Archive for Thursday, October 5, 2006

BHS grad heads India relief effort

October 5, 2006

A Baldwin High School graduate who lives in Gardner is trying to raise money for an orphanage and elderly facility in India.

Russ Lane hopes to raise $200,000 in the next 90 days to build the Mother Teresa Home for the Aged and Orphans in Kadapa, India. Lane has been involved with other projects in the area and after touring it, he decided something needed to be done.

Lane's Gardner Church, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, has been supporting the mission of Father Vijay Mohan Reddy's parish in Kadapa. Last year, the church raised $16,000 to help renovate a school there.

Reddy told Lane that he could take care of the orphans at the new school during the day, but they didn't have anywhere to go at night. He also showed him that many of the elderly don't have a place to stay and they beg on the streets. That's when the plan was developed for the orphanage and aged facility.

"Last summer, my daughter Jessica and I took a mission trip to Kadapa, India," said Lane, a 1978 BHS graduate, in a fund-raising letter. "While there, we worked with a priest named Father Vijay Mohan Reddy. He is in charge of a school and numerous villages. They depend on him for food, clothing, medical care and many other necessities.

"Many different religions are represented here, including Hindu, Muslin and Christian," he said. "No one is turned away because of religion. In his early days, Father Vijay worked with Mother Teresa. She gave him a message to always look after the orphans and elderly."

Lane grasped Vijay's vision and has committed himself to raising the needed funds.

"It is his vision to buy land to build an orphanage that connects to a home to shelter the aged and bring them together to help each other," said Lane. "India has no social net to catch those that cannot help themselves because of poverty or illness, such as AIDS.

"I have made a commitment to help Father Vijay raise money to build this shelter for his people," he said. "Currently, there are 15 men that have committed to raising $10,000 each for the project. Besides organizing the fund raising, I am also trying to raise $50,000 myself with God's grace and the generosity of people willing to help."

Donations can be sent to Compass Financial Resources, Att. Russ, 1341 S. Fountain Drive, Olathe, KS, 66061. Checks should be made payable to the Mother Teresa Charitable Trust Fund.

Lane will also be participating in the Kansas City Half Marathon Saturday and is encouraging people to make a pledge per mile. He will be pushing his adopted daughter, 2-year-old Kimber who has Cerebral Palsy, in a stroller while competing. Anyone wanting to sponsor the pair should call him at (913) 747-2000, ext. 223.

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