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


Comedy for Charity a Success!

A huge congratulations and thank you to the “Pitch a Tent” improv comedy troop for their Comedy for Charity event to benefit Ethiopian Orphan Relief, Inc. The event was our first international fundraiser, and was held in Amsterdam, Holland.

Nearly a sell-out show, the PAT players raised $1,200 for EOR through ticket sales and outright donations! The performers went one step further, and covered the cost of the theater rental out of their own pockets.

Please join me in thanking event organizer (and Uncle to Helina, who was adopted from Ethiopia) Bill Richardson, and his cast: Brett, Marijn, Mazzy, Natalie, Steven and Thierry! Thank you all for your generosity and for thinking of EOR! Your donation will benefit the community center project for Children’s Heaven.


“Dancing Spider” Fundraiser a Success!


A HUGE thank you to the middle school drama students and the drama teacher, Ms. Katie Bradford, at Denver Academy. The students chose to add a matinee fundraiser performance of their spring musical, “The Dancing Spider,” to benefit EOR’s Children’s Heaven building project. The students also donated to EOR’s Children’s Heaven fund in order to “dress down” at school in the days leading up to the performance. The students raised $1368.81!!!!

The play was fantastic–my uber antsy 2.5 year old sat still and paid attention for the entire thing! She loved the African songs, dancing and fable woven throughout the play. The kids presented me with a “big check” they had made at the end of the performance–I was so, so, so proud of them. Great work Denver Academy and Katie Bradford!!! Thank you!!


Art for Ethiopia 2008–A Smashing Success!

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.


Greg Cradick, Tracy Stevens, Becky Mitchell, Heidi Mehlretter, Hanna Fanta, Jane Gregorie, Danielle Marquis, Paige Chapman-Layland, Dawn Finley, Shawn Rodda and Katie Bell

Greg Cradick, Tracy Stevens, Becky Mitchell, Heidi Mehlretter, Hanna Fanta, Jane Gregorie, Danielle Marquis, Paige Chapman-Layland, Dawn Finley, Shawn Rodda and Katie Bell

Art for Ethiopia Preview!

Dear Friends,
Please join me and Ethiopian Orphan Relief, Inc. (EOR) as we host the First Annual Art for Ethiopia fundraiser at the Flash Gallery at Working with Artists in Belmar on Saturday, November 8th from 3:00pm-10:00pm.
All of the funds generated by this show will benefit the construction of a facility in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to care for orphaned teenaged girls through an EOR partnership with Children’s Heaven. Children’s Heaven is a non-profit organization committed to serving teenaged girls who have been orphaned due to HIV/AIDS, and to help meet the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of these vulnerable children.
The first 50 families through the door will receive gift bags, and all attendees will be entered into a door prize drawing for a free photo shoot (on location or in studio) with Contemporary Expressions Photography. Portrait photographer Greg Cradick will also have a portrait studio set up throughout the event where families can have 10 photos on CD, taken over a 10 minute period, for a suggested donation of $20 (reservations encouraged, walk in availability will be limited! Please contact me for more information)–perfect for holiday cards and holiday gift giving! Appetizers will be provided by Aspen Catering and wine will be provided by Mile High Wine & Spirits. Children will enjoy the arts and crafts station! A traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony will be performed, and Hanna Fanta, founder of Children’s Heaven, will be visting from Ethiopia to talk personally about her program and the girls she supports.
EOR has received an outpouring of donations for this event from artists all over the country–there will be paintings, photography, prints and sculpture from artists ranging from those whose work is on display in museums to orphans currently residing in Ethiopian orphanages. There will also be Ethiopian artifacts and crafts for sale. Artwork ranges in price from $25.00 to $250.00, with many pieces framed as well as matted. Ethiopian artifacts and crafts will start at $10.00.
Please join us for this amazing event, and please, bring the whole family! What a wonderful excuse to get dressed up and support a great cause, where every purchase will have an immediate impact on the lives of many for years to come. Also, please help us spread the word about this wonderful event by telling ten friends about it!
Looking forward to seeing you there, and thank you for your support!
Danielle Marquis
Founder and President, Ethiopian Orphan Relief, Inc.
Some of the artists who have donated works for this event (if you’re donating and aren’t listed here, leave a comment with your website and we’ll add you!)…

Mitzvah Project to Benefit EOR

Fourteen year old Leah from Colorado Springs, CO began a Mitzvah Project in the 7th grade to help the children of Ethiopia.  Her project was a penny drive, and her goal was to raise one penny for every orphan in Ethiopia (4.6 million). To date, Leah has raised 298,955 pennies.

Leah personally delivered the first batch of money raised (a little over $2,000) to Ethiopia when she travelled there with her family to pick up her new sister Fre in November 2007. The money was used to build a playground at The Hope for the Abandoned Children and Orphan Care Association, where her sister was residing. She also purchased furniture and basic supplies for the orphanage. Since returning from Ethiopia, Leah has been using donations to sponsor children to attend school from the Sele Enat Orphanage in Addis Ababa.

Leah has recently decided to use her current donation balance to help EOR construct the facility for the orphaned teenaged girls supported by Children’s Heaven. She has pledged to commit any further donations to EOR’s programs as well.

Thank you so much, Leah! Your support is amazing and the girls from Children’s Heaven will be so thrilled to know another teenager is doing so much to help them out!

Children’s Heaven and Art for Ethiopia

As you may have heard, EOR is planning its first annual “Art For Ethiopia” event on November 8, 2008 in Lakewood, Colorado at Flash Gallery (see previous post with flyer info included). In addition to some amazing art from artists all over the country, we’ll be hosting Hanna Fanta, founder of Children’s Heaven, at the event. The proceeds from the art sale will benefit Children’s Heaven to help with their goal of building a new facility for the girls. Hanna created Children’s Heaven to meet the needs of so many adolescent girls in Addis who have lost one or both parents to HIV/AIDs. These girls are in a very vulnerable position in the culture and Hanna’s vision is to support them emotionally, spiritually and academically so that they can thrive and have a secure future. Currently, Children’s Heaven is renting a temporary space and also has a makeshift tarp shelter that they have also been using for the girls’ classes and activities.   

I had the priveledge of visiting Children’s Heaven this summer while I was in Ethiopia and it was a wonderful experience. Hanna and the girls had organized an entire afternoon program for us with speeches by each girl, singing, dancing and a coffee ceremony. It was a moving and powerful experience and we were struck by the girls’ dedication to their education as well as their hopes and dreams for their futures. We brought them some small trinkets as gifts and were amazed that all the girls preferred special pencils to fancy, glitzy hair ties. This spoke volumes about their committment to education and learning.

We feel so lucky that Hanna will be coming back to Denver for this special event in November and hope to raise as much money as possible to help with their building project. For more information, see our website at http://www.ethiopianorphanrelief.org/Art_for_Ethiopia_2008.php

I am including some pictures here of the girls at Children’s Heaven that we took during our visit there! Please come out to support our event if you are in Colorado and feel free to send art/donations as well.


Help Me Choose!

As many of you know, EOR will be hosting Art for Ethiopia in Denver on Saturday, November 8th to benefit the new building project for Children’s Heaven. I took about 700 photos while we were in Ethiopia, so I thought I’d submit something for the event. Problem is, I can’t choose–I like lots of them and I really love a few. We’ve had many blown up and framed and others printed onto canvas, which we’ve displayed in our home. I was hoping I could have our readers vote to help me choose…so, which photo would you pay the most money for?! Please leave a comment with your vote!


EOR Project Updates-September

The moms and dads that make up Ethiopian Orphan Relief’s team of Board Members, Advisory Board and Volunteers have been so very busy raising money and organizing projects, we wanted to update all of our readers on the status of our various projects.

Many amazing children have spent their summer selling lemonade to benefit EOR, asking for donations to EOR instead of birthday gifts and even donating all the money they were saving for a Wii to EOR (Curious? Look back in our archives). Parents, you’ve done good–mini philanthropists in the making, for sure. Kids–we’re all so proud of you. You probably don’t remember the cheesy lyrics to Whitney Houston’s “Greatest Love of All,” but as someone who spent many a summer day torturing my babysitter with a lip-synced version of the song, I can tell you–you are the future, I hope the money you’ve raised has made you feel proud and I hope other kids (and adults) see you as heroes like the kids in Ethiopia will.

We’ve also had lots of adults step up for Ethiopian orphans–we’ve had parents to be ask for donations to EOR instead of gifts at their baby showers, and raise lots of money in the process.

As of today, a mere 8 months after our founding, EOR has raised over $6,000 to benefit Ethiopian orphans. None of this came in the form of huge donations. Our vision for EOR was lots of people doing whatever they could for the greater good of Ethiopian orphans–it’s amazing to see that coming to fruition.

Here’s the status of individual project fundraising–

Playground for AHOPE for Children: We’re about half way there…but we need the rest of the money ASAP so we can get the playground shipped over the first week of October. PLEASE donate now to this project if you can! There is a link on our website!!

Playground for SOS/EE: We’re about a quarter of the way there. Donations welcome!!

Building/Facility for Children’s Heaven: We’ve only just begun…EOR will be hosting an Art for Ethiopia event in Denver on November 8th to raise money for this project, please plan to attend if you’re in the area and if you’re an artist, please donate something!! More information is available on our website under “Fundraising”

Sanitation System for Hope for Hosanna School: Donations needed!

Foundation for Be’Emenet Orphanage and School: Donations needed! This is a new project for us, and a very important one. If we can get the foundation built quickly (by the end of the year) we can have the land FOR FREE to build the rest of the orphanage and the school.

For more information on our projects and beneficiary organizations, please visit our website and click on “Partners and Projects” and/or search our blog archives.

Thanks again for your support, donations and purchases from our store–every little bit helps. Together, we can change the world for Ethiopian orphans.

-Danielle, President of EOR