Thank you for visiting Leah's Kids!
Meet Aunt Leah

Leah’s Story

 Valera (Leah) Stewart was born on November 23rd, 1920, in Arlington, SD. When Leah was one year old, her dad was killed while rescuing a child from a falling tree, leaving six children under the age of eleven fatherless.

In December of 1941, while teaching in SD, Leah was married to Don Vargason. They moved from South Dakota to Boise, Idaho in 1948, where Leah continued her teaching career until the late 1990's.   Even though they had no children of their own, Leah committed her entire life to teaching and mentoring children, always encouraging them to believe the best of themselves.  She was named runner-up "Teacher of the Year" in the state of Idaho in 1975.

At age 88 Aunt Leah (or "Valera" or "Val" as she was known to her church family and her many friends) was diagnosed with terminal Pancreatic and Liver cancer (Jan. 2009).  Even in the most grim of circumstances,  Aunt Leah wanted her life to continue to impact the lives of children in a positive way. Aunt Leah lost her battle with cancer on April 11, 2009. She will be greatly missed by many!

She, with the help of a few others, came up with a dream to build a home that would rescue children from the worst imaginable circumstances and give them a safe, secure environment, while providing them with the best education possible.

There is an orphanage in Tuluche, Guatemala called Casa Angelina that is very close to Leah’s heart.  This orphanage has a history of rescuing children, allowing them to grow up in a Christ-centered family atmosphere; teaching each one about God’s love for him or her, while providing the best in education. Leah’s dream is to build one of the houses within the orphanage complex, a house that will be home to 10-20 children at a time; thus rescuing them from the literal garbage dumps and streets they are now living in. These children will be reared with a set of “House Parents” who will give them the constant love and safety they so deserve.

The Bible states in James 1:27 that “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress…” After growing up during the Great Depression with no father and five siblings, and devoting her life to the nurture of any child around her, it is easy to see why it is important to Leah to try to insure that these precious children, even though they may have been abandoned by their biological parents, are given the opportunity to live in a healthy family environment.

As a tribute to her legacy and to the positive love she instilled in many lives, you can help us.  How?  Please pray with us that we can soon raise the needed $65,000 to see her dream, LEAH'S HOUSE (as it will be named),  become a reality for these children. We will be able to construct the home as soon as we have the funds. Tax-deductible donations may be mailed to:  Leah's Kids,  520 NW 3rd St.,  Madison,SD 57042.  One hundred per cent of any donation received will be given to the LEAH'S KIDS project. (You are more than welcome to come along to work on any of the construction trips to the orphanage. You can literally see your money being put to work. We will be posting the dates of our next trips on this website when those dates become available.) Please make sure we have your email address so we can keep you informed of trips and progress on Leah's House.  If you do not have an email address, would you like to be updated at your home address?  When we exceed the money needed for Leah's House, the additional money will be used for personal and educational needs for the children. 

Thank you for every gift that helps Aunt Leah’s dream of loving and educating children become a living, on-going reality!

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