Donor Spotlight: Thank you, Rahwa

My connection to Ethiopia is personal and one that I carry close to my heart. I am a part of the first generation of my family to be born and raised in the United States yet despite the geographic distance to my ancestral homeland, my family instilled in me the significance and value of my cultural heritage. Cradling this dual identity comes with its challenges–it definitely has not been easy–but one way I manage to do so is by supporting causes and organizations making an impact in Ethiopia.
Ethiopian Orphan Relief is one of the first, if not the first, organization I connected with that works directly with individuals back home. And while the circumstances bringing about the establishment of EOR may not be pleasing, this issue (how to better the lives of the orphaned population) is one that cannot be ignored; rightly so, EOR has taken on that challenge. What I appreciate about Ethiopian Orphan Relief is the manner in which they go about making an impact: by working directly with communities and various groups in order to fulfill their needs.
I have been connected with Ethiopian Orphan Relief for more than three years now and have supported the organization primarily through donating, hosting a fundraising event (via the Ethiopian and Eritrean Student Organization at The Ohio State University), and volunteering at annual events. Since then, I’ve been able to meet some of EOR’s members who are simply incredible and as a result, I have been exposed to a community here in Ohio I never knew existed.
The future is bright for Ethiopian Orphan Relief. This has already been seen through the expansion and scope of their projects to causes not necessarily directed to the orphaned population but also to the wider realms of education, nutrition, access to clean water, and the like. Only time will tell where Ethiopian Orphan Relief will go next but I’m assured it will be nothing short of amazing.
–Rahwa Hassen
  Columbus, OH
Rahwa for blog post

$9,900 Taco Party

This past spring at Lights of Hope we tried something new. Guests had the opportunity to buy a “Golden Ticket” for $100. If they were the lucky winner they could pick any item out of our live auction line up. Anything… and we had some pretty sweet things like a trip to Italy, poker party, trip to Thailand, just to name a few.

Prior to the drawing of the ticket, Lights of Hope auction chairs Kim and Lauren visited each table to thank them for attending the event. They also asked “what will you pick if you win the golden ticket?” They were as excited as anyone as the buzz in the room over the golden ticket was huge. Time after time guests were answering the “Taco Truck party for 40 guests.”

Well it finally came time to draw the lucky winner. As you can tell he’s a happy winner

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This weekend here in Portland, Paul and Stacey celebrated their Golden Ticket win with 50 friends as they dined on Taco’s from the Taco King’s food truck.


IMG_3349 This new golden ticket idea for EOR was a huge success. We were able to sell 99 tickets and that $9,900 is providing nutritional meals for the girls at Children’s Heaven, medicine for children at Lola, building supplies for land at Lola and so much more.

Thanks to everyone who purchased a ticket, to the Massari family for underwriting the Taco Truck and to Paul and Stacey for supporting EOR.

Join us May 21, 2016 in Portland, Oregon for the 8th annual Lights of Hope Auction. You just might win yourself a golden ticket!

A great nights sleep!

You continue to amaze us every single day. We’ve been sharing with you needs we have for our upcoming November trip to Ethiopia. YOU listened and are helping us with so many things. From the Amazon wish list to mattresses, thank you to each of you who’ve generously helped with this project.

Here is a little update on our Great Night Sleep project for the girls at Children’s Heaven. Imagine not having a mattress to sleep on or having a thin sheet as your only comfort when sleeping. Here at EOR were hoping to change that for these wonderful girls. Here is a snapshot at where we are with this project. While in Addis Ababa we will be purchasing these items and hand delivering many of them to the girls.

  • Mattress $25 each goal of 72 lacking 16
  • Bed Sheets $15 each goal of 72 lacking 32
  • Blankets $21 each goal of 72 lacking 55
  • Towels $12 each lacking 72

Do you live in the Portland, Oregon area? Do your girls have any very gently used clothing they are wanting to pass along? We would love to bring clothes to the girls at Children’s Heaven. They are age 5-17. Contact us if you would like to arrange a pick up.

Want to get a few things off your holiday shopping list? These would make great teacher gifts, the friend who has everything gift, and many more. When we return the end of November we will send you photos of your purchase that you can pass along to the gift recipient.

To make a gift toward one of our needed projects please visit here.

Thank you for all you do for the children in Ethiopia.


International Day of the Girl

Today is International Day of the Girl. This day was started four years ago by the UN. It’s a day of global efforts to ensure a world free of discrimination for young women and girls.

In EOR programs in Ethiopia we have girls who inspire to be teachers, doctors, astronauts, lawyers, nurses, mothers, pilots and many more. Thank you for supporting their daily needs of medicine, clothing, food, education and so much more.

Would you like to celebrate a special person in your life today? Maybe your daughter, mom, aunt, cousin, child? Consider a donation in their honor to Ethiopian Orphan Relief. Your tax deductible gift will go directly towards our projects in Ethiopia and make the future more bright for these vulnerable children.

Some current projects we have that directly impact girls at Children’s Heaven

  • $25 provides a new mattress
  • $21 provides a new blanket
  • $15 provides a new set of sheets
  • $12 provides sheet of towels

Our current projects that directly impact girls at Lola Children’s Home

  • $10 provides 22 children at Lola with Plumpy Nut for one day. Plumpy Nut – nutritional supplement for malnutrition
  • $10 provides 2 chickens
  • $51 provides a week of Plumpy Nut for 22 children
  • $204 provies a month of Plumpy Nut for 22 children

To make a donation for one of the above or where the need is greatest please visit here.

Thank you for changing the lives of many girls!

A few of the girls at Lola Children's Home

A few of the girls at Lola Children’s Home

Our wishes

So many thanks to many of you who’ve been busying shopping on our wish lists. The UPS man said last week “wow, your getting lots of packages this week.”

We have many ways you can help us with our trip next month. We’ve put together a snapshot list of things and prices. Do you need a gift for your children’s teachers, family member who has everything? How about a set of sheets or a mosquito net? We will take photos of the items while in Ethiopia and provide you with a card that you can pass along to the recipient during the Holiday Season.

This is my birthday month and I have the most amazing giving friends. For my birthday many of them have gifted chickens, mattresses, plumpy nut, things off the wish list. Last week I was brought to tears on three separate occasions by their loving giving hearts. For me, this is the most perfect gift I could ever receive. It’s a gift that will help the children in Ethiopia who I hold so close to my heart.

If you see something you would like to take off our wish list thank you a million times! We are so very grateful for all you do for Ethiopian Orphan Relief.

Our Wish List can be viewed here along with the link to grant a wish-  eor2015tripwishlist

Stella & Dot Fundraiser

I want to tell you about a wonderful fundraiser that is happening now.  Michelle Ornstein and her family ( husband David and son Ben) have been long time supporters of EOR.  The Ornsteins show up to every Ohio EOR event, help secure donations for Night of Warmth, and are very generous in their giving.  And now, Michelle is hosting a Stella & Dot party to benefit EOR.

How does it work?  Well, it’s pretty simple.  Michelle invites friends/family/coworkers over to her home for a party. When guests purchase an item 20% of the purchase price goes to EOR!!!  Great, right?  I mean, you visit with friends and help EOR at the same time, what could be better?  Of course, not everyone is able to attend the event, but the beauty of this is that ANYONE can participate.

Go to Then email Brooke Zupnick (our fabulous Stella and Dot consultant) at  to place an order and 20% of all purchases will go to Ethiopian Orphan Relief.

Can you think of a better reason to accessorize?


stella and dot

Sheets, Blankets, Mattress

Imagine living at an elevation of nearly 8,000 feet, it’s rainy season and the blanket you have is torn and tattered, so thin that you can feel the wind blow through it. A mattress that is thin, many time having no mattress.  Many of the girls at Children’s Heaven in Addis Ababa don’t have to imagine as this is the reality each night.

Here is a typical home in Ethiopia. Many times these homes are shared with other extended family members, along with their goats, chickens or cows.


We have an great need for these girls. To some it may seem simple, to these girls it means a gift of comfort that they greatly need.

Of the 115 girls at Children’s Heaven, currently 72 girls need new sheets, mattresses, blankets, and towels.

During our visit to Children’s Heaven this November we will be purchasing these much needed items. If you would like to help us with this project please visit here.

  • $15 provides a set of sheets for one girl
  • $21 provides a blanket for one girl
  • $25 provides one mattress for a girl
  • $12 provides a set of towels for a girl

Our goal is to be able to provide 72 girls with these items. What a great item for a birthday, anniversary, or Holiday gift.

Thank you for your generous hearts.



This November a team is headed to Ethiopia! This trip will consist of nearly two weeks of visiting with our partners, assessing needs, seeing completed projects, doing work projects and so much more.

Over the next week we will be sharing with you different ways you can help. We have a “wish list” of items that we would love to provide to Lola Children’s Home, Children’s Heaven, Water Action and a school in Addis Ababa. These wish lists consists of school supplies, medical supplies, clothing, sheets and a few more things.

Today we want to share with you our Amazon and Target Wish lists. If you see something on here you would like to donate to Ethiopian Orphan Relief we would be honored to take the items with us. You have a few options for shipping. You can ship to us here in Oregon or to yourself and you can drop it off to us or ship to you then ship to us. So many options.

To view our Amazon Wish List click here

To view our Target Wish List click here

Each item donated would be tax deductible. Thanks so much for your giving hearts.


Ethiopian Rail Service

Addis Ababa launches modern urban rail service

Ethiopia Rail

21 September 2015 Last updated at 12:12 BST

Ethiopia’s first modern urban commuter rail service has been launched in the capital Addis Ababa.

The $470M project, which was mostly funded by China’s Exim Bank, is the first fully electrified train service in sub-Saharan Africa.

Hundreds of people turned up for Sunday’s launch and enjoyed free rides on the trains, which are being touted as the solution to the city’s growing road transport problems.

Emmanuel Igunza attended the launch of the commuter train in Addis Ababa.