(By the way, Aneata works at our adoption agency, IAN. She has overseen over 65 adoptions from Ethiopia, but she has not yet been there! She has a HUGE heart for the orphans. Aneata has committed to traveling with us, but she must raise funds. She's an artist by training, and she is selling beautiful hand-made (and affordable) jewelry so she can make this trip. Click here to check out her stuff!)
....My children's big problem is shoes and clothing. As you may haveinformation many Ethiopian children are wearing one cloth for longyears or may not ever wear any cloth. So I need your great support to have any types of clothes and shoes for my children. Please notice that most of the children are somewhat big and need at least L size clothing and medium size shoes. The shoes may be new or old no matter (it looks like boys and girls sizes 7-14 could be really helpful). Any type of exercise books/note books/, pen, school supplies etc are also needed. Any types of toys are also important......
And now, here is Team Tasfa's "take" on Desalegn's message:
I know we are hoping to take up to 200 pillowcase dresses (with t-shirts) for the girls! I know, too, that some in our group have ideas about how to bring clothes for the boys.
Because of the parasites in Ethiopia, shoes are so important. People walk around in bare feet (particularly in rural areas like Shanto), and the parasites get into their skin, and they get terrible diseases like elephantitis. Also, the lack of shoes keeps people from going to many places--like school, or the market, etc. CAN YOU, CAN WE, EVEN IMAGINE???
I'm sure each of us has been asked, "How can I help?" With summer coming to an end, maybe we can ask those who have offered to help to purchase some clearance-priced, end-of-the season shoes? Close-toed shoes are best--like little flats for females and whatever looks sort of comparable for boys. Or, ask people to pick up tops, packages of underwear (these kids have NO underwear), skirts, jeans, etc.
Better yet, maybe some of the big-hearted people you know will donate even $10-$20 that you can take over to Addis. Shoes, in particular, are plentiful and cheap (by U.S. standards) in Addis, and we can easily buy shoes in the city and take them down to Shanto. Dave and I are less confident about buying clothes and underwear over in Addis, however. So, possibly our best plan is to try to collect a few shoes, more clothes/underwear and to plan to buy more shoes in Addis. Remember, too, that we are a greater help to Ethiopia when we buy all that we can buy there, in-country!
This is also a great time of year to pick up cheap school supplies! Just be aware that paper, in particular, gets really heavy in terms of the weight allowance in your luggage. You will be shocked at how easy it is to accumulate 100 pounds' worth of stuff for your luggage!
By the way, when Desalegn says the children are bigger....I think he means they are not babies/toddlers. FOVC primarily serves kids from about 5 years to 15 years. Aneata is right, sizes 7-14 will likely be the best.
Desalegn also mentioned that any type of toys are important, too. I know Aaron has obtained full sets of soccer uniforms for the kids! That makes me think he'll probably bring some soccer balls, too, right? I want to say that our son, Bereket, really loves the little toys that come in Sonic kids' meals, happy meals, Chick-Fil-A meals, etc. Maybe we can start collecting those kinds of little toys to take? Also, we really can't take stuffed animals or stuffed dolls. It is just too dirty there, and soft toys quickly get very unsanitary and have to be thrown away. I recently read about one little Ethiopian girl: her ONLY toy was a tooth she had lost. CAN YOU, CAN WE, EVEN IMAGINE? Let's deliver some fun and joy to Shanto, too!
with so much love,