Saturday, March 29, 2008

Awareness is Spreading like Wildfire!!

Ever since I pitched my Sweet Dreams presentation idea to the teacher leaders of the Freshman Forum and Sophomore Seminar groups at my school (mentor groups that meet once a week/three weeks a month and once a month, respectively) teachers have been clamoring to have me present. In fact, as of now, I'm booked every Thursday through May. So far, I've presented to a large group of freshmen and two large groups of sophomores, and the response has been great. The teachers, of course, loved it, but I saw most of the students were engaged, too. I feel like if I can get at least a few people to think about AHOPE and act in a way that will either benefit the orphanage itself or the world in general, I've done my work.

I was excitedly surprised a few days ago to notice an article on the front page of my (very small) town's newspaper about a local church raising money for an orphanage in Addis Ababa. This is, of course, not in conjunction with anything I'm doing. I notified the church, asking them if they'd like to have me present at a mass or religious education group about my Sweet Dreams Project. They have yet to respond, but I hope they do, as I think it would be a great way to spread more awareness about AHOPE and further highlight the need in Ethiopia in general. The cause they're focusing on is another great one, if anyone would like to get involved: .
Thanks for following my efforts and remember to spread the word!!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

First Presentation a Success!

Last Sunday, January 27th, I presented on AHOPE and my project to a large group of CCD students at my local church. I stood before them and spoke of how I became interested in becoming involved in AHOPE, including my personal, special connection to Ethiopia. I had made a PowerPoint, but since I didn't have computer access in the Catholic school gym I was presenting in, I read from a copy I had printed. Since I had been given brochures at AHOPE, I passed those around as well.

Although there weren't too many questions, I could tell they were paying attention. Many of the kids knew my brother Kristian, so they knew of our sister Sasha through him. At the end, one CCD teacher promised she would contribute to my efforts, and the director told me another teacher wished for me to e-mail my PowerPoint to him so that he could in turn forward it to his own students.

All in all, it went very smoothly, and I was quite happy with the response. I plan to present to my high school's freshman class later this month, if all goes according to plan. This will be a much larger group, so I hope to recruit even more who are willing to donate.

Furthermore, I have spoken with the US-based director of volunteer efforts for AHOPE as to how I should launch my next donation drive. Tying to the "Sweet Dreams" theme, I have decided to collect new/gently used blankets and sheets for the AHOPE kids. As soon as I receive an estimation as to the quantity of supplies AHOPE needs/wants, I'll be ready to get going on that as well.

Remember, if YOU want to personally donate to/volunteer for AHOPE, visit !