Gordie Bailey, chair of the board for Bailey Nurseries, headquartered in Newport, has always had a strong drive to give back. This February, it’s bringing him as far as northern Tanzania, where he will climb Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise money for a girls’ school in Kenya.
The idea began with Ryan Sarafolean, a St. Paul native who spent time studying in Africa during college. Interacting with young girls who were poverty-stricken, often abused and had difficult home lives pushed Sarafolean to start the Kibera Girls Soccer Academy (KGSA) Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. The KGSA Foundation works to support the girls’ school in tandem with the Kibera Girls Soccer Academy. The foundation’s goal is to raise $300,000 for the construction of dormitories that would allow girls to leave their difficult home situations and live full time at school. “This is where I, and we, can make a difference,” says Bailey. “It is a place where our dollars go a long way in helping to empower these young women.” Bailey learned about KGSA through a friend—and fellow climber.
Bailey’s goal is to raise $10,000 of this sum through his hike. Any and every donation is welcome, and Groundwork Opportunities, the fundraising site, allows 501(c)(3) organizations a free platform to raise money; 100 percent of tax-deductible donations go directly to the KGSA Foundation.