Jill Sperling | Inspiration in Action

Some people in this world are just born to do good things. I believe this statement with my whole heart.jill-and-bruce-sperling.jpgjill-and-bruce-sperling.jpgjill-and-bruce-sperling.jpgjill-and-bruce-sperling.jpg

I talked to Rocky quite a while back about showcasing stories on Mothers Fighting For Others about real people doing real things to make a real difference in the world.

The following story is from the Joliet Herald News and is an example of just that:
jillbruce.pngJill Sperling is the dean of students at Drauden Point Middle School, here in the town I live in. My cousin Nikki Knights is a graduate of that school, as of last week here in Plainfield, IL. I took this story from the Herald News newspaper in hopes of showcasing the life and inspiration for her dedication to the children of Southeast Africa.

Jill will be leaving for the city of Malawi, which has been devasted by AIDS, and more than half of Malawai’s 13 million people live in poverty. She will be spending 17 days with her brothers, Joel and Jon Van Dahm, in Malawai to complete their mission there. Jill and her brothers will be helping the missionaries Will and Pam Phillips, who care for 120 children, which includes 29 infants.

“My heart is with the babies” Sperling is quoted as saying. “I just want to go to Africa and rock the babies.”

Jill lives in Lombard, IL and will distribute 3,000 of the 5,126 books that Drauden Point Students collected this past year. To pay for the $3,000 mailing cost, the student council donated the money necessary to ship the books, as well as teachers and friends! Jill (32) and her husband Bruce had a dream of traveling to Africa for many years. Two years ago they decided that 2007 would be the year they made trip.

On Memorial Day weekend, 2006 Bruce Sterling, and his brother Mark ,tried to rescue a kyaker on the Fox River in Yorkville, IL and he, his brother, and the kayaker all drowned. Bruce was youth minister at their church in Lombard.

After Bruce’s death she continued on her quest to go to Africa, and her brothers Joel and Jon decided to join her. “They saw an urgent need there and felt they were in a position to help. That desire was reflected in Bruce’s life.” said Joel.

Joel Van Dahm has a degree in engineering and is interested in water systems. Jon will offer his expertise in running a small business to the children. “We can be a symbol of hope in place that appears hopeless”, a quote from Jon Van Dahm.

This my friends is what is it all about… Inspiration and Action!

I remember hearing the story of Bruce and his brother on the news last year. I know now, that Jill and her husband Bruce are a testament to those who were born to do good things!

Thank you to the Sperling and Van Dahm families for raising such a wonderful family of caring children. And to Bruce and Jill for choosing to be a part of the solution!

I plan on attempting to contact Jill directly in the next few days, but in the mean time I wish her and her family a safe and meaningful trip to Africa.

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2 Responses to “Jill Sperling | Inspiration in Action”

  1. judithshakespeare June 19, 2007 at 11:45 pm #

    What an inspiring story and great idea! Thanks for sharing both, honey.

  2. Ruth Mitchell July 11, 2007 at 4:13 pm #

    This is fabulous! I too have left my heart in Malawi. I have had the opportunity to travel there 3 times in 2005-06 and I am returning in Oct of 07. We work with and incredible women. Her name is Theresa Malila and she is a tribal chief with a heart for her people. But first and foremost she is a mother who cannot stand to see the injustice that women and children face. She has home based care and feeding programs that are responsible for feeding over 1000 children on a daily basis. This is the power of one woman with passion making a monumental difference.
    This experience has so changed my life that upon returning home I quit my job so I could concentrate on helping get the word out about the plight of Africa. I have also started a small internet based business where proceeds go directly to humanitarian aid in Africa.
    Thanks for your commitment I love your sight

    Ruth Mitchell

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