Thank You!

Sister Mary’s Children, Inc, 501(c)3 Non-Profit’s Fundraiser was an Astounding Success!

This time of year brings much gratitude, and Sister Mary's Children is full of thanks. We wanted to provide a short recap of our first fundraiser. Enkosi is the word for thank you in Xhosa which is the native language spoken in Mthatha, South Africa.


The night was filled with wonderful people, good food, and an amazing sound from The Swing Notes. We want to thank the many volunteers and those who donated items. Without you the night would not have been such a success. Thank you feels so inadequate, but THANK YOU from the Children, Sister Maria Corda (Director Ikwezi Lokusa Rehabilitation and Development Society), Rose Kasubi (Direcector Bethany Home), Pumeza Mqhayi (Director Thembilihle Home), Sister Mary’s Children, Inc. Board:  Joan Riggers, Mary Lytle, Steve Tacke, Brenna Riggers, Sue Tacke, and Joan Brown. 

You contributed $20,000.00 to benefit the lives of some extra special children! It far exceeded our wildest dreams. Your contributions allow the current needs and wishes from the projects funded by Sister Mary’s Children, Inc. 501(c)3 to be filled:

 Bethany: Yearly salary for Bethany’s on-site staff nurse, shoes and clothing for the children and paving of the Bethany Home playground.

 Thembelihle Home: School supplies for the on site school for 40 children, college fees for two Thembelihle Home graduates entering year 3 of their bachelor’s degrees at Rhodes University, Georgetown, SA., and replacement of two broken wood stoves and firewood for the winter.

Ikwezi Lokusa Rehab and Development: Generators for the workshops to allow for training during power shortages,one month of meals for one trainee, and one year salary for a workshop instructor.

In addition to the funding of the above needs, the children will receive a very special Christmas celebration this year.  Sister’s idea of a celebration for the children was to purchase meat for their meal and a sweet treat for the children.  Both are items that are only included in their meals on special occasions. Thank you for helping to carrying on this tradition loved by Sister to provide a little extra during this special time of year.

Mark Tacke, Sister Mary Paule’ Tacke’s brother, asked that we include in this article his speech on the night of the Fundraiser. It was hard for some people to hear and it is a message he would like to be sure to spread.  He would like everyone to know the history of Sister Mary’s Children, Inc. 501(c)3.

It all began when Joan Riggers was teaching at Prairie Elementary and Maxine Tacke, wife of Mark, became her volunteer.  They became friends and when Mark and his son, Steve, visited Sister in 2006, Joan and Maxine spent time together.  When Mark returned, Joan invited the Tacke’s for Easter Dinner.  Mark told about his recent trip.  It was this interaction that resulted in Brenna Riggers, daughter of Steve & Joan Riggers to volunteer for Sister Mary for 9 months in 2006/2007. 

Brenna returned with Joan for a month in 2008. Joan was amazed at how remarkable Sister was and saw all that she had accomplished to better the lives of children. It was then that Sister Mary and Joan became friends.  Joan and Brenna returned to the US determined to assist Sister financially.  Their campaign started with articles in the paper and requests at Christmas. 

Soon Chaelena Wimer, daughter of Marv and Molly Wimer, volunteered for Sister Mary for several months.  While she was there the Wimer family visited in South Africa.  The Wimer family continues to support Sister Mary Paule’ Tacke’s projects.

In June of 2014, we lost our beloved Sister Mary Paule’ Tacke.  Joan and Brenna along with their husbands traveled to South Africa in November of 2014 to visit with the directors and boards of Sister’s Projects.  Upon their return the decision was made to apply for non-profit status.  The Board was thrilled to be awarded non-profit status in June of 2016 just 1 1/2 months after applyingWe, the Board, credit the assistance of Ambassador Gaspard, US Ambassador to South Africa. He has visited tMthatha and Sister Mary’s Projects.  He was quite impressed and wrote to the SMC Board encouraging us to continue to support the projects. 

Joan Brown, SMC Board member and past volunteer for Sister Mary, has visited Mthatha, South Africa at least once a year to meet with the Boards and Directors there.  She returns with financial statements and information from the Boards of the Projects. 

Fast forward to Saturday, November 5, 2016.  Our very first SMC fundraising event.  What an amazing night because of all of you and your generosity.  Sister Mary Paule’ Tacke would be so humbled by the love and support of her communities.

Love and Blessings to you All,

The Sister Mary’s Children, Inc. Board:

Joan Riggers, Mary Lytle, Steve Tacke, Brenna Riggers, Sue Tacke, and Joan Brown.