Friends of Orphans Organizes 5K “Turkey Trot”

Nine volunteers ran in the first annual 5K “Turkey Trot Road Race” around campus on Sunday to raise money for Friends of the Orphans, an organization that works to improve the lives of orphaned, abandoned and disadvantaged children in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Tori Morgan ’13 and Jordan Johnson ’13, who founded the Andover branch of Friends of the Orphans this year, organized the run and a bake sale to raise funds and awareness for the organization.

So far, the club has raised over $400 from the bake sale, registration costs for the run and donations, according to Morgan.

The money will benefit the two children the club is currently sponsoring, Alejandra and Albet. Alejandra is a 14-year-old from the Dominican Republic, and Albet is a seven-year-old living in Honduras, according to Morgan.

Although only nine participants ran in the race on Sunday morning, over 35 signed up and paid the $10 registration fee.

“This fundraiser was definitely a success. Even though the run itself wasn’t big, we raised over $400, which will go a long way for our sponsor children, and we publicized the new Friends of the Orphans club,” said Morgan.

Morgan and Johnson are planning another bake sale and hope to co-sponsor a dance with Alianza Latina to raise more money for the club’s cause. They also hope future events will help build the on-campus presence of the club, which currently consists of about 20 members.

Morgan and Johnson were both inspired to create the Friends of the Orphans club after working with the organization off-campus. Morgan participated in a weeklong service trip to a Friends of the Orphans home in Honduras when she was in eighth grade, and Johnson interned for the organization in Chicago this past summer.

“While I was [in Honduras], the children’s contagiously joyful dispositions really struck me. Even though many had lost family members or possibly suffered abuse, they were some of the most genuinely caring and happy kids I’ve met,” said Morgan.

“[Friends of the Orphans] provides a really great way for the orphaned children to eventually become part of a community,” said Johnson.

“After bouncing through different clubs at Andover and never finding one I truly loved, I decided to bring Friends of the Orphans to PA and share it with the school community,” said Morgan.

“This is one of the few clubs I’m really passionate about. I think it’s great that we can all rally together in support of the welfare of children, which will always be such an important cause,” said Corinne Singer ’15, a member of the club.

Friends of the Orphans provides fundraising and volunteer work for “Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos” (NPH), Spanish for “Our Little Brothers and Sisters,” a network of orphanages in Bolivia, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Peru, according to the Friends of the Orphans website.

Friends of the Orphans aims to provide children with a stable living environment in order to keep them from living on the streets. The children who live in NPH orphanages have access to healthcare and attend school for free with the donations accumulated by Friends of the Orphans, according to the website.

“I think the organization is doing something really honorable. It not only gives money to children who are orphaned, but to those whose parents are unable to take care of them. The fact that they take care of both education costs and medical care is fantastic,” said Bianca Navarro Bowman ’15, a member of the club.