Dreams Newsletter4 | Orphanage | Fundraising

Volume 1, Edition 4 Summer 2011

Our Mission Giving hope to orphans in developing countries through education and a safe environment.

An Adoptive Mother’s Story


hen Laurie Thiebert, of Kirkland, WA visited the Osu Children’s Home in Accra, Ghana, she had no idea that she would find the son she was to adopt. “I was volunteering with a non-profit water organization when we decided to visit the home. It was fate,” she says. The children surrounded her, she says, “and you could just feel their yearning for love and family.”

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Inside This Issue Founder’s Corner……….....2 Rotary Club Grant….………2 Bricks for Babies…………..2 Kids Make a Difference..….3 Kofi’s Story…….……………3 Viral Campaign .….....…......3 Life and Death Repairs...….4

A special connection But when she met Osei, now 12 years old and living in Kirkland with his new mom, she felt a special connection. “There was an energy there that was just different than with the other kids.” Osei’s situation was similar to that of many of the Osu children — both parents were dead and he spent some time on the streets. Soon thereafter Laurie began the adoption process, which can take a great deal of time — “18 months would be fast and cost thousands of dollars,” she says. As the adoption process moved along Laurie spent two months at Osu to bond with Osei. Returning home she began jumping through the hoops required for adoption. Every aspect of her life examined “I am doing an independent international adoption,” she explains, “which requires me to take many of the steps normally required by the Ghana social welfare department.” A key was having a home study done, which examined every aspect of Laurie’s life to make sure she could provide a loving home for Osei. Laurie has also created a network of Ghana natives living in the Seattle area. They will mentor Osei and help him make the adjustment to his new home and preserve his cultural heritage. Laurie encourages adoption — either here or abroad. “Can you imagine growing up without having anyone who loves you? Children need love, encouragement and safety and once they have that, they thrive.” Osei has See Osei, P. 4

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Dreams for Orphans P.O. Box 9983 Seattle, WA 98109

Dreams for Orphans is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization
If you would like to be removed from our mailing list, email Judy Killion at damdifikno@aol.com

The Founder’s Corner One of the important missions ofwith their homework or read with them. Not knowing how to read is closing doors for some orphans. Some cannot get into private schools because they don’t know the alphabet. Others struggle throughout the early years of their education, often being pushed through the school system. These children end up dropping out of school in junior high or high school because of their illiteracy. I left Accra knowing that these Children have a strongdesire to do well and succeed. But the truth is, they are at a disadvantage. They do not have parents working with them at home to ensure their success at school. Dreams for Orphans believes in advocating for these children to provide them with the best educational opportunities they can have. Solid education can open many doors. Orphans already face a number of challenges and inequalities. We “Knowledge is a gift, one that can never be taken away.” feel education should not be one of them. We live in global society, one in which education will bring positive change in so many ways. Knowledge is a gift that should be given, and one that can never be taken away.

Dreams for Orphans is to help improve education for orphans. That’s what first brought me to Osu Children’s home in Accra, Ghana. As a teacher, I went there to organize the library, assess the reading skills of the orphan students, and to help them improve. While there I was able to see firsthand how important it was that these children have the support they need to learn and succeed in school. Many of the children at Osu are illiterate. They attend school, however they struggle with their studies. When they come back to the ophanage at the end of the school day there is no one there to help them

Libby Rain

Rotary Club Grant Helps Fund New Nursery








Get in On the Ground Floor!

room for newborns in the proposed new nursery at the Osu Children’s Home will be named for the Rotary Club of Seattle’s Magnolia community, says Dreams co-founder Paola Womack.


onate $25 and buy a brick for the foundation of the new nursery. Just ??? more bricks will get us off to a grand start. PLUS each brick contains a Dreams for

“The Club invited Dreams for Orphans to share our story at a recent breakfast meeting and that led to a generous grant from the club. As a result, the newborn room at the orphanage will be dedicated and named “The Rotary Club’s Newborn Room,’” says Paola. A special thank you to Mary Herche for introducing Drams for Orphans to the club and to Charlie Evans, the international chair of the Magnolia Rotary Club for receiving and approving our grant proposal. Paola says, “It was a great morning to share our story with the Rotarians who clearly put service above self. Thank you, Rotarians of Magnolia.”

Orphans T-shirt.
Help the babies, buy a brick. See the insert for more details.


Dreams “Viral” Fundraising Campaign is (Happily) Contagious
Q. When is a computer virus a good thing? A. When it’s used to raise funds for Dreams

Making a Difference, Kids Give Back
By Alex Kennison


for Orphans


reams for Orphans recently kicked off its first annual Bricks for Babies viral campaign, aimed at raising $10,000 in just one month. “The idea was simple and effective,” says chairperson Monica Boyle. “We created a PDF fundraising letter explaining that the funds would be used to help build a new nursery for the Osu Children’s Home and emailed it, with a details on how to donate, to our existing data base of friends and families. Donating was made easy and each active DFO member was also asked to donate and forward the letter to their network of friends and family with instructions to spread the word.” The campaign exceeded our expectations. We raised the $10,000 and more. And with the help of First Giving, we were able to simplify the donation process and instantly track donations and progress toward our goal. Thank you so much for all those who donated and spread the word to make this campaign a huge success. If you missed the campaign, you can continue to donate online at www.dreamsfororphans.org.

o matter your age, you, too, can be a supporter of Dreams for Orphans. Inspired by the great work of Dreams, kids are now feeling the urge to get involved and make a difference in the world. Sixth grader Nick Kennison at St. Anne School in Seattle gave back on the one day a year a child is supposed to receive — his birthday. Instead of gifts from his friends and fellow classmates, Kennison asked for donations to the charity, big or small. Raising just over $100, he then turned to St. Anne School for a matching grant, which he received shortly thereafter. Also giving back, seventh grader Andrew Roger and eighth grader Kathryn Hyde hosted a soon-to-be annual kids’ holiday party. Complete with games, raffles, desserts and fun. See “Kids,” p.4

Kofi’s Story: Sweet, Shy and Kind
Kofi is a sweet, shy boy of about 12 who is thrilled to have recently gained Dreams for Orphans sponsors. This means he will receive a better education at a private school and many other benefits. He says when he attends the school he will help the other sponsored children with their homework. Kofi loves to go to the nearby orange stand, buy oranges and distribute sections of the oranges to the children. This is not an easy job as he often can be overwhelmed by little hands. Kofi’s teacher at his previous government-run school calls Kofi a “wonderful boy. He comes early to school ahead of the other children, he loves learning and is kind to the other children.” We know Kofi will be a success at his new school and we wish him the best.

Life and Death Repairs . . .
reams for Orphans recently paid to have new double-ply mosquito netting installed on the doors and windows of the Osu Children’s Home. In a country of torrential rains and malaria-carrying mosquitoes, the netting could prevent the sickness and death of the most vulnerable children in the home. Other repairs recently funded include repairing doors and windows, ceiling fans, the electrical system and the locks. Providing safe environments is a key objective our mission.


P. O. Box 9983 Seattle, WA 98109 www.dreamsfororphans.org

Thank You!
These advertisers help defray the cost of this newsletter — we appreciate it!

“Kids,” from p. 1 The duo raised a total of about $500 and also received a matching grant from St. Anne School bringing their fundraising efforts to a much-appreciated $1,000. Roger said, “I thought it would be a great opportunity for kids to have fun and also raise money for a great cause.”

Osei from P. 1 has thrived.

Dreams for Orphans also encourages adoption, but does not make those arrangements. However, you can visit our website for information on whom to contact for more adoption information.

www.avenueoneresidential.com Specializing in the leasing and monthly management of homes, condominium units, and townhomes. Avenue One is proud to support the Dreams for Orphans Julie Landry 206.458.4096 julie@avenueoneresidential.com Tracy Smith 206.877.3620 tracy@avenueoneresidential.com

Steve Kennedy

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