My 24 years as a flight attendant have enabled me to travel and see much of the world. When I started going to Africa my passion was born to help the less fortunate and show my own 3 children this imbalance. I wanted them to know they had a responsibility to others as they grow up in a world that most things are readily accessible to them and are not to most the world. It is easy to fall in love with children in Africa. It is more difficult to find appropriate ways to help. Education was by far the first tool we knew could be powerful and effective. Combining this with improved environment, enables them to grow and thrive with food, shelter, medical care and most of all love.I travel to Ghana as a flight attendant monthly and enjoy taking my children on working trips as well as our own vacation time. Being on the ground making sure the DFO funds are carefully dispatched is rewarding and I am compensated by their huge smiles and hugs every time I visit. Seven years have gone by so fast and I cannot imagine my life without DFO and all the children. As Dreams continues to grow I relish the fact that the number of orphans we are helping is increasing. We are able to expand to more orphanages and provide education and safe environments to those orphans who deserve a rich and happy life.
I have been in the design and marketing business for over 25 years. The need for creativity and the desire to do something meaningful is how I became involved in DFO. Kary’s passion to make a difference fueled with our prior experiences working together was a wining combination. I bring my business skills and creative acumen to help with the marketing and business of DFO.Working internationally has been amazing to learn and gives me a better understanding of why it is important to work across borders.DFO has given me a new source of inspiration during life’s transitions. Take what you love to do, along with your experiences and turn these into useful tools for a purpose. This becomes a new level of accomplishment and satisfaction.
In 2009 I made my first trip to Africa, travelling to Accra, Ghana with Kary Doerfler and Paola Womac. My eyes were opened to the beautiful children who lived there and my heart wanted to provide for them in any way possible. I remember speaking about this trip constantly for months after we returned to Seattle. One thing was clear: we have to help these children. As an educator and mother, I had a strong desire to make a tangible difference in the lives of the orphans I visited. It started with organizing a library at the orphanage in Accra and now, through Dreams for Orphans, we have been able to provide scholarships for education and raise funds to create safe environments for countless orphans. The most rewarding part about being involved with Dreams for Orphans is twofold. The first is hearing the success stories from orphans we have helped. The second is the generosity and compassion I witness from our supporters and friends. Without their faith and dedication to our cause, we would not have been able to help all the children we have.
As a child I idolized Mother Theresa. She embodied everything good in a human being and was a living saint who had given her life to others. I often lay awake at night planning and worrying about how I was going to run my orphanage and keep up with the day to day chores and financial burdens when I grew up. That may have been a childhood fantasy, but I truly believe it was preparation for my involvement with Dreams for Orphans. Fast forward almost 40 years and I have had my own children, am a jewelry designer, and have the very good fortune of being surrounded by the love of my husband, children, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, and parents. I was born into a wonderful life and community that cares deeply for me and will always be there to support me. I want to share my resources, community, and love with those less fortunate, who by no fault of their own have no parents and family to raise and support them.My son Andrew and I have traveled to Ghana and spent time with these wonderful orphans. It was an amazing experience and it fueled my desire to help make the lives of these children better though education, safe environment, and love. I strongly believe that the simple act of caring about these children gives them hope. My involvement with Dreams for Orphans has enriched my life and the lives of those around me.
Over the years, I have had many opportunities to volunteer with children in one capacity or another, from tutoring to swim lessons to leading outdoor recreation trips. As soon as I heard about DFO, I knew that I wanted to be involved with an organization that makes such a substantial difference in the lives of disadvantaged children. With degrees in Engineering and Business, I am excited to bring my prior research and analytical knowledge to DFO.I am proud to work alongside others who are compassionately dedicated to our goals of providing orphans with safe environments and educational opportunities. DFO has already accomplished so much; I’m looking forward to its continued growth and success in the years to come!
I became interested in volunteer activities in West Africa as a result of my oldest daughter serving in the Peace Corps in Mauritania and Mali. Around that time I became aware of what Dreams for Orphans was trying to accomplish in Ghana and decided it was something I would love to support. I have been responsible for keeping track of donations, donor lists, and producing thank you letters. After doing this for a couple of years, I was delighted when Kary asked me to join the board. It’s been humbling to see what can be done at the grass roots level, and it’s empowering to look beyond our tiny corner of the world.
I first heard about Dreams for Orphans from co-founders Libby Rain and Paola Womac. Coworkers of mine at St. Anne School, they invited me to the DFO Christmas party. After only a few minutes at the party, I knew this was something I wanted to join. The energy, passion, and enthusiasm for this cause of supporting young orphans in Ghana spoke directly to my desire as teacher to provide a safe environment for all children. Before moving to Seattle, I taught for two years in a low-income school in Compton, California. When I arrived in the Pacific Northwest, I found myself working in a school of primarily affluent families, which, although wonderful, left me searching for a way to help children most in need. Dreams for Orphans is a wonderful organization not only for how it provides a loving and healthy community in Ghana, but also how it binds together people here in Seattle. I am honored to serve on this board and advocate for the children of Ghana.
I was born and raised in Seattle Washington. I attended St. Anne’s grade school, Seattle Preparatory Academy and Seattle University. I was blessed with a very good Jesuit Catholic education that emphasized the importance of service and giving back to others. Because of my sons diagnosis of autism, I was one of the original founders of the Experimental Education Unit auction at the University of Washington. I have been very involved in fundraising for the Experimental Education Unit which helps children with autism and special needs. I’m on the board of Seattle Prep and was inspired by my friend, Kary Doerfler, who started Dreams for Orphans. I went to Ghana with her and I was so impressed and touched by the children I met. The trip gave me a newfound passion in helping these children who are so beautiful and appreciative of everything you do for them.