Serve Daily - - MERIT ACADEMY - By Sharon Warner

In 2011, Merit Acad­emy adopted Mtulu, a school in ru­ral Kenya. Since then, Merit’s fundrais­ing has built des­per­ately needed class­rooms and bath­room fa­cil­i­ties and pur­chased books and sup­plies. Re­cently, how­ever, a famine has am­pli­fied the need of these stu­dents; many are starv­ing.

Ninety miles from any ur­ban cen­ter, Mtulu lies in the dri­est, poor­est re­gion of Kenya. Mtulu’s 500 stu­dents walk be­tween four and eight miles to school, often on empty stom­achs.

Upon learn­ing this, Merit’s ex­ec­u­tive chef, Sharon Warner, sprang into ac­tion. Warner now leads a team of stu­dents in a de­li­cious fundrais­ing cam­paign; be­fore school, dur­ing lunch pe­ri­ods, and af­ter school, busy hands have been pre­par­ing cin­na­mon rolls to sell at Merit’s per­for­mances of “Ok­la­homa!”

“We have part­nered with Kenya Keys, an NGO de­voted to the devel­op­ment of Kenyan schools. Their rep­re­sen­ta­tives leave for Mtulu June 1. One hun­dred per­cent of the money from our cin­na­mon rolls will be handed di­rectly to the school. For 23 cents, we can feed a child a meal, which means ev­ery dol­lar we raise has ma­jor im­pact. It breaks my heart to think of those young peo­ple go­ing hun­gry,” Warner said.

In just one week, Merit has raised more than $1,300. How­ever, Mtulu’s need is on­go­ing. If you would like to join Merit’s ef­forts, visit www.mer­i­ta­ Se­lect “Class Fees.” Un­der “Misc Fees” is a do­na­tion line for Mu­tulu.

“We must not for­get our part­ner­ship with our sis­ter school,” Warner said. “These are not Mtulu’s stu­dents we are feed­ing. These are our stu­dents, and this is our op­por­tu­nity to help them.”

Chef Sharon Warner has led stu­dents at Merit Acad­emy in Springville in an ef­fort to raise money for Mtulu, a school in ru­ral Kenya.

Merit Acad­emy in Springville has adopted Mtulu School in Kenya and is rais­ing money to help build new fa­cil­i­ties and pur­chase sup­plies.

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