The Greenes don’t see their kindness as charity; they see it as returning a favor they could never fully repay. Jeff and his wife Kristen had adopted two beautiful children, Tigist and Mihiretu, and taken them from a destitute Ethiopian village to their loving home in Portland, Oregon. After all the joy their children had brought into their lives, the Greenes were inspired. They knew they had to give back to the country that had given them so much.
In August of 2009, Jeff and his brother Scott Greene ventured to Dali, a small village much like where Tigist and Mihiretu were born. Hoping to learn how they could help, they were shocked and saddened by the thought of anybody, especially children so dear to their hearts, living in such conditions. At the school, some 2,700 students shared 20 inadequately furnished classrooms. Seven rooms had no furniture and most children sat on the rocky ground; the overcrowded schools were literally falling apart.
After having adopted two children from Ethiopia, we had a strong calling to give back to the country that has given us so much. Jeff Greene
“We found people filling their water jugs from dirty ponds and streams. Six thousand people live in Dali and there was no health care at all,” Jeff recalled. Having now witnessed the severity of the situation, the Greenes knew that they had to help.
With the help of their loving family, Jeff and Kristen launched a fundraising campaign back home in Portland, Oregon. Jeff's parents, Tina and George Greene, promoted A Glimmer of Hope at the Riversgate Church and The Reserve Golf Club. Jenner and Ryan Hildenbrand, and Scott and Laura Greene were also crucial in raising awareness, rallying support and fundraising.
Through A Glimmer of Hope, we were able to find a community in the same region where our children were born. The community of Dali needed help in many areas, and so we are able to put our efforts toward fundraising and drastically impact the lives of the people of Dali, not far at all from where our own children were born. Jeff Greene
Jeff’s coworkers at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney also pitched in by sponsoring a well for the Dali community. The Greenes' campaign raised $297,000 to fund 16 furnished classrooms, 14 latrines, a three-room health clinic and seven clean water points. Through A Glimmer of Hope, the Greenes' efforts will forever change the lives of thousands.