As published in Scotsman Guide's Commercial Edition, May 2008.
Name Lauren Huffman, commercial mortgage broker, Bankers Mutual
Project Climb for a Cause for Nomad Charities
How From Sept. 22 to Oct. 2, Lauren Huffman and her 11-year-old son, Parker, will climb the 19,340-foot-high Mount Kilimanjaro -- the highest peak in Africa -- to raise funds to build an orphanage in Kibwezi, Kenya.
Each individual climber must raise $10,000 to participate in the event. Huffman and Parker are engaging local businesses, community members and schools in their hometown of West Linn, Ore.
"It's a small community, so it's easy to raise money," Huffman says. "People are basically saying, 'Just tell me how I can contribute.'"
Parker even sold 500 bracelets made by Kibwezi villagers at his school, according to Huffman.
The proceeds of the group climb will go to Nomad Charities of Bend, Ore., a group Huffman's sister-in-law and another relative founded. The organization helps people impacted by HIV and AIDS in Kenya.
Nomad's current project is building a 36-bed orphanage in Kibwezi that will double as a community center. It is scheduled for completion this fall.
Why In 2002, the group's founders quit their day jobs to start Nomad after a humanitarian trip to Africa. Huffman got involved soon after and has now visited Kenya five times. Each time, her colleagues from Bankers Mutual have sent money and supplies with her.
Nomad started by rebuilding schools and soon increased its involvement in the area, which is home to about 10,000 people, Huffman says.
"Now we know almost all the people in the village," she says.
Impact In 2007, another climb raised $85,000 for Nomad Charities. Its goal this year is $100,000.
After completing Kibwezi's orphanage and community center, the organization plans to set up a women-owned farm co-op. It also will continue its work with the Kenyan Ministry of Health to offer free medical clinics, in addition to its efforts to find financial sponsors to help local children go to school.
Try it www.nomadcharities.org
Melinda Young is an associate editor at Scotsman Guide. For questions or comments on this article, call (800) 297-6061 or e-mail email@example.com.
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