Monday, December 15, 2008

Dhanyabaad! Fundraisers in 2008

The Sam's House family stretches not only from Nepal to here, but all across the U-S of A. We are so grateful to the many people who take the time and effort to spread the word about Sam's House and raise a little money in doing so. In 2008, we were most fortunate to have the following groups/people/teams/organizations working on behalf of the children.

November 2008

- Kristine Segrist ran the NYC marathon, collecting pledges for Sam's House.

May-August 2008

- Liz Deegan and her Brownie troop hold a fundraiser in University Heights, OH.

- Pedaling Parsons of Canton, OH ride from Washington DC to Pennsylvania.

- Taylor Lundin holds a fundraiser with her friends from vacation Bible school at Grace United Methodist church in Canton, OH.

- In Morris, MN, the Pioneer Prairie Days' 5k, organized by Jen Lund, donates proceeds to Sam's House.

- The second annual picnic/pool party fundraiser in Bay Village, OH, draws big another big crowd and raises $12,000.

- Christopher and Kate Meleski hold a front yard lemonade stand in Ridgewood, NJ, for Sam's House.

- Proceeds from the Sammelson family garage sale in Red Wing, MN, support Sam's House.

April 2008

- The third annual Morris yard sale brings in money despite snow the day before.

- The nursery school at Rocky River United Methodist church holds a lemonade stand for Sam's House.

January 2008

Allison Coho and the students at Deer Run Elementary in Dublin, OH, collect over 100 bottles of vitamins for Sam's House. Sam's House is so well-stocked, they share the surplus with other children's homes in Pokhara!

Thank you, thank you, thank you... just as Sandeep lays a wet one on sister Jamuna, here's a big kiss for all of you...

Manju Update

In November, John P. Butler passed away. A huge supporter of our efforts, "Big," as we called him in the Butler family, wore his Sam's House t-shirt often and with pride. Everyone at Sam's House greatly appreciates the many donations given in his memory.


As you may recall, Manju had surgery a couple months ago to correct a cross-eye. Before the surgery, she was extremely shy to have her photo taken. Now she's an eager subject...

New Trustees--Gordon Friedrich and KC Cortinovis

Sam's House is very pleased to announce the addition of two new trustees to its American board.

Gordon Friedrich and KC Cortinovis come to us via the volunteer route. They quit their jobs in Boston (!) and spent four months at Sam's House in early 2008, working at the house and teaching at Gorkha English Boarding School. Spend two minutes at Sam's House and you will hear a Gordon and KC story. They are greatly missed by the children and didis.

Their enthusiasm and concern for the children are infectious and they bring some excellent energy to the board.

Today, Gordon and KC have relocated to St. Louis (KC's hometown) where Gordon works for Bank of America and KC recently landed a job with Washington University. We are most pleased to have them aboard.

Pritam and Prayan's Birthday

A few weeks ago, Pritam Buddhacharaya and his son, Prayan, decided to celebrate their birthdays with the Sam's House gang. (Pritam serves on the Nepali board of Sam's House. His wife frequently comes to the house to give free haircuts to the children.)

Pritam and his family are very dedicated to helping Sam's House. They regularly come to Sam's House on Buddha's birthday each spring and present gifts to all the children. The children also appear on a kids' show that airs on a radio station Pritam owns.

Here are a few photos from the day, courtesy of Dinesh.

Pritam's family with birthday cards from the Sam's House gang.

Babit giving a birthday card to Prayan.

Prayan handed out candy to the children.

Children enjoying dal bhat after presents (note Rina's head scarf, lower right).

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Deshain 2008

This week the important holiday of Deshain is finishing up. For the high days of Deshain, Dinesh tries to make arrangements to have the children celebrate with extended family and/or neighbors if possible. Not only is it fun day for the children, but it also helps them maintain some connections that could help their reintegration when they get older.

Unfortunately, some of the children don't have this option but they go home with Dinesh and celebrate with Rekha, Ritesh and Diksha.


Rekha gives tika to Kiran.

Ganga receives gift from Dinesh.

Sarita and Ganga.

Sarita, Tara, Kiran and the Twins.

(Sarita is wearing her new kurta surwaal. All the girls request this as their Deshain gift. Very spiffy.)

GEBS Parents Day

Last month, Gorkha English Boarding School hosted its annual Parents Day celebration, which consists of large variety show including all the grades performing dances, short plays and singing songs.

Needless to say, the SH gang was extremely excited to participate in the event.

From Dinesh: "The program was held in the City Hall in Pokhara. It started at 11.30 am and ended at 8.30 pm. Our children also participated in different activities mainly dancing, singing and acting on a play. Mina did Goldilock's role on the play. I tell you, she is a very good actor!!! Everybody praised her."

A few photos from the day...

Sarita and Sabita in class 1.

Kiran, Saran and the rest of the upper kindergartners sing.

Lower kindergarten sings.

Amrit in a musical number.

Goldilocks and the Three Bears starring Sam's House's own Mina (and if you've ever met Mina, you know she was born to act!).

Goldilocks lost in the woods...

Finding the right chair...

Tasting the porridge...

The Bears Return...

Friday, September 05, 2008

Manju's Eyes

If you've been reading our blog, you know that Manju, like many of our children, has overcome a lot of challenges from early in her life. She's one of the sweetest, shyest girls you'll ever meet. She lived with her grandmother and they were barely able to survive. Manju's grandmother told us that she rarely went to school, and when she did, she often had her pencils and books stolen by other children.

Now attending school, she has made great strides in her confidence and learning.

Manju has had a pretty severe cross-eye her entire life that was likely only to get worse. So thanks to a special donation, Dinesh arranged to have corrective surgery performed on her eye and it has been successful.

Here's a report from Jen on the surgery and aftermath...

"This morning Manju woke with her eye very red and watery. She had a scheduled follow-up appointment today, and Susma reported that the doctor warned her not to rub it (I am sure that is a difficult urge to resist). But he said her eye looks fine. She needs drops four times a day.

I had Dinesh show me the hospital bill. Not including medicines, it was
something like 6,000 rupees ($90), and the hospital gave a substantial discount (the
surgeon indicated to Dinesh he would work something out, once he learned who
Manju is), so the final bill (again without meds) was just over 1,900 rupees ($28).

Dinesh has been very proud of the fact that no other orphanage would have arranged this surgery for Manju. When he went to pick up Manju from the hospital, he had conversation with the physician's assistant:

Physician's assistant (woman): Is this your daughter?

Dinesh: Yes. She is not from my own family, but she is my daughter. I am
director of Kopila Children's Home, where she lives.

PA: But why this surgery for her? It is not essential. She can see fine, and
many, many people go through life with their eyes (crossed) like that.

D: We wanted to do this for her. We thought it would improve her life.

PA: What you are doing is a great, great thing. That is a very lucky little

Indeed, a great, great thing made possible by all of you who support Sam's House. Thank you so much.


Dinesh and Sushma with Manju after the operation.

Manju resting after the surgery at Manipal Hospital.

Sam Rothchild's Birthday

The children celebrated our namesake's birthday this week with a party, cake, and of course, much dancing.

Special to this year's celebration was that Jennifer, Sam's grand daughter, could be in attendance. She passed out candy to all the children.

Among the girls, Maya promptly collected it all from her younger sisters and put it in her box from which she doles out a piece every day. Such a responsible big sister she is. The boys, however, plowed through their stash in a single day. When asked about this, Bishal rubbed his tummy and responded, "dherai bhoklaagyo" (very hungry).

A few pics from the celebration...

Jen cuts the cake with Sandeep, the best cake-cutting assistant in the business. Bar none.

Mina and Maya kick things off.

Sabita, Saran, Kiran, and Suroj take a turn.

Rina, Bishal and Santosh cut a rug. Everyone else sings and claps along. In the lower left, you can see Saran picking up one of the twins. They are doing very well.

Monday, August 04, 2008

When Life Gives You Lemons...

The nursery school at Rocky River United Methodist raised over $300 for Sam's House selling lemonade. I'm not sure what they charged per glass but that's a pretty profitable operation.

Teachers Jeanette Lihani, Jane Murphy and Nancy Kleinert organized the lemonade stand and used the event to teach the children about Nepal and why children need help and homes. In addition to the lemonade, the children made Buddhist prayer flags and flags of Nepal.

That $300 will provide food to Sam's House for one month... 22 children eating for one entire month. That's pretty impressive.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Ganga and Jamuna (22!)

Everyone at Sam's House would like to extend our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Mary Dolores Barsh, who passed away this week, and express our most sincere gratitude for the gifts made in her memory. Dhanyabaad! (Thank you!)

The future lives of Ganga and Jamuna (below) are just two of the many your generosity will touch.


We have a limit of 20 children at Sam's House, prescribed by Dinesh, but recently he came across a case where he felt he needed to intervene on behalf of the children's health. From his e-mail...

"Here is more about the twins; Their names are Ganga and Jamuna (typical and common names for twin girls in Nepal and also in India) They are two years old. They were abandoned by their father before they were born and later by their mother when they were a year old. Their mother is said to be working in one of the Gulf countries, but nobody exactly knows where she is. So the girls had been looked after by their (maternal) grandmother, who is old and physically weak. She has to work daily to buy food. She digs sand from the river, carries it to the market and sells it for less than a dollar. She has nothing in her house except one or two cooking pots and a broken bed without a mattress. The grandmother sleeps on that bed with the girls.

Last week, I went to visit them. The grandmother wasn't there. Both girls were crying terribly. We assumed that they were hungry. A lady showed up from the neighbourhood. She came into the house and tried to heat the milk, but there was nothing to burn. They didn't have a stove. They had a fireplace at the corner of the house, but there was no firewood. So, the lady went to the nearest store, got a thrown paper box. She tore the box into small pieces and burned to heat the milk.

As you know that I had been supporting them by providing 15 kgs rice, 2 kgs lentils and milk every month for the children for the last 6 months. That was the only food to feed the whole family.

On Saturday, I heard that the twins and the grandmother were sick. So, I went to visit them. When I got there, the grandmother wasn't there. One girl was laying on the bed, had fever, she was crying and her nose was bleeding. Other one was standing at the door. She was also crying. She also had some fever. About 20 minutes later, the grandmother showed up. She had gone to collect some firewood. Then, I sent them to the hospital with Asuna. They were both examined by Dr. Malla. Fortunately, there was nothing serious. They just had viral fever. Then, we decided to take them into Sam's House. They are now getting better. Now, they are secured, loved and well taken care by our didis.

As it was a sudden decision to take them in. I now have to visit the local government offices and get necessary documents on their behalf...

So Sam's House now stands at 22 children. We have one extra bed that the twins will share. After acclimating by spending a few nights with the didis, they will room with Rina, Mamata, Pratima, and Kiran. I'm certain the older girls will be delighted to have younger sisters to look after.

Speaking of rooms, we are considering the possibility of buying our current house. We rent two floors of the three story building, as you may know, but buying the house will open up the third floor and enable us to admit up to 15 more children.

The house where Ganga and Jamuna lived with their grandmother.

Playing with Sandeep and Tara.

Taking a nap

Eating lunch with Prema.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Pedaling Parsons

Sam's House recently had the very good fortune of being selected as the sponsored charity for the annual fundraising rides of a group called the Pedaling Parsons, a group of Methodist cyclists who "shared a passion for cycling and mission." Starting in 1987, they began riding not only for fun but also to raise money for various charitable endeavors. Over the years, the Parsons have pedaled over 10,000 miles, raising more than $500,000! Incredible.

My brother-in-law, Tom Lundin and several members of the Lundin family (father Bill, brother John and nephew Tommy) rode last month on a trip from Washington D.C. to Pittsburgh, PA. This fall the Parsons will saddle up again for a ride throughout southeastern Ohio.

If you'd like more information about riding or sponsoring a rider, their attractive brochure (featuring many familiar Sam's House faces) is posted below. You can also see some excellent photos and reflections about the July ride on Pastor Don Richards' blog.

From all the Sam's House children, dherai dherai dhanyabaad!!! (Thank you!)

The Pedaling Parsons