in her tribute to Barbara, “Please, please appreciate your loved ones and don’t put things off until tomorrow.” I couldn’t agree more, and yet it’s something I think we always remind ourselves after someone passes away and then we all forget again. Such is the cycle of life.
I’ll end by saying this. Looking at the date Barbara passed away, it’s seems an odd coincidence that it was also the day our Elementary School Water Project for Aura’s Village (Guatemala) fully funded. Barbara was a huge supporter and contributor to this project and had expressed concern that it wouldn’t fund before our site’s birthday (June 30th). I learned on June 23rd that thanks to some VERY generous donors, the project HAD funded. It’s a shame that Barbara never got a chance to know as well. (Some might say she knows now though!) I also want to say that another extraordinary thing happened this week. I learned yesterday (though it’s NOT confirmed or concrete) but Aura’s House partner Anastasia Yecke recently visited Aura and her mother in Guatemala a few days ago to tell them about a wonderful scholarship opportunity in the USA specifically for low-income students from Guatemala that would pay all her educational expenses. Aura has decided that she will apply and so let’s see what the future holds. I know Barbara would have been over the moon over that one. She was an ardent follower of Aura’s educational progress, from secondary school and then to University.
Thank you Barbara for being such a good friend and for sharing so much with your sponsored children, with us, and the sponsorship community. You will be missed and could never ever be replaced.
Kristen Palana and the Aura’s House Team