Art Cards!!

You can now buy Ethiopian Orphan Relief’s Art Cards at a store, B Designs Home Decor in Hillsboro, Oregon!  These quality cards are very special as they are created by children who are now living with their forever families in the United States and by children who are living in Ethiopia at Ethiopian Orphan Relief’s partners.  A very important aspect of the cards is that all of the sales from these cards goes back to Ethiopian Orphan Relief and will be used to support EOR’s partners and projects.   B Designs Home Décor is owned by my sister in law, Jeni Barackman.  Jeni has been a supporter of Ethiopian Orphan Relief for a number of years now, as Ethiopia holds a very special place in her heart.  Jeni is an Aunt to my four children, two of whom were born in Ethiopia.  She has been a part of each of our adoptions, traveling to Ethiopia with us once and Jeni is excited to be able to support EOR in this way, and I recently asked her just a few questions about Ethiopian Orphan Relief and here is what she said:

I got involved with EOR after the invitation to the very first auction. You and Danny had invited us to go to the auction and I had no idea what to expect. I left that night feeling amazed and full of awe, with the passion and the energy that the organization had toward a country that we were just getting to know. At the time I didn’t realize what a big part Ethiopia would play in our lives. I am so grateful for that first invitation!

After the first auction I knew that I could do more to support EOR than just attending! So the following two years my mom and I created the quilt that displayed the children’s’ artwork. I also donated a few items from my etsy shop to the silent auction. My husband and I have loved the auction so much that we purchase a table now each year.  Because of all of this when I opened up my home decor shop in Hillsboro I thought that it would be a good platform to help sell the notecards!

Being a part of EOR is important to me because it impacts my family. I had the privilege of going to Ethiopia in 2011 with my brother to bring home my nephew. I never know one event in your life could have such an impact on your heart and soul. I had the honor of meeting Hannah and the girls at Children’s Heaven and I was amazed! I was able to share a meal and talk to the girls about their hopes and dreams and they showed me their crafts and stitchery work. I am so grateful for the care that the orphanage gave to both my niece and nephew and with the help of EOR that care is only getting better! I love being a part of this organization because it is helping those children that do not have their forever families.  EOR to me represents HOPE, hope for the future of children and families of Ethiopia. I am honored to be a part of EOR!

Thank you Jeni for your support and if you’d like to visit B Designs Home Décor they are located at 158 NE 2nd Ave in Hillsboro OR  97124

World Water Day 2011

Water affects every aspect of our lives, yet nearly one billion people around the world don’t have clean drinking water, and 2.6 billion still lack basic sanitation. World Water Day, celebrated annually on March 22, was established by the United Nations in 1992 and focuses attention on the world’s water crisis, as well as the solutions to address it.

Last year, Ethiopian Orphan Relief partnered with Water 1st, to bring clean water and sanitation to the people of Kelecho Gerbi.  Together we raised more than 10,000.00 to support this incredible project.  Knowing that 5 million people, mostly children under the age of 5, die each year from water-related illnesses, EOR‘s board members recognize the importance of supporting a water-related project in Ethiopia continually.  As soon as we finish funding one project, we look for another.  After funding Water 1st’s Kelecho Gerbi project last year, we began raising the funds to build FOVC’s orphan care center in Shanto.  Our initial funds paid for new sanitation facilities at FOVC, and as soon as they were underway, Desalegn shared pictures of the new facilities, as well as the old one.

Aren’t those pictures humbling?  In a universe where I routinely imagine a bathroom remodel because mine feels “a little cramped” hundreds of people are living better lives because EOR helped to build outhouses.   On a day when I will gripe about how long it takes to find the matching lid for the water bottle needed during fencing practice, millions of girls and women will work for hours to bring filthy water home to their families. This morning, while both my washer and my dishwasher are chugging, chugging, chugging away, I can appreciate how very lucky I am to have such an easy way to clean and sanitize the too-much that clutters our lives, and in one short hour, when I dash to preschool to pick up my beautiful Ethiopian daughter, I can smile at the endless rain and be grateful once more that our drinking water won’t come from a puddle today.

If you are thankful for clean water, leave a comment today.  If you are especially thankful for clean water, consider linking this post to your own blog or facebook page, and let us know that you’ve done so.  I’ll add a dollar for every comment or link to my own water donation today.

Happy World Water Day,



The perfect gift

Only 18 more days till Christmas… need a little gift for your child’s teacher, the grandparent who has everything, maybe a friend who needs a pick me up gift? Here at EOR we have just the thing….our 2010 art note cards. These beautiful notecards were created by Ethiopian children who have found their forever families and the young girls at Children’s Heaven in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Each notecard displays the artists work then on the back of card a bio on the picasa.

Cards come in sets of 8 folded note cards to a series for $15.00 (this includes shipping).

All proceeds go to EOR projects in Ethiopia.

Contact to place your order.

Images in the "Watercolor Series"

Images in the "Tasfa" series

Images in "Selam" series

Update, the first: news from Children’s Heaven

As promised, before asking you to contribute to our year-end campaign, we’ll share updates about our partners.  The first on the docket is Children’s Heaven.  We added Children’s Heaven as a partner just as EOR was being formed.  We were attracted to Hanna’s program because it was truly an orphan and vulnerable children care program.  The girls, sponsored by CH,  live in the community, usually with extended family.  The sponsorship provides food, school fees and other necessities, so that families stretched precariously thin can provide the loving care and stability the girls so desperately need.
I talked with Hanna recently, asking her about the status of Children’s Heaven.  I’ve included our interview as well as numerous personal statements from the girls.  When I read them, it’s easy to know that we (all of us) really are making a difference in the lives of Ethiopia’s children.  Thank you, thank you, for your support of Children’s Heaven in the past, and the support you will afford in the future.

How have things changed at Children’s Heaven since Ethiopian Orphan Relief got involved?

Things at Children’s Heaven are much better now. Since our partnership with EOR, Children’s Heaven, on top of being free of worrisome life of how we could come up with the rent money every month, we are encouraged and able to deliver our services to orphans in an effective way.  Our new facility which is funded by EOR has enabled our services to the girls more efficient.  The girls now have a place to do different activities in a safe setting with no concern of heat or rain.

They also have a library, though it is not fully equipped, for them to sit down and read or write. In addition, besides feeding program and other activities, the girls take shower  every Saturday at CH facility, which they look forward to it  every Saturday and are happy for this opportunity for most of them does not have access for shower.
What would you like EOR’s supporters to know about Children’s Heaven and the girls you serve?

First of all, we appreciate your hard work and caring for Ethiopian Orphans in general and orphans at CH in particular.  Also, despite world’s shaking economy please know that you are appreciated by all of us for your sacrificial input to our programs.

On top of trying to reach the girls on our waiting list which are now over 200, and the number is increasing every day, my heart also goes out for their extended family.  Most of our girls have lost their dads and live with their sick moms. It is hard to see sick mom’s every day challenge of trying to take care of their families as well as see the girls worry and withdraw when their mom’s get sick fearing they might also lose their moms.

To help mom’s reserve their health and protect them from sun by going long distance as well as doing labor work; Children’s Heaven has recently included in our Project Proposal an income generating program for our extended parents such as candle, soap, peanut butter production as well as hand craft training of weaving, spinning, knitting, embroidery and sewing.

Due to poor standard of education in the Government schools, we also have included in our current programs access to quality education for our girls by admitting them to public schools.

How is the feeding program?
Feeding program is going very effectively.  We are all encouraged by nutritious meal program which is also funded by EOR and the girls are very happy and blessed by it. It has positively affected their health, their education as well as their self image.

Please find the answer to the questionnaire that we gave to the girls a week ago to find out how they feel about Feeding Program and how it affected their life and their extended family.

The change Feeding Program made in my life:

When there is no food for breakfast, I stay home from school for if I go I will feel sleepy in the classroom and come back without learning.

It has made a difference in my living for now I am eating my lunch at CH, my lunch at home will be for my dinner.

I used to have a stomach problem which I did not have now.   At school, I am able to follow my school for I no longer worry about food.   Before, if there is no food at home, I always fight with my mother.  Now I am happy, thanks to God, for I do not starve any more.

Hanni Sala

Age 13

Grade 7

The change the Feeding Program made in my life:

Before this program, I do not eat meat even once a week.  I always eat the same thing every day.  I do not eat balanced food. The only time I eat meat is when there is Holiday.

This program has brought a change in my life.    For example when I eat lunch here, my lunch at home will be for my dinner

.Before, I eat either once or twice a day.  Now, I eat more than that.  I was not able to take lunch box to school.  But now I come and eat my lunch at CH which made me focus at school.   I like the way they prepare our food.

Yemeserach Berehe

Age 15

Grade 10

The change Feeding Program made in my life:

The standard of my feeding program was very poor.  I used not to eat breakfast.  Throughout the week we eat the same meal (Enjera and shiro wott).   That is all I eat.  I do not eat even eat Potato once in two weeks or once in a month.

This program has made me to be happy in my life.   Now, I am able to eat food the same as my friends.  I used to feel withdrawn from my friends for I take the same food again and again at school.

The program has made me healthy.    This is a gift for me from God.  When I go to school without food, I did not understand my lesson.  But now I understand my lesson.

Since I eat here the food at home will be for my dinner. It has helped my family 50% but for me it has helped me 100%.

I am thankful about the feeding program.

Masresha Dagen

Age 15

Grade 7

The change Feeding Program made in my life:

Before this program, my feeding was very low.  For example, I will not get eggs, milk, meat and vegetables; especially meat, milk and eggs.  Now, since the feeding program I am able to get these foods.

It has made a change in my health.  Getting balanced food it is essential for good health.  Therefore, since what I eat here are good foods, I am able to benefit from it.

Before and after school most of the time I do not get food.  But now since I eat lunch here, if there is food at home it will be for my dinner.   My family benefits too for sometimes I take my packed meal to my family and share it with them.

I am very happy about you organizing this program and I am benefiting from it.  I would like to say thank you for those who made this feeding program possible and may the Lord bless you.  I will be happy if this program continues.

Tigist Besufekad

Age 14

Grade 8

The change Feeding Program made in my life:

If we have money it will be on Holidays that I will be able to eat meat.  If we have not then we have not.  In general, the foods I eat hear live alone in week I will not find them in months.  It has made a difference in my health.  I am very happy.

Since we do not have enough food, what we have at home my mom will eat and I will eat here.  Now, our food problem is minimized.  I eat balanced food and I feel healthy.

At school, I used to worry about whether I will eat when I go back home.  Now, I am able to follow my education without worrying about food.   Sometimes I take my packed lunch home and share it with my mother.  It has brought a great change in our life.

This feeding program is good for our health and everything.

Meskerem Mengistu

Age 16

Grade 9th

The change Feeding Program made in my life:

I used not to get balanced food.  I always eat Shiro.  Now I am benefiting from the program.  Before, if I get potato once a week and it was exceptional for me, the word exceptional does not even explain it.  So, I would like to say thank you for those who gave us this opportunity.

Now, I will not get starved for I eat balanced food like meat, macaroni etc…

It has also made a difference in my health.  I do not get sick more often.  Even if I get sick it will not be because of not eating balanced food.  I would like to say may the Lord bless you!

Before, I was not able to take lunch box to my school.  But now I take lunch box because of you.

This program has made us to be equal with others.   I would like this program to continue for it has helped us in a lot of ways and enabled us to eat balanced food and not get hungry.  I want it to continue.

Wogene Tefera

Age 15

Grade 7th
and finally…  What are you hoping to fund next?

Renting private homes is a major expense and there is a dramatic rise in a rent which brings insecurity to our work.

I have a dream to buy a land of 1000-2000 sq. meters to enable us to build a functional site in order to develop our program and be able to reach more orphans and conduct needed services.  We are hoping that all interested donors will be able to buy a few square meters of land for CH to achieve our goals of the above square meters of land.

If you’ve ever wondered, even for a minute, if what you do adds value, if you bring joy to others, I hope these statements ring a resounding “YES” for you. These girls succeed because of the help you give.  Ahmesegenallo, EOR supporters…


*special thanks to Kimberly Heye, our official EOR liaison in Ethiopia.  She shared these beautiful pictures with us

pictures and popsicles, the afterword…

We had great fun at the 1st annual ‘Pictures & Popsicles’ party.   Lots of art, lots of giggles, lots of popsicles–a winning combination!

Here are some photos of the happy occasion:

a well-intentioned sign points the way to fun, spelling be darned!

Sweet K works hard!

Pretty rainbow from pretty D!

Cupcakes fuel creativity

Cupcake break for Meklit

America’s Next Top Model,  E, stops by for artsy fun

Lovely ladies, hard at work

looks yummy, but leaves a chalky feeling in the mouth…

so thankful to everyone who makes EOR a success!

Can’t wait to do this again next year.  Thank you, friends!


Take a look at your generosity in 2009

Ethiopian Orphan Relief’s donors made such a difference in 2009. Each donation from $2.00 to $6,000 made a difference. This past December EOR board members traveled to Ethiopia to check on the projects that were completed by your generosity. This video was put together for the Lights of Hope May 8th event in Portland, Oregon. Take a look at this video to see the difference you each made.

Click Here to see video


Will you be my Valentine

It’s hard to believe that Valentine’s Day will be here in 4 short weeks! If you are looking for a way to show someone you care and need gifts idea, EOR is here to help!

We have custom made note cards! These amazing cards were created by children adopted from Ethiopia. Each card has the child’s masterpiece on the front and on the back of the folded note is a little bio of the child. Cards come in packs of 8 or 6 different designs for $12.00 & $15.00. We have the Tsegereda Series, Watercolor Series and Africa Series. They make perfect gifts for Grandma, Aunts, Teachers, and anyone who loves to write notes.

Below are images of the card sets available.

Another idea is to make a donation to EOR in honor/memory of a loved one. EOR will notify the loved one with a card that a donation has been made in their honor! Recently my Aunt passed away and her birthday falls the day before Valentine’s Day. We are going to honor her memory in making a donation to  EOR in honor of her love she gave all of us.

If you are interested in either of these ways to shower your valentine please contact

Custom Art Cards by Ethiopian Children

We are so excited to share that our Art Cards for 2009 are now available for purchase!

Need a gift for a teacher, babysitter, a grandparent who has everything? We have the perfect gift!! Our second series of note cards, designed by Ethiopian children, are now available for purchase. Each card is a high quality folded style notecard, printed on heavy card stock, with a bio of the artist on the back of the card.

All the proceeds will go towards EOR projects! If you would like to purchase please contact and mark a few things off your shopping list! These cards would also make great holiday cards.

Here are a few sample of the style of cards available. The Tsegereda series has six notecards and is $12.00, The Africa and watercolor series have 8 cards each and are priced at $15.00.

A HUGE thank you goes to Barbra at Paper Rabbit Designs in Portland, Oregon. Barbra has been an amazing supporter of EOR since the beginning. She shares her talent and design in printing our cards! Her generosity is amazing and we love her!



Tsegereda designs 09 insertWatercolor designs 09 insert


Project & Partner Updates: SOS EE & AHOPE

Thanks to the immense generosity of attendees to Ethiopian Orphan Relief’s first annual Lights of Hope auction in Portland in May, we have funded our first project for partner SOS EE (parent organization for the Toukoul orphanages) and raised a significant amount of money and supplies towards medical equipment for their new HIV clinic. Over the last year and a half, we have also successfully raised all of the funds required (and then some!) to complete our first project for partner AHOPE for Children. In fact, we were able to do double what we’d originally planned, thanks to the support of our wonderful donors.

For the last several months, the EOR Board of Directors have worked tirelessly to source local Ethiopian suppliers and contractors to set our plans in motion. Once we selected the right folks to work with, we worked with them to design two playgrounds for AHOPE and one playground for SOS EE’s new Akaki complex, which was recently completed and opened its doors to orphaned children. In addition, we have raised enough money to also purchase an indoor swing for AHOPE, fund several field trips for the children at AHOPE and we’ll be bringing over lots of art and school supplies to AHOPE when our Board of Directors travels in December to work on the well we’re building in Boru in conjunction with the Union College Chapter of Engineers Without Borders. Here’s the details!

Little AHOPE Playground (at the facility for younger children):

  • Wooden swingset with slide
  • Wooden sandbox
  • Merry go round
  • Traditional Toukoul style playhouse
  • Wood and chain adventure bridge
  • Metal curved climbing ladder
  • Picnic table
  • All ground will be prepped for safety

Big AHOPE Playground (at the facility for older children):

  • 2 Sets of monkey bars
  • Wooden swingset with slide
  • Basketball court & hoops
  • Chain “cargo net” style ladder
  • Balance beam
  • Picnic table
  • All ground will be prepped for safety

AHOPE Art & School Supplies

  • 20-24 packs of crayons
  • 5-Kid’s scissors
  • 6-12 packs of colored pencils
  • 4-Pencil sharpeners
  • 4-Pencil cases
  • 5-11 packs of markers
  • 4-5 pack squeeze & brush paints
  • 11-8 color watercolor paints
  • 24-Paint brushes (various sizes)
  • 2-20 stick packs of sidewalk chalk
  • 4-88 pc. construction paper & stencils
  • 16-Glue sticks
  • 5-White glue
  • 5-Sets of learning flashcards
  • 2-Beginning writing tablets
  • 4-Preschool workbooks
  • 2-Elementary workbooks
  • 30-Photo albums
  • 1-Digital camera
  • 1-Photo printer, ink & photo paper (enough to complete photo albums)

AHOPE Field Trip #1

  • Swimming at a local pool in Addis for 14 kids
  • 2-250 water balloon packs (for the kids remaining at the compound)
  • 7-Boy bathing suits
  • 7-Girl bathing suits
  • 4-Pairs of flip flops

AHOPE Field Trips #2 & #3 TBD

SOS EE HIV Clinic Equipment

  • Approximately $13, 150 toward medical equipment TBD based on most immediate need at time of clinic opening (i.e., autoclave, oxygen cylinder, exam beds, pulse oxymeter, suction machine, etc.)
  • 6-Splints
  • Nebulizer
  • Clock
  • Stethoscope
  • Blood pressure cuff
  • Mid calf boot
  • Sling  shot brace
  • Brace liner
  • Cast shoe
  • 4-Otoscopes
  • Home care kit
  • Reflex hammer

SOS EE Playground at Akaki Orphanage

  • Teeter totter
  • Merry go round
  • Slide and bridge
  • Wooden swing set
  • Monkey bars

Construction on the playgrounds will begin in the next couple of weeks, and will be completed by the time our Board travels to Ethiopia in December. We look forward to taking lots of pictures of the children playing on the various playgrounds for our donors, and in addition to taking the children at AHOPE on their swimming field trip, we will also be conducting art clinics at AHOPE. We look forward to completing a project suggested by adoptive mom and new Board Member Katie Bell–photo albums for the older children of them playing with their friends and caregivers at AHOPE, so they can take those memories to their forever families when they are eventually adopted.

Thanks again to all of you who have supported us! We couldn’t have done it without you! You helped me to realize a dream I had two years ago when I saw my daughter play on her swingset for the first time, and for that, I will be forever grateful. The kids whose day you’ve helped brighten will too.

On behalf of the Board of Directors of Ethiopian Orphan Relief,

Danielle Marquis

President & Founder

Hair Braiding Extravaganza!

If you live in the Denver metro area and have an Ethiopian child whose hair you would like braided, please join us on Wednesday, June 17th at my home in Evergreen from 10am-12:00pm. We will be hosting Kidist, an expert hair braider and teenage adoptee from Ethiopia, who has started her own hair braiding business. Her mom Sally will be bringing Ethiopian food. The cost per child is $20. EOR has provided canvases and art supplies, and we will have an area for the children to create art for EOR’s art contest while they wait their turn for braiding. If you’d like to attend, please RSVP to and I will provide you with directions to my home.