Person of the Week: Becky Young

April 17, 2009 12:19:15 PM PDT
Africa happens every day in a small farmhouse south of Raleigh. Inside it's another day of baking for Becky Young. She churns out butter pound cakes and strawberry pies every day. It's all for an orphanage in the small South African town of Mabopane.Years ago, she and her husband chucked their lifestyle and big home south of Chapel Hill so she could do exactly what she's doing now.

"The word that kept coming to my mind was simplify," she told Eyewitness News.

Young said God began whispering in her ear after an African man from the orphanage spoke at her church, and then came a mission trip to Mabopane that changed her life.

"That's when I knew - when I saw that, I thought 'Okay Becky, come home and do something about it. Don't just look. Don't just see. Come home and do something about it.'"

And she did. In coming weeks, she'll bake more than 200 pies and some 300 pound cakes. Every dime she makes goes toward plane tickets that have taken her to South Africa once or twice every year since 1998.

The Mabopane foundation she heads up sends $6,000 to the orphanage each and every month. Through its donors, Becky Young is the person who keeps the orphanage going.

"With the efforts here, I do believe that a lot of lives have been saved in South Africa. Some of these kids grew up in the dumps. I'm talking about a landfill. That's where they got their food, and so now our kids are getting better nutrition. You know, they're getting lettuce, fresh fruits, fresh vegetables," she explained.

Besides the baking, she formed a mission house to collect items people donate and then re-sells them on the weekend. It's a never-ending garage sale that produces more money for Mabopane.

"Our kids have never had a pair of pajamas before, and so I bought every one of the children from the littlest to the oldest ones pajamas. Oh, it was over 200 pairs of pajamas. We had the biggest pajama party you've ever seen."

She often stays a month or more with the orphans of Mabopane.

"Very difficult - to say goodbye is one of the hardest things. The whole reason I'm doing this is for the kids. They're always in my thoughts. They're always on my mind," said Young.

For more about the Mabopane Foundation, go to: http://www.mabopanekids.org

And for the brochure on the Mabopane Foundation golf tournament, go to: http://www.mabopanekids.org/uploads/MabopaneGolfTournament2009.pdf

To nominate a person of the week, go to: http://abclocal.go.com/wtvd/feature?section=resources/inside_station&id=6720752


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