Kids who don’t have food to eat, can’t learn!

Dear Friends, This is why Light Up Hope has a piece of my heart. Years ago, I was a first-grade teacher in California. I was fresh out of college and was hired to teach in a small school where 90% of my students were the children of migrant farm workers. These parents worked very hard all day for very little money. The school received special funding for supplies and most of the children were enrolled in the free lunch program. For them, a mere human need – food – was a “luxury.” For many of the children, lunch was the only real meal they would receive that day. This was not because they were neglected. Their parents simply could not afford to fill the refrigerator with food. I saw firsthand how hunger can affect a child’s ability to learn. Hunger makes it hard ot focus, hard to retain information, hard to learn. So I started stocking my supply closet with granola bars and fruit. I also started buying school supplies during Back to School sales, to use as “prizes” in the classroom. I loved to see how the kids’ faces would light up when they chose a box of crayons […]

How a university education changed my life!

Dear Friends, My grandparents and parents were migrant workers; they traveled between Colorado and Texas for work. My grandparents on both sides of the family have no higher than an early elementary education. While growing up, my Dad and his siblings went to school in Colorado for part of the year. When the work was done in Colorado, they went back to Texas with their family and went to school there for the other part of the year. When my Dad was in 8th grade, my grandparents decided they wanted something better for their kids. They wanted them to finish a full year of school at one location. My grandparents decided the way to achieve this goal was to move to Ohio to take factory jobs and raise their kids. For my grandparents, high school education was vital, and they pushed my father and his siblings to do great in school and achieve this goal. However, once my Dad received his high school diploma, he realized even that would not be enough and that he would need a university education to truly get ahead in life. My Dad held a full-time job, had a family, and went to night school […]

Meet Our New Director of Kenya Operations

My name is Augustine Mumia Wanyama. I turned 36 years and I am married to Everline Nanjala and a father to five kids. I am a third born son and child to my mother Florence who is the second wife to my father Andrew. In total, my mother gave birth to ten of us. Our rural home is in a town called Bungoma which is found in the western part of Kenya. Due to the climatic conditions, my home area is one of the poorest areas in Kenya. This, among other factors made our lives very difficult as we grew up. It was a total struggle but all in all I am where I am. Most of my brothers and sisters dropped out of school due to lack of school fees. After I graduated from high school, I managed to come to the city of Nairobi. At that time I had nothing; no high school certificate of any kind nor a national identity card, I just came. That was back in 2001. As I got used to Nairobi I came to learn a lot. Among these was the common sight of the street kids. I felt bad whenever I saw […]

What inspires generosity?

What do we need to feel inspired to give?  Does a child have to suffer to make the need urgent enough to forgo our shopping lists?  Can we support children to reach for the dreams, not simply end their suffering? Can we give generously without attending a party complete with a linen tablecloth, a three course meal and a fancy dress? al·tru·ism ˈaltro͞oˌizəm/ – noun – the belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others. Light Up Hope believes in the goodness of the human spirit. We believe altruism is alive and well.  We believe in the individual’s desire to help those who need help, and to take a swing at structural poverty by standing up and saying “I can help and therefore I Will help”.  This strong belief is why we are not holding an annual gala this year, and are instead holding a Stay at Home Gala/Annual Give.  And our founders are willing to match every gift through October 15, 2015 up to $40,000 to show we believe our supporters will donate to heal and care for orphans without needing to receive a party in return.   Are you in?

Barn Fire was a Huge Success!

Over $127,000 raised at Barn Fire Saturday October 4th, Light Up Hope held our second annual Barn Fire Fundraiser.  This year it was held at the DoubleTree Hotel in Westminster, Colorado.  250 people attended and heard Cheryln Morin share about her relationship as a child sponsor to Hilary and how that relationship has impacted her life.  Founders, Mike and Kelly Little, shared about the history of Light Up Hope and the vision for the future: uniting community involvement and empowerment programs to light a path out of poverty for orphans in Kenya.  $67,000 in donations were made at Barn Fire allowing Light Up Hope to receive the full matching gift donation of $60,000. We are overwhelmed with gratitude for the incredible generosity of the people who attended Barn Fire and are excited for how this money will be used to change lives.  To learn more about how the money will be used, read our blog: Where is this money going anyway? $60,000 Matching Gift Announced!