Our Community is Transforming

Our Community is Transforming

ACE’s vision from the beginning has been “changing lives and transforming communities” one person at a time. One of our most needy communities that lines our farm property is Hampstead, and one woman we met there through our sponsorship program is a testament to that transformation.

Meet LaToya Newell, a sponsored child’s mother who received a home several years ago with her four children. LaToya used to be what we call a haggler. She would buy our things from thrift shop and other shops, then flip them to make income for her and her family. Hard times fell on LaToya, who also has a special-needs child, and much of her income shut down.


ACE needed an animal caretaker at our micro-business, Green Life Llanrumney Farms. For those of you who don’t know the story about the farm, in short, it’s for ACE to incubate small agriculture businesses for our local families who are unemployed and want to work but have no training or ability to compete in the tourist trade market miles away.

That’s where Ricky comes into LaToya’s life. Ricky is one of six horses GLLF has on property to be trained to round up cattle when they get “way up in the bush” and LaToya is going to teach him! At first, she was very nervous about being close to such a big animal (her first time). But after the introduction, the bathing, the saddling, and then the riding, she’s getting to be a natural – a real “Jamaican Cowgirl,” says LeRoy, our horse trainer in St. Mary who is working with her.

LaToya said it is great therapy for getting back to the simple things that really make a day at work fun and fulfilling. It started with a sponsored child, then a family, a home, a skill, a future. Thank you, sponsors, for changing this life and ultimately transforming our community one person at a time.


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ACE goes DEEP and not WIDE

ACE goes DEEP and not WIDE

How many times have you heard ACE say “ACE goes deep, not wide” about the way we do life with our community? In three decades, we’ve never changed that direction of depth vs width. We can’t reach every single person in St. Mary, but we hope that those we DO reach and invest in – emotionally, spiritually, financially – will be changed for the better as they then go out to help others.

Do you remember little Orlando from Bonny Gate? We remember meeting him when he was in third grade at Jackson Primary, one of our first sponsored schools. Orlando would run up with eggs in his hand to give us from some of his wild chickens in the yard.

As you may know, that little boy grew up and became the caretaker of Pastor Kermit until he passed earlier this year, and now Orlando’s farming again.

He was one of ACE’s first recipients of a loan with which he purchased his first cow named Betsy. Orlando now owns thirteen cows and sells them to grow his other farm business – pigs. Just this month, he called and asked if we needed any piggies as his pigs Penney and Peggy both had 14 babies each.  Now that’s a record!

The farming experience has not only been educational and profitable for Orlando, but it’s been a spiritual journey as well. When Orlando first began to raise pigs, he had a big beautiful one named Tamarind.  A man in the community with a reputation for being cruel poisoned Orlando’s pig out of jealousy.  Tamarind died a horrible death, and Orlando was devastated and very angry. Years later, as the wicked man lay on his death bed, he asked for Orlando to visit him. Orlando didn’t want to go, but his curiosity got the best of him. The man asked his forgiveness.

ACE provides the opportunities, and opportunities provide life lessons and purpose. We are very proud of our young men like Orlando; no matter how many challenges pull them off the path, they get right back on and do what they are called to do. In Orlando’s case, that’s farming, which creates a business for him and food for others. Our investment in relationships runs deep, and that will make all the difference.

Please keep Orlando in your prayers as he still struggles with the loss of Pastor Kermit whom he called “father”. He still has us and we will be there for the long haul.

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