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The Red Ledger

The online student news source of Lovejoy High School

The Red Ledger

The online student news source of Lovejoy High School

The Red Ledger

Jamaican a donation

Senior donates to orphanage in Jamaica for senior project
Courtesy of Trista Tippin
Senior Trista Tippin gets together with the boys from Noah’s Ark Children’s Home. Tippin donated goods to the orphanage as her senior project.

“Are you going to come back tomorrow? Are you going to come back next week? Will you come see us again?”

The boys at the Noah’s Ark Children’s Home in Jamaica hugged senior Trista Tippin before she left. She spent the whole day playing soccer with them and seeing what they do everyday during her senior trip over spring break. 

Tippin collected and donated various items such as hygiene products and sporting goods to the orphanage as a part of her senior project.

“It just broke my heart because I know, obviously, I can’t come see them everyday,” Tippin said.  “It made me motivated to hopefully again, even in the summer at different times, I can come and even do [things] like a mission trip or stay with the family. They told me anytime I wanted to come back I could stay with them and give back to the kids, but I think that showed me the most fulfillment.”

Tippin received donations for a week prior to the trip. She collected basketballs, baseballs, baseball hats, backpacks, school supplies, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, underwear, chewy gummy vitamins, and other items requested.

The boys play with some of their new toys. Tippin donated things like hygine products and things to play with. (Courtesy of Trista Tippin)

“I think the biggest reason that [these] things [are] needed, especially with hygiene products, is these kids, especially in this orphanage,” Tippin said. “Everything in Jamaica is so much more expensive for them to go to school. They have to buy taxis everyday; they don’t have school buses. They have to pay for their lunches. They don’t get a lot of the resources that we have.”

Noah’s Ark Children’s Home was about 15 minutes away from the resort where Tippin was staying with her parents and friends.

“They have two people who are the owners who are there and stay with the boys,” Tippin said. “I chose that place because I was looking at places near the resort I was staying at. This one spoke to me because it is a Christian based organization and the need for the boys. I reached out to them, and I was able to go.”

Whenever Tippin and her family went on vacation, they would always bring a few basketballs and volleyballs then give them to kids that they found. When she knew her family and friends were going to Jamaica for spring break, she saw an opportunity.

“My old senior project didn’t feel fulfilling to me, and I felt like it wasn’t going to fulfill me the way that this would,” Tippin said. “Then I talked to my parents and was like what if for my senior project, instead I go to an orphanage or I go somewhere like local poverty and give items to kids. It blew up way bigger than I ever imagined.”

In order to change her senior project, Tippin had to run her idea by the administration where she spoke with associate principal Michael Montague who gave her an extension to complete her project.

“I was pretty surprised,” Montague said. “Although I haven’t seen all 400 senior projects, there were a lot that did service in communities that were underserved and underprivileged. That was really cool. I think it’s great. It just kind of shows the capacity of our student body and what they do in the spirit of giving.”

Tippin took donations for a week and collected over $1,200 worth of items. She spread the word of her project through her family, friends, neighbors and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) which posted about her idea on their social media.

“I think it was such a good thing for her to do because at first she was going to shadow a lawyer or something,” friend Tori said. “It just didn’t resonate with her. Then she had the idea to do this. We wanted to go with her, but whenever she went, we were already home.”

On March 9, Tippin and her family went to the orphanage where the kids had the day off from school while the teachers were on strike. At Noah’s Ark Children’s Home, the 14 boys ranging from ages 5 to 17 were gardening.

“They were all so sweet,” Tippin said. “They were so excited. They were so grateful that we were giving them stuff. They were asking me for sweet treats because we had little lollipops. They were holding my hand and taking me to places. You never would have guessed that these kids came from such broken homes.”

Senior Trista Tippin donated these goods to the orphanage in Jamaica. Tipping went over spring break (Courtesy of Trista Tippin)

Tippin and her parents brought with them two 50 pound duffel bags of items to donate to the orphanage. When they went through customs, they had to mark the bags as gifts and go into a separate line so the bags could be searched.

“Obviously, to take two extra bags is almost $100 each, so it’s definitely expensive to check two extra bags as well,” Tippin said. “It was difficult, but we didn’t even think twice about having to pay the extra money and all that because it was for a greater cause.”

While all her friends and their parents left Thursday morning, Tippin and her parents stayed two and a half days longer to visit and donate to the orphanage. 

“Even if it’s not to the extent of how much stuff I got, anything can help, even just shipping it, writing notes,” Tippin said. “I think it makes such a big difference, and it will have an impact on you, and it’ll also have an impact on these kids. I know for sure I will be doing it again.”

With help from her parents, Tippin made note of every person who donated, so she can write thank you letters to them.

“I just really wanted to give back,” Tippin said. “I was staying at a resort that was 15 minutes away from kids who don’t have parents, who don’t have a home. I felt like if I’m able to stay at an all inclusive resort, I might as well give a little bit back to the kids in the surrounding area.”









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About the Contributor
Calla Patino
Calla Patino, Editor-In-Chief
Strolling into her third year on staff, senior Calla Patino is ecstatic to be back in the newsroom as an Editor-In-Chief, leaving her summer days of folding clothes behind. If she’s not in the newsroom, she can almost always be found at Celebration Park running her miles with her teammates, trying to breathe. Towards the end of the day, Patino enjoys baking her “famous” snickerdoodles, as it’s the only recipe she has perfected in the kitchen, and flip-flopping between Netflix and Hulu. Patino loves her family’s weekly BBQs and making time to hang out with friends. Patino is obsessed with cinnamon-flavored anything, relaxing in the movie club with a bag of popcorn in her hand and traveling to South Africa. Patino hopes to go into journalism after she graduates, but as for now, she can’t wait for this school year to begin. 

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