Lou Tauber, 13, Funds Spine Surgery for Natnael!

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.

Thanks again,

Dr. Hodes

* 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.

‘Making the Crooked Straight’ Wins Christopher Award, 2011!

Congratulations to Dr. Rick Hodes and all of those that contributed to “Making the Crooked Straight,” an HBO documentary about Dr. Hodes’ work in Ethiopia. The short film will be honored in April at the 62nd Annual Christopher Awards.

According to the official website (www.christophers.org):

First presented in 1949, the Christopher Awards were established by Christopher founder Father James Keller to salute media that “affirm the highest values of the human spirit.” Their goal is to encourage men, women and children to pursue excellence in creative arenas that have the potential to influence a mass audience positively. Award winners encourage audiences to see the better side of human nature and motivate artists and the general public to use their best instincts on behalf of others.

High School Students Raise Money for Rick!

In December, we posted an article about a fund raising effort by the Petoskey High School Student Council (see original article). The group of young leaders are looking to raise $5,000 to support Dr. Hodes’ work Ethiopia. The project is called “Dig Deep for Change,” and 100% of proceeds will go towards improving access to clean water in rural Ethiopia.

UPDATE: To date, the students have raised $4,130 nearly meeting their $5,000 goal! Keep up the great work, guys!

Petoskey High School Student Council supports Dr. Hodes!

30 Kids Who Need Your Help

BREAKING NEWS – Right now 30 kids in Ghana undergoing spine surgery by Dr. Boachie’s FOCOS team. We’re not fully funded, and greatly appreciate contributions – from small gifts to full sponsorships of $13K per child.

Click here for detailed information about each patient, and take a look at their shining faces below! Click to enlarge the images.

Click here to donate. Donations are tax-deductible and 100% of proceeds go towards my work in Ethiopia.

Thank you for the support,

Dr. Rick Hodes