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Aura's Drawing

Aura’s Drawing

Aura’s House is a grassroots online project that raises funds for housing, health, income generation, and education projects for needy children in developing countries.

It was originally created to raise $4500 to build a safe, sturdy brick home for Aura Hernandez and her family in Guatemala. Since our goal was met in November of 2004, we decided to launch other small projects that bring big changes to the lives of families in developing countries. Aura’s House At A Glance.

$107,831 raised to date for needy families. View our stats.

See Aura’s family’s NEW HOME!
See their old house.

Blog Post: More About Aura’s House: 5 Reasons Why We’re So Gosh-Darned Special

We’ve been working in conjunction with the top rated US charitable organization, Children International since February of 2003. 100% of proceeds go to our projects (*With only the exception of our now completed Emergency Education Project in Nigeria and current Emergency Education Project for Yacn of Tanzania.) All persons working at Aura’s House do so on a strictly volunteer basis only.

In addition to CI, we are also work with the non-profit organization, United With Hope, a Georgia 501(c)(3) organization for our recently completed Emergency Orphan project in India. We have also worked with Kenya Kids in Need, a California 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to the Galilee School as well as Child Focus Fund, an Illinois 501(c)(3) organization that helped us with our Ghana Project. Aura’s House, KKIN, and CFF are all 100% volunteer organizations. 100% of the money donated goes to each project.

We pledge to update donors on our progress with weekly updates to the website and via our quarterly newsletters. All projects* on the Aura’s House site are 100% US tax deductible. (*With only the exceptions of our now completed Emergency Education Project in Nigeria and Emergency Education Project for Yacn of Tanzania.) After donating, your official tax deduction receipt from Children International will be mailed to you within a few weeks.

About the Site’s Authors

Kristen Palana is an Associate Professor of Digital Media at The American University of Rome in Rome, Italy. She was Aura’s sponsor through Children International until Aura graduated from the program in 2012. Kristen is currently working with Aura’s House Partners, Anastasia Yecke of Miami, FL., Mike Epler of Simi Valley, CA., Christina Sidoti of Sweden, Heather LaBonte of Cyprus, and Inga Katelari of Cyprus. We also have the wonderful web help and support of volunteer, Mats Andersson of Ystad, Sweden. Other interested volunteers, donors, alumni, and students from William Paterson University of New Jersey and The American University of Rome also participate in keeping the site going.

Kristen has a proven record of volunteering in developing countries. Feel free to check out photos from her volunteer experiences in India (2000) and Tanzania (2005) through Cross Cultural Solutions.

This Site’s History

This site originally began in February 2003 when Kristen was learning PHP programming and adding dynamic content to websites. She decided to create this site that combined her two biggest interests; art/multimedia and helping people in developing countries. The site has changed a lot since then, both in design and function. After waiting over a year for all the required permissions, finally on June 30, 2004 the site was ready to launch. In January of 2009 the site entered its current form as a WordPress hosted site.


Volunteers at the site are students and faculty from the William Paterson University of New Jersey, students and faculty from The American University of Rome, and Children International representatives and interested people from all over the world. Join us! Names listed below are past and current volunteers.
Contact us: contact (at)


Aura’s House Creative Partners:

Kristen Palana -Rome, Italy
Anastasia Yecke -Miami, FL
Mike Epler -Simi Valley, CA
Christina Sidoti –Ystad, Sweden
Heather LaBonte Efthymiou -Cyprus
Inga Katelari -Cyprus

Graphic Art and Graphic Design:

Tiffany Brooks -FL
Tom Uhlein -NJ
Nancy Fischer -NJ
Amanda Snyder -NY
Courtenay Honeycutt -IN
Maggie Fridman -NJ
Ozzie Rodriguez – NJ
Dorota Migdal – NJ
Diego Alvarenga -NJ
Carly Minardo -NJ
Daniel Abruzzesi -NJ
Mike Felber -NJ
Sam Abdallah -NJ
Lauren Razzore -NJ
Lakshmi Ganapathy -IN
Kristen Palana -Rome, Italy

Web Design and Maintenance: Kristen Palana -Rome, Italy
Christina Sidoti –Ystad, Sweden

Special Thanks:

Lauren Jurgens -MO
Kevin Nix -MO
Rick Thiede -MO
Tina Palcher -MO
Alessandro Signorini -Rome, Italy
Christiane Relvas – IL
Rebecca Spitzmiller -Rome, Italy
Pete Easton -NY
Susan Aviner -NJ
Lori Kays -MO
Damon Guinn -MO
Dolores Kitchen -MO
Vickie Wiedenmann -MO
Greg Jones -MO
Kerry Duvall -FL
Michael Hemling -Rome, Italy
Lukas & Nico -Rome, Italy

Web Help: Mats Andersson -Ystad, Sweden
Courtenay Honeycutt -Indianapolis, IN
Jennifer Sharps -Rome, Italy
Josephine Kukla -NJ
Christina Vermeal -NJ
Mike Epler -CA
Kevin Nix -MO
Rick Thiede -MO
Tina Palcher -MO
Inga Katelari -CyprusTranslations:Mariana Gil Sir -VenezuelaFundraising and Promotions Help: Inga Katelari -Cyprus
Alessandro Signorini -Rome, Italy
The Students at The American University of Rome -Rome, Italy
Tina Giraldi -NJ
Maria Villar -NJ
Michael Hemling -Rome, Italy
Amber Vasquez -FL
Lauren Razzore -NY
Courtenay Honeycutt -IN
Kristin Isakson -NJ
Carina Wise -NJ
Michele Catalano -NJ
donation button I prefer to donate offline.

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