Tuesday, September 27, 2011

13 Ways Glimmer of Hope is Helping

Through their fundraising efforts, Glimmer of Hope is supporting agencies on the ground with the following efforts:

1. Malnourished children are receiving nutrient rich food

2. Mobile health clinics are providing check-ups

3. Water is being delivered to areas in need

4. Children in the Dolo Ado refugee camp are being offered educational activities

5. Reunification programs are being provided to children who have been separated from their families

6. Basic necessities are being given to families in the Dolo Ado refugee camp

7. Fortified food is being offered to lactating and pregnant women

8. Interim care is being given to displaced children

9. Vaccinations are being administered

10. Water storage and water trucking is being provided to the Dolo Ado refugee camp

11. Fortified food is being distributed to people with HIV/AIDS

12. First aid kits are being handed out in the refugee camp

13. Bringing hope to those in desperate need

If you would like to contribute to Glimmer of Hope, please visit my fundraising page at http://www.aglimmerofhope.org/campaign/131-ethiopia

Sunday, September 25, 2011

13 Reasons I'm Running for Glimmer of Hope

1. The Horn of Africa is suffering from their worst drought in 60 years.

2. From June-August, over 29,000 children under 5 died due to hunger and illness, and it is predicted that without aid thousands more will die.

3. 13 million people are at-risk due to a lack of food and water (which is about three million more people than live in the entire state of Michigan).

4. Children under 5 and women are most effected by the food crisis.

5. Mothers shouldn’t have to decide between helping their dying children and their healthy ones.

6. The UN estimates that 750,000 Somali people could die from hunger in the next four months.

7. Six regions of Somali have reached the famine stage (which the UN states to be at least 20 per cent of households face extreme food shortages, acute malnutrition in over 30 percent of people, and two deaths per 10,000 people every day).

8. Nearly 120,000 Somalis are living in the crowded refugee camps of Dolo Ado in Ethiopia (including children who have been separated from their families).

9. People living in refugee camps also are at-risk diseases like measles & cholera.

10. Families, often with malnourished children, are walking for days in search of assistance.

11. Food prices, as a result of failing crops, have increased dramatically making it hard for families to purchase the basic necessities.

12. The World Food Program estimated that 700,000 people in southern Ethiopia (which is where Turo is from) will need food assistance.

13. This is my son’s homeland. I'm forever connected to this place and her people.

If you would like to make a donation to help the people of Ethiopia and Somalia, you can visit my fundraising page at http://www.aglimmerofhope.org/campaign/131-ethiopia

Here are some links from which I collected the above information -






Thursday, September 22, 2011

13.1 for Ethiopia

Shebidino, Ethiopia. This was the dateline of an article about the food crisis last month. This is also the region of Ethiopia Turo is from. After reading this story about the impact of the “green” drought, I decided I needed to do more to raise funds and awareness about the humanitarian emergency playing out in the Horn of Africa. I felt an e-mail to family and friends linking aid agencies wasn’t enough.

I decided to run in the Detroit ½ marathon on October 16th to raise money for families impacted by drought, food shortages and conflict. I’m not a big runner. Up until a couple of months ago, I went to the gym so Turo could go to Childwatch and I could read magazines on the elliptical or listen to This American Life as I walked around the track. So, running 13 miles felt like a meaningful way I could demonstrate my commitment to Turo’s birthplace and to the people who are trying to survive in the face of unimaginable hardship.

I have chosen to fundraise with Glimmer of Hope, a non-profit that is working with groups on the ground in Ethiopia. Glimmer’s partner organizations, which include Mercy Corps, GOAL and Save the Children, are providing vital services for the Somali refugees streaming into Ethiopia and for Ethiopians living in drought stricken areas. 100% of all donations to Glimmer of Hope will be sent directly to Ethiopia. A separate endowment pays for administrative costs for the agency.

My goal is to raise $1310 ($100/mile). I would be honored if you sponsored a portion of my run. Together we can help address the overwhelming need facing the people in the Horn of Africa.

If you would like to make a donation, you can find my fundraising page at http://www.aglimmerofhope.org/campaign/131-ethiopia. Please, let me know if you have any questions or would like more information about the work Glimmer of Hope is doing in Africa.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Who needs Martha?

My mom claims she loves to clean and organize. That "it's not work if you enjoy it." As a messy teenager, this wasn't always a good mix. As a messy adult, I totally take advantage of her passion for tidiness. This week she used her vacation time to come help me organize my basement. Isn't she awesome?



Monday, September 12, 2011

The most diverse place to play in our town: The Mall

Back in the gloomy days of winter, we discovered the mall play area. It's really a simple set up - big space to run, random things to climb on, seats for parents and it's free. (well, there are also little kiddie rides that do cost money, but even then it's still a pretty affordable place to play.) And there is the added bonus of a certain coffee shop down the hall.

But my favorite thing about the place is the diversity of children playing there. Turo is not the only kid of color. Parents are scolding their offspring in a wide variety of languages. Once there was even an Ethiopian family.

I'm not sure what this says about our society that the melting pot of our community is the mall. But I'm glad that we've found this little multicultural spot.


Friday, September 9, 2011

Many months, three applications and a homestudy later

So, it seems there will be a Baby Barto after all. Back in January we decided we were ready to adopt again from Ethiopia. We contacted our old agency and started in on the paperwork. One of the steps was to get a new homestudy, so I called up the people who had completed our post placement reports. While on the phone, the social worker asked if we had thought about domestic adoption. Not really I told her, but asked her why she wanted to know. Welll, she had a birth mother who was looking for a family with an African American or bi-racial element to it. She was due in the summer. We decided to explore this possibility, filled out more paperwork, made a book of photos and waited. She didn’t pick us.

Right around this time things in Ethiopian adoptions were changing, becoming more uncertain. We wondered if it made sense to invest the time, emotion and money into a program with an unclear future. But we also didn’t feel totally comfortable with the domestic agency we had worked with. We did some more research and found a local agency that we dig. We had to let go of our visions of another Ethiopian in our family (for now anyway). We’ve filled out more paperwork, attended classes and had our homestudy yesterday.

Now we have to make a book of photos and we’ll enter the “pool.” In this adoption, a birth family will choose us. It will be open. More than likely we will bring a baby home from the hospital. I have started to knit a blanket. Jose has bought tiny Michigan pajamas. Turo has books about being a big brother.

We’re getting ready to become a family of four.