Is anyone else out there as tired as I am about hearing about the orphans, suffering and need in Africa? I hate it. I am overwhelmed by the constant news. In fact, I am so overwhelmed that I now live there. I live part-time in Tanzania and part-time in Zambia. I hated hearing about Africa so much that I said, "The Hell with it—I've got to do something to stop the talk." I now have 2,000 children that I am helping. All of them have been affected by this absolutely lame disease called AIDS. But I am not quite as stupid as you may think—I am not doing this alone. I've pulled friends into helping my "cause" to stop the talk on Africa and I am still recruiting. I don't want to hear about it anymore.
Many of the disgusted people out there who are helping me are from my hometown of Sun Valley. Honestly, I think my family is secretly hoping that if they help, one of the only real wars out there, the War on AIDS, will stop and I will come back home to Sun Valley. However, I know there are many other locals like me who have a deeper desire—a desire to stop hearing about another child who has lost his or her parents.
The following have been instrumental in my crusade to stop the talk on Africa:
· Rocky Mountain Hardware for helping with shipping costs for a large box of clothing and shoes to children in Zambia. What an amazing local company.
· Katrina Cartwright, Kristina Cronin and Molly Prekeges for helping me send children to school so they can get educated enough to learn that myths like, "If your uncle rapes you, it will rid of AIDS," are not real.
· Joshua from Wells Fargo for making sure donations are handled correctly and people get their tax write-offs timely.
· Nancy Whiton for being an amazing board member.
· Alysha and Ken Oclassen for their encouragement.
· The children from Presbyterian Church of the Big Wood for making sure our orphanages have soaps, toothpaste and all the essentials.
· Nemo and Amy McGraw from Wood River High School for getting their students involved.
· Whit and Kristen Albright for helping with our Read for Life program through Create for our Children.
· Brooke from the Green Antelope Gallery in Bellevue for letting me sell jewelry made by the children in Africa to act as an income generator to pay for their education.
· Robin Moore from Moore Media Design.
· The amazing students from The Community School who have flown over to help—Annie Shafran, Gab Sisson and now Emily Eshmon.
· Other selfless, passionate, disgusted locals who have joined me in building libraries, teaching AIDS and English classes, digging wells, growing gardens and loving the HIV-positive babies: Carolyn, John Lloyd and Carol Sinnott for Carolyn's Make A Difference birthday, Frances Nagashima from YAK, Erin and Pierce French.
Education will also help ensure that these children get jobs later in life and lower the unemployment rate. We thought we had it tough here at 5 percent—try 73 percent in Zambia. Keep wondering why we should be helping Africa. If you want to help stop the talk on Africa, join me or visit www.makeadifferencenow.org.
Asante sana (thank you),
Founder of Make A Difference