A Meaningful Donation.
I have been involved with S.H.A.R.E. Agriculture Foundation for over 36 years and have seen many donations come over my desk as treasurer. Some more meaningful than others, but all knowing that it is going to make a difference in someone’s life. One day in November Steve Craig, a director since 2016 dropped in with four $25,000.00 cheques, one from his wife Shelley and three from her siblings Paul, David, and Don Lyons, as donations to S.H.A.R.E. to set up an Endowment Scholarship Fund in memory of their parents John and Jewel Lyons, with the revenue to go towards students’ education in the developing countries where we have projects. It was my honour to announce it at S.H.A.R.E.’s board meeting on November 23, 2021.
We know that education is very important to acquire a good paying job here in Canada but in the developing countries it is imperative. It is a huge step to help move people out of poverty. Good salary jobs are not very plentiful if a person does not have education beyond public school. Most students realize that their impoverished parents cannot send them to high school and only a few ever get the opportunity to go beyond. Most young people only dream of receiving a high school diploma. With the help of these funds and other donations from supporters, students are receiving the opportunity to get their high school diploma. This is making a huge difference in their lives, which they truly appreciate, and they cannot thank you enough. S.H.A.R.E. has helped many young students in Belize and lately more so students in Guatemala where the need at present is greater.
I have known the Lyons family all my adult life and this makes this donation special to me. I was involved in different farm organizations with John and later his son David and son-in-law Steve and have high respect for all their families. John was a dedicated director on S.H.A.R.E.’s board from 1995 to 2004 and was a great worker and with his creative hands made a display stand that we used many years at most of our fundraising events until Covid-19 came along. As a tour guide, I took a group of 20 to Cuba for a week and Jewel and John were very great travelers and we saw most of Cuba, not just the ordinary tourist attractions, instead travelling some of the backroads to regular small farmers etc. Eddie was a fantastic interrupter along with two bus drivers that knew the country and had many contacts, which allowed us to see parts of Cuba most tourist never ever get to see. It was a very educational trip and Jewel and John told me many times about how much they enjoyed it. You get to really know a person travelling together for a week and I always admired them and again this made this a meaningful donation in their memory.
In discussion with David, he offered this comment on behalf of the four of them, As a family John and Jewel taught us the value of giving back and S.H.A.R.E. allows us an amazing opportunity to remember our parents, while at the same time, demonstrate those values. We know that S.H.A.R.E.’s model and their dedicated team behind their organization will deliver maximum value to the many countries they are active in.
This meaningful donation to start the John and Jewel Lyons Endowment Scholarship Memorial Fund will help countless students in the future and John and Jewel were good role models and their children are following in their footsteps.
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Blog by Joe Gray / Donor Relations officer