Jarek's journey

'Jarek's Journey' is a new children's book by Mark Maynard. It chronicles the story of Jarek Compston, who raised $11,000 to give Christmas gifts to children in Africa. Jarek is pictured above with his mother, Amy, holding the book. Proceeds from sales of the book go to fund a new school for children in need in Uganda. Submitted photo.

Former Daily Independent Editor Mark Maynard has authored a new children’s book, and all proceeds from sales go for a great cause.

The book, 'Jarek's Journey,' also features an array of illustrations from Catlettsburg artist Brian Ashby, who currently draws the Sunday editorial cartoons for the Daily Independent.

"We are in the process of raising $1 million for a school (in Uganda) and everything that is raised from the book goes to the school - every penny," Maynard said. "The idea is the donation. A $25 donation and you get this beautiful children's book."

The book chronicles the big-hearted philanthropy of Jarek Compston, son of Amy for Africa co-founder Amy Compston. It details the true story of how Compston was working on getting gifts to children in Africa and Jarek volunteered to help.

"They are going home from church one day getting ready to take a trip around Christmas over to Uganda and we had been given all of these Christmas gifts," Maynard said. "We were concerned about how we were going to get them over there and Jarek, who was 6 years old at the time, was listening to his mom and dad talk and he said, 'I can run for those kids. I can run a long ways.'"

That's exactly what he did. The child, at just 6-years-old, ran a local half marathon and raised $11,000 for the cause.

"It shows you don't have to be this huge person or have great strength to do great things," Maynard said.

All the proceeds from Jarek’s Journey, which sells for $25 and can be purchased at amyforafrica.com by mail at AFA, 816 23rd Street, Ashland KY 41101. The money will go toward the new El-Shaddai Nursery and Primary School in Uganda. Designs for the school, which has a $1.1 million price tag, are already in place and AFA has put down the first 20 percent of the $522,000 first phase of construction but more money is needed to complete the school.

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