It’s been awhile since I last wrote about my crafting projects. There’s a good reason for that. It’s because I haven’t been crafting very much. So while I’ve been very good with my New Year’s Resolution to not buy any new crafting supplies (I haven’t caved in once, not even in Shanghai!), regrettably I haven’t made much of a dent in the existing stores of fabric.
However, I do want to proudly, though belatedly, report that from January through February, I raised $513 from my craft sales for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation! A bunch of Sir Hamilton iPhone Cozies, hungry Alejandro el Legarto Pencil Cases, Cloudy Coin Purses, and those mischievous Change Purses, Bob and Dexter — they all went to loving homes in return for some generous donations. Type I diabetes unfortunately makes a lot more money for certain healthcare corporations as a chronic disease than it would if it were cured. But it’s good to know there are dedicated researchers out there working hard on a solution. I hope that the JDRF-funded work, coupled with Obama’s recent executive order lifting the ban on federal funding for stem cell research, will lead to a cure this decade.
I’ve been a workaholic for the past few months, but now with some major design projects completed, and others in production, I finally have some free time again to play! This month I’ll be restocking my Etsy shop and sewing up some new things. This is a great time to announce the cause that I’ll be donating my Etsy proceeds to AND post about a trip to Ethiopia. From May through September, my Etsy proceeds (100% not including the cost of shipping) will benefit elderly in Ethiopia who are at a disadvantage because of having HIV/AIDS or being part of a family affected by HIV/AIDS.
And regarding the Ethiopia trip, no it wasn’t I who went to Ethiopia — it was my sister! All of my siblings are a constant inspiration to me, but Maria still surprised me when she suddenly announced last summer that she would be jetting off to Addis Ababa to temporarily serve with the Missions To The World AIDS Care and Treatment project. She’s a doctor by day and a full-time mom, so the fact that she was taking her vacation time to work with HIV/AIDS patients in Ethiopia really made me feel proud and humbled.
Photos courtesy of Maria Lee
Maria found out about Missions to the World medical missions through her church. The logistics of her trip — involving doctors and support staff from across America and suitcases full of medical supplies — were handled by Bev and Andy, two missionaries in Addis Ababa. For several months preceding the trip, Maria and her fellow medical teammates raised funds for travel and gathered supplies. Then in February, for two weeks with the help of interpreters, the team set up a medical clinic at the ministry to treat and counsel HIV/AIDS patients.
You can read more about the amazing trip that my sister took on her church’s blog HERE.
Photos courtesy of Maria Lee
Although the needs of HIV/AIDS affected children in Africa can’t be diminished, there are comparatively very few funds allocated to the support of similarly affected elders. Lack of access to basic healthcare means that life expectancy in Ethiopia is only 41 years. Since my sister (both my sisters, actually) devotes her professional life to treating elderly patients, she noticed the compounded lack of care options for those elders in Ethiopia who lost their social and family networks because of HIV/AIDS.
In my sisters’ words: “After my two weeks there, I spoke to the staff there and told them that my heart went out to the elders there who lost families. Elders there rely on families to take care of them but many have lost children and grandchildren to HIV/AIDS. I call them orphaned elders. I don’t know what others call them. The current program is for HIV/AIDS patients and the immediate family members of that patient. Current monies coming in are not budgeted for needy elders but I think it is a big need.”
“On the last Friday I was there, one of my elder patients shared her story about how her family outcast her because they couldn’t accept her converting from the Ethiopian orthodox religion to Muslim religion. So she is without family also. She cried before me about how she had to sell all her household belongings just to buy food. She fears she will soon need to resort to begging. She reported significant weight loss. I “adopted” her and gave my “downpayment” to the staff to help her buy some food for the month of March. I plan to send some more. But there are many more who need this assistance as well. Would you be interested in being a part of my new pet project?” Of course, Maria!
So, there you have it. Proceeds from my Etsy shop sales from May through September will be going to the Missions to the World Medical Missions, earmarked to help HIV/AIDS affected elderly in Addis Ababa. Go buy stuff here!