Thank you Lou Tauber, age 13! Lou is a 7th grade student in San Diego who heard about my work in Ethiopia, and decided to raise money for the cause as a Bar Mitzvah project*. He spoke with people, showed the HBO film Making the Crooked Straight, and collected donations. As a result, he was able to fund the spine surgery of 11-year-old Natnael, a boy living in an orphanage in Addis Ababa.
Natnael had been born with several malformed vertebrae, and his back was worsening as he got older. With Lou’s support, Natnael had successful surgery in Ghana in 2010!
This week Lou and his dad came to visit Ethiopia, and Lou met Natnael in person. Natnael expressed deep thanks to Lou for his efforts. See the photo below.
After all of that, when he was about to leave Ethiopia, Lou took off his sneakers and asked me to give them to a needy person. Take a look at this photo of Lou standing in the Sheraton Hotel while changing into other shoes.
Lou encourages other kids to do similar projects to help kids in Ethiopia. By spreading the word and making a concerted effort to raise funds, Lou was able to make an enormous impact on another kid’s life.
* A “Bar Mitzvah” (or “Bat Mitzvah” for girls) is a coming-of-age ceremony in the Jewish tradition. At the age of 13, young boys and girls meet certain milestones to confirm their transition into adulthood in the eyes of the community. Commonly, the ceremony is preceded by a “Mitzvah Project,” during which the young boy or girl completes a community service project.
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