Wise people build houses upon rock or solid foundations. We know this from the bible and Jesus’ famous parable. For a while, at BCE we have been looking for solid ground to build buildings, literal buildings. While we might have had the solid ground of God’s work and mission to build upon, there was a lot of learning and digging to find out what was that solid ground in its complete meaning. In our Building for Kids project, we always wanted to build and build purposefully, for it to help fund the mission and be beneficial to as many people as we possibly can. So that was our goal when we first started this project.
The Building for Kids projects started around 2013. The team at B.C.E was selling BBQ to help fundraise for the mission work that had been started. They quickly realized that this wasn’t covering much ground, as financial needs in the mission continue to grow. A friend within the Rotary Club gave them an excellent fundraising idea. They had already raffled tickets for two houses and gave the idea to B.C.E. It quickly caught on. The lumber was credited for the house to be built and then raffled, and the team hit the ground running and started selling tickets. Volunteers were also recruited to assist in building the house. As the deadline approached the team grew anxious as they only sold few tickets and certainly not enough to cover much of the costs already incurred from building the house. Alexander was thinking to postpone the date for the raffled to be drawn to buy more time. Leah and another intern wanted to go through with the date, in order not to lose face with the public that already purchased tickets and keep B.C.E in good standing with them.
With just two weeks left until the drawing date, there was much anticipation and the team needed nothing short of a miracle to be able to sell enough tickets. And this what happens when you build on solid ground, your resolve might be shaken but your spirit won’t collapse. So within those two weeks, the team was able to sell as many tickets to cover their expenses and have about $7,000 of the profit go back into the mission. Another thing they were nervous about was the fact that they needed to move the house when someone wins it, and they had been selling tickets throughout Belize. What was to happen if someone in some remote corner of the country had won it? It would be very costly for them to move it so far. And so a sigh of relief was let out by the team when they heard someone from the city had won it. The gentlemen that had won the house and somewhat of a hard decision to make after the fact. He had several children and couldn’t just give the house away to one of his children without starting a ruckus and a fight with the rest of the children. So his resolve was to sell the house at a reasonable price back to B.C.E. At the same time, the leadership at B.C.E was praying about getting a missionary house built to host the councilors that volunteer during summer. So B.C.E decided to buy the house back from him. And that ended the first saga of the building for kids project. Although it was hard work, everyone ended up benefit from the launch of it
The second time around, there were some lessons to be learned from the first experience, but the quest to continue the project was still well within the minds and heart of the team at B.C.E. They realized it was too much work to build, sell tickets and move the house. They wanted to approach the same fundraising ideas but more efficiently to everyone involved. They began a conversation with Plett Homebuilders. They were to build the house completely and B.C.E would market the house, and when the house is sold the profit will go towards the mission being done by B.C.E. A far better way to continue the same project idea but a new flare, that would engage the business community that was an expert at building and already doing it, we were just to market the house and the cause behind it.
And in our journey to continue building on this enigmatic solid ground, B.C.E with the lessons of yesteryears still fresh in our minds, continue building for the mission here in Belize. We have learned that there is a business community that can be more conscious of the good work being done in Belize, through organizations like B.C.E, and then to buy in the mission and support it by donating what they have. Whether finances, raw material, or anything that can be of use in this grand vision. There are much more homebuilders, but while that is the most obvious partner for us to look for we don’t want to limit the vision to just them. Hardware, lumbermills, glass shops, banks, financiers anyone can become part of the buildings for kids project. Or you might be someone looking to buy a home in Belize, and as you take this big step why not it be even more meaningful by it supporting an initiative like this project with your purchase. Our work here at B.C.E is to continue to be creative with outlets like this that bridge the divide between all the people involved and continue the work of being Belize changing Belize. But a house is only a structure. What makes it meaningful is the people that inhabit it. And when we consider all that the faces building for kids project represent and the thorough good work that comes through it, it is indeed a well-built home, on solid ground too.