Friends of Orphans and Vulnerable Children

Friends of Orphans and Vulnerable Children
What could be better than an Ethiopian welcome, FOVC style?

Thursday, December 31, 2009

"Eat for Ethiopia" made the newspaper!

Here is the text and the link--and one of the pictures--from the Longmont Times-Call newspaper today. We are really proud of Allison and her friends at Westview!

Eats for Ethiopia: Family’s trips to Africa inspire fundraiser

LONGMONT — The Howlett family’s first visit to Ethiopia lasted eight days.

But it was enough.

“It just gets in your heart,” said Lory Howlett, who made the trip in July 2008 with her husband, Dave, and the couple’s two daughters. “We were there for eight days, but it may as well have been eight weeks.”

That summer, the Howletts traveled to a small orphanage in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa to adopt Amelia, a premature and malnourished infant.

Allison Howlett, the couple’s eldest daughter, said the trip in 2008 “really opened my eyes.”

“It never occurred to me that people could live like that,” said Allison, an eighth-grader at Westview Middle School in Longmont. “Just seeing all the need there made me want to do something.”

With support from the school and her family, Allison organized “Westview Eats for Ethiopia,” a fundraiser at Longmont’s Chick-fil-A. The restaurant will donate 20 percent of its proceeds from 4 to 8 p.m. Jan. 12 to the Howletts, who will use the money to buy food in Ethiopia for the orphans during their upcoming trip to the country.

Lory and Dave Howlett will return to the African country at the end of January to bring home another Ethiopian orphan, a 4-year-old boy named Bereket.

“They say he’s quite the sportsman,” Dave said, beaming with fatherly pride.

The couple plan to stay in the country for two weeks and volunteer with Children’s Heaven, a program that supports orphaned girls whose parents have died from AIDS. Dave, who has a background in marketing research, hopes to help a start-up nonprofit in the southern part of the country implement economic development programs for widows and orphans.

The decision to adopt — once again — was unanimous, the couple said. After several miscarriages, they adopted Abby, their 11-year-old daughter, after the infant was born to a teenager in Kansas City, Mo. Amelia, who is now nearly 2 years old, is a happy, bubbly toddler. So why not expand the family one more time?

“We’re either crazy or stupid or something like that,” said Lory, 42, with a chuckle.

“We take big risks in our lives,” clarified Dave, 49.

Allison said her blended family has shaped her plans for the future. She hopes to become a nurse and practice medicine in Ethiopia.

For Lory Howlett, her daughter’s global perspective is an emotional topic.

“It’s all I could hope for,” she said as she stifled back tears. “We wish we wouldn’t have been in our 40s when we figured it out.”

Clockwise from top left: Allison Howlett, 14; Mackinley Kath, 13; Ruth McGaughey, 13; Victoria Kline, 13; and Morgan Deegan, 14, create posters for “Westview Eats for Ethiopia,” a fundraiser that will provide food for orphaned children in Ethiopia, at the Howlett home Monday in Longmont. On Jan. 12, Chick-fil-A will donate 20 percent of sales from 4 to 8 p.m. to the cause.


Joshua and Lydia Rich said...

What a beautiful article! It made me cry! How proud you must be of your daughters!

SDR said...

Holding back the tears. Your family is so awesome!!! Love you guys :)

Who are we? said...

So cool! We plan to our bring our 8th grade daughter with us when we travle to bring home our son. Any advice for preparing her for the trip? I hope seeing ET has the same effect on her as it did on your girls. ALicia

Carey-Life in the Carpool Lane said...

Just stopping by from the IAN Yahoo Group...
What an amazing opportunity for your daughter and her classmates to give back in such a meaningful way! Very inspiring...

Jennifer said...

Wonderful article! Way to go, Allison and all the Howletts!

michelle said...

It is an AMAZING lesson in parenting to learn your own child can be your hero! God bless, Eat for Ethiopia" and multiply the $$ to feed your children in Ethiopia!