The Good News Project: Upton Garden Girls Center

By: Jonalee Merkel Email
By: Jonalee Merkel Email

Here in North Central Wisconsin, there are numerous counselors and support groups to help people get through life's challenges.

But in the West Indies, it's a much different story.

"We work with children from 12 to 16 years old. They come from many parts of St. Lucia and they are taken in if they have serious behavioral issues," says Prisca St. Paul, the Director of Upton Garden Girls Center, "Some of them lie, they steal, they run away from home. We also work with young children who are abused, raped, exploited for various illegal purposes."

The Upton Garden Girls Center takes in young women at their worst, gives them a safe haven, and then helps them prepare for a brighter future.

Hundreds of lives have been touched by the program, and if you're one of the thousands who donate to Good News each year, they want to thank you for their success.

"The contribution of Good News goes along way," she says, "Where do I start? The list is so long. When I've been down and out, when I've been out of the equipment I need, it's Good News on board."

In the 20 plus years Good News has been working here, a lot of change has been made and you can see their impact everywhere from the computer lab to the students faces.

"The joys the girls find when the members come up to teach them so many different things, not only do they teach them, they inspire the children different ways, they bring fun to the children's lives," says St. Paul.

By teaching crafts and other skills, volunteers to show these girls how to have a successful career and a joyful life.

She says, "There isn't a price you can put to you leaving home and coming to work with our people, teaching them, encouraging them, bringing joy, bringing fun, bringing laughter. I just want to continue supporting them in whatever way we can cause they're doing a fantastic job down here with us."

The Good News Project also gave the program the gift of a bus.

Prisca says it's wonderful being able to take the girls places, and share that generous gift with other groups that need it.

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