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November 18, 2011

You would have thought that Christmas had arrived for 2 four-year-olds in the middle of October in Ethiopia. Teresa tore open the medium-sized Priority Mail box with such excitement that even I wanted to get in on the action so I hovered over the dining room table to see what all the fuss was about. A big smile spread over Teresa’s face as she pulled out shredded/bagged coconut, M&M’s, and (her favorite) Cheetos. She yelled out what the contents were of the box to Tom who quickly came to inspect the “goodies”. I got to enjoy a handful of M&M’s and even though I had only been in Ethiopia for four weeks, those M&M’s tasted delicious. They tasted like home. I didn’t want to keep grabbing more knowing that I would be returning home in a few days and would have access to all the M&M’s that my little taste buds desired. I couldn’t imagine how much sweeter they tasted to Tom and Teresa after living in Ethiopia for over ten months!

It’s not just the M&M’s or the Cheetos or even the DVD’s that they crave. No, in reality, it’s knowing that someone has thought of them from thousands of miles away. It’s such a simple gift, but it has the potential (I’ve seen it in action, folks) to lift up their spirits. And let me tell you, they need it! The daily life can be strenuous and mentally and spiritually draining and they need a “pick-me-up”.

On a cupboard (some of you may say “cabinet”) door in their kitchen are two 3M sticky notes filled with items that they will need to bring back to Ethiopia from the States when they go back to Texas during Christmas. One day I hurriedly scribbled this list into my notebook with the intention of sending them some items myself upon my return home. But as the days wore on I realized that maybe others would want a part in it as well. Tom and Teresa haven’t solicited my help. They have no idea that I am writing this blog entry in the middle of freezing-cold-Alaska. I’m doing this for them because I want to and because I also want to give you (who so choose) an opportunity to assist Project Ethiopia in any way possible, to include direct “donations” of goodies to TnT of Arba Minch, Ethiopia.

Below is a list of items from their bright yellow 3M sticky notes:

* Salted & roasted almonds
* Skippy Peanut Butter (crunchy)
* Peanut M&M’s
* Ritter Sport chocolate bars
* Cake mix & ready made frosting
* Chocolate chips
* Buttermilk pancake mix
* Brown sugar
* Mint flavoring
* Sunbelt oat & honey bars
* Mac & cheese
* Pecans
(some food has been donated, but they wouldn’t say no to more!)

Cooking Utensils: (everything is so cheaply made in Ethiopia – it breaks after one use)
* Tongs (already donated)
* Vacuum food saver
* Slotted Spoons
* Knives (for chopping food – not flatware)
* Vegetable peeler
(already donated)
* Dish towels (already donated)

Tools (needed out in the field and work on TnT’s compound):
* Dremel tool
* Rolls of reflective tape
* Plumber’s snake
* Fish tape
* Vile grips
* Single edge razor blades
* Soldering irons – pen tip & wench
* Spotlight (already donated)
* Rechargeable flashlight (already donated)
* Laser level
* Paintbrushes (3″) (already donated)
* Magic gloves (for cleaning) (already donated)
* Garden trowel
* Leather gloves (they will take more, though!)

It is important to note that TnT are going back to Texas the first week of December to the end of January. Do not send gifts to Arba Minch address. Please send gifts to their home address in Texas:
104 Monticello Lane
Bullard, TX 75757

If you would prefer to send the donations to me (and I will send them off to Arba Minch the end of January), I am willing to do that. Please click here to contact me so I can message you my address.

Unfortunately these are personal gifts that you are donating so you will not receive a charitable contribution tax statement, but you will play a part in lifting up their spirits (and you will receive a billion thank you’s from them as well.)

4 Comments leave one →
  1. lauren komatsu permalink
    November 18, 2011 11:39 pm

    great idea J-you are so sweet for organizing this!

  2. November 19, 2011 6:41 pm

    what a cuz. God bless u sweetie pie. i miss your antics which are so neat-oh. love your blog …/ato tome

  3. November 30, 2011 12:53 pm

    Lauren and Jen – you guys are an INSPIRATION!!! Okay, so I bought tongs, rechargeable flashlight, veggie peeler, dish towels, m&m’s (peanut), roasted and salted almonds, mac n’ cheese and a few other goodies!! I am going to mail it to Tom and Teresa’sTexas address middle of next week with a card explaining how I heard about them.

    Thank you for sharing!!! I sent the list to my folks who are packing up a box for them as well!!!

    • November 30, 2011 3:58 pm

      I’m floored by your generosity, Megs! Especially since you have never met them. They will appreciate this more than you will ever know.
      And even your parents are involved…I don’t know what to say, but “wow”! Thanks, girl!

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