Unsung Heroine: Holly Wickett

Holly Wickett

Unsung HeroesHolly Wickett

Holly is another rare individual who believes that caring for and giving to others is one of life’s more important missions.

She recognized this early in life with a quotation from Stephen Grellet (1800s) that her father passed along. It reads “I shall pass through this world once, any good thing therefore that I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being let me do it now for I shall not pass this way again”.

Holly stressed during our conversation, that she wanted this article to recognize that her efforts are much less important than the results, which reflect not only her endeavors but also those of other volunteers and support from the community.

Additionally she hopes that the exposure will result in more support through donations either monetarily or volunteering to the respective organizations.

Holly started her volunteering efforts during her teaching career by coaching various sports such as basketball, volleyball, tennis, badminton, and track and field. She also was a guidance counselor involved with the Preventative Drug and Alcohol Program. In which trained secondary school kids who could talk to grade 7/8 elementary school students about these addictive abuses.

Since retirement she has been actively involved both locally and Internationally in volunteering. Locally she has been volunteering at Arch. For more than six years she’s been assisting Palliative patients and their families. She also enjoys getting involved with fundraising efforts like the Moonlight Walk and the Cocoa Run, providing onsite assistance as appropriate.

Holly also purchases food, prepares, and serves breakfasts for the Northern Heights Elementary School Program. She also has assisted with the refugee family from St Andrew’s United Church with ESL and at the kid’s elementary school.

Holly WickettInternationally she has travelled at her own expense. In 2014 and 2016 she traveled to Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and The Democratic Republic of The Congo with the with the Africa By Design Safaris

During these 2 trips the group participated in helping the local Compass School for Orphans and Refugees. They purchased books and supplies, giving art lessons, serving food, and buying chickens for sustainable food. The group also visited a Maasai village, where they funded a fence building project, funded food purchases, and handed out books and school supplies.

After returning from Africa Holly was so moved from the experience and exposure to the poverty and extremely poor living and sanitary conditions. In 2014 she and a few of her friends formed a group called TUMAINI AFRIKA. Tumainai is a Swahili word which translates to Hope in English.

days-for-girlsIn March 2016 she went to Kenya to the Compass School and to a Maasai village called Namuncha. There along with retired nurse Diane Hilderley, they distributed to and educated girls in the use of Reusable Sanitary Products which are produced in the Sault by the DAY FOR GIRLS organization. DAYS FOR GIRLS is another volunteer organization developed and organized by Gabi Doleske.

While in Africa Holly also was involved with the County Girls Caucus, which provides a Preventive Educational Program for girls in rural areas of Kenya. The program encourages girls to stay in school, discourage early marriage, and helps them build a life plan. Over 1200 girls have finished the program many with the involvement of pledges of support from their parents to keep them in the program.

TUMAINI AFRIKA supports these programs with funding supplies, materials as well as on site assistance and guidance as needed.

Holly has made many presentations to service clubs and schools in the Sault on the group trips to Africa. As well as the financial contributions from the 14 members of TUMAINI there is a need for continued support from the Sault and Algoma residents.

In that regard TUMAINI will have a booth or presence at the following events where the public is encouraged to contribute either monetarily or thru volunteerism.

• Station Mall Nov 24th – All Day
• Mill Market Dec 17th – 10am – 3pm
• Murder Mystery at Grand Gardens Jan 27th – 6pm – 9pm

Volunteers and donations are always essential in order for these efforts and programs to continue.

tumaini-afrikaWhile Holly and the rest of the TUMAINI team are busy preparing for the above events, as well as other fundraising activities, they wanted to make sure to express their appreciation to the citizens of the Sault and Algoma for their past support.

The TUMAINI and DAYS FOR GIRLS are remarkable organizations. Their members are blessed with the spirit of kindness and generosity for the less fortunate global citizens.