In 2003, I participated in a service learning trip to Ethiopia organized by a Washington, DC based nonprofit. At the time, Ethiopia was in the grips of a severe famine. Despite all of my preparation, I was overwhelmed by the magnitude of the suffering I witnessed and at a loss as to what I could do to help once I returned to the U.S.
Over the next two years, scenes from the trip kept replaying through my head. In the summer of 2005, I returned to Ethiopia to volunteer with a local organization that helps HIV/AIDS-affected children and their families. I returned home with renewed inspiration and a mission to find sponsors for 20 children. I never imagined that that first small step would grow into the Hope for Children Fund that we know today.
Thanks to the hard work of our remarkable partners in Ethiopia, our many generous donors, and a dedicated group of volunteers here in the U.S., I have had the privilege of seeing first-hand the positive changes we have helped bring about in the lives of more than 1,000 children.
My work in Ethiopia has been the most fulfilling of my life, and it is with great sadness that I have decided that it is time that I step back from running Hope for Children Fund. I am confident, though, that I am leaving the organization in good hands. I cannot begin to express how grateful I am to the many, many people who have helped us in so many ways over the past thirteen years; we have truly made a huge difference in the lives of many poor children and families in Ethiopia. I hope that you will continue to offer your support as we work together to make children’s lives better, one child at a time.
Thank you, Carol Rhees