Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Mother’s Day Cards Support Parentless Children

Share the Love With Mothers In Your Life, While Benefiting Bend-based Vima Lupwa Homes’ Zambian Outreach

(BEND, OR) What better way to show appreciation for the mothers in your life than with a card that helps support desperately poor orphan children? Cards featuring artwork created by Lister, an 8-year-old orphaned Zambian girl supported by Bend-based grassroots nonprofit Vima Lupwa Homes, are available now for $10 at Douglas Fine Jewelry in downtown Bend. For $20, Vima Lupwa will send each card to the moms, daughters, wives, sisters, grandmothers and other special people on your list. All proceeds directly benefit the Vima Lupwa Homes children in Luanshya, Zambia.

“Lister is attending the second grade and is an extremely sweet girl that loves to help with anything,” says Maleria Pratt, Vima Lupwa’s 22-year-old founder. “It took her a long time to warm up to me, but she would try to help me with everything. She is actually not living in our home — she is one of our community outreach children that we help buy school books for. After being orphaned, she was placed with her Aunt Foster, who is a seamstress. We bring all of our clothes to Foster to hem, and she also makes all of our school uniforms.”

Proceeds from card sales go directly toward meeting and sustaining the daily basic needs of Zambian orphan children living in and around the Vima Lupwa Home. Ensuring the children's continued health, providing education and job skills, maintaining their garden and chickens for food as well as for income, providing bicycles for transportation and supporting their new bicycle repair business are all components of Vima Lupwa’s plan to make the home self-sustaining over time.

A Central Oregon Community College student and Bend native, Pratt, founded Vima Lupwa Homes while still a teenager. “Honestly, I never saw myself doing this,” she says. “I never wanted to work with people full-time, but when I met the children and I saw there was a need, I had to. It’s one of those things where there’s not a whole lot of choice.”

Cards are available downtown Bend at Douglas Fine Jewelry Design in St. Clair Place on Minnesota Ave. (920 NW Bond St., Suite 106). Call 541-389-2901 for details, or visit visit www.LupwaHomes.org.

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