Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thank You!!

We are pleased to announce that with your help we have reached our Holiday Project goal of $20,000!  Mandie Doak, our Holiday Project coordinator, is now in Ethiopia helping to prepare for the celebrations on January 6th.   Each child at Layla House will receive a small gift and a traditional outfit and the staff will receive gift certificates to help with their own holiday celebrations.  The whole compound will enjoy a festive day with a traditional meal.  Plans are being made to provide goats for the meals at our partner orphanages; most of them have far fewer resources than Layla so meat for the holiday is a special treat.  The families of our sponsorship students will receive extra money and the students themselves will get small gift bags with toiletries and treats that a volunteer group brought over in November. 

Our Ghana adoptive parents met and exceeded their holiday goal this year!  The celebrations there happened on December 25th and we hope to put some pictures up soon.  We work with several orphanages and have a number of families enrolled in our Family Preservation Programs.  All of them were able to have extra-special holidays because of the generosity of our parent group and their friends and relatives.  

Half of the money collected each year for the Holiday Project supports our ongoing humanitarian projects such as Opportunity House, our facility for special needs kids and the new outreach program in DireDawa.  We are so appreciative of the adoptive parents who choose to give back to their childrens' birth countries through remaining loyal to AAI.  In addition, we have many other friends and supporters who donated generously to help us reach our Holiday Project goal.  

We hope you keep following this blog as we have lots of exciting plans for 2011!  

With sincere gratitude,

Susan Poisson-Dollar
Director of Development
on behalf of the staff and children of AAI

Monday, December 13, 2010

Yay! Erin Henderson finishes her first Marathon....

and in the process raise much needed funds for the AAI Holiday project.  Thank you to everyone who sponsored her after this blog post.    Erin ran the Las Vegas Rock 'n Roll Marathon in a very respectable time of  4 hours, 15 minutes and 50 seconds.  We at AAI are so proud of her and hope everyone will check out her blog posts about this amazing experience.  Erin's run also raised money for her dad's foundation that helps families adopting special needs kids.  Enjoy these great photos---her wonderful husband Josh is right beside her in the photo above--he finished the half-marathon.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Holiday Project needs YOU!

The annual AAI Holiday Project is on 
and we need your help!  

Each year your gifts to our Holiday Project provide a modest celebration for all of the children in our care and our hard-working staff in Ethiopia and Ghana.  The children of Layla House and our partner orphanages in Ghana each get a small individual gift and a traditional outfit or new t-shirt.  Staff and children also enjoy a festive holiday meal with special treats and even a visit from Santa (the photo above is one of our good sport adoptive dads last year!).  Our sponsorship students get a gift bag with needed toiletries and treats as well as some additional money for their caregivers to spend on holiday food and clothing.

In addition, your gift to the Holiday Project also provides funding for AAI's ongoing humanitarian projects in Ghana and Ethiopia.   Those efforts include expanding our school sponsorship program for orphaned and vulnerable children and a new project in Dire Dawa to provide leadership training for sponsored children and to help trafficked children return to their families.   Holiday Project donations also benefit our Opportunity House program which provides medical care and therapy to special needs children in Addis Ababa.  In Ghana we have initiated a family support program which helps vulnerable children remain in their birth families whenever possible, keeping orphanage care a last resort.
Giving to the Holiday Project is easy with our online Donate Now page.  For a gift of $30 or more, you can have a special ornament card with a beautiful photo sent to someone on your gift list!  They are the perfect present for a teacher or grandparent or just someone who doesn't want more "stuff" this year but would appreciate helping a child in need.   Just make your donation and enter the name and address of the recipient in the space provided.  For multiple ornament cards or special requests, send the list of names and addresses directly to Susan Poisson-Dollar, AAI Director of Development.  

Thank you for helping us brighten the season for hundreds of children!