Children raise money for Ethiopian orphanage

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There’s a sign on a tree near the entrance of Beulah Beach off US 6 that reads “Sea shells from Africa.” A dozen people, mostly children, huddled in its shade by a towel full of everything from shells to slingshots. Nine children, whose families met while living at Beulah Beach, Ministry of the Christian and Missionary Alliance camp and retreat, are selling African goods they purchased during their time in Africa to raise money for an Ethiopian orphanage, Covenant Orphanage, outside of Addis Ababa.  “We want to raise awareness of the orphanage and the orphans in Ethiopia,” Amy King, 11, said.

For Miki Dutton, 13, the fundraiser is a little more real — he grew up in the Covenant Orphanage before he was adopted by the Dutton family in 2007. In September, Miki, his brothers, Zach, 8, and Drew, 5, and their parents are going to Ethiopia for about five months to adopt Miki’s older brother, Abra. “The money will help buy clothes, but now all the stuff (in Ethiopia) is getting expensive, so it will help, but not much,” Miki said. “The orphanage helps support families with money, so they could use the money to support a family or a kid.” At church last Sunday, the children saw photos of the orphanage and heard John Dutton, who lives at Beulah Beach and has been to Ethiopia with his wife several times; speak about the support the orphanage needs.

The four Dueck children, twins Josey and Ethan, 9; Jocoby, 11; and Ellison, 3, have lived in West Africa and have seen what life can be like in a developing country, Dutton said. The photos and stories about the orphanage, though were extra incentive to help, especially for those who haven’t been in Africa, he said. The sale started out as a way for the friends to raise money, but then turned into a mission. The children have been outside for five days — usually from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. — waiting for cars passing by to hold up their signs and wave the Ethiopian flags they colored. So far, they’ve made about $200, not counting donations. Among the items for sale are sea shells from African beaches, slingshots, bracelets, necklaces, shark teeth, anything the kids could get their hands on while they were in Africa, although they didn’t plan the sale until recently. The cost of items ranges from 25 cents to $5.The children plan to continue the sale for several days — potentially taking a break for a much anticipated fishing trip. They will be selling their goods from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. today, near the entrance to Beulah Beach, off of West Lake Road in Vermilion Township. Source (Morning Journal)