Art for Ethiopia, our fundraising art sale/auction for Children’s Heaven that was held this past Saturday, November 8th in Denver was a SMASHING success!!! Not only was the event attended by hundreds of people, but we were able to exceed our own fundraising expectations and raise over $12,000!! Hanna Fanta, director of Children’s Heaven, was moved to tears when she found out how much people contributed towards her project of building a permanent community center for her girls’ programs. We were also moved by everyone’s generosity as well as the time commitment, enthusiasm, and dedication shown by the volunteers and board members who made the event happen. Special thanks to Tracy Stevens for planting the seed of inspiration that blossomed into this amazing event. Also thanks to volunteers Shawn Rodda, Emily Barr, Katie Bell, Becky Mitchell, Greg Cradick, Valerie Photogoddess, Jasmine Champion, Ellen Yeiser, Lisa Wells, Katie Bradford, Heidi, and Hanna Fanta for all you did!! And thanks to Board members Dawn and Paige for travelling out to the event. It was great to have you here!
Here are some stories from Hanna’s children to give you an idea of what these girls face every day in their lives:
Tigst Shewangizaw age 10 lost her mother and lives with her older sister who is
eleven. Her 11 year old sister is the one who is taking care of her and herself. Tigist has
lost a lot of weight because of malnutrition for she has no one to look after them. She wants
to be a doctor.
Asefu H/Mariam, age 11, lost both her parents and she now lives with her aunt.
When we met her she works during the day time and goes to school at night. Assefu baby
sits her niece and does chores in the house. We made a deal to her aunt for her to go to
school during the day time. She now goes to school during the day time and is very
happy. She wants to be a teacher.
Bethlehem Jafar, age 11 lost her father and lives with her mom. She was raped
when she was seven years old. She did not get any help to cope with the tragedy.
Bethlehem has aggressive behaviour because of the incident. She wants to be a pilot.
Haymanot Sisay, age 11, lost both her parents. She is HIV+ and gets sick more
often. After her parents died, she started to live with her aunt. In her new family
she gets a lot of stigma and labor work. She used to work hard and do many chores in order to
live with her aunt and be able to go to school. Her aunt finally wanted her to leave her
house for no reason and she is now staying at Children’s Heaven shelter for she has no one to
take care of her. She wants to be a singer.