Marylu Fryberger, a Madonna University graduate, former kindergarten teacher from Livonia, Michigan, and a stay-at-home mom in the Philippines will be leading Thrive into a new frontier: The slums of Manila.

Marylu, Priscilla Hefflefinger, Thrive co-founder, and Cindy Bryson, an expat with extensive experience in slum communities, have been delivering food to the 200 children living on top of a landfill within the Happyland slums, that many refer to as Trash Mountain, since April.  Marylu says she is “thrilled to be working closely with these great women to serve a community of families whose lives will be forever changed by our work.  To look at all the wonderful things Thrive already does in Dhaka, gives me great hope for the children of Manila.”

Marylu’s family has joined our efforts, too.  Her children, James and MaryJane, have raised funds and distributed food to children served by the project. “There is nothing that makes me more proud than to see my children helping others. They truly have learned that being selfless and caring for others is one of life’s greatest lessons.”

Although Marylu misses the kids in her classroom, she finds great joy in tending to the nutritional and hygiene needs of  children of Trash Mountain.  “Although, teaching kindergarteners has always been my passion, life has blessed me with this opportunity to be with the families here and share their passion for living! I am truly grateful for this learning experience and opportunity to get to know the local cultural of my host country.”

“I have always been a person who has thought with my heart and worked for peace.  The biggest struggle for me when I go to the mountain, to the orphanage, or any of the slums is that fact that I can’t do it all! I always remind myself to think about the things the children do have and the smiles on their faces when they see us, rather than all the things they do not have!”  

And that’s a lesson for all of us.  

 

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