While teenagers around the country enjoy another week of swimming or a cool treat with friends, 14-year-old twins Robert and Thomas Sharpe will hike to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro — the tallest mountain in Africa.
The brothers set out to raise $1 for every foot of the mountain’s elevation, $19,341 total, and donate the money to the Janada L. Bachelor Foundation for Children.
The nonprofit organization is located in Tanzania, and its mission is to provide “refuge for abused and abandoned girls, quality primary and secondary education, access to rural health care and economic opportunity through agriculture,” according to JBFC’s website.
On Wednesday, Robert and Thomas will fly out to Mount Kilimanjaro with their parents, TomM and Jennifer. Their first stop is JBFC, where they will volunteer on-site for the day, helping with the organization’s farm, schools and safe home for orphaned girls.
“JBFC has totally changed the town around it from being a poor rural area into a thriving town because some of the JBFC graduates, the older ones, have gone on to do great things in the city,” Thomas Sharpe said.
Robert and Thomas were introduced to JBFC when their fifth-grade teacher at Holland Hall started a pen pal program with kids who attended the Tanzanian school. The twins didn’t realize it at first, but their pen pals were eventually adopted by Chris Gates, founder and CEO of JBFC.
The twins met their pen pals in person when Gates moved from Tanzania to Tulsa a year ago, and the twins became close friends and classmates with the boys.
The Sharpe family enjoys traveling — Jennifer and TomM Sharpe will have been to every continent except Antarctica after this trip. They had already planned to make the Kilimanjaro climb this summer when Robert and Thomas approached their parents about making the climb into…