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2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit

The Magic Penny, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: International, International Development

Mission: To develop and implement programs that advance self-suficiency of individuals and greater autonomy of rural communities in Sierra Leone in the areas of Education Health ans Sanitation, and Nutrition.

Results: The Magic Penny has constructed drinking wells, sanitation facilities, a community center and a primary school. The school serves 250 children from kindergarten through grade 5. There is an agricultural component: the children learn to grow crops and tend small husbandry, while a small lean-to kitchen provides the means to use the harvests to make lunches for the children.

Target demographics: educate the future

Geographic areas served: Six cluster villages in rural Sierra Leone, West Africa

Programs: schools, potable water, sanitation facilities and a community center to promote sustainable development in rural war-torn Sierra Leone. The Magic Penny, Inc. has built its first primary school and would now like to build a middle school.

Community Stories

19 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Through the Magic Penny Lucy Sumner has built schools for children in the provinces and has made it possible for girls who otherwise would not be afforded appropriate educational opportunities in Sierra Leone to attend school. Through the Magic Penny she has provided clean drinking water with assistance of a better well so the people who are less fortunate can have the same access as everyone else. As a former educator herself, Ms. Sumner has dedicated her life to ensuring that children do not go hungry as having food is the first step to educational success. It is a small organization that in the standards of organizations, we would say it's a mom & pop shop. However, it does more than most organizations much larger. I can go on and on and on because the Magic Penny has done so so much but I will stop here.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Magic Penny is a small nonprofit organization that works in rural Sierra Leone to improve the lives of marginalized communities. Children in these communities are the greatest hope for the economic, social, political and technological development of Sierra Leone and we wish to provide them with all of the tools necessary to achieve their goals.
We encourage you to search our organization at www.themagicpenny.org in order to appreciate the extraordinary achievements we have made so far (including the construction of sanitary facilities and a community center).
The Magic Penny's goal is to initiate projects that can be sustained and augmented by local people.

1 Barbara200

Donor

Rating: 5

The Magic Penny is magical, they have built a school, wells, toilets , a garden and a soccer field. They have sent a villager to teachers college and that student has returned to teach at TMP school. All of the money collected goes to TMP in Sierra Leone. All accomplishments have been done on very little money, it's truly a magical penny.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

As an NGO established in 2003, The Magic Penny has accomplished a great deal in a relatively short time. This includes the construction of sanitary facilities and wells for potable water, promoting community gardening to produce fresh and healthy food crops, building a neighborhood center to house several cottage industries. And most proudly, it completed construction of the first primary school in Bompehtoke which will serve a cluster of six villages. Future plans are equally ambitious and worthwhile for the area. It's been a pleasure being associated with such a progressive and successful organization.

Jim Sheahan

1 hboxwill

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Magic Penny has been doing amazing work in Sierra Leone for a long time. Building a very beautiful school, putting in water, training teachers and so much more. One thing I am so impressed by. When Ebola hit Sierra Leone, they didn't walk away. They have been raising funds to send prevention materials to the area to prevent the spread of the disease in that corner of Sierra Leone. That is a great idea and I hope they can get many supporters to hep them in the great work. The Magic Penny should be congratulated on their insights, commitment and dedication to the children and families they work with.
Helen B

Previous Stories
1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Magic Penny has accomplished a great deal for the children of this rural village. Imagine going to a beautiful school with clean bright rooms, lots of light, glass windows that shine for these young people to learn. There efforts to improve the lives of the people include providing water, food for the children, gardening for sustainability, sewing machines for villagers to make the children's uniforms and so much more. The Magic Penny is working to improve the lives of everyone there. They are to be commended for such important and caring and professional work.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have seen their work in Sierra leone. The school is of high quality and money is carefully monitored and well spent. It is an important addition to the education of children in that village.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Established ten years ago by a Sierra Leonian, music teacher in a local NY school, The Magic Penny Inc was created after the civil war in Sierra Leone destroyed much of the infrastructure of the country. The goals have been to create schools in a small village to help young people learn to help themselves. A community centre, a well, public sanitary facilities, and a primary school have already been built. Monies from the Magic Penny Inc.have been used to hire teachers, provide school supplies and uniforms. Currently TMPInc has been working to provide information and supplies to protect villagers from E. Bola. It has been a privilege to work with the tireless leaders of this group for the benefit of young people and their community.

Nancy Schumann

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Magic Penny is a small non-profit organization that has been an advocate for the people of Sierra Leone and in particular the Village of Bompehtoke.
With the improvement of drinking water wells, sanitary facilities, a community center, and the building of a K-5 school, The Magic Penny has improved the quality of life for the whole village, surrounding villages, and the education of it's young people.
This was all done through the leadership of Lucy Sumner and a dedicated group of family and friends.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

The Magic Penny was established by Lucy Sumner, a native of Sierra Leone and a wonderful music teacher who has touched the lives of countless people in our Long Island community of Greenlawn/Huntington. Post retirement she put her energies to better the lives of children in rural Sierra Leone and what she has accomplished with a small band of helpers is nothing short of amazing! Over the years modest donations have gone to bring clean water, a schoolhouse, uniforms, desks and paid teachers to the school. This is an instance where your donations can be seen to effect positive change in a tangible way. I have been a donor for years and will continue to support these efforts because I know not a penny of my donation is wasted or used for administrative costs. It all goes to help the children. Go to the website and see for yourself the amazing work accomplished! www.themagicpenny.org


Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

To promote education in rural Sierra Leone, considering the many disadvantages of rural communities is quite a challenge and requires a holistic approach. It involves not only providing traditional education but most time includes providing healthcare and sometimes feeding for these kids. There is no healthcare system in these rural areas and sometimes these kids go the school without having breakfast. It also involves having to continuously convince the parents about the benefit of education so they could free their kids from domestic chores to go to school on time and to attracting and retaining good school teachers because of the remoteness of these rural communities. Such are just some of the challenges the proprietress of “The Magic Penny Inc” has to deal with on daily basis. I must say I am not only impressed with the great contributions they’ve been able to provide for these kids all these years, I must also commend them for their courage and dedication to narrowing distances and widening opportunities for these kids.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Children are the greatest investment in ensuring prolonged and sustainable community development and the Magic Penny continues to make this investment! Their impact on the children of Moyamba district and Sierra Leone is incredibly profound and will continue to impact many families for generations to come! The Magic Penny's incredible leader, Lucy Sumner, is a powerful Sierra Leonean role model to all young girls who inspired to give back to their families, communities and country. The Magic Penny is organization transforming Sierra Leone!

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Magic Penny is doing an outstanding job bringing primary school education and community development to the impoverished people in the Kagboro Chiefdom of Sierra Leone. As a Board Member, I've had the opportunity to visit the school several times in the past few years and I can testify that the Magic Penny has brightened the lives of many, many children and given them an opportunity for a productive future they never would have had otherwise. Lucy Sumner and her sister, Annie Bangura, have worked tirelessly to bring this about despite the poor roads, terrible heat, heavy rainy seasons, and devastating effects of Sierra Leone's ten-year civil war. They are doing an outstanding job and badly need financial support to continue their good work.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I believe in small grassroots level development organizations much more than large multinational ones - they seem to be the most beneficial, efficient and successful in the long run. Education is the best way to develop any nation and empowering Sierra Leoneans and the next upcoming generation is the key! The Magic Penny is a non-profit that works towards these goals. Check out their website - the pictures are fantastic!! I love how many girl students I see! Thank you for your work!

Donor

Rating: 5

This organization uses 100% to help girls' education in Africa. In today's world, I can't help thinking that educating women is one of the best things that we can do. Today I saw the movie Capt. Phillips, and I couldn't help think about the situation of women in Somalia. They were certainly i invisible in the film. How wonderful if the Magic Penny model could be expanded!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

As a former Peace Corps volunteer from Sierra Leone, I can vouch 100% for the work that the Magic Penny does for the people in helping them get back on their feet by doing the work in education. It is imperative that the healing begin with the schools and the children who are the future of this lovely West African country. I applaud and will continue to support The Magic Penny.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Magic Penny is proof that a small organization with right ideals can make a significant difference.
I have been with the Magic Penny since its founding and have watched as Lucy Sumner gave it direction and made it possible for six Sierra Leone villages to first built wells, then a community center and a primary school. To get the uniforms, we collected money for material and sewing machines so that people could work in the community center to make the uniforms. For desks, we collected for tools and raw materials, so that carpenters could build the desks. Each step of the way, whatever we are aiming to improve also adds to the self-sufficiency of the village. It's so rewarding to see tiny efforts fill a group of six villages with a better future through educating their children. Our next goal is to build a middle school.

1 Carleen F.

Donor

Rating: 5

The Magic Penny is doing important work in educating children who have very little opportunity. I am proud to support in a small way their work.

1 Jane52

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Magic Penny, Inc. is committed to promoting education and development in rural war-torn Sierra Leone. The President, Lucy Sumner, was raised in the village of Bompehtoke and has spent her adult life in New York. She started this non-profit in 2003 and simply with donations from family and friends, The Magic Penny has been able to build sanitation facilities and fresh water facilities, and a primary school that serves 250 children. The task ahead is to raise the funds - $70,000.00 - to build a middle school in the village. More importantly, these projects are aimed at creating opportunities for local people to participate in the education and development of their community in order to promote self-sustaining growth.

All funds raised by The Magic Penny go toward creating and maintaining all development projects.