Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Dec. 1, 2010 This day marks a day when all over the world people are increasing their efforts to change how HIV/AIDS impacts our world. They are educating, singing, pleading, discussing - they are making a difference. Hopefully a difference that will carry all the way until WORLD AIDS DAY 2011. I hope this post will encourage you to step out and more importantly step up so that a child living, fighting in Ethiopia will also live to see next year's WORLD AIDS DAY.

I believe in change and that one person can make a difference. I'm an AHOPE volunteer and I believe that even if I just make a change for one child it will be worth it. I've met the children of AHOPE Ethiopia. They have dreams and hopes and the strength to do some amazing things with their lives and they deserve the chance to live those dreams. So be a part of making a difference. Consider sponsorship, get creative on fundraising, educate yourself on HIV and AIDS, find an event in your community...

Find a way to make a difference.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

AHOPE Targets 25 New Sponsors for November

AHOPE for Children needs 25 new sponsors for the month of November. Greater demands from Ethiopia and the need for a Youth Development Program in 2011 means we need your help. Your sponsorship dollars are critical to our success. Sponsorship has always proven to be the backbone of how AHOPE funds many of its lifesaving services.

Please help us meet our goal of 25 new sponsorships this month. AHOPE has always been blessed with remarkably responsive supporters. As a team, we are confident that we can once again react to the needs of the kids.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


We're excited to announce that child sponsorship updates went out in the mail today so keep an eye out for them!

Also, click on the AHOPE website link above and check out the fall newsletter under the "news" section. It's a great way to keep current on all that is happening at AHOPE!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Not forgotten...

Tilahun Yimer 1996 - October 2008

Monday, October 4, 2010

A Way to Give

Macy’s and AHOPE for Children are teaming up again this year!

Since 2006, Macy's Shop for a Cause event has partnered with non-profit organizations nationwide to raise more than $34 million for their ongoing charitable efforts. This is your chance to participate in this monumental event on Saturday, October 16, 2010.
Shop for a Cause gives you the opportunity to help AHOPE by purchasing a $5 savings pass for exclusive savings and offers in every Macy's store and a chance to win a $500 gift card, exclusive to each store. As a participating charity, AHOPE for Children keeps 100% of the proceeds from the sale of each savings pass.....but we need your help!

Please support AHOPE and help HIV+ orphans in Ethiopia!

Whether you purchase one savings pass or you purchase 20, 40, 50 etc. you are helping our fundraising efforts immensely. If you choose to purchase several, we are asking that you pay for the savings passes at $5 each and then reimburse yourself as they sell. If you do not sell them all, we are happy to give you back the money owed, so please keep track. Once your money is received, we will send you coupon booklets immediately.

You may do this one of three ways:

Send a check (memo: Macy's) directly to the AHOPE for Children office at:
5023 N. Parkway Calabasas Calabasas, CA 91302
Provide credit card information directly to the AHOPE for Children office at:
Enter credit card information online through Network for Good.
In the designation section, please indicate Macy's.

For further inquiries and/or to purchase your savings passes, please contact Melissa Curtis, Office Administrator at 818-876-9616 oradmin@ahopeforchildren.org

Sunday, October 3, 2010

With thanks...

To those who have opened their hearts and their homes; we thank you. To those who have given their time and their gifts; we thank you. To those who fight each day, around the world, to reduce the stigma and fear; we thank you. To those who have and continue to walk with AHOPE and the children AHOPE serves; we thank you. It does make a difference.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Something simple

It's a simple memory of mine but one that has made a big impact. When you leave AHOPE Ethiopia after volunteering they have a goodbye ceremony. The kids usually make a card and sing. Amazing stuff but not what I want to write about. After I walked out of the school room one of the older girls at little AHOPE walked over to me. She tugged at my skirt and pointed at my card and then would take her hand and pat her chest. It took just once and a look at her face for me to realize what she was saying. I got down to her level and said "Did you write this?" and her face beamed, her head was nodding "yes" but the pride in her eyes and smile said it even louder. I told her it was the most beautiful card I had ever received and I meant it. That trip made me realize that AHOPE is not just about a group of children, it is about the uniqueness of EACH individual child. A life changed, hope given. While that journey may take turns none of us like to see we keep fighting, we keep going, we keep hoping for change because every child deserves a chance at something better.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

In honor of her mother

I don't think I will ever forget her phone call. She had just lost her mother to cancer and the funeral service was just a couple days away. People had been calling wondering where they could send a donation in honor of her mom. She really wanted to find a place that gave hope to children who knew how it felt to lose someone you love. Her heart was hurting but even in her grief she wanted her mother's death to make a difference. She knew what it meant to have to make sacrifices when you experience loss. She would need to set aside school for awhile in order to help her dad and younger siblings move so they were closer to family. She saw a friend wearing an AHOPE t-shirt and the words about "today your mother died, you have no home... who will help you?" just seemed to fit. The connection just made sense.

I think of her often. As we near her first Mother's Day without her mom I am reminded and humbled by those willing to give, willing to make a difference and help make a change. I am thankful for those willing to give hope.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Fighting for Hope

"Why are you even bothering? He is going to die anyway." These are the words Tenagne heard from her neighbors and friends as she spent her days fighting for her nephew who had suddenly fallen ill. The young toddler had become blind and was unable to move from his bed. Even for the most optimistic, the situation looked dire. Here lay another orphan boy who after watching both of his parents die, would suffer the same slow, agonizing death. He was not alone in his misery. Thousands upon thousands of little boys throughout sub-Saharan Africa were facing the same end. To many his fate was already secured. They knew the disease ravishing through this boy though many feared even saying the name. They knew what he was fighting against and they knew the outcome. Why did this little boy's aunt believe that she could make a difference?

Tenagne didn't give up despite the limited support and resources that she had. Tenagne lobbied doctors, the government, anyone who would listen to her. She would not give up on her nephew. She knew that what little she had was not enough to keep him alive. Somehow she found a connection to a small orphanage in Addis Ababa, a day's drive from her home. Tenagne, her husband, and her nephew loaded a bus and headed to Addis Ababa to find AHOPE's Children's Home, one of the few orphanages in the country that cared for HIV+ children.

Tenagne says that when she brought her nephew to AHOPE she didn't have much hope left. The weight of fighting alone was finally becoming a burden too heavy to carry. Her only wish was that he'd die with clean clothes on his back and a full belly. She had no idea that not only would the little boy live, but that he'd thrive under the care that he received at AHOPE. When she left, he was distraught and scared. He remained that way for months. He grieved his loss but slowly he began to find himself. He became stronger and over time his grief turned to joy.

Almost two years later the little boy returned with his adoptive family to his village to visit his aunt and uncle. As he approached their home the neighbors came out to see him. They were in awe to see that the little boy had lived! That afternoon a life was celebrated. Hope had been victorious.

There is so much joy when a child is saved through the love and compassion of AHOPE Ethiopia but the story runs deeper than that. This story is not only about a little boy, but about a woman who fought a disease, a stigma, and hopelessness. Her effort is still a legend in her village and I like to think that her persistence stood as a shining example to those around her. I know she has been an example to me.

When I support AHOPE for Children I am not only supporting the children within the orphanage and Community Outreach Program I know that I'm also standing with the brave men and women who fight for these children. These are the social workers that work long hours out of their tremendous passion to help foster joy and love amongst the children. They are the grandmothers who commit to raising their orphaned grandchildren through AHOPE's innovative Community Outreach Program. They are women like Tenagne, whose tireless effort would not have been realized without AHOPE. A donation to AHOPE for Children not only saves the lives of children living with HIV/AIDS, it also honors and supports those that fight in the midst of adversity for these amazing children.

~guest author

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

World AIDS Orphans Day Press Release

It's been a long time since the last post, too long. There have been many changes at AHOPE for Children and while these changes were occurring the blog didn't get the attention it deserved. No excuses just our apologies...

It only seemed appropriate that our first post on the blog since our hiatus mirrored the last post and continued the heartfelt call to help. Again, we ask you to join us...

World AIDS Orphans Day is an international movement to highlight the urgency of the current AIDS orphan crisis and a call to action. AHOPE for Children's Text2Give campaign has answered that call by spearheading a major donation drive that takes advantage of the effectiveness and ease of mobile giving.

You only need a mobile phone and a plan with a major carrier to instantly become a donor and provide relief to the AIDS orphans. To give, text "AHOPE" in the message box to "85944". You will receive a message asking you to confirm. Make sure you respond by typing "YES" to make your donation count. Your donation of $10 will be added to your next phone bill.

To date, 2.2 million of the 20 million AIDS orphans are themselves HIV+. Each year 300,000 children die of the disease. Another crushing statistic: 500,000 children were infected with HIV this year alone - that's about 300 children since you got up this morning.

In addition to the destruction of their family and support networks, children orphaned by AIDS face increasing obstacles to survival: little or no access to medical care or schooling; vulnerability to hunger, starvation, and poverty; subjection to negative stigmatization and discrimination within the community; and amplified susceptibility to exploitative forces such as child labor, prostitution, and child soldiering.

With your help, we can raise $100,000 by May 7th and change these children's lives. It can be done. So far, the lives of hundreds of children have been saved. On May 7th, we will begin our work on 2,000,000 more.

Thanks for your support,
Tom Starko
Executive Director of AHOPE for Children