Open Hearts Big DreamsThe annual Open Hearts Big Dreams event benefitting Ethiopia Reads will take place Dec. 14 from 6 – 10 p.m. Featuring an Ethiopian dinner, entertainment, and silent and live auctions, the event will be held at King’s Hall, 2929 27th Avenue South, in the Mount Baker neighborhood of Seattle.

In a country where literacy rates are less than 50% percent, Ethiopia Reads seeks to improve children’s lives one book at a time. The Open Hearts Big Dreams annual event was started in 2011 by Ellenore Angelidis, in partnership with Ethiopia Reads, to give back to the birthplace of her adopted daughter, Leyla. In it’s first year, the event sold out and raised $45,000, well above the organization’s goal. Last year, we met our goal of $75,000. This year, we have even bigger dreams with a goal of $90,000.

For the founder Ellenore Angelidis, this cause is personal for many reasons. “Ethiopia has given my family so much. Not just our beautiful daughter, but joy, friendship, and perspective on many of the blessings we too often take for granted. Ethiopia is part of our family’s heritage now. And we want the same things for all children there that we would want for our own: a chance to learn, discover, and dream BIG Dreams.”

Visit to purchase tickets or donate to the cause. Tickets start at $45, and we encourage you to purchase them in advance online.

Ethiopia Reads is dedicated to empowering and strengthening communities in Ethiopia through the art of learning and the science of teaching. We believe that providing quality schools, books and learning initiatives that engage both the creative and logical mind will lead to a more resourceful generation of leaders in Ethiopia. Since 2001, Ethiopia Reads has built over 60 libraries and 8 schools, reached over 200,000 children, and provided training in library skills, literacy, and reading to the people of Ethiopia. The organization also conducts a sports for development program that mentors at-risk runners, offers them high-quality training, education mentorship, and places them back into our schools and libraries as mentors and teachers for the children we serve.

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