Orphaned Zimbabwe children getting help from Nashville woman - WSMV Channel 4

Orphaned Zimbabwe children getting help from Nashville woman

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

What started as a dream about five years ago has turned into a life's work for a Middle Tennessee woman.

Melissa Irwin is raising money and building a future for children in Zimbabwe who are without a parent. 

She just returned from the southern African nation two weeks ago as her group, Beautiful Feed Global Outreach, works on a new farming project.

Irwin said the people she is helping are busy cultivating 25 acres of corn.

It's a big success story for the group, who just four years ago could barely manage a small garden.

"The kids have learned to farm. They are managing those crops by themselves with help from three paid staff members who live on the farm and work it constantly," said Irwin.

The harvested corn will feed an entire orphanage for the next year.

This huge success didn't come without work. It began five years ago when Irwin felt called to act.

She contacted a travel agent specializing in mission work and signed up to help needy people overseas.

"I agreed to it without knowing where Zimbabwe was or anything about it, other than it was in Africa. Before I knew it, I was on a plane and headed there myself," said Irwin.

Since then, she's been back seven times.  

Her group adopted a local orphanage, who is growing the corn. They raise money to feed, house and care for the children who have no one else to turn to.

"I have 50 nieces and nephews who started calling me Auntie Melissa. It rocked my world," said Irwin.

Despite the success, the orphanage is still in need of supplies, and they have no heat. Irwin said she would like to get the children 50 blankets before the winter.

The caveat is that the blankets have to be bought in Zimbabwe and run about $30 each.

Learn more about the project and how you can help: https://www.facebook.com/BFGOorg

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