Ventnor woman, 70, sets off for volunteer work in Uganda

Attention: open in a new window. PrintE-mail

Marsha Galespie of Ventnor is enjoying the going away celebration in her honor Friday, Feb. 8 at Malelani Café in her hometown. Marsha Galespie of Ventnor is enjoying the going away celebration in her honor Friday, Feb. 8 at Malelani Café in her hometown.

VENTNOR – Marsha Galespie said she always wanted to join the Peace Corps but her mother would never allow it. Now, the Ventnor woman known locally for community support is taking her enthusiasm globally as part of a service project in Uganda.

Galespie is probably best known in Ventnor for creating the nonprofit Community for Safe Usage of Recreation Environment created, known in town as the C-Sure playground on Somerset Avenue and Boardwalk.

Tuesday, Feb. 12 she embarked on a three-week with volunteers from Real Partners Uganda, an organization founded by Brigantine residents Elaine and Dr. Joseph G. Griswold.

Galespie told The Current Monday, Feb. 11 she came across the organization through the couple she provides homecare to are members of the Community Presbyterian Church of Brigantine. The church is a partner with Real Partners Uganda by funding the Good Shepherd Child Care Centre and a poultry farm in Lukaya, Uganda.

“After almost two years of taking them to church, I found out about the two directors of this organization, Joe and Elaine Griswold, started this school and clinic and orphanage there,” Galespie said.

Galespie, who is Jewish, said she had sought out similar volunteer opportunities in the past but found they were affiliated with a Christian church that only allowed Christian volunteers.

Galespie expects to come back to Ventnor on March 7 but while she is Uganda, she will be working in the clinic and nursery school at Mustard Seed Academy.

“I’m doing this for my 70th birthday,” Galespie said. “I always wanted to join the Peace Corps as a kid and my mother wouldn’t let me.”

Galespie said growing up, volunteerism and community service was an attribute passed down from her grandmother, to her mother, who volunteered with Sally Starr in Philadelphia.

“I come from a family that always volunteered,” said Galespie.

She will not be going alone, she will travel with the Griswolds as well as local volunteers Jackie Sarner, Lee Whittton, and Dianne Falk.

Galespie said she is excited to be working with kids and is bringing art supplies to assist with teachers there. She is paying for the trip herself but solicited children’s clothing donations from the Arc of Atlantic County and Just Like New Thrift Shop in Northfield. Galespie also received medical supplies from local physicians including Dr. Paul Ljubich and Dr. Leonard Popowich to donate to Real Partners Uganda.

On Friday, Feb. 8, a gathering of friends and supporters surprised Galespie with a going away party at Malelani Café in Ventnor which takes its name from the South African Tswana word ‘malelane’ meaning place of palms.

A safari will close out the trip for the volunteers but Galespie said she is just excited to embark on this journey to celebrate a milestone birthday.

See for information about the organization. 

blog comments powered by Disqus