Mr. Leroy Oppermann
Generosity comes in many forms. Some use the gifts God gave them: the gift of music or intellect, even the gift of athleticism, but they all can use that gift to make the world better. Others give of their time. They are the ones to volunteer to serve at a food pantry or pack boxes of supplies to be shipped to kids in other countries. Still others give of their resources, money they have worked hard to earn. My grade school principal is one of those men.
During the many years I have known him, as a principal, a member of my church, and now more as a friend of my parents, he has been a giver. He served the church in numerous ways. Certainly he served the students at Mark Twain Elementary School. And now he is serving kids in Uganda!
I can remember, as a child, listening to members of our church speak during during our latest capital campaign. This gentleman took his turn and talked about sacrificial giving. He and his wife had decided that they would push back his retirement for one year so that they could continue to give at their current level in order to support the campaign. I remember being in awe of such a huge, life-impacting decision that would serve so many.
And now, this same man, shares a substantial financial gift with Hearts and Hope every year. In the past, his gift has been used to buy textbooks for some of our schools in Uganda. What a great way to acknowledge his background in the world of education!
This year, he asked that we use the gift for something in agriculture. A logical choice for our friends in Uganda and a logical choice for someone who, in addition to being a school administrator, had a background in farming and pig-rearing.
When I asked our staff to provide suggestions for a fitting project, they quickly came back with a suggestion that we build a piggery in Nakabango. A piggery? I love that word and I loved the idea!
It will be a brick and plaster structure that will house pigs to be bred. Members of the congregation will care for the pigs: they will feed them, clean their stalls, give them medicine when needed. Piglets will be given to members of the Nakabango congregation who will raise them and share their offspring with others - a wonderful pay-it-forward plan to generate income for their community!
We have moved forward with the piggery plan. And my grade school principal continues to give. Who knows the number of lives that will be impacted by his ongoing generosity? The community of Nakabango is grateful. And so are we.
Hearts & Hope is a nonprofit organization focused on unlocking the potential of people in Uganda through relationships with people in the US.