from Sr. Mary Paule Tacke
This is information and a bit of an update on the projects of Sister Mary Paule Tacke in South Africa. Mark Tacke, brother of Sister, Brenna Riggers (volunteer at Bethany) and Chaelena Wimer (Volunteer at Bethany) along with Joan Riggers are working on fund raising for Sister Mary Paule Tacke.
In a recent letter from Sister Mary Paule Tacke, she wanted to express her deepest appreciation for all of the donations over the years. One hundred percent of your donations are used to help the children that are so dear to her heart. She says, “Thank you for caring beyond measure for the children. I know that God sees all and that he will not be outdone in his generosity and that he will bless you as he knows best. May you all be richly blessed.”
Sister also said that it is best not to send checks to her personally. It is best, she says, to wire the money directly to the accounts that she uses to support the children. Since there is a $30 fee each time money is wired, Mark Tacke and Joan Riggers have set up an account at Wells Fargo for anyone who might be interested in donating to the children’s support. The fund is titled Sister Mary Tacke Donation Fund. The plan is to send donated funds to Sister on a monthly basis. Sister would like to know who has donated, so that she may acknowledge the donations.
At this time, Bethany Place of Safety (orphanage for infants to 5 years) is financially stable. However, the site for older children, Thembelihle Home (orphanage for children 6 to 16) is struggling to keep the doors open. These children have nowhere else to go. If this orphanage closes, the children will be out on the street. Mthatha is a city with high unemployment rate and high crime.
Sister’s passion and work began many years ago. One night, local police came to the convent where Sister lived in Mthatha, South Africa. They brought to the sisters a small infant. The police had no options as to a safe place for the baby. The sisters took in the infant and soon more children were brought to the sisters. Sister Mary Paule Tacke began Bethany Place of Safety, an orphanage for children from o years to age 5. She was in charge of the orphanage’s day to day operations, procuring donations, and seeing to the wellbeing of up to 60 children. She worked hard to reunite children with families or find homes for others.
As time went on, there became a need for a place of safety for children who were not adopted or reunited with family. From this need, Thembelihle Home was born. It is a place of safety for nearly 30 abandoned and or abused children. Thembelihle Home maintains an atmosphere of love and understanding as it supports these vulnerable children. At the helm of this work is Sister Mary Paule Tacke and the Home’s director, Pumeza. At Thembelihle, each child is given physiological & emotional support, education, balanced nutrition, medical care, and most of all, a place of belonging.
Visiting Thembelihle, one sees that these children’s live have truly been transformed through Sister and Pumeza. The children are learning, feel safe, and know that there are those that truly care. It is truly a remarkable place.
One of the most important aspects of the Home is the on site school. Due to the home being a place of safety, children cannot go to the local schools. The home has a small classroom in the back yard where schooling takes place five days a week. All of the teaching is done by volunteers.
Sister Mary Paule Tacke has dedicated her life to this community and specifically the little people. There are so many ways in which Sister has insured that the lives of others are made better one day at a time. She is very quiet and humble about her work in South Africa. If you are lucky enough to visit, you see in Sister someone who is so very selfless in her work. She touches so many lives in the community.
Cottonwood has tirelessly supported this community far away, and the work of Sister Mary Paule Tacke. You have supported playgrounds, classrooms, daily nutrition programs, medical care, and wages for caretakers. There are not words for what your generosity has done for so many so far away. Thank you for your generosity.