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Impact of COVID-19 on TDS Mission

While the global pandemic has already had an impact on all of our lives, we wanted to reach out to our loyal TDS community to reaffirm our commitment to our mission and friends in the Mara region of Tanzania.

Although the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Tanzania still remains relatively low at this point, we remain cautiously optimistic.  Students have been sent home from schools in an effort to slow the rate of infection. As school districts across the United States are shifting to e-learning platforms, the disparity in educational opportunities across the world is all too evident. For students in the Mara region, the lack of textbooks means that their education has been put on pause far from their classrooms.

However, thanks to your past support of TDS, the Madaraka Nyerere Library and Community Resource Center is filled with thousands of books that students in the villages surrounding the LCRC can check out and bring home during their mandatory break.

Over the last year, the LCRC was connected to the internet with immediate impact. Prior to COVID-19, dozens of students were gathering in the computer lab in the evenings to watch educational videos together, including students from secondary schools in neighboring villages. The pictures we are sharing were the realization of a shared dream with our local partners.

Unfortunately, like many nonprofit organizations around the country, we had to cancel multiple fundraising events that has reduced our revenues by thousands of dollars. Our Executive Director voluntarily agreed to reduce to a part-time status in order to decrease organization expenses and guarantee more funds are available for our projects in the Mara. 

We have a strategy to sustain our support for the girls and boys in Mara who are depending on the library and resource center.

Give DeKalb County has been our most successful single day of TDS fundraising for the past several years. Every gift TDS received in this campaign is eligible for a bonus match by the DeKalb County Community Foundation. The single day giving on May 7th is an excellent opportunity to put us in a financial position to support the LCRC for the rest of the year.

If you are a donor who typically mails TDS a check later in the year, or you would like to multiply the tax free donation from your mandatory IRA withdrawal, we encourage you to mail your check between April 16th and May 7th to participate in this excellent matching opportunity.

There are two ways you can participate in Give DeKalb County and generate the matching bonus.

By Mail

  1. Download and print the Mail-In Donation Form.

  2. Complete the form per the instructions.

  3. Mail a check along with the donation form to the DeKalb County Community Foundation at 475 DeKalb Avenue, Sycamore, IL 60178.

*Please note that checks must be made out to DCCF and postmarked by May 7 in order to be eligible for a match. 


  1. Visit the TDS Give DeKalb County profile on Thursday, May 7. 

  2. Select that amount that you would like to donate.

  3. Complete the online donation form.

*Online donations will only be accepted on Thursday, May 7.

We know that there is a tremendous amount of need in the world right now, and we cannot thank you enough for continued support of TDS and our mission to support community-identified educational improvements for youth, especially girls, in the Mara region as a way to escape poverty. Together we are making remarkable impacts on thousands of students and their families. The LCRC has become a true 21st century center for learning and with your continued generosity, it will continue to be a resource for families for decades to come.

Although Covid-19 has taken the wind from our sails, we are still in an excellent position to push forward with your help. Please consider taking advantage of this incredible matching opportunity and donate on May 7.

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