Letter from Kerry Olson, Founder and President Emeritus

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Dear Friends and Family,

This month I will be marking a milestone birthday—my 60th.   In lieu of presents or a party, I’m asking my friends and family to join me in celebrating the gift of hope by making a donation to Firelight on this link to my birthday fund campaign: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/kerrybirthdayfund

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The past several months have been challenging for many of us, awakening a profound awareness of the fragility of the things we take for granted and a renewed sense of the importance of being informed and staying engaged to uphold the values we hold most dear. 

Dave and I started Firelight Foundation in 1999, and in years that have followed we have been humbled and amazed by what grassroots activism and community leadership can achieve in the face of great challenge.  African community organizations have taught us so much about the power of people working together to make the world a better place.  Their inspiring example fuels my hope—both as I look at the profound challenges that face African children and youth today, as well as the recent events closer to home.

We care deeply about what is currently happening in our own country, and at the same time, we remain very aware of our commitment to children in greatest need globally.  Despite “America First” rhetoric, this is not an “either/or” equation.  Justice, compassion, and generosity are universal qualities that open our hearts to see beyond borders. 

I continue to believe that the best thing we ever did was to invest our funds, time, and energy–together with hundreds of others including grantee partners, donors, staff, and volunteers—to make a lasting difference in the lives of thousands of African children, youth and families.  Thanks to the support of many, Firelight continues to grow in spreading goodwill and creating brighter futures.  

I’m so grateful for this journey, for the lessons life brings, and for the opportunity each day holds.  If you are inspired to do so, I hope you will join me in “doubling down on hope” by making a gift to Firelight—each dollar will be generously matched by my husband Dave (his gift to me). 

With love and gratitude,

Kerry Olson
Founder and President Emeritus | Firelight Foundation

To learn more about Firelight’s work, please visit www.firelightfoundation.org.


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