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La Jollan raises funds, awareness for children of Uganda

When La Jollan Marcy Morrison heard a talk by fellow San Diego mom Vivian Glyck about her travels to Uganda and the difficulties the people faced there, her response was immediate.

“Her story was so compelling that I felt the need to help,” Morrison said.

She decided to help by volunteering with the Just Like My Child Foundation, which Glyck founded to provide direct assistance to the people of Luwero, Uganda.

“She saw that they needed so much help - mothers were dying from terrible diseases,” Morrison said. “She came back intending to give through a major organization like UNICEF, but she realized nobody was reaching this community.”

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The Just Like My Child Foundation helps the people that

Glyck encountered on her travels, mainly through contributions to the Bishop Asili Clinic in Luwero. Morrison has been a tremendous asset to the organization, and she was recently recognized for her efforts by the North County Philanthropic Council, which presented her with its Volunteer of the Year award on Nov. 8.

Morrison’s fund-raising efforts allowed for the purchase of, among other things, a new ambulance for Luwero. She said her desire to affect that type of real-life change was her motivation for volunteering with Just Like My Child.

“I did it for no other reason than because I felt I needed to help,” she said. “I never expected an award. It kind of took off on this tidal wave, because of me talking to the right people, I guess. That’s why I don’t feel like this award was just for me.”

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Instead, Morrison preferred to share credit with the more than 200 local donors who supported a recent fund-raising effort that she organized along with Becky Candra of La Jolla United Methodist Nursery School. They organized a Mother’s Day campaign that raised more than $10,000 to purchase the new ambulance for the Bishop Asili Clinic. All the donations came from families from the school, where Morrison’s two young sons were both students.

“I thought I’d be really happy if we raised a couple hundred dollars,” Morrison said. “I never expected this kind of outpouring. People were looking to give and this story just struck a chord.”

Now Candra is putting together a similar campaign for this holiday season, with a goal of raising enough funds to construct a surgical suite at the Bishop Asili Clinic.

“We’re working on building a surgical suite so we can lose even fewer mothers,” Morrison said.

The foundation has also given funds that provided AIDS treatments for more than 1,000 mothers in Luwero, hired a new doctor to serve the community and sent girls from Luwero to the best boarding school in Uganda.

In addition to her organizational efforts, Morrison donates 10 percent of her earnings from her career development service, Careers With Wings, to Just Like My Child. Morrison, who grew up in New Jersey and came to La Jolla in 1994 to attend graduate school at UCSD, first became involved in philanthropy after completing her undergraduate studies at James Madison University. She worked in El Salvador and Guatemala with the Inter-American Foundation.

For more information on the Just Like My Child Foundation, including how to donate or volunteer, please visit www.justlikemychild.org.