Nicole’s bottles: how one adoptive mom found her way to help teen girls in Ethiopia

It’s amazing what a determined woman, ample garage space and a generous community can do! Check out Vulnerable Children Society director Nicole’s story below of how she fundraisers for the New Life program. Her small community enables one Ethiopian teen girl escape the sex trade each year… all by collecting cans! Thanks Nicole!! with Love and appreciation from the other directors: Arnica, Tawnya, Menbere, Dacia, Flora and Laura

In the summer of 2008, I embarked on the long journey to adopt a child from Ethiopia. I expected the process to be relatively straightforward, but by the fall of 2009, my adoption agency had gone bankrupt and I didn’t know if I’d ever bring a child home from Ethiopia. There was very little I could do at that point to affect the outcome of the adoption, and I was feeling helpless and defeated. I craved a connection to Ethiopia, so I decided to do the one thing I could: raise money, to help kids there.

I explored the many different ways that I could go about fundraising for kids in Ethiopia – everything from asking people for donations, to organizing events. I hate asking people for money, and the event space was already crowded with fundraisers for local causes. At some point, the idea of an ongoing bottle drive hit me: people could donate their recyclables to me, and I could convert them to cash. Sorting through other people’s garbage wasn’t going to be the sexiest way to fundraise, but for me, it was perfect: it would bring in a steady trickle of cash, and it would be just the kind of busy work I needed to take my mind off the adoption.

Friends and family were skeptical at first (“You really want my trash?”), but they went along with it, and soon my little fundraiser took off. I found myself spending evenings and weekends in my garage, counting and sorting bottles and cans. It was sticky, stinky work… sometimes it was downright nasty, like the time I found a decomposing mouse inside a plastic pop bottle. In spite of all that, it felt purposeful, and that made it rewarding.

Over the last eight years, I’ve raised thousands of dollars for deserving kids in Ethiopia, one bottle and can at a time. All of the proceeds are directed to the Vulnerable Children Society, to fund programs delivered by our in-country NGO partners. I’m grateful to the people, community organizations and businesses on Prince Edward Island who have contributed to this initiative, and to a friend who now transports truckloads of recyclables to the depot for me.

I’m looking forward to continuing my bottle and can drive in the years to come, especially now that I have an assistant: my three-year-old Ethiopian-born daughter, Ayanna! I hope you will consider joining me with your own unique fundraising ideas, to support the amazing work of Vulnerable Children Society. – Nicole

Canadian Sunday School Supports Ethiopian Children’s Music and Dance Program

by Marie Matchett

Recently I was approached by my childhood church (St. Stephen’s United Church) and asked if I knew of a charity in Ethiopia that the Sunday School children could fundraise for.  Immediately Vulnerable Children Society came to mind.

After waiting over 4 years to adopt our son from Ethiopia through many ups and downs, a lot of the congregation were there to cheer with us and sigh with us when we hit yet another hurdle.  On our first trip to Ethiopia in October 2012 we were able to visit with one of Vulnerable Children Society’s former projects.  It was one of the highlights of our trip that we still talk about to this day!  We saw first hand the good work this wonderful organization was doing for the most vulnerable children.  So it was an easy choice when I was asked about a charity.  After bringing our son home and visiting Ethiopia twice, we knew how important it was to give back to a country that gave us so much, and the Sunday school agreed!

The Sunday school which consists of around 15 children fundraised throughout the year.  In September they kicked off the season with a pancake breakfast.  In December they had a service where all the loose offering was donated.  And in February they started Random Acts of Kindness and placed a jar though out the church for people to place loose change or money in.  This project alone raised $135!

In June I was asked to make a presentation to the congregation about our adoption journey and the work Vulnerable Children Society does.  I was also presented with a cheque for $450 which will go towards a music and dance program for the children at the Love and Hope Centre!!   It was an honour to accept that cheque on VCS’s behalf!

10 women fundraise for 10 girls

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This summer, 10 women from across the country are fundraising to support 10 girls to attend our Teenage Sex Trade Worker Reemployment Program in Addis Ethiopia.

The women are students, government workers, homeschooling moms, retirees, business women… aged 15 to 65! They all want to give a teen Ethiopian girl another chance at freedom and self reliance.

Each woman is raising $1300, the year-long program cost for one girl!

So far, we have raised $3870 as a team… That’s enough for three girls to attend the program. Will you help us 10 women support 10 girls?

In the next four days, please consider donating to Dacia’s campaign!

https://www.canadahelps.org/GivingPages/GivingPage.aspx?gpID=36820

A Sweetheart of a Gift

ethiopia-abcs

Buy your sweetheart a gift that keeps giving… make their Valentine’s Day sweet with a lovely picture book about Ethiopia!

BUY ETHIOPIA ABCs

Introducing Ethiopia ABCs – a gorgeous photobook for children.
Each page teaches kids and parents about rural Ethiopian life and culture, while learning their ABCs.

All the pictures were taken between Addis Ababa and Nakemte, which was a bumpy day-long drive west of the capital.

All of the net proceeds (approx. $10 for every book) will be donated by author/photographer Arnica to Vulnerable Children Society.

So far, this book has fundraised $448 for the work of the society!

Please click on the links above to preview the book and buy a copy or a few! Thanks for your support of Vulnerable Children Society!

Festive Fundraising

In December, the call center staff at Veseys in York, Prince Edward Island embarked on a two-week-long fundraising initiative in support of the Vulnerable Children Society, in lieu of their annual Secret Santa Gift Exchange.

Veseys Call Center Staff

While the initiative was spearheaded by the call-centre staff, the entire Veseys team joined in the fun.

Everyone scrambled to be first in line to buy beautifully packaged homemade fruitcakes, cookies, squares, cupcakes and truffles at the bake sale table.

Bake Sale

Staff members bought raffle tickets for a chance to win one of three gorgeous gift baskets, filled with bath and beauty products, decadent treats and keepsake ornaments.

Gift Basket

A bucket-full of coins was collected through a penny drive (a dedicated staff member even rolled all those pennies and brought them to the bank on our behalf!).

Penny Bucket

By the time the campaign wrapped up on a snowy Friday afternoon, the call center staff had raised $522.60 for the Vulnerable Children Society! 

Pat & Nicole
Check presentation to VCS Director Nicole Bellefleur

Throughout its 73 year history, Veseys has been committed to supporting communities locally and abroad. The company contributes to events in support of Island individuals and organizations, and it offers a fundraising program that enables non-profit organizations across North America to raise money by selling of flower bulbs and seeds.

Veseys is also proud to support Farmers Helping Farmers, a nationally recognized, award-winning organization that assists Kenyan farmers in becoming more self-reliant in agricultural food production. In addition to providing monetary and seed donations, Veseys sends experts to Kenya as part of the crop advisory team.

Veseys is located in York, Prince Edward Island. It is one of North America’s largest mail order seed, bulb and garden equipment companies; it also features forty acres of trial gardens, a retail garden shop, and the Island’s largest selection of outdoor lawn and garden power equipment. For more information about Veseys, please visit www.veseys.com

Single Malt Tasting benefits Vulnerable Children

scotch tasting 2013

Enjoy a tipple of single malt? If you are in the Kelowna, BC area, come join the Ogopogo Rotary Club for a fabulous night of scotch tasting! All proceeds will be donated to Vulnerable Children Society!

January 25th at 7pm – Centre for Learning at the Okanagan College KLO campus in Kelowna.

Call or email for tickets:
Olivia 250 317 4007 olivia6010@yahoo.ca
Jane 250 764 9313 jane@jfaconsult.ca