Building our base

A few days ago, my mom and I were out shopping for sewing supplies to make skirts for the girls in Ethiopia.  We found a great deal on fabric, so we had yards and yards in all sorts of patterns and colors stacked in the cart.  The saleswoman asked about our project, wondering aloud if we were making a quilt (which might have been the ugliest quilt on earth if we actually tried to use all of the fabrics together).  My mom quickly jumped in, and explained our latest EOR project.  She also mentioned that I was just back from my trip to Portland, where we (as and ALL VOLUNTEER group–my mom’s caps, not mine) managed to raise more than $95,000 in a single night. The saleswoman was impressed, and asked more about EOR, seemingly pleased when I pressed my business card into her hand.

And just like that, our base grows bigger!  My mom, who is always a fan of everything I do (’cause she’s my mama!) feels a stronger commitment to EOR now that she’s a more active donor, and the woman in fabric shop might become a fan, or even a supporter who is willing to sew for us.  That’s how our base of supporters grows.

When I think about all of my personal contacts who have become supporters of EOR, it’s a diverse group of people I know.  Rarely seen cousins, friends from college, other Ethiopian adoptive parents, and the parents of Elliott and Astrid Meklit’s friends–all sorts of terrific people have invested in EOR.  At first, I was embarrassed to talk about the work I am so passionate about, but no longer.  The more I share about the work that we’ve done (built playgrounds, stocked clinics and libraries, created feeding programs, provided clean water and bathrooms…) and the work that we’re eager to do, the more I find that people are interested and willing to take part as well.

The board of EOR will continue to inform about the work we’re doing, we’ll continue to invest in new ideas to benefit the orphans of Ethiopia, and we’ll continue to imagine a world where all children feel safe, secure, and loved.  We hope that you will continue inviting your friends to join EOR by linking to our blog, by forwarding our newsletters, or by inviting them to become friends of ours on facebook.  As an added incentive, the EOR supporter who invites the most new friends to join EOR on facebook will win a fabulous prize from me!

No one can meet the needs of Ethiopia’s orphans alone, but together, we can accomplish much.  Please ask your friends to join us.  As our base continues to grow, so do our dreams for what we can accomplish for the children of Ethiopia.



donate the day you were born

I love what EOR does for the children of Ethiopia. I wish that I could give more, but my husband and I are on a tight budget. Luckily I have found an easy way to be able to give even without a huge bank account.   Donating my birthday (through Facebook Causes) has been a huge success.  I’ve donated my birthday for two years.

Instead of another sweater or gift card,  I ask friends and family to contribute what they can to EOR. This year, with their help, we raised over $600 to build a mini library at Children’s Heaven.  I can attest to how badly this library was needed.  When my husband and I visited Children’s Heaven this summer, Hanna Fanta, the director, showed us the library.  It was a small room with a few tables and unfortunately, there were more chairs in the room than there were books to read. That is NO longer the case. While there is still more work to be done in the library, it is off to a great start thanks to the generosity of my friends and family.

My son is quite the philanthropist as well. His first birthday celebration is tomorrow. He has requested (yep, on his own, because he is a baby genius!)  that in lieu of gifts,  people make a contribution to EOR for the ‘Buy a Brick-Build a Legacy’ Campaign. What little boy doesn’t love blocks and bricks?

If you really want your birthday to count for something, why not donate it via Facebook and build your own legacy too?




I am what I am! That’s a great thing to be! If I say so myself, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!

Nothing like a reading (or 12) of  Happy birthday to YOU! by Dr. Seuss and the best wishes of a frillion friends to make a gal feel adored.

Last year was a milestone birthday for me–a few weeks before it, a college friend celebrated her birthday by asking for donations to  ‘Doctors without Borders” on facebook.   It was such a good idea, and the first I had ever seen it, so I quickly made the same commitment to raising funds for EOR.    I made  a goal, and really, facebook did the rest.

This year, as the facebook reminders landed in my inbox, I largely ignored them.  Asking for money is hard, and feel like I ask      all.  the.  time.  Still, the idea of not asking nagged at me.  And so,  2 days rather than 2 weeks before the big event, I threw caution to the wind and made the commitment once more.  And,  just like last year, the gifts poured in.

It’s so amazing to know that we on the board of Ethiopian Orphan Relief, Inc. have the love and support of our friends and relatives.  The commitment we’ve made to provide healthy food,  clean water,  and a safe place to call home for scores of Ethiopian orphans is so much easier to achieve with the help of so many.

It’s funny, but every gift in my name reminds me that the donor really gets me, really knows the true me as well as anyone who made a mix tape or bought me a Billy Idol shirt for my birthday (a Billy Idol shirt?  Who, me?)
Thank you to each and every one of you for your commitment to the children of Ethiopia.  You all make gliding into my 42 nd year on earth seem easy peasy.

Billy thinks you should try it too...