The Rotarian motto, service above self, was a way of life for John Sinnamon.
I was lucky enough to cross paths with John and his lovely wife Karen about 4 years ago for the first time at a Rotary dinner I was guest speaking at in Ashmore. However, it was no coincidence, as John had heard me speak on ABC radio at my first ever interview, and had organised to be seated at my table so he could hear more about the Umoja project.
My goal was to build a self-sustainable children’s village to give orphaned and vulnerable children a second chance at life. John was so supportive of Umoja that he requested to sponsor the first child, before we even secured enough funds to begin building our village.
Before we could take children into care, we needed to complete many projects including self-sustainable farming and water, securing the land, and building the first children’s home.
John helped us throughout our journey by fundraising outside of Bunnings, hosting fundraising dinners, and garnering support of other Rotarians, including his Club in Mitchelton.
He also boosted many of our fundraising campaigns by personally matching donations anonymously at the time, all of which helped us completing the first children’s home for up to 12 children.
To our surprise, the first orphans into our care were five-month old twins Alexis and Alare, and the Sinnamon family did not hesitate into agreeing to sponsor the adorable pair.
John believed in me from the first time he heard me speak on the radio back in 2011, and thought I had a ‘tonne of guts’—a saying that my departed father was also very fond of.
Even when John was weeks away from losing his final battle with cancer he was still trying to do everything he could to help us meet our target of funding the second children’s home.
John’s support of my Umoja journey is one that I am forever grateful for, as he always pushed me to keep going even harder to help give these children a better future.
The legacy of John Sinnamon is one that I am very privileged to continue, and it was never in question before he became unwell, that we were going to honour John & Karen and the Sinnamon name by naming our second house after the family. We had to surprise him early due to his failing health. I hope you can join me in honouring John by donating to raise the roof of the ‘Sinnamon House’ for orphaned and vulnerable children in Kenya, and join us at the Mitchelton Rotary Club fundraising dinner for Umoja Orphanage.
Details can be found below regarding the fundraiser.