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Saturday, December 21, 2013

Food Budget is Stretched Thin

The smell of cookies baking fills the house as Maea and her friends congregate around the kitchen island, laughing, talking and baking.  Different flavors of chocolate chips are being debated and selected and sprinkled in - mint chips, white chocolate, dark chocolate ...

Maea glances at me and gives me a knowing smile ... because she knows what I am thinking and she is thinking the same.  Amid the abundance within our kitchen (and in the midst of the holidays), we can't help but think about our kids at Kind Hearts and Trees of Glory in Ethiopia and how they would be amazed by the variety and abundance in something as simple as chocolate chips ...

With just a few days left in 2013, as we prepare our hearts and minds for the coming of Christmas, I have been talking with the team at Children's HopeChest and reviewing budgets and upcoming capital projects that will enable us to enroll more children at our CarePoints.  Last year, our meal budget was stretched thin because of inflation in Ethiopia as well as emergency medical needs that had to be met. 

There were many days last year where the children were served a meal of just rice or just injera (a pancake-like bread). 

Some days, a meal consists of rice or bread (injera). 

Injera is a pancake-like bread that is a staple in Ethiopia.

 And although tummies were filled at each meal, in 2014 we want to be able to supplement the meals with extra meat or egg protein, a glass of milk or even a treat like an orange or banana.

Meat is expensive in Ethiopia but a delicious stew can be made
and ladled onto the injera to create a protein-rich meal!



With that in mind, we have established a Nutrition Fund at Kind Hearts.  For all of 2014,  for only $150 per child, we can make sure every child gets the nutritional jump start they need every day - not only to survive but to THRIVE!!!

Before the end of 2013, would you consider making a donation to support the Kind Hearts Nutrition Fund, to supplement the daily meal program with extra nutrition for every child. 

Click here for the donation page and to see our progress.  

Your donation to the Kind Hearts Food Fund is tax deductible.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Because you chose to make a difference ...

Our team of volunteers has been home for two weeks and after the whirl of Thanksgiving dinners and as the holidays approach, everyone is thinking about the kids in Ethiopia ... the grinding poverty and the shining smiles full of hope!

Here are just a few of the beautiful faces of our Kind Hearts and Trees of Glory kids, each one with their own story to tell and each one with a hope-filled future (because YOU chose to make a difference for these kids ... and WHAT A DIFFERENCE YOU HAVE MADE!!) ...

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Giving Thanks: Ethiopia

It's 5 am on a Saturday morning as I begin to write this post, sitting in a pool of lamplight in a dark and quiet house.  (Our team of volunteers worked hard and slept little and arrived home Tuesday evening completely spent and poured out for the kids.) 

Thanksgiving and Black Friday are behind us and the hub-bub of family and holiday activities are still at the moment ... and my mind goes back to Ethiopia. 

The last several nights, I wake up dreaming of Ethiopia, still thinking I am there with the kids and the team ...

There is much to update ...

Progress is palpable at both of the CarePoints. 

Challenges are before us as well. 

Most importantly, the 400 children being served at Kind Hearts and Trees of Glory CarePoints are thriving!  Laughter, love and hope abounds and it is visible, tangible and real.

Reflecting on Thanksgiving ... Giving thanks ... I think of each one of these people who I had the honor of working alongside over the past two weeks.  I watched them pour themselves out before and during the trip for the kids and the CarePoint staff and our Children's HopeChest team.

Our dedicated Children's HopeChest team!