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The Power of Connection
Ellenore Angelidis, Executive Director

I was talking to a friend who is also an OHBD board member, about the human need to connect. We discussed how critiques and judgement cause us to want to defend ourselves and take away our opportunity to safely connect. OHBD progress these last weeks reminded me how amazing and powerful it is to associate closely with others. Our last event in 2020 was in Portland, early in the year before COVID-19 was a part of our daily reality. It was the result of my connection to Katie Bradley. We met virtually when she was waiting to bring her daughter home from Ethiopia and her art inspired me. She donated to our fundraising events and since has become one of our most popular illustrators.

She reached out to Lee Baughman, her art teacher, and he brought in his art classes to help create beautiful art with purpose for a number of Ready Set Go Books. This event was my chance to meet Lee and his team for first time. In chatting with him, I learned more about his passions beyond art. I suggested the sponsorship of a new book that combined Lee’s art and his role as pastor at his church. The new book, Wise and Foolish with his amazing art, was just published;see more below.

Mike Carr was a dear friend who supported our first efforts. Since his untimely passing, his family continues to support OHBD through the Mike Carr Legacy project. One of our new books, We are Better Together, was created as part of that project. This book was beautifully illustrated by a sculptor, Daniel Aklilu, with whom I connected via Facebook. He generously offered to illustrate a book for us, so I shared this wonderful story by Elizabeth Taylor, one of our volunteer authors who is a long-time friend of Jane Kurtz, our creative lead and another special friend.

Sultan Mohamed, one of our Board members, and I met when we were focused on fundraising events. He supported us in so many ways. He also introduced me to Lily Iyob who has volunteered with us since. He also recently connected us with Columbia Gallery which now carries our books along with amazing art and handcrafted items. Lily introduced us to Delish and we participated in first Seattle Ethiopian Day that  Delish hosted in 2019, and we were thrilled to be back in 2021. All these beautiful connections and supporters reminded me of some important principles:

1. We are all connected, some of us just haven’t met yet

It is easy to lose sight of this without taking time to reflect and be grateful. You need to take the time to listen and learn in order to make these connections real and meaningful.

2. When we volunteer our talents, we learn and grow too.

I had no idea all of the wonderful people, experiences and insights that were ahead for me when I started on this journey. Volunteering has opened up so many possibilities to learn and grow, I find it hard to keep up with them at times.

3. Opening your world to people you wouldn’t usually meet opens up rich opportunities

My lived experience has benefited so much from travel, from being challenging and exposed to those with a different set of experiences. Founding and leading this organization has taken it to a whole other level and I look forward to more of the same.

4. The positive ripples keep growing and creating more ripples.

Every connection leads to more connections and each of them to more still. The impact continues to grow and expand in beautiful and unexpected ways. Thank you to so many who connected and connected us with others. We are excited to continue to use these ripples to benefit kids in Ethiopia and around the world.

Special Thanks To Our New Sponsor!
We love our longtime supporter, Lee Baughman, who has helped us illustrate many beautiful RSG books with the help of his talented students. Now we're also grateful to Open Door Fellowship Portland for sponsoring and illustrating our new book, Wise and Foolish, which is based on a classic parable. When older brother chooses a location to build his home, his father calls him foolish. But older brother is stubborn and builds his home there anyway. With the help of his community, older brother works hard and the home is built. But when the rains come and wash his home away, older brother must learn from his foolish mistake. Will he be wise enough to build a sturdier home on a more solid foundation?

Thank you Lee and Open Door Fellowship for your incredible support!

Would you like to sponsor a book? Do you know an organization that would be interested in sponsoring one? Connect us!
We are Better Together
Introducing our newest book in the Mike Carr Legacy Project inclusion series, We Are Better Together. Celebrate the differences that make us unique in our book about the beauty and strength of inclusive communities. We're thrilled to feature a new illustrator to Ready Set Go in this title: Daniel Aklilu. Daniel is a full-time artist and professor at the Alle School of Fine Arts and Design at Addis Ababa University.

Read more on the blog.
OHBD At Ethiopian Day 2021!

We had a blast at Ethiopian Day and Ethiopian New Years Celebrations 2021 in Seattle parks! Thank you so much to Delish and to the Ethiopian Community Center for inviting us to participate. We enjoyed seeing old friends and making new ones! We had a great time sharing our books with eager young readers and celebrating Ethiopian culture, cuisine and the beginning of the Ethiopian New Year. Thanks to everyone who dropped by to say hi or pick up a new book! We hope to see you again next year!
Where in the world are Ready Set Go Books?

Where in the world are our #ReadySetGo books? Our new coloring book is popular in the UK while Andromeda, Princess of Ethiopia  has found readers in Italy, Spain, Germany, Canada, the US, and the UK! Thirteen Months of Sunshine is popular in Japan, while Yellow remains a top seller in the US. Wherever you are in the world, there's a RSG book for you. Thank you for your support!

Where Do Dreams Grow?
The Boy Who Never Gave Up
The Runaway Injera
Thirteen Months of Sunshine
Andromeda, Princess of Ethiopia
Stories From Ethiopia Volume 1
Surprise on Lake Tana
Little Lion
August Bestsellers

Last month our most popular titles included legends from Ethiopian history, stories based on popular Ethiopian terets, a mischievous monkey, a brave lion and a look inside the heads of some of Ethiopia's unique animals. Check out the list and find a new #ReadySetGo book to read. If you'd like make a video reading one for our books for our YouTube channel, contact us! We'll send you a free one!

Andromeda, Princess of Ethiopia
What Do Animals Think About?
Market Day
A Big Hunt For Little Lion
Thirteen Months of Sunshine
The Runaway Injera
I See You
Monkey In The City
You Can Help Support Literacy!
  1. Do you know organizations serving Afaan Oromo speakers? We want our books to reach more kids and families who speak Afaan Oromo! Connect us!
  2. Share this newsletter with 10 people you think would enjoy receiving each month and ask them to sign up. It's FREE!
  3. Create a video for our YouTube Channel. We will send you a free book!
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Open Hearts Big Dreams Fund · Editor - Anna Graham · 3518 241st Ave SE · Issaquah, WA 98029 · USA

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