About Hands for H.O.P.E.

I have created a foundation to help the people of Ada, Ghana, Africa. I want them to know that they can further their education and become self sufficient.

Finally an update from January

I was able to travel to Ghana between Christmas and the new year this past December/January.  I was able to take some time off and be able to go see what was going on with the children as well as the school project. I am supposed to be retired but decided to go back to teaching at a charter school and it is taking over my life. Ha… what was I thinking?

The building is finally enclosed!  It looks great! Adi has had the plumber and electrician come to give bids on what the next steps will be.  Of course, being on Ghanaian time, there are always a few small small things that need to be done before we get to the electricity and plumbing.  Haha…  It is a very sturdy building and will last forever. The bedroom are quite a bit bigger than I had thought they would be as well as the other rooms. It is going to be so nice once it is done…in who knows now many years from now.

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One thing I found out was that Adi is sending some others to school.  He sends quite a few boys to the technical school.  Those are the people being trained so that we can hire them to complete things we need for the building. For example, Prosper goes to school to learn to install windows.  We will have him put in our windows as soon as Adi has all of the “burglar bars” put on the windows. I am having them put them on the inside so that it will look nice from the outside and you won’t be able to see them. Those are some of the “small small” that need to be done before going forward with electricity and plumbing. After all these years, I am still getting used to working on Ghanaian time.

While in Ada I was able to visit Susan’s children, Evans and Maxwell.  I cannot believe how they have grown! Grandma was not feeling well when we arrived the first day so we went back a couple of days later to check on them and she was doing even worse. Adi and I decided she needed to go to the hospital to see what was going on.  Adi’s belief was confirmed by the nice nurse who helped us out. (Adi even tipped her.  “She didn’t have to be that nice.”)  Grandma had malaria!! At 90 years old.  They were able to give her an injection of medication as well as a prescription for some medication that Evans was to pick up the next day. Luckily they have medical insurance and I was able to pay for the co-pay as well as the medication.  I am sure they would have never gone if we had not insisted because they did not want to use Susan’s money that was given for their education for Grandma’s mediation.  She is a wonderful woman and is getting back her strength.  She needs to be there for the boys.  It will be sad when she is no longer there for them. That family unit is pretty much all they know.  Their house was washed away by a storm and they no longer have a permanent home to call their own.  There was a relative that has let them stay in his home for the time being.  It is in the same location of the home they once had. Even through all of these trials,  Evans has decided to go to the technical school for automotive engineering when he graduates in June from the 9th grade. Maxwell is already attending the tech school in electrical engineering. They are doing well and will be able to make a good living once they are able to get their education from the technical school.

Grandma and Evans

Grandma and Evans

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Evans is on the left and Maxwell on the right

I did not go to Pram Pram to visit the Mensah family.  We usually have a few problems with the father when I show up there. I was able to get their schooling paid for though.  It is best to just go through the school for them.  We are having a maternity uniform fitted for Mercy as she is now pregnant, but willing to stay in school and finish the 9th grade.  I don’t know what her life will turn out like once she gives birth.  I was not able to see Frances in Ada either. I feel badly that I was not able to see any of them.  This is not the best time of year to visit as they are not in school and are difficult to find.

We went to Esther’s home and they had moved.  The woman who now lives there knows them and said she is doing well.  We were also unable to find Felicia.  She had moved and no one knew where we could find her.  She possibly lives somewhere near Kassae and is no longer attending school.

I was able to see Beauty this time!  She is now married with a child of her own.  She is so happy and seemed very content.  She is still working in Tema and her daughter is 2 years old.  Her husband is a very nice man.  He gave Adi and I a ride (in a nice air conditioned car! He actually turned on the air!) all the way back to Kassae from Tema because he didn’t want to see us riding the tro tro late at night.  I thought it was really nice of him especially since it is about 45 or so minutes each way. We take the tro tro often when I am there.  It is usually quite an adventure.

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We were also able to be tourists this year. I really wanted to go to a national park.  We were able to make arrangements to go to Mole National Park. It is in the northern region of Ghana.  I’m not so lucky with nature and seeing animals in their natural habitat but we were able to see quite a few cool animals and even saw an elephant come up to our hotel to eat the lovely yellow flowers off the bushes right by the hotel!  We stayed in the Mole Motel which was not the nicest place but not horrible until we went to the Zaina Lodge and saw how the other half live.  Adi talked to the manager there and is hoping to be able to get his things chosen to sell in their gift shop.  At this point they have contacted him.  The only bad thing is that it is a 14 hour drive from Ada!  Hopefully they could meet in Accra or somewhere. I love the look on Adi and my driver Jack’s faces when they are experiencing something they have never seen before.  It is priceless. When they saw the animals and the scenery they were so amazed and happy.

My former colleague from Roy High, Ellen McDougal and her husband Bob, is on an LDS Mission in Accra so we were able to see her and Bob. Adi was impressed that they were so nice and “cool”. The church people really take care of them.  I have never been in a nicer apartment.  None of the people I know live like they are living there. It is nice and they are really liking it there. I hope they are still there when I go back next year. They are promoting a program called Pathways. It is getting people into college courses. It seems like it is quite successful so far. They are also getting used to the Ghanaian way…. “I’ll be there on Monday. Oh, is it already Wednesday? Well, I am here now. ”  Haha..

It was a great trip and I am back now to have more fundraisers and get this done! On Monday, I spoke to the retired Weber School District employees.  They were a great group of people and I think they enjoyed the presentation. I was able to sell a few items and garner some donations.  I then was part of the Highmarket Expo on Wednesday at the charter school I work.  The 8th grade students create their own businesses and have an open house for everyone to come purchase their products.  The principal said that I should also have a table there since our school is all about entrepreneurship.  It was a very successful two hours. Yay!

These are some of the items I have for sale from Adi’s shop. They are all handmade and very nice.  Let me know if you would like to buy something.

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Bags and Backpacks

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Aprons in both child and adult sizes

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Ebony Nativity sets

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Biscuit bowls

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Baskets

 

I need to think of a way to get more money so we can  move along more quickly.  Is there some type of a challenge I could do to get some more money?  If everyone I know would give up one Starbucks or McDonald’s Happy Meal once a month and give me the $5-$6 they save, that would be cool! As of today, the US dollar is worth 4.55 Ghana Cedis! For every $5 a person donates it is almost $25 Ghanaian Cedis.  That is an excellent exchange.  I am going to think of what can be done to get 100 people to donate $5 each and then they can challenge each of their friends and so on and so on.. If you can think of anything, let me know.

 

 

 

New Construction Pictures!!

I received a package from Adi with the disk from the camera with new pictures of the project.  It is coming along. I know it seems like it is taking forever.  We are going on the third year of construction.  It is all dependent upon me raising money with your generous donations and when he can get help and take time off from his business to build.  It is finally an actual building and I am getting excited to go in December and see it in person.

We will be having our 8th Annual Spaghetti Dinner at the Hope Center in Roy on November 12 from 6-8 PM.  As usual, the dinner will be provided by the Olive Garden in Riverdale and Roy City is allowing us to use the building for no cost.  The ENTIRE dinner is profit.  I am looking for donations now and getting ready to put together the baskets for the silent auction. If you want to donate, please give me a call.

 

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The front looking on from the roadside.

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Standing atop the building you can see how big it really is!!

 

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The building is fully enclosed!! Of course, there are no windows or doors yet.

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The front porch is looking good. Can’t wait until I can have a place I can call my own to lounge and relax.

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All of the cement has to be carried by hand from the truck to the site. Wow! They have much stronger necks than I do. Ho carrying on the head for me!

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They are adding the cement to the roof top/second floor. They work early in the morning so it is not too hot.

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Whoo Hoo!! It is enclosed.

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We will use all of the bamboo that was saved from the construction to build a fence.

 

Successful Fundraiser and update on the project

We had the annual Hands for HOPE Spaghetti Dinner and Silent Auction on Saturday, November 7.  It was a great fundraiser and I want to thank everyone for coming.  It was good to see the many people who have supported this charity from the beginning.  It was also good to see several new faces.  I appreciate your support and hope to see you next year.  If everyone brought one new friend each year imagine the number of people who would find out about the great things happening in Ada Foah and the building would get the much needed funds!  Everyone is so amazing and the support you have shown is truly a blessing to me and the people of Ada Foah.

I just received a photo card from Adi today.  The building is really coming along.  It is so huge!  I am sure we will be happy that it is this large when it is completed, but who knew??  They are beginning to put on the second floor and the craftsmanship and work that has gone into this project is amazing.  They have to build the forms for the steel (rebar) to go in all of wood then pour the cement in them.  They are holding up all of the beams with bamboo.  I was always a little confused when Adi said he needed to buy bamboo. I get it now!  What an interesting sight and how amazing they are doing all of this without any machinery of any kind.  It is all done by hand.  The goal is to have this portion of the building completed by February before the rainy season comes along.  We will then be able to start working on the inside.

Looking at these pictures makes me so happy.  All of the fundraising and hard work is paying off.

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Building Update

The school building is coming along. These are the most recent pictures I have from March 2015.  People ask why it is taking so long.  Well… we can only build as we earn money.  I am working on fundraisers all of the time and hope to get the second floor on soon.  I have received several packages from Adi and have been selling his handicrafts.  Thank you to all of my teacher and school friends who helped by buying the beautiful items. I will be having a garage sale in June and then the annual Spaghetti Dinner in October/November.  It is a long time coming, but will be nice to have and not have any debt when it is completed. It is quite a large building.  They are working on the pillars for the front porch. It is interesting to see that they are filling up the pillars with bowls of cement!

Enjoy the pictures…. carrying cement filling up the pillar front porchfront getting it done huge building project 3-15

A long overdue update on the state of affairs in Ada, Ghana

DSCN5941 Adi sews on the “digital” machine I was able to bring him this year. Below the children get measured for their new school uniforms.DSCN5945 DSCN5950 DSCN6014 Adi stands in the door opening of the school.  Below you can see how big the building is as I stand out front!DSCN6019                  Below is Frances at school in Ada.  He has really done a great job!!

DSCN6088 DSCN6170 We had my “last supper” at a restaurant near the airport in Accra.  This is me, Adi, his niece Irene and my wonderful driver Jack.RSCN6095 This cute baby is Adi’s neighbor.RSCN6105It’s been too long since I last posted.  I was able to travel to Ghana in October 2014 and see how all things are coming along.  The children in Pram Pram were doing well.  Francis is now attending high school in Ada. It was great to see him. He will be graduating soon and heading to college or the tech school to become a computer programmer.

The spaghetti dinner was a hit even though there was some weather that night and the electricity went out all over town. It did not go out at the Hope Center and we had a great time eating spaghetti and renewing old friendships and making new.

The school is coming along nicely.  People keep asking when it will be completed. Well… it takes money and so we continue to fundraise and build, then fundraise some more and build.  It all depends on the money we raise. We plan to have another garage sale this summer and then we will have the annual Spaghetti Dinner in the Fall. I continue to receive items from Adi to sale.  I will have a Mother’s Day sale in the next month with some great items for your mothers: Baskets, aprons, wallets, jewelry, wooden items, etc…

I would love to have other fundraisers, however, I haven’t the time to create something.  If any of you would like to hold a fundraiser, let me know.  I would love for you to help out and I will be willing to help in anything needed.  I think having a 5K, yogathon, zumbathon, or something would really bring in some much needed funds.

Fundraising Update

It has been a successful summer of garage sales. We held the sale in June and surpassed our goal by 100%. We then held our annual family garage sale in August and were able to sell some more of the donations people had given as well as the Ghanaian handicrafts from Adi.
The American dollar has gone up in Ghana so now our dollar is worth 3 Ghana Cedis. That is good for us but bad for the economy of Ghana.
Adi and his crew are working on making the pillars to hold the ceiling/floor of the second floor. I couldn’t understand why it was taking so long other than they are on Ghanaian time, but then he told me there are 27 pillars!! All have to be built from wood first and then be reinforced with rebar and poured with cement. It is another large undertaking that I had no idea about. Even though it seems like it is taking forever, we are still on schedule. It is so time consuming to have to make all the bricks and pillars by hand. We have the same men coming to work on the building, however, they are volunteers and can only come when they are not working their “real” jobs. I am learning patience.
I have scheduled the 6th Annual Spaghetti Dinner and Silent Auction for November 1 at the Hope Center in Roy, Utah. If you are interested in donating baskets for the silent auction, let me know. I would like to get a jump start.
I am planning to take a trip to Ghana sometime this year and will be able to bring back some more handicrafts to sell. They are beautiful and make unique gifts.
Thank you to all of you who donated the the garage sales: The Material Girls, Cindy, Ralynne, Cheri,Kathy, Linda R., Pat, and Mom. Thanks also for your help at the sales: Jenny, Ralynne, Mom and Cheri. I couldn’t have done it without you. I really appreciate your support!! Thanks for helping me live my dream.

Garage Sale for Ghana

Back in the swing of summer fundraising.  We are having a Garage Sale for Ghana on Saturday, June 7 from 8 am-12 noon. If you have any items you would like to donate for the sale I would be happy to come get them or you can deliver them. I am asking for no TVs, computers or older clothing. They just don’t sell.  Thanks so much for all of your support this year and before you know it we will have a roof on that school house! All proceeds from the sale will go toward the building.

SUCCESS!!

We held the 5th annual Hands for HOPE Spaghetti Dinner on Saturday night. It was a huge success. The local paper had an article in on Friday as well as Saturday so for the first year ever I didn’t know some of the people there. It was fantastic. We earned more money than ever before!!  The baskets were very nice and the spaghetti was delicious. Enjoy some of the pictures. Plan on coming next year, same time and place.

Project update

Our project, the Community Learning Center, is coming along. We are once again hosting a spaghetti dinner donated by the Olive Garden on November 2 at the Hope Center in Roy. This is one of our largest fundraisers. I hope you are able to attend. Contact me for tickets. They are $5 pre-sale and $8 at the door.  Take a look at the flyer for the dinner: spaghetti dinner-2013   Below are pictures of the ongoing construction. DSCN2024 DSCN2023 DSCN2022 DSCN2019 DSCN2021 DSCN2018 DSCN2017 DSCN2011 DSCN2010 DSCN2009

Time for Golf!!

We are once again holding our Annual Hands for H.O.P.E. Golf Tournament at the beautiful and scenic Wolf Creek Golf Course in Eden, Utah. It will be on Friday, June 21, 2013. It will be a shotgun start beginning at 9 AM. It is open to the first 120 players so get busy and get registered by calling 801-430-6103 or e-mail me at clucero@wsd.net.

Tournament Schedule

Friday, June 21, 2013  Wolf Creek Golf Course Eden,Utah   

9 a.m. Shotgun Start   

Tournament Format

  •  Four-person Scramble
  •  Field limited to first 120 players

Tournament Fee:

$100.00 per player                              

Fee includes:

  •  Greens fees and golf cart
  •  T- Shirt
  •  Continental breakfast and nice lunch

Specialty Hole Prizes

Sponsorship Opportunities:

**Eagle Sponsors – $500

Sponsorship includes:

  • Greens fees for one foursome
  • Signage at sponsored hole
  • Business name included in all tournament day material.

**Birdie Sponsors – $300

Sponsorship includes:

  • Greens fees for two golfers
  • Signage at sponsored hole
  • Business name included in all tournament day material.

**Par Sponsors – $200

Sponsorship includes:

  • Greens fees for one golfer
  • Signage at sponsored hole
  • Business name included in all tournament day material.

** All hole sponsors are welcome to station a company representative at their respective holes for further company promotion.

Latest Update

It has been a fast and furious past 5 months. Once again, we had a very successful Spaghetti Dinner in October. We were able to buy more cement, gravel and sand needed to make the bricks. As you may recall, the bricks are made one by one by hand. This is a long and tedious process as the bricks then have to sit and dry in the sun! We will eventually get this building built!

In November I was able to travel to Ghana and see the progress of the building as well as the children. I can not believe how big the children are now. They are acutally young adults. It has been 7 years since I first met them! The building has all of the footings and foundation completed. We were able to pay for the water connection to the building with some of the funds from the spagheti dinner as well. That is nice to finally have our own water line now.

In December I had an open house at my home to sell some of the great products from Adi’s souviner shop. I was able to sell lots of items and now we can get more sand, cement and the wood needed to help the project along. I still have items for sell and you can contact me if you wish to get some for gifts. I have bags, backpacks, carved wooden animals as well as bowls. All of the items are handmade and really great quality. i also have some nifty wallets that at one time I had sold out of. They are nice to keep a checkbook, coupons or other items organized in your purse.

We are now in the midst of selling cookie dough. We are working hard to earn more money. Please buy!!

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Below are some pictures of my November trip.

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Spaghetti Dinner and Silent Auction

It’s that time again for the annual spaghetti dinner and silent auction. We will be holding it on October 13 from 6-8 PM at the Hope Center in Roy. Roy City has generously donated the space for the dinner. This year we have the catering completely donated by the Olive Garden in Riverdale.  What a great donation!! We will be having their famous bread sticks, salad and spaghetti with sauce.

If you would like to help, please let me know. We need donations for the silent auction as well as baked goods for the dessert bake sale.

We always have a great turn out and this is one of our largest fundraisers we do all year. Come have a great dinner as well as look for some fun baskets to give as gifts or keep for yourself. Check out the slide show below for some of the donations and fun from last year’s dinner.

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