Kili Climbers Profile: Scott Sadowski

On August 5 through 18 this summer, five avid supporters of House of Blue Hope are traveling to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania to meet the kids of Blue Hope, volunteer at the house, and help fund raise for the Foundation by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.  Every few days, we will highlight one of the outstanding people planning to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in an effort to raise awareness and fund for the House of Blue Hope Foundation.  Meet our fourth climber, Scott Sadowski:

As you may recall, my initial awareness and fundraising campaign “Climbing Kili for Kids” was in 2007 when I traveled to our future home site in Dar es Salaam and climbed Mt Kilimanjaro which is Africa’s highest peak at 19,340 feet.  As the organization’s CFO, we have raised over $100,000 since the 2007 appeal, we have grown from supporting 4 children to 19 children annually, and we run an annual operating budget close to $30,000.  Every incremental $1,000 supports an additional child for an entire year: housing, food, clothing, school supplies, and school fees. It is my job to take our financial resources and stretch them to positively impact many children’s lives in Tanzania.

During my time in Tanzania this August, I will spend my days at the House of Blue Hope, meeting with the kids and TZ staff and then assisting with some basic home repairs including a new paint job for the facility.  Although I know this will be a great personal experience, I will be making the journey with 4 US volunteers in order to raise awareness for the lack of education accessible to the underprivileged children of Tanzania, and to raise money for our great work we do to help address this “access to education” issue at a grassroots level.

Specifically, we are targeting a fundraising goal of $25,000 to expand our existing home site with the construction of a second floor, which would increase our bed capacity by an additional 12-16 children. I am hoping that you can help me in this fundraising effort. Please consider sponsoring my Tanzanian journey with a donation to the House of Blue Hope. Your contribution will have a significant impact on the organization’s mission to help children “overcome poverty through education.” In Tanzania, it is estimated that only 25 -30% of children attend high school. Since the organization’s founding, all of the children at the House of Blue Hope have been enrolled in the country’s best schools, and the 5 oldest students all graduated high school last year.

I sincerely thank you in advance for your consideration to support this endeavor.  By contributing, you will be giving the children of the House of Blue Hope brighter futures and helping us expand our ability to make an impact in one of the most impoverished countries in the world. Please spread the word to friends and family, and please feel free to contact me with any questions about my trip or about the House of Blue Hope.

Support Scott in his efforts here and join us in wishing him the best of luck in his endeavor to climb the tallest mountain in Africa!

Kili Climbers Profile: John Rossi

On August 5 through 18 this summer, five avid supporters of House of Blue Hope are traveling to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania to meet the kids of Blue Hope, volunteer at the house, and help fund raise for the Foundation by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.  Every few days, we will highlight one of the outstanding people planning to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in an effort to raise awareness and fund for the House of Blue Hope Foundation.  Meet our third climber, John Rossi:

In less than a month I will be leaving for a 2 week trip to Africa. Flight is booked, itinerary printed and just tonight vaccines were taken.  While I can’t wait for the safari, sightseeing and Kilimanjaro climb, I am equally excited to spend time at the House of Blue Hope facility.  For those of you who may not know, the House of Blue Hope in a non-profit organization established by one of my best friends, Billy Bludgus – more affectionately know as “Father Bill”.  Bill has been making an impact on peoples’ lives since I met him 10+ years ago at Saint Peter’s Prep.  After college, Bill decided to take his talents to Tanzania (ironically enough from South Beach) and started off helping a handful of kids get off the streets of Dar es Salaam in 2007.  Five years later, the small rented room has been replaced with one owned facility and a second rented building overseen by a full Tanzanian staff.  The HBH currently supports 19 children and teenagers who are enrolled in schools and doing well.  These kids have been given a chance to achieve something in life they otherwise would not have been given: a future through education and personal development. The concept is simple but the results are extraordinary and inspiring; knowing Bill, I am not surprised!  None of this would have been possible without Bill’s vision, drive and dedication, the support of HBH founders and the generosity of supporters and friends. I ask for your support to keep the House of Blue Hope running in the right direction for many years to come.  Please donate and make a difference today!

Support John in his efforts here and join us in wishing him the best of luck in his endeavor to climb the tallest mountain in Africa!

Kili Climbers Profile: Michelle O’Neill

On August 5 through 18 this summer, five avid supporters of House of Blue Hope are traveling to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania to meet the kids of Blue Hope, volunteer at the house, and help fund raise for the Foundation by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.  Every few days, we will highlight one of the outstanding people planning to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in an effort to raise awareness and fund for the House of Blue Hope Foundation.  Meet our second climber, Michelle O’Neill:

On August 3rd, I will be traveling to Tanzania, East Africa with the House of Blue Hope Foundation, a non-profit grass-roots  organization which was founded five years ago by my boyfriend, Billy Bludgus. The House of Blue Hope operates two residential learning facilities for orphaned and vulnerable children in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s largest urban area. The organization currently provides housing and basic necessities for nineteen children and teenagers, while enrolling them into local schools. In addition, House of Blue Hope supports the children’s development with extra academic, athletic, social, and spiritual programming at the main house.

During my time in Tanzania, I will spend a few days at the House of Blue Hope, working with the kids and assisting with some basic home repairs, including a new paint job for the facility. I will also spend five days climbing to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, which at 19,340 feet is the highest point on the African continent! Although I know this will be a great personal experience, I will be making the journey to raise awareness for the lack of  education accessible to the underprivileged children of Tanzania, and to raise money for the great work that the House of Blue Hope does to help address this issue.

I am hoping that you can help me in this effort. Please consider sponsoring my climb with a donation to the House of Blue Hope.  Your contribution, whatever amount, will have a significant impact on the organization’s mission to help children “overcome poverty through education.” Your donation will support current operations and could also enable House of Blue Hope to assist more kids. In Tanzania, it is estimated that only 25 -30% of children attend high school. Since the organization’s founding, all of the children at the House of Blue Hope have been enrolled in some of the country’s best schools, and the five oldest students all graduated high school last year!

Whether or not you are able to make a financial donation at this time, please send me a line or two of encouragement which I will take with me on my climb. When I need motivation to keep going, I will draw from my notes of encouragement to keep me going!

I sincerely thank you in advance for your consideration to support this endeavor. By contributing, you will be giving the children of the House of Blue Hope brighter futures. Please spread the word to friends and family, and please feel free to contact me with any questions about our trip or about the House of Blue Hope. You will certainly be in my thoughts and prayers during my time in Tanzania. I look forward to telling you the stories upon my return!

Support Michelle in her efforts here and join us in wishing her the best of luck in her endeavor to climb the tallest mountain in Africa!

Kili Climbers Profile: Billy Bludgus

On August 5 through 18 this summer, five avid supporters of House of Blue Hope are traveling to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania to meet the kids of Blue Hope, volunteer at the house, and help fund raise for the Foundation by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.  Every few days, we will highlight one of the outstanding people planning to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in an effort to raise awareness and fund for the House of Blue Hope Foundation.  Our first climber, founder and president, Billy Bludgus:

As many of you already know, I moved to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, East Africa in 2005 after graduating from college. I spent almost three years there teaching at a high school and working on community development projects. The largest project which I took on was founding the House of Blue Hope in 2007 with a few Tanzanian friends. This project focused on providing housing, basic necessities, and educational opportunities for kids in need. We started by renting a small room and brought four kids off the streets of Dar and enrolled them into neighborhood schools. Now, five and a half years later, we own our own facility and rent a second building. We support 19 children and teenagers who are all enrolled in schools and doing well. We have a full Tanzanian staff in Dar: two project administrators, a social worker, a teacher, a cook, house supervisore, and night watchment. We are registered as a 501c3 non-profit charity here in the U.S. and have a board of six directors who work hard to raise funds and awareness for our work.

Every summer I travel to Tanzania to check up on our work, to spend time with the kids, and to speak with our staff. We are constantly looking for ways to expand and improve our work. We recently constructed a well on our property so that we now have our own fresh water. Of course, in order to continue our work and to expand to assist more children, we need to raise more money.

In August, a team of us will be venturing to Tanzania for our annual site visit. We will be working with the kids and will spend a day painting the house. We will also attempt to summit Mount Kilimanjaro in order to raise funds and awareness for the House of Blue Hope. As you may already know, at 19,341 feet, Kilimanjaro is the highest peak on the African continent.

Support Billy’s efforts here and join us in wishing him luck in his climb!

Why House of Blue Hope?

Many well-meaning people start non-governmental organizations during their time abroad. Like Billy Bludgus, House of Blue Hope’s co-founder, they see a problem and want to help those affected. Unfortunately, the overwhelming number of these organizations are no longer in existence three years after they start.  What allows House of Blue Hope to continue its work over five years after its start?

Dedication from the Day One

In the first days of House of Blue Hope there was no physical house but merely rented rooms with kids serious about changing their lives and adults who refused to give up on them.

In-country Partners

There would be no House of Blue Hope without Daudi Mboma, the organization could not have navigated Tanzanian laws, contracts, building permits and school systems without his knowledge.

Low Costs/Donations Go to the Kids

The challenge of many nonprofit organizations is to maximize the percent of every dollar goes to those in need instead of fundraising and staffing costs. X% of donations to House of Blue Hope go to the project as costs are kept low by people like VP of Finance Scott Sadowski.

Fundraising Leadership

Strides for Kids, March Goodness, Blue Hope’s first book – each an idea created and executed by our Development Director, Jenna Riedi. House of Blue Hope has only been able to expand to a new class of younger boys and two locations because of her work.

Choosing the Right Kids

In order to become a part of House of Blue Hope the children have to show a willingness to dedicate their days to improving their lives and the lives of the other children at House of Blue Hope. Not every child is willing to make this choice and before children are allowed into the program people like our Social Worker, Sabas, ensure that they are willing to work hard at school and respect the other rules of House of Blue Hope.

 

Constantly Expanding Circle of Believers

Blue Hearts for Blue Hope is the kind of program that House of Blue Hope depends on.  A group of teachers, many of whom had never been to Tanzania nor met a child from House of Blue Hope, created a program for House of Blue Hope to increase awareness and raise funds.

Happy 5 Year Anniversary!

Today, February 15th, the House of Blue Hope Foundation turns 5 years old!  Over the past five years we have gone from supporting 4 kids in a rented room to now supporting 18 kids through school, owning our own building, renting a second  building, and instituting a variety of weekend and evening holistic  educational programs, all in the effort to drastically alter the lives of street children through education.  It’s been quite the journey!
Thank you for all your support and encouragement throughout the past five years.  We look forward to many more anniversaries and hope you will continue to support our mission and the children in the program.  Thank you!
Help us continue our success by donating here.

Blue Hope Welcomes Newest Board Member

We are honored to introduce the newest board member for House of Blue hope, Liam Ahearn!   Liam graduated from Georgetown University in 2005 with a BA in Economics and History.  At Georgetown University, Liam was also the Director of Community Service for the college’s local chapter of the Society of Collegiate Scholars.  Liam became friends with Billy Bludgus when they were classmates and teammates at St. Peter’s Prep High School in Jersey City where they also participated in a number of Christian service activities together.  Liam is inspired by the cause of the House of Blue Hope and the dedication and commitment of its staff.

Liam works as a Director at Capstone Advisory Group in New York where he provides consulting services to companies and creditors involved in distressed/bankruptcy situations.  Please join us in welcoming Liam to the team!

Thank you to St. Mary’s

President and Founder Billy Bludgus spent last weekend speaking at all of the Masses at St. Mary’s parish in Bayonne, NJ.  St. Mary’s has been a huge support in the founding and growth of Blue Hope since the project’s birth.  During this past visit, the people of St. Mary’s generously gave $2650 in the second collections during the Masses.  The House of Blue Hope is so grateful for the continued support and partnership with the people of St. Mary’s!

The Year in Review!

Highlights

2011 Expenses Breakdown

  • Seven boys between the ages of six and eleven, most of which had never attended any formal school, successfully completed their first year with exceptional grades!
  • Loyola Secondary School accepted two more House of Blue Hope boys.  This school has a reputation for excellence and preparing its students for college, we at House of Blue Hope continue to strive to give our kids the best Tanzania has to offer.
  • Five boys in the program graduate from Form 4 (the equivalent to High School in the United States).  Form 4 graduates are able to enter college or obtain a wide variety of well paying jobs in Tanzania.
  • Two boys passed the entrance exam and will begin study at one of the best college prep schools in Dar es Salaam.
  • An English teacher, George Mbago, begins regular classes for children at the house.  He is the newest addition to the House of Blue Hope

    House of Blue Hope Growth 2007-2011

    team and has over twenty years of teaching experience.

  • A water well was donated by The International School of Tanganyika (IST) Alumni Association.  House of Blue Hope now has its own source for safe, clean and easily accessible water.  Blue Hope is the official charity of IST Alumni and they continue to support the hopes and dreams of Tanzania’s most disenfranchised youth.

 

Happy New Year!

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your continued support of the House of Blue Hope.  We look forward to our continued good work with immense hope.  May the gratitude and hope of the holiday season be with all of us, our families, and our friends in Tanzania for the upcoming year.  Happy New Year!

And don’t forget to make your year end contribution to Blue Hope!  House of Blue Hope is a 501c3 not-for-profit charity that exists through the generosity of individuals and businesses throughout the United States and beyond.  Your gift is tax deductible and you can donate here.  Thank you!