Let's steer away from the house renovations  for a moment and visit a much more important subject: providing children an opportunity to learn.

Last Friday night, I spent the evening photographing the Art Aid for Tesfa Benefit.  Talking to people who are so passionate about Africa, art, children, teaching, learning, and providing opportunities for those less fortunate is always incredibly humbling (and inspiring!). As the keynote speaker talked about her experience in adopting one of her daughters this summer, the lump that swelled in my throat revealed a passion that has been in my heart from the moment I set foot in South Africa five years ago. Those experiences have helped to shape the way I see the world and have forever changed the way I interact with it. I could confidently say if you have never had the privilege of exploring African soil, this Benefit would have given you a small, beautiful taste that would move you into action.

Many companies throughout Michigan participated in the event, including Black Star Farms, one of my favorite vineyards in the state. Their wine bottles were decorated with the fingerprints of the children whose lives are changed through this organization.

The rows of art made by Ethiopian children represented two things: a group of people who have made it their life's purpose to give children a chance, and children who have been given it. Each piece is a story of hope.

Guests bid on silent auction items throughout the evening, with multiple pieces being  framed art from Ethiopian children. One piece now sits on my nightstand, waiting for a spot in the new house :)

Ethiopia Reads, Tesfa and Art Aid have now combined forces and resources in order to be more influential and beneficial. If you are interested in learning more about the mission of this organization and the simple ways you can change a life, visit their website here:

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