Dear friends and supporters of IT Tender,
We have a good problem. Our dedicated team of staff and volunteers, the number of students in our programs, and the number of donors stepping up to sponsor new children have each been growing exponentially. We've said it before, and we must face this reality now: we have outgrown the little drop-in center that IT Tender has been renting for years.
In fact, we've been praying for a long time to be able to move to a larger property. We searched for years for the right property in the right location (accessible to our communities). We prayed. We searched. And we waited.
We never expected that the perfect property would be right under noses (or more specifically, just down the road from our current center). And the owner just so happens to be an incredible organization that we have partnered with for over a decade - Extreme Response.
A few years ago, we were saddened to hear the news that the Manila Children's Home (an orphanage of Extreme Response) had to close down. We knew this was not the end of the story, and thankfully a home was found for each of the children from the orphanage. At the time, we did not think too much about the building itself, expecting it to be quickly sold on the market due to the high demand in our well-populated area of Metro Manila.
Last year, we were reminded of the prayer we had made. Perhaps we were waiting to find an empty plot of land to build something from the ground up. All the while, the ideal-sized, three-story building of Extreme Response was already there. Empty and ready. Waiting on us to move.
Truly, our prayer for a new home for IT Tender has been answered. But now the real work begins. We want to purchase this building and convert it into a preschool and tutorial center with a music/fitness studio, a leadership training room, a computer lab, a sustainable garden (on the terrace), and a space for worship services and large gatherings. This will be a place were we can continue the good work we've been doing, but on a much larger scale. More relationships will be built, more students from poverty will be empowered, and our community will be strengthened.
We are calling this capital project the "Big Leap Project". At IT Tender, we are ready to take a leap of faith, just like the man in the story from Acts 3. Due to a physical condition, he was unable to walk, but a miraculous encounter left him "walking and jumping and praising God" (Acts 3:8).
God has wonderfully provided a spacious, three-story building at a substantially discounted price (thanks to our decade-long partnership and relationship with the owner - Extreme Response). Moving in requires a payment of $165,000 CAD ($120,000 USD), in addition to $140,000 CAD in renovation expenses ($100,000 USD). After that, Extreme Response has graciously given us a few years to pay the rest of the payment for the property (with no interest). (*if you would like to know the full cost of the property and learn more about the vision for this project, email John Coffey at email@example.com to have that sent to you)
This new building will allow IT Tender to accommodate so many more children and youth at one time - effectively tripling the number of preschool students and allowing five times the number of tutorial students and sponsor children that the current drop-in center can accommodate. Our team of teachers, social workers, interns, and 60 volunteers are more than ready for this new chapter.
It's time for us to take the next step. Or leap. Please donate generously to the "Big Leap Project", even sacrificially, before year end. There are so many more children from the slum communities waiting to learn, develop and grow into healthy, educated young people. And this new center is our chance to leave a lasting legacy for them.
Help us acquire and repurpose this building into a school that will educate and empower students for generations to come.
You can make a one-time donation by following the links below.
CANADIAN DONATION (select "IT Tender - Philippines")
In other news, we are so grateful for the timely donation of 10 desktop computers (for our future computer lab!) from our friends at CloudStaff (an outsourcing company in Manila). These computers are such a practical gift for the students of IT Tender to be able to do their school assignments and to enjoy other after-school workshops. Employees from CloudStaff have even volunteered their time to regularly tutor the students of IT Tender via Zoom.
Aside from the computers, the team from CloudStaff also brought giant sacks of rice for the families of our students. What a great experience it has been to connect local professionals with the children of IT Tender to help with their studies and even their basic needs.
Thank you for all of your amazing support. Below are the current prayers and praises of our team in Manila.
- The Tender Team