Former Commissioner Back From Charitable Trip to Africa

The goal of her trip was to enroll 70 children in school who otherwise would have grown up on the street instead of in class, and she did it with the help of generous donors in Tallahassee.

Anita Davis leafs through a stack of paper with dozens of faces peering from tiny photos, the faces of children in Ghana who, thanks to her and other donors in Tallahassee, will be in uniform and in school for the first time this fall.

Anita Davis says, "To me, it bothered me to know that these children were playing instead of getting an education. I said, gosh, that's a mission for me. "

The West African nation of Ghana doesn't provide free schooling for children, and many families cannot afford the $30 it costs to enroll them in private schools.

For retired school teacher Mary Dixie, that was simply unacceptable. She donated enough money to enroll 10 kids.

Mary Dixie says, "I thought it was really important since I taught school for so many years, and for a child not to be able to get an education, I just thought it was sort of a disgrace."

Davis traveled to Ghana last month to personally do the paperwork and pay the tuition for 70 children to attend school. Though the basic classrooms and dirt school yards are oceans away from Tallahassee, Davis was amazed at how many neighbors, friends and even strangers here were willing to give these children the gift of an education.

Anita Davis says, "They were overwhelmed. They overwhelmed me. It's like somebody getting a new pair of shoes, something I've never had before."

Ms. Davis plans to return to Ghana next May. She's committed to collecting enough money to keep these kids in school for at least five years.

If you want to know more about sponsoring a child, call her at 850-574-3075.