Mitzvot from the Heart: Jacob Stolker

Jacob Stolker collected  more than $700 and  purchased and donated 50 scientific calculators and protractors to Village of Hope in Ghana. When he heard that children there had only a single, flat soccer ball to play with, he also sent  a few soccer balls and pumps.  

Jacob Stolker, Congregation B’nai Amoona

Friends of Jacob Stolker’s family traveled to Ghana in West Africa and spent time at Village of Hope. Their stories inspired Jacob, son of Sarah and Joshua Stolker of Olivette, to support their academic efforts.

“I learned about the students’ dedication to their studies,” he said. “For many, this is their only escape from poverty.”

Village of Hope was started in 1997 and includes 10 residential children’s homes, a hospital, two elementary schools, a senior high school, a vocational training institute and a 50-acre farm. Its mission it to nurture needy children in a holistic manner, to provide excellent secondary level health care services, and to educate more than 1,000 students to excel in character, scholarship, service and leadership to transform the world.


Jacob loved hearing about the math problems the students at Village of Hope were working on. They are similar in nature to or even harder than the ones he does at Ladue Middle School. He can’t imagine having to do these problems without his trusty calculator.

Because Jacob loves math and uses his calculator every day, he wanted to help the Village of Hope students get the tools they need to succeed. He said calculators are in rare supply, and students have to share one or two among the entire school. His original goal was to raise enough funds to purchase 20 calculators for them. 

Luckily, Jacob collected more than $700, enough to purchase and donate 50 scientific calculators and protractors to Village of Hope. He also sent a few soccer balls and pumps because he heard 75 children were playing with only one flat ball. 

A thank you was published in the November 2015 Herald of Hope newsletter thanking Jacob for his generous donation: 

“We are thankful that through your support, 48 of our children are able to go to high school at Hope College. We are grateful to Jacob Stolker of St. Louis, Mo., for the donation of scientific calculators to each one of our 48 high school students.”

Mitzvot from the Heart is compiled by Editorial Assistant Elise Krug. To have your child’s mitzvah project featured, email [email protected] or call 314-743-3671.