Church and Chapel owners help fund school in Tanzania – Grows from 32 students to 455

By Karen Pilarski — Waukesha Freeman

Ted and Pam Larsen, owners and operators of Church and Chapel Funeral Service, helped fund a school in Tanzania.

WAUKESHA — Ted and Pam Larsen, owners and operators of Church and Chapel Funeral Service, have been serving Brookfield, West Allis, Waukesha, Milwaukee, New Berlin and Cudahy area families for years. 

The couple felt inspired to help out an international cause after a plant donation.

Bethany Husby of Minnesota launched the idea of a school after a safari trip to Tanzania in 2017. While looking for postage stamps she stopped at a store and spoke with a clerk about goodwill and Tanzania. The clerk mentioned the intention of building a school, according to Ted Larsen.

Husby was holding a plant fundraiser and ended up traveling to the Larsens’ home to pick up plants. The ladies got to talking over coffee about the school.

“I just loved the idea and it was like something I was searching for at that time to get involved in,” Pam Larsen said.

Heart To Care Tanzania is a “USA-based nonprofit dedicated to building and sustaining Bethany Pre and Primary School for children in need in Kisongo, a small village in Tanzania. We believe that quality education will equip the next generation with the skills needed to take on the challenges of the future. The charity helps an entire village,” according to the website.

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Roseville woman uses gardening gift to help schoolchildren halfway around the world

The following story by Richard Reeve appeared on KSTP Channel 5 News on May 11, 2022.

Bethany Husby may just be the ultimate plant lady.

“I’m a gardener, I love gardening,” she declares. “They just spring to life, and I’m just very good, I guess, at doing the garden.”

From her Roseville backyard to several rooms in her house, Husby has nurtured 6,000 potted plants in all — even in the dining room.

“These are plants that will be coming outside, holding them here to make room,” she says, walking through her solarium.

In the dining room, plants covered a large table.

“I grew all these upstairs,” Husby smiles.

Her husband Paul says she’s not kidding.

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What Do a Safari, a Smile, and a School Have in Common?

By Rachel Bittner

Children at Bethany Pre and Primary School, Kisongo, Tanzania.

What’s on your bucket list? Your list of adventures, projects, or experiences you dream of making happen someday when you have the time, the money… or the right opportunity?

For Bethany — a pediatric nurse, gardener, and mother of three from Minnesota — going on a safari had been on her bucket list for years. The opportunity finally came when her sister-in-law Jean gave her the gift of a lifetime: a trip to Africa for her and her family.

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Minnesota ‘saint’ gardener uses plant sales to transform lives of youngsters in Tanzania

The following appeared in the “Homes & Gardening” section of the Star Tribune on March 21, 2021.

Roseville nurse and her plant sales support a school that is raising a nation in Tanzania.

By Rohan Preston Star Tribune

In January 2017, Bethany Husby traveled with her family to Tanzania for a safari vacation that doubled as her 55th birthday celebration. Besides bonding and quality time, the group hoped to see and photograph lions, rhinos and giraffes.

But capturing charismatic megafauna was far from Husby’s only indelible experience. As she was buying stamps for a postcard to send back to America, Husby struck up a conversation with the sales clerk, a shy young man about the age of one of her three sons, who was bursting with educational dreams.

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Roseville woman plants flower that blooms into a school in Africa

The following is an article written by Vonny Rohloff that appeared in the Roseville Review on Tue, 09/17/2019

Roseville resident Bethany Husby with students at the Bethany Pre and Primary School in Kisongo, Tanzania, Africa. (courtesy of Bethany Husby)

Ordinary people can sometimes do extraordinary things — such as Bethany Husby, a Roseville wife, mother and career nurse; an ordinary woman who started a school in Africa. 

From a plant sale in Roseville, Minnesota, grew an elementary school in Kisongo, Tanzania.

The story starts in January 2017 when Husby and her family were on a safari vacation in Tanzania. 

“I met a young man, Emmanuel Boaz, in the gift shop at one of the lodges where we stayed,” she says.

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AARP 2019 Purpose Prize Submission

Describe the work you are doing, what inspired you and why you believe it’s significant.

With the help of my family, friends, and some hard-working villagers in Kisongo, Tanzania, I founded a non-profit organization, Heart To Care Tanzania, to raise money to build the Bethany Pre and Primary School for underprivileged children in Kisongo. The school is officially registered with the government of Tanzania. I began fund raising efforts in 2017 and, within three months, local villagers constructed the first school classrooms. By January 2018, the doors opened to 32 children.

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A Life-Changing Gift

The following was originally posted on Grand Circle Travel’s website.

By Bethany H., first-time traveler from Roseville, MN

Bethany noticed that Emanuel wouldn’t smile with his teeth showing when they first met.

In January 2017, while on an Overseas Adventure Travel trip, I met Emanuel, who was working in a gift shop at the Ngorongoro Farm Valley Lodge in Karatu, Tanzania. I only needed to buy a postcard stamp, but we ended up talking for 45 minutes. I could see there was something special about him. He told me about how he was almost done with training to become a safari guide, but he put that on hold when he came upon this job at the gift shop that allows him to send money home to help pay for his younger brother’s education. Emanuel was so friendly and engaging, but he covered his mouth when talking and he would not smile with his teeth showing. There were yellowish areas on his teeth, and I could tell he was self-conscious about how they looked. I later discovered that, like many Tanzanian people, his teeth were affected by fluorosis at a young age, causing the pitting and yellowing; at age 25, he had never been to a dentist. I decided I had to help him get the smile he deserved. I had faced issues with my own teeth growing up, so I knew how he felt.

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