Charity Close to My Heart

January 29, 2019

As I start to transition my career after 30+ years at SEP, I wanted to share something close to my heart.

My wife Deanna and I have a close connection to Ethiopia. Three of our four adopted daughters are from there as well as our daughter-in-law. We fell in love with the country, its people and their customs during our travels there over the years.

Our church began looking in Ethiopia for a charity to support and we were thrilled to be on the team to interview four potential charities in need. After much consideration, we selected a worthy program for disadvantaged youth called Berhan Yehun (“Let there be Light”).

Berhan Yehun provides a place for kids (currently around 40 of them) to come for community, encouragement, spiritual development and tutoring. The program provides school uniforms, food, teachers and showers. My family goes over once a year to visit these kids to let them know that they matter.

These great, hardworking, motivated kids were born into poverty. Some are orphans while others have parents or other family members watching out for them. They live in the poorest area of Addis Ababa Ethiopia. Many have dependent caregivers with debilitating sickness or injuries –  TB, HIV/AIDS, and even leprosy. Families beg and junk-pick for food and items to sell. The hope of Berhan Yehun is that through education and hard work, the kids will rise above the crushing poverty that many in Ethiopia endure.

There was a time when the need in this world overwhelmed me to the point of inaction. None of us can do it all but we can all do something, and this is the main charity my family has chosen to support.  We know these kids need many more years of help and support and my family wants to continue to help through a family services charity called Hands of Hope in Noblesville, Indiana.

While my time at SEP may be coming to a close, I’m looking forward to continuing to support this great organization.  Retirements often come with farewell gifts and celebrations.  The best way I can think to celebrate is to give the gift of hope and a better life for these kids.  If you feel called to give, please consider Hands of Hope.

Hands of Hope
14350 Mundy Drive, Suite 800 #119
Noblesville, IN 46060