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Calgary Brick employees band together to aid two families in Tanzania PDF Print E-mail
Written by HGO Staff   

CALGARY, Alberta (24 August 2010) - The lives of two families in Tanzania have been changed forever thanks to a fundraising campaign undertaken by some 40 or so furniture industry members at working at several local furniture stores here including The Brick, Bondar's Furniture and Nordesign.

The effort began earlier this year when Amy Ansell, daughter of Lenny Ansell - a sales representative at The Brick - accepted a temporary teaching assignment in Tanzania, located on the eastern shore of the African continent earlier this summer.

In a letter to her father, the 23-year old Amy Ansell described her work at an orphanage call Faraga in the town of Arusha - which she said "was by far one of the most moving and powerful days I have had yet" - and of her encounters with two children in particular, Ziena and Abiba. She was overcome after visiting their homes for the first time.

"Ziena's house is a room the size of a bathroom," she wrote. "Her whole family share the same bed (Mom, Dad, little sister and Ziena). Ziena's little sister is one year old and for her diapers, her mom is using a cloth. They barely have enough money to provide oatmeal for breakfast and both Ziena and her sister are severely malnourished. Their clothes look like they have not been washed in weeks, and they constantly wear the same clothes everyday to school.

"Abiba is a whole other story," she continued, "Her father left them when they were born and Abiba is responsible for her little sister Rokia, and her other younger sister who I cannot remember her name. Abiba's mother works early in the morning, till late at night."

She went on to tell her father that Abiba and her sisters sleep without blankets on a small couch littered with holes while her mother sleeps on a concrete floor. "Their toothbrushes are covered in fruit flies and do not even look like toothbrushes anymore," she related.

"Ziena, Abiba and Rokia come to school every morning with smiles on their faces that just light up my heart," she added. {After} seeing how they live, I admire them so much for being so positive when life for them is a constant challenge."

Amy Ansell (second from left) is seen here in the village of Arusha, Tanzania where she spent two months as part of temporary teaching assignment.

Responding to her call for help, Larry Ansell, his co-workers and friends raised $2,200 to help buy the basic necessities of life for these two families, including food, clothing, health care, diapers, furniture and more.

The money was raised by the staff at The Brick's Deerfoot Meadows store in south east Calgary as well as several others including Steve Angelo of Nordesign; Stewart Bondar of Bondar's Furniture; Helena Petrillo of Allegory Inc.; as well as Kari Lynn Grant, Keith Rodgers, Yelana Lerner, Nadine and Mike Wellwood, and Billy Lister.

"Every last cent was spent without dilution as Amy went and purchased everything herself," Lenny Ansell reported. "All too often we hear about supplies and money being sent to help others but by the time it gets to the intended participant it is watered down to be ineffective (but not this time)."

The senior Ansell also said that one sales person at the Deerfoot Meadows store was so moved by his daughter's letter that he pledged to sponsor one of the children until she turns 18.

"This will cost as little at $300 a year but it will change that little person's life," he said. "We in Canada often spend that at Tim Horton's in a year. In other words, one less coffee a day will change a child's life."

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Picture of the Day
Cantrex-golf-presentation (1)

Some 145 people from across the industry took part in Cantrex Nationwide’s annual charity golf classic recently. This year, some $10,000 was raised to benefit the ‘Take the Kids to Camp’ initiative of the Salvation Army. Here, Lt. Col. Sandra Rice (left), commander of the Ontario Central East division is accepting a cheque from CNW chief operating officer Jeannine Ghaleb and Jim Mahoney, vice president of photography and consumer electronics.



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