Lodi Rotary Club had managed to save money on projects that came in under budget and donated $8,000 to the orphanage.

By Danielle Vaughn (Lodinews) |

Back visiting Lodi after moving to Ethiopia a year ago to help run an orphanage, Lodi Rotary Club member Jeni Elson thanked the club for its generous donations to the orphanage during the club’s meeting on Thursday afternoon at Hutchins Street Square.

“When Jeni went to Ethiopia, she was originally going for three months, and I asked her what we could do,” former Rotary Club President Sherry Cotta said. “She said they get clothes once a year, and they’d like clothes,”

Cotta, along with other club members, began shopping for the dozens of children at the orphanage. They were given a list of clothing and shoe sizes and how many were needed for each size.

“We ended up with everything she needed and a lot more, and we packed it into duffel bags that weighed 49 pounds so that they made the weight,” Cotta said.

“It cost $350 for an extra bag for her to take it to Ethiopia so we had one bag we paid for and one she used as her free bag.”

According to Cotta, the club had also managed to save money on projects that came in under budget and donated $8,000 to the orphanage.

“We knew that she would get three nickels out of every dime, and $8,000 over there goes a long way,” Cotta said.

During Thursday’s meeting, Elson’s presentation highlighted how the children benefited from the club’s generosity, thanking the members for their contributions.

“What you have done for 75 children in Africa is huge, and every child has been touched by the money you’ve donated,” Elson said.

When she first moved to Ethiopia, Elson assisted a friend with two orphanages, Lantu’s Home for Disabled Babies and Ebenezer Grace for children ranging from toddlers to teens. She said that the children at the orphanage only get two outfits per year, and by the end of the year, their outfits are worn through, so the clothing donation was a huge help.

Continue reading this story at Lodinews
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