Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Most Amazing Orphanage in Uganda!

Volunteering at Our Own Home
There are a LOT of friends and donors out there who deserve a great BIG thank you from all of us at Dream of a Better World!  And, as my dad always says,  the best way to thank someone is to share the results!  So while my dad and I are still in Africa, I want you to share in the joy of seeing what can be done in only 3 1/2 years, with YOUR help... and a great partner like Our Own Home!
Me & Moses

It all started four years ago when Carly was volunteering in a baby orphanage in Uganda.  She noticed a small, somewhat sick looking boy named Moses that wasn't getting as much attention as the other kids because he was HIV+ and sick with tuberculosis.  Eventually he was taken in by an all HIV/AIDs orphanage called Our Own Home where he was held and loved, and got the proper medicine and care.  As we began to help out, we learned that Our Own Home needed just about everything!  That's where we ALL came in.

In 2010, cookies for sale.  Yummy!
We started raising money in 2010 with bake sales, garage sales, letter writing and going door to door.  We were struck by their desperate needs, but also by how well the kids there were doing.  Since then, we have raised money for a van to get them to school and to doctors visits, for 4 acres of land, for a dormitory and a new home where they can run and shout and play... and feel loved by God and by "Mommy Holly" and "Daddy William."  A lot of friends, classmates and neighbors have joined us, as well as some other businesses and non-profits!  There are many people to thank, people we have never met and don't really know.  But, we do know what kind of people you are... people who care and want to make the world a better place.

A favorite photo... pure fun with Gloria, Mullikidi & Micah
One of my mom's favorite sayings is that "we need to show up... and finish well."  I think that's what we are ALL doing together.  So, here are some more "results" photos that I hope will encourage you as our way of saying THANK YOU on behalf of all of Dream of a Better World!

4 Acres fertile land - Mar 2010

Immediately planted with potatoes & Maize

1st harvest as building starts!
Celebrating foundation with Jack & Dad

The first dormitory plus Holly & William's main house moved into in June 2012.  There are currently 62 in the dormitory (52 are sponsored) and Holly & William's house is also the guesthouse, volunteer housing and meeting place for nightly devotions.  The kids spend a lot of time in here playing and being a "family."
Dormitory finished June 2012
Main house & guest house finished

Laundry facilities... yep, very important!
Just one day's laundry!  

Housing left & med. wing right.
The medical clinic/volunteer housing is on hold at the moment, but will have a nurses office and pharmacy, housing for the nurse, housing for other volunteers, a kitchen and common area.  We have about $17,000 left on the building and $3,000 in needed supplies still to be funded.  It will be finished when the money is raised.

Some kids arrive VERY, VERY sick.

Nurse Lindsey in current makeshift clinic.
But, it doesn't take long for most kids to bounce back and become well.  Everyone who visits is amazed at how happy and healthy the kids are at Our Own Home.   And on a personal note, my family's lives have been changed forever by this place and by seeing how these kids are so happy and so grateful with so little.  Again, thank you so much!  - Hannah & all of Dream of a Better World.

Happy Baby Nicholas!

Here are some more "thank you" photos!

Gordon, getting better.

Me and the gang!

Jude, the best smile ever!

Lunch is beans & posho

Dad and his gang!
Ms Personality - Rachell

Fun with pipe cleaners!
Me taking Jackie to the clinic in town.

Amazing OOH Founders William & Holly with son, Israel.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Heroes & Remembrance Run 2013! "Boots on the Bridge"

Thank you from Hannah Button and the Dream of a Better World kids!

September 7th was the second running of the Hero's & Remembrance Run, sometimes called: "Boots on the Bridge."  It was a beautiful, special day that we will always remember.  Thank you EVERYONE for showing up and giving your support!  

Thank you Theresa Johnson and the staff at Tripler Fisher House for pouring so much of your life into helping all of us remember those hero's who gave their lives for us and our country!   We will never forget the 6,728 killed in action since 9/11! The boots, the names and faces and the many tearful participants are forever etched in our hearts and minds.

For those of you who don't know, this is our fourth project with Tripler Fisher House and it is always a huge blessing to be apart of something so special, and to help our military families who have sacrificed so much for us.  This project was a huge success.  The kids of Dream of a Better World, with the help of a small army of classmates and neighbors and donors and volunteers, got to help put an American flag in every boot.  And, every boot had the name and face of a hero killed in combat since 9/11.

There were 6,728 boots lining the memorial 8K run that will help all of us to "Never Forget" those that gave their all.  Dream of a Better World also raised the money for the water given out to participants and for the port-a-potties!  We don't know for sure, but we think there were around 8,000 who joined us on September 7th for this event!  

Thank you especially to the Richvalskys who were instrumental in organizing and providing all of the 6,728 laminated photos.  Their son "DJ" bravely served in Afghanistan and knew too many of the names and photos that lined the Ford Island Bridge this year.

Words cannot describe the appreciation we have for dedication and unbelievable sacrifice of the men and women who's boots lined the Ford Island bridge.  We recognize and honor you... and, know that We will NEVER forget!

Fisher House Hawaii is one of 58 locations worldwide supporting America's military in their time of need.  Annually, the Fisher House program serves more than 17,000 families, and have made available over four million days of lodging to family members since the program originated in 1990.  Fisher House is funded by public donations and you can donate to Tripler Fisher House on-line at or mail donations to: Tripler Fisher Houses, 317 Krukowski Rd., Honolulu, HI  96819.