For those of you who made it to our Dallas event in April, you may remember a story shared by HCCF’s chairman, Deon Fair. It has become one of the crystalizing moments for the Foundation and something we now refer to as either “The Manna Story” or “Manna From Sam,” referring to Dr. Samuel Twumasi-Ankrah, President of Heritage Christian College.
Here is Deon Fair’s recounting of that story, a story of sacrifice from HCC and its students alike, transcribed from his speech that night:
We have a food cafeteria and it’s part of a scholarship and those kids get their meals but those kids that were struggling with their school bill, do you know what they were doing? Skipping meals. They just didn’t eat certain days. There was no money left. They were so determined to stay at Heritage that they skipped the meals so they could keep paying their school bills. This is no joke – I didn’t know about this. But when I went over there one time, a board member said, “We had to give them all a scholarship because we can’t tolerate this. We have got to.”
And so they basically cut their tuition 25% which is a huge sacrifice by the board because of what it does to the economics of their break-even. Thank goodness we’re still on track. They said, “We can’t have this. We’ve got to have these kids fed.”
So we heard about this and we said, “Alright…” So we took a little donation out… there’s a 2-week exam period at the end of the semester. We said, “Tell you what, we’re gonna make sure that these kids get one meal every single day while they’re pumping through these exams.”
And Sam said, they’ve got to come to chapel, which they all do anyway. Sam said to them, “You’ve got to be at chapel, and you’ve got to shake my hand.”
“Shake your hand?”
And when the students did, he slipped them a coupon, which was only valid that day for a meal – which was next, right after chapel. He said, “You skip that meal, and it’s gone.”
They said, “Oh, like manna?”
Manna from Sam! They were sharp. But boy were they appreciative that they got a meal and it was just the fact that there were people that cared about them, and that choked me up. It didn’t cost us a lot, but what a difference it made to the morale of those students.
As you can see, this moment, along with the dual-meaning of “manna,” makes for one of the clearest examples of how HCCF is making a difference and touching lives in Ghana. The board’s sacrifice, while profound, really served to echo the sacrifices of an extremely dedicated student body. Let us help to take this burden off of HCC and its students.
Help us to provide meals to HCC’s students during their final examination period. They shouldn’t have to worry about where their next meal is coming from when they’ve got studying to do, and a nation of their own to uplift. When our most basic needs are taken care of, our minds are free to focus on grander and farther-reaching goals. Removing their hunger is feeding their potential.
Feed their potential.