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In 2009, 6-year-old Goshen resident McKenna Pyle had something very important she wanted to share with her mother, Lori — she felt she was supposed to be doing more in the world to serve others.
Now, almost three years later, that’s about to come true in a very big way as the family prepares to finalize the adoption of three children from Sierra Leone, Africa.
Though the Pyle family is now just waiting for their new children’s visas to clear, the journey began years earlier when McKenna, with the help of her family, started a ministry in 2009 to produce and distribute blankets to local nursing homes.
After an organization called The Raining Season caught wind of the family’s endeavors through McKenna’s Facebook ministry page, a request was made to make 86 blankets for The Covering, an orphanage that was about to open nearly 5,000 miles away in Sierra Leone.
After delivering the blankets, Lori was invited to come along to Africa to help pass them out at, an experience that changed her life, she said.
“Upon first arrival, I knew I would never be the same,” Lori said. “I had my eyes opened to a whole new world that I never knew existed. The poverty and pain that I was seeing was like nothing I had ever experienced before. During the process of hiring staff, shopping for supplies and preparing to bring children into the orphanage, we visited another orphanage that was obviously in need of support. It was our hope to help this organization and we were willing to take several of their children to help lighten the load and ease the cost of caring for so many children.”
That became cemented in her mind when Lori’s group was asked to leave the new center for asking too many questions.
“Several days later at our hotel, I was awakened by a young boy asking to speak to me,” Lori said. “I went outside and he told me that he trusted me and he wanted to share with me all the abuse he has been going through. He shared his story and I was devastated. We brought this boy, Sam, to The Covering. He then told us he had a brother and sister and he urgently asked us to save them. After quite a fight, they were moved (as well).”
And nearly three years later, those same three children are getting ready to move again, although this time the trip will be a little further — and a little more expensive, costing nearly $10,000 to bring the children to their new home in the United States.
The Pyles are hoping to remedy that with a series of raffles to be held in coming weeks at North Oldham Middle School wrestling meets after a suggestion from Anissa Goldsmith, the wife of NOMS wrestling coach Kyle Goldsmith.
“I met Lori a year ago when her son started playing lacrosse with my son Conner and first heard her story then,” Goldsmith said. “I shared her story with my husband Kyle, and we felt the two tournaments we had coming up in December were the perfect opportunity to help them raise money toward bringing their kids home.”
The first drawing will take place Dec. 20 during the 13th annual Oldham County Cup when chances for a Blackberry tablet will be raffled for $10 each or three chances for $20.
Two more drawings will be held Dec. 28 at the North Oldham Elementary and JV Holiday Classic and the North Oldham Holiday Tournament Dec. 29 for an iPad mini and a 32-inch television.
You do not have to be present to win.
For more information about donating, contact Lori Pyle by email at email@example.com or by letter at 1406 Old Taylor Trail, Goshen, Ky., 40026.
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