Dear fellow parishioners of St. James,

For those of you who aren’t aware, our Social Justice Committee has for the last two years spearheaded an effort led by our parishioner Albertine to help fund education for students in her home country of Togo, Africa. Public school in Togo is not free, and although the cost may seem small by American standards, it is a prohibitive expense to many local families.

Last year, with the generous help of dozens of St. James parishioners who offered one-time gifts or sponsored individual students, we were able to fund the education of 106 children and young adults ranging from kindergarten through university studies. The pandemic has disrupted the bureaucracy of schooling, leading to us getting this information later than usual this year, but I am pleased to report that 97% of the students we sponsored passed, despite many not having been able to attend school in previous years.

I am writing to ask for your support again this year. The need has grown; in
addition to the students we sponsored last year, there are about 40 students who will need financial help to attend school this year. The need is also more urgent; due to the pandemic, school ended at the end of October, but the new year started again at the beginning of November. Because of this, we have fronted a portion of the expenses for students to attend so that they are able to begin their school year. If you have previously sponsored a student, I have already reached out to you. The cost of sponsoring your student this year is the same as last year, if you have agreed to do so. If you have not previously sponsored a student, please consider offering a one-time donation in any amount, or signing on to sponsor a student this year. Theprice of a year’s sponsorship can vary from school to school, within the following ranges:

Elementary: $70-$160
Middle School: $110-$260
High School: $140-$270
Post-Secondary: $425-$500

Sponsorships and donations are tax-deductible and will be compiled with your annual report from the parish. Sponsoring a student once does not obligate you to sponsor a student again. 100% of money donated is used directly for educational expenses; we pay our staff in Togo from grants, and our American staff is comprised entirely of volunteers. Please make checks payable to St. James, and please write ‘Togo’ in the memo line, so we can be sure your donation gets to the right place.

Marcus Liddell
Social Justice Committee Member