Strides for Kids 2011!

Join us for our third annual 5K Walk/Run!

In addition to the walk, there will be games, a raffle, silent auction, food and refreshments!

Entry Fee:
$25 per participant preregistration (ends 6/3)
$30 per person day of registration
Children under 12 are free!

First 100 registrants will receive a free t-shirt!

Pre-register online:
www.razoo.com/story/Strides-For-Kids-2011

Pledges are also encouraged – those who raise the most in pledges will win prizes!

You can set up your own donation page online to collect pledges from friends, families and coworkers! Those who collect the most pledges will receive prizes. Simply go to:  www.razoo.com/story/House-Of-Blue-Hope-Foundation
click on “fund raise” and set up your page!

For more information contact Jenna Riedi at (608) 213-6591 or jriedi@houseofbluehope.org

Wicked Wolf Tavern Recap

On Friday, February 11th, the House of Blue Hope Foundation hosted a Happy Hour event in White Plains, New York at Wicked Wolf Tavern from 5:30pm to 7:30pm with 20 people attending and over $300 of proceeds.  This was the first event hosted in the area, however the strong turn-out and enjoyable evening will likely lead us to host another event here in the Spring.  A special thank you to Kate Sadowski and Tara Spector for organizing the event and to Wicked Wolf Tavern for being an excellent host.  We look forward to seeing many of you at our next event, thanks again for the support!

Join the Blue Hope Bracket Challenge!

Have a chance at winning a Starbucks gift basket of goodies and bragging rights in this year’s Blue Hope Bracket Challenge.  Simply donate $10 here and we will send you the id and password for our Yahoo Tournament page.  Remember, you must get your bracket in before Thursday’s game – so hurry and register now!  Please send any question you have to jriedi@houseofbluehope.org.  Thanks and good luck!

4 Year Anniversary

On February 15th, the House of Blue Hope turned 4 years old.  Over the past four years we have gone from supporting 4 kids in a rented room to now supporting 16 kids through school, owning our own building, renting a second building, instituting a variety of weekend and evening holistic educational programs, and partnering with a number of other non-profits throughout the country as we really try to address the root causes of why there are kids on the streets in the first place.  It’s been quite the journey!

Thank you for all your support and helping us be so successful.  We look forward to many more anniversaries and hope you will continue to support our mission and the children in the program.  Thank you!

House of Blue Hope Video

We are happy to present our new short video on the history of Blue Hope.  Special thanks to board member, Adam Weise, for creating it.  We hope you enjoy it!   Also, this video has been submitted into the TechSoup 2nd Annual Digital Storytelling Challenge and we have a chance to win some amazing prizes for our program.  Please vote here for House of Blue Hope before 2/11.  Thank you!

House of Blue Hope Happy Hour

Join us for a happy hour benefiting House of Blue Hope!  It will be held at the Wicked Wolf Tavern (166 Mamaroneck Avenue, White Plains, NY ) from 5 to 7pm on 2/11.  $15 bracelets purchased at the door  and $10 goes directly to helping the children in the HBH program!  $3 drink specials include all beers, well drinks, and house wine.

Can’t make it but still want to help?  Donate here:  http://www.razoo.com/story/House-Of-Blue-Hope-Foundation

Letter from the President

Dear House of Blue Hope Family,

Happy Holidays!  For my annual appeal this year, I wanted to include the following journal entry, which I wrote during my flight back from Tanzania this past August.  Whereas, this appeal certainly is a plea for your continued financial investment in our foundation and the work we do, I think it is equally as important to remind ourselves of our own philosophical and personal investment in who we are as a foundation, and the commitment we have to our work and to one another.  May God bless you and your loved ones during this holiday season.

15 August 2010

As I begin to write this, it is 7am in Tanzania and midnight in New York.  I am somewhere caught in the middle, both literally and figuratively.  Most everyone else on this flight from Dubai to JFK is sleeping, while I am trying to find words to express the deep and clear connection I feel between the two places I have equally called home for the past five years.  It is at such moments that I am reminded of all that binds us together as one human family, and causes me to wrestle to understand how sometimes we create a divide between the “developed world” and the “developing world” when we all co-inhibit the same marvelous planet.

I hope our foundation’s name continues to represent this sense of interconnectedness.  As the common color in both the U.S. and Tanzania flags, blue remains symbolic of our cooperation, collaborative partnerships, and mutual support between and among our board, staff, donors, and friends in the U.S., and those a part of our efforts in Tanzania.  Although our “house” in part refers to a physical structure in Dar es Salaam, I think it is more important to acknowledge our organization as a metaphoric “house,” under whose roof, we all come together as one family, united in the mission, vision, and values of the foundation, and committed to working together to make our one world a more just place.

These past two and a half weeks have provided me with many very encompassing opportunities to see how we are walking this path of social justice together on both sides of our work.  First, I spent 3 days at the end of July in Washington, DC for our first annual board and staff conference.  I am incredibly grateful for the insights gained from countless hours of conversations during that weekend, some of which lasted into the wee hours of the morning.

Directly following my time with our U.S. contingent in DC, I then took my annual ten-day trip to Dar es Salaam to meet with our Tanzanian board and staff, to check up on our work, and to spend time with the kids and youth who are a part of both our residential and outreach educational programs.  Again I was bombarded with countless insights during my time in Tanzania, and I encountered the typical Tanzanian hospitality and warmth at every turn.  I realized how much I miss living there full-time.

Thus, as I sit back here, some 35,000 feet above earth, and I reflect on what has come out of these trips – where we are as a foundation, where we are still committed to going, and what we have learned along the way – I cannot help to be filled with gratitude — gratitude for the work we do and for the people with whom we work, and the people who allow us to do it.

As always, in Hope,

Billy Bludgus

Season’s Greetings!

As we reflect upon this past year, we have many things for which to be grateful at the House of Blue Hope.

Ayubu went from a life on the street to now studying at one of the best schools in Dar es Salaam.

Billy Bludgus first met Ayubu on a street in downtown Dar es Salaam begging for money and Billy learned how bad his situation was:  he lived with his Grandmother who sold peanuts on the street, sadly she could not provide for him.  Ayubu was going to a poorly run school with over 70 students in his class and he was failing.  We brought Ayubu into the House of Blue Hope program, and thanks to support from you, he has now been accepted into Loyola High School, one of the best schools in Dar es Salaam, is doing well in his studies, and hopes to be a lawyer.

Rahim was referred to the House of Blue Hope by a Baptist church in Dar es Salaam.  He is eight years old and was not attending school at all.  His father has passed away and his mother is unwell, suffering from HIV.  Thanks to donors like you, he now lives in our house, where all his needs are provided for, and he will be attending Gonzaga Jesuit Primary School this January. Rahim loves school and when asked what his favorite subject is, he replied “all of them!”.  Rahim wants to be the President of Tanzania when he grows up.

Rahim enjoys school tremendously and hopes to be the President when he grows up.

This past year brought us many new children and the addition of a full-time social worker to our staff in Tanzania.  We now currently support 19 children of need along their educational journeys. Each is enrolled in school, is provided all his meals, is provided with clothing, has his health needs cared for and benefits from customized after school programs.  During this holiday season, we ask you to get involved by making a donation to help support our success at the House of Blue Hope Foundation.  Over 90% of every dollar donated is spent directly on the children in Tanzania.  We are incredibly grateful to all our supporters who allow our work to continue and grow. Without donors like you, Rahim’s and Ayubu’s stories would be very different today.  From all of us at the House of Blue Hope, we wish you a wonderful holiday season full of joy, love, and of course, hope.

Sincerely,

All of us at the House of Blue Hope

New Boys in the House!

Four new boys, referred to us by our friends at Habari Njema, have moved into the house. The House of Blue Hope continues to grow and shape the lives of more young children as they become young men. A big welcome goes out to the following boys:

Name                    Age        Region                   Grade of Study

Frank                      11             Kibamba                    Standard 3

Goodluck                  6              Kibamba                    Standard 1

Adam                      10            Kibamba                    Standard 2

Kelvin                      6             Kibamba                     Nursery

Halloween Fundraiser Recap

House of Blue Hope hosted a Halloween-inspired event at Wicker Park  in New York on Thursday, October 28th from 8pm-11pm.  With over 40 attendees and proceeds of $600, the event was a success.  We appreciate all the hard work from our event coordinators Jen Krasowski and Kate Sadowski and a special thank you to our raffle sponsors:

JackRabbit Sports 1255 Lexington Ave New York, NY

Arriba Arriba 1463 3rd Ave New York, NY

Pat O’Briens 1701 2nd Ave New York, NY