Man on a goodwill mission
By Denise Baran-Unland For The Herald-News May 4, 2012 4:16PM
Uganda Pasto, Henry Kabuye and the orphans he helps educate. bill Borbas of Romeoville met Kubuye on a mission trip in 2008 and founded Roots of Restoration to help Kabuye with school funding. SUBMITTED PHOTOS
How to help
What: Roots of Restoration “Stuff for Poor” Drive
When: 9:30-11:30 a.m. Sunday
Where: Community Christian Church, 175 Highpoint Drive, Romeoville
What: Collection of shoes, clothing, kitchen items.
Etc: Can’t make the event? You can still donate later. These items are always needed
Contact: Call Bill Borbas at 630-341-9414.
Updated: June 7, 2012 8:05AM
ROMEOVILLE — Don’t throw away those gently used, but unwanted shoes, clothing and kitchen items.
On Sunday, bring them to Community Christian Church’s Romeoville campus. Member Bill Borbas of Romeoville, founder of Roots of Restoration, a small networking group which helps orphans in Uganda and Haiti, guarantees he can make good use of them.
“Just show up,” Borbas said, who has been to both Uganda and Haiti. “There will be volunteers helping to unload cars.”
Through a partnership with Stuff for the Poor (www.stuffforthepoor.org), your cast-off items will be sold to a broker in Uganda, who then sells the items to small businesses so native people can buy them at affordable prices. The money the broker makes funds educational supplies. Some of the proceeds from the Sunday event, Borbas said, will also benefit Haiti.
Several years ago Borbas, like many people, he had plenty of reasons not to take a mission trip — a wife, two kids and a new job — even though a friend pestered him about traveling to Uganda with him.
Then one Sunday, Borbas heard his pastor say, “If you wait until all circumstances are ideal, you’ll never do anything.” So Borbas said to his wife Christina, “I think I’m supposed to go to Uganda.” To Borbas’ surprise, she agreed.
Borbas raised $3,500 from family and friends to fund his trip. While in Africa, Borbas met Pastor Henry Kabuye, an orphan. Kabuye had dedicated his life to providing a school for poor children who had lost one or both parents or whose parents were so poor, they could no longer provide for them.
“I kept in contact with the pastor through email and Skype,” Borbas said, “and I talked with some other people about what we could do to keep these 54 kids in school.”
So Borbas formed Roots of Restoration, which works in conjunction with Stuff for the Poor. Currently, Borbas is seeking ways to fund profitable, but low-skill businesses, such as brick making, so the school can become self-sustaining. In the meantime, Borbas is also helping a Haitian orphanage.
Help for Haiti, too
Two months after the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Borbas again felt drawn to help. He contacted the Global Orphan Project, gathered a dozen friends and raised expense money. Borbas assumed he would he assisting on a building or cleanup project. Instead, Borbas spent five days visiting orphans.
“I never realized how critical it was for these children to have someone hold them, play soccer with them and do crafts with them,” Borbas said. “The kids really liked sitting in our laps and falling asleep. It was really special.”
Two Community Christian Church members, Chris and Jen Savini, decided to stay in Haiti and minister with a pastor there who runs an orphanage of about 50 kids.
“The pastor there has a huge vision,” Borbas said. “We want to help him expand it.”