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Happy 10th Birthday Aura’s House! Happy 21st Birthday to Aura!

30 June 2014 5 Comments

Sto. Nino Elementary School was the first of many successful education and classroom projects. Students receiving the good news. 2007.

What has Aura’s House done in 10 years? Well…

  • To date: raised over $103,000 USD for needy families.
  • Completed 81 Projects Total including:  17 Housing and Home Repair Projects, 21 Education Projects, 17 Income Generation Projects, 5 Emergency Projects, 19 Household Needs Projects, 2 Community Water Projects, and 1 Dental Health Project.
  • Built and furnished a house for Aura (this site’s namesake) and her family, sent her to secondary school for her teaching certificate, and funded her University education. Aura’s village also has received desks, educational materials, books, and running water for the Elementary School.
  • Inspired “Sponsorthon” at Children International which then became the Lift One Project. It now has evolved into “My Social Center” at Children International’s main site.
  • Worked with the non profit organizations: Children International, Kenya Kids in Need, The American University of Rome, The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, Child Focus Fund, and United With Hope.
  • Currently has 2 active projects to help provide tuition, education support, and supplies in The Dominican Republic and The Philippines.



Thanks to Aura’s House donors this year, an entire community in Tecpan, Guatemala have a beautiful new library.


Help Us Celebrate by entering our Birthday Raffle! Hurry, it ends on July 2, 2014 (Weds.)!

It’s our 10th birthday today here at Aura’s House. Thanks so much for all the support and encouragement over the years! We know that we are small, but we are proud of our little projects that make a big difference. Enter our Birthday Raffle (only two days left!) to help us celebrate and you could win $100 for yourself or favorite charity in the process.

Thanks to the small donations (usually just $10 or under…) of lots of people over the years, we’ve raised over $103,000 USD for housing, health, education, and income generation projects for needy children and their families and communities in North, Central, and South America, Africa, and Asia.


Happy Tenth Birthday Aura’s House!

Aura’s House was first launched on this day back in 2004 as a humble web page with one simple (but daunting) goal: to raise $4500 to build a safe, sturdy brick home for my sponsored child Aura Yesenia Solis Hernandez (age 10 at the time) and her family of Guatemala. See Aura’s family’s NEW HOME!
See their old house.


The old mud house and their new home (2005) before they added the final touches.


Happy Twenty First Birthday Aura!

In 2006 when AH partner, Anastasia Yecke and I visited Aura Yesenia Solis Hernandez and her family in Guatemala, we learned that Aura’s birthday is actually June 30th as well! (My updates from Children International always said June 6th on them.)

Today she turns 21 and is now, thanks to support from Children International’s sponsorship program and Aura’s House donors, a self-sufficient young woman with a high school diploma and teacher’s certification. She began studying at University in 2013 and is employed in her village as an Elementary School teacher. Read more about Aura’s accomplishments.

It has now been two years since Aura graduated Children International’s program. Luckily we are still in touch through letters and Aura’s House and CI continue to follow her progress as a young adult and University student.

Aura is now studying at Guatemala City's most prestigious university.

Aura is now studying at Guatemala City’s most prestigious university.

Site’s History and Partners

Never having ever participated in so much as a bake-sale before the first house project for Aura, I dutifully contacted, bugged, and pestered everyone I knew.  After about 5 months, it was done. $4500 raised, plus $500 for furniture and $700 for Aura’s school. Way more than I could have imagined.

Thanks to Anastasia Yecke (the first donor at the site whom I didn’t already know), she convinced me to keep the site going so we could raise more funds for needy families around the world. Today I have six wonderful and amazing partners who make this site possible: Anastasia Yecke, Mike Epler (whom I met while volunteering in Tanzania), Christina Sidoti (my former web student at William Paterson University in NJ.), Heather LaBonte Efthymiou (an amazing volunteer turned partner), Zoe (Courtenay) Honeycutt (one of our first donors turned partner) and Inga Katelari (yet another amazing volunteer turned partner.)

We also have had some wonderful volunteers and interns over the past few years.  In particular, we are grateful to volunteer, Mats Andersson for all his amazing help keeping the site up to date. THANK YOU so much for all you do. See a full list of all the wonderful volunteers we are thankful for.

Help us celebrate!

Please consider donating as little as $10 to one or more of our active projects. It is only through the accumulation of small donations from regular, everyday people that have enabled us to help so many needy families around the world. We may not be Bill Gates or Oprah, but we can all do our small part to make the world a little better for those trying to overcome extreme poverty. Consider helping a family who will never be able to repay you. (*Plus you may win a $100 Amazon Gift Card or Donation to your favorite charity which would be a nice bonus along with the non-material reward of helping fellow human beings.)

You can also email this post to ten of your friends or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.
Thanks so much! Happy Birthday Aura’s House and Happy Birthday Aura!

Best wishes,
Kristen, Anastasia, Mike, Christina, Courtenay, Heather, Inga, Mats, and The Aura’s House Team


Judy and Christopher of Zambia are still in school thanks to Aura's House donors this year.

Judy and Christopher of Zambia are still in school thanks to Aura’s House donors this year.





  • Anastasia said:

    Wow, ten years! I feel so privileged to have played a [small] role in helping with some of the many wonderful projects Aura’s House has funded through the years. Kristen, it is your incredible drive and passion for helping the less fortunate that has enabled the site to do what it has done…although I’m sure you’ll be the first to shrug off the credit and pass it along to the volunteers/partners/CI as you always do. But just once, give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back because Aura’s House was YOUR brainchild and YOU are the one who does the most (especially behind the scenes) to keep it going. THANK YOU KRISTEN AND THANK YOU *ALL* DONORS TO AURA’S HOUSE!!! 😀


  • Kristen (author) said:

    Aw shucks Ana. You have made me blush! 🙂 OK. Just this once. (Pats self on back.) It IS a lot of work and I often feel guilty that I don’t have time to give the site the TLC it needs. That said, stay tuned for some exciting changes in the year ahead. Shhh. Will fill you all in soon.

  • Sabrina Priebe said:

    Hi Kristen, great news! I am setting up a page but first have to figure out how to get back into the site. Thanks!!

  • Sabrina Priebe said:

    Hi, I was wondering if it is okay for a group sponsor, who is not the group leader, to set up a FirstGiving page for the child? (There would be no obligation put on other group members.)

    Please let me know and that will help my plans. Thanks!


  • Kristen (author) said:

    Hi Sabrina,
    Sorry. I am only seeing this now. Is this about the Gofundme page you made? Let me know if you have any other questions. Best,

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