It all began back in 2010, when Jodi Gregerson of Gibraltar, Michigan, first discovered New Seed International, a Ghana-based nonprofit focused on providing care and support to children and adults living with HIV/AIDS, while on a class trip. Then, about nine months ago, she saw a Facebook post from the organization’s founder, Livinus Acquah-Jackson, who shared the story of a 13-year-old orphan named Esinam who needed surgery to correct a facial defect. Acquah-Jackson had started a fundraising campaign through the crowdfunding site GoFundMe, but wasn't raising anything close to what was needed.
“I donated then,” Gregerson tells Yahoo Shine, but earlier this month, the 19-year-old saw that Acquah-Jackson had reposted his fundraising plea after taking in a measly $130. Gregerson decided to take matters into her own hands and turned to social blogging platform Tumblr. On November 2, Gregerson posted, “Esinam, 13, is in the care of New Seed International and she wants to go to school and become a doctor one day, but she needs facial surgery before she can do so. Both of her parents died when she was young, and her grandmother who was taking care of her has recently had a stroke.” According to Acquah-Jackson, the cause of Esinam’s defect is unknown, but her health has been getting worse and she can no longer attend school because of the condition.
Since then, Gregerson’s post has been viewed more than 12,000 times and the GoFundMe campaign has now surpassed its $10,000 goal — in just 11 days. “It’s crazy how easily people dismiss the impact of social media and what it can do,” says Gregerson.
“I am amazed,” Livinus Acquah-Jackson tells Yahoo Shine. “I feel great and so happy that we raised the money. My priority now is to make sure the surgery happens.” According to Acquah-Jackson, the first of three separate surgeries is scheduled for December 15 and the entire process will likely take three to four months to complete. And how is Esinam feeling? Says Acqua-Jackson, “She is happy because she knows that somebody cares.”