BENEFITING: Children International
Lori Peikoff, long-time sponsor for Children International, NPR-featured storyteller and well-known dog behaviorist in Los Angeles, California, was recently diagnosed with lung cancer. This life-changing news inspired Lori to embark on an extraordinary campaign to help impoverished children in Zambia, the African country where she sponsors three children:
Ever since I was a young child, I’ve had an innate connection with Africa. That connection has not diminished over the years, in fact, it grew stronger. In 2008, I discovered an amazing organization called Children International, and among the 340,000 children they help all over the world, I was excited to find out I could sponsor kids in Zambia. I envisioned that one day I would travel to Africa and meet my three precious children who I have sponsored for more than six years. In October 2015, I hope to fulfill my dream and visit 13-year-old Nelya, Francis, 15, and Joyce, 11.
It's good to think big! I always have, and at the age of 54, I’m not about to change. When I first started sponsoring my children, I discovered that each child slept on the dirt floor in their family home. (By the way, many of their homes are the size of my kitchen in the U.S., about 10 square feet.) I immediately bought each child a bed and everything they would need for a good night's sleep: a mosquito net, pillow, blanket and sheets. No doubt all their siblings joined them nightly. I had hoped one day to be able to purchase beds for all the children in their families.
Then, a few months ago, I was diagnosed with lung cancer. Needless to say, I was shocked at the news, but truthfully my life has been full of blessings … I am filled with gratitude for all of them, both past and present. My current health circumstances have pushed me to do the thing that seems most natural – to help others who need it more than I do. There are plenty of people that fit that bill. So I created (with the support of Children International) a fundraiser called “Operation Sweet Dreams – Zambia.”
Now my dream – and goal – is to give beds to 5,000 additional children in Zambia. I want to get ALL of these children off the dirt floors and provide them each with a bed that every child deserves! I want to use my illness as a force for good and help lift these children up off the floor one bed at a time. I am fearless of what the future holds and determined to use this cancer for good. I hope you will help me in whatever way you can. No donation is too small, especially when one's heart is so big!
A great friend of mine who is a Buddhist recently told me, "You can't control the waves but you can learn how surf." Surf's up, my friends. Surf's up!
Every $200 will provide a child with a mattress, pillow and bedding. Will you join me and help 5,000 children in Zambia have sweet dreams?