Watoto Wote Wazuri

Art, Hats, Shirts and More

Posted in AIDS Orphans, Giving back by Lynn Ouellette on 12/03/2009

When we go to Kenya, we will each be bringing at least one 50 lb suitcase (aka “duffle”) full of donations—we are each allowed to bring two 50 lb suitcases with our airfare , so I suspect that we will be putting plenty of donated items in our other large suitcases as well.

Today I learned that Blick Art Materials (www.dickblick.com) approved my request for donations for the Kenyan Orphan Art Project/Maine Art Exchange! I am very grateful to Jen McCutcheon who presented my proposal and to the company for their generosity and willingness to donate the materials. So, my suitcase will also have art supplies and, of course, the art from the Maine students.

I am delighted to be “paying it forward” with many absolutely beautiful hand knit hats that were made for me when I was having chemotherapy. I almost hate to part with some of them because they are so lovely and were made with such care, but I also hope to never need them again. And in Kenya, despite what would seem like a warm climate to us, hats are worn often during the “colder” days. Since they were made for my small, then hairless head, they are perfect for children and it feels wonderful to pass them on where I know that every single one will be fully appreciated.

Tom has a rather large collection of running T-shirts from running or working at races over the years. He hopes to share these as part of his running project and is working on getting some running shoes as well. He has ideas and room for other things………

We have been thrilled that so many people who have talked with us about this trip have asked about donations. If you would like to donate, there are lists of needed items on the KEST website. There are many of the most basic things that are needed. Some are things that may just be “hanging around” our houses and no longer being used. A few are things that need to purchased, but are relatively inexpensive. The links to the lists are below:



Though we would love to fill many, many suitcases, we are somewhat limited with space and will have a challenge if everyone chooses the bulkiest and heaviest items. But…..we’ll figure it out. We won’t turn away any donations.

I will also surely find a way to create some art for sale (maybe cards from scans of the childrens’ artwork, next year’s photo calendar, photographs, not sure yet) ……. with proceeds going to Nyumbani. So there will be an opportunity there as well.

And finally, I wasn’t sure I would say this because it seems uncomfortably awkward to me, but then I thought I should tolerate that because this is about these kids and their tremendous need and not what makes me comfortable. So we are not asking for this as donations are usually brought in material form, but if anyone feels compelled to make a monetary donation to Nyumbani ( www.nyambani.org ) we won’t discourage that….. and it would be very easy to carry.

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