The Results of our Ebola Relief Fundraiser on December 8th at Umana Restaurant

What an amazing event we just pulled off. What a truly incredible night. When we started planning for this fundraiser, our goal was to sell 50 tickets and make $1,000 for Ebola Relief. On Monday, December 8th, not only did we meet our goal, we far surpassed anything that we could have ever imagined. It is clear that we underestimated the generosity of our community here in the Capital Region and the dedication of our members.

After a night of prizes, inspiring speakers, and great music coupled with great food, drink, and conversation, we are pleased to report that we sold over 90 tickets (bringing the restaurant to capacity) and raised $4,402 and counting! Checks are still coming in. This result is beyond our wildest expectations, and we would like to say thank you, THANK YOU, to everyone who came out and to everyone who has donated. It truly is remarkable what we’ve been able to accomplish.

Once we tally up all of the money, we will be sending a check to NPCA’s Ebola Relief Fund, which will go to local community-based organizations in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea to aid in their fight against this deadly virus. The funds will be distributed to vetted organizations working in West Africa as determined by a fund steering committee, comprised of two representatives of each NPCA member group and chaired by Russell Morgan, Dr. P.H. (RPCV Kenya 1966-1969). The money that we have raised will go directly to those organizations which are on the front lines of this crisis and making a direct impact in the lives of those affected. In short, the money which we have raised is going directly to those who need it and in a responsible way.

Many members worked very hard to make this fundraiser successful, but none more so than the fundraiser’s creators, coordinators, and main motivators: Ruth Senchyna and Heather Senecal. We’re so lucky to have members who are not only dedicated to making a positive impact on a global scale, but who are willing to put in the time and energy to transform good intentions into a successful reality. They have done a great service to those suffering from this epidemic. Thanks too to all the hard-working staff at Umana Restaurant and Wine Bar.

For those of you who were unable to make the event, click here to view the Fundraiser program. On the program you will be able to see a breakdown of the event and a full list of those people and organizations which contributed their time and/or donations for our raffle. Additionally, look for another post with pictures of the event (thanks to Sue Senecah for taking those).

We’re continuing to accept donations through the month of December, so if you would still like to contribute or if you know of someone who would, please contact Who knows? Maybe we’ll hit $5,000.

There’s not much else to say except again Thank You! to all who contributed. We truly have done a great thing. Happy Holidays!

Ebola Relief Fundraiser Sold Out

The Ebola Relief Fund Raiser has sold out! We have sold 90 tickets, and now have the unenviable task of turning people away. We deeply appreciate the support we have received from every side in making this a reality. We are still accepting donations through the end of December, so please contact if you care to donate. Our goal now is to raise $3,000, so as to fully fund one project in either Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea through the NPCA Ebola Emergency Relief Fund.   

Habitat for Humanity Build – Saturday May 10th

Looking for (another) way to Volunteer?

Some of you may have met our member Tessa Eckholm (RPCV Mexico). She is looking for some folks to help out on a Habitat for Humanity build. Habitat for Humanity is celebrating National Women Build Week May 4th – 11th. They are looking for 5-10 volunteers (open to everyone, not just women) for Saturday May 10th at the Sheridan Hollow Project site. Building will take place from 8am-3pm and they are having an after party at the Habitat for Humanity offices, just up the street at 3:30 as a thank you for all the Women Build volunteers.

If you are interested in participating or have any questions please email Tessa directly: For planning purposes it would helpful if you could RSVP to Tessa by Thursday May 1st.

Here is some information about Women Build Week:

May 4th – 11th is National Women Build Week.  Women Build is a Habitat for Humanity International program that encourages women to make a difference by building homes and communities. The program seeks to encourage women volunteers to further the home-building mission of Habitat for Humanity. Since Women Build’s official creation in 1998, Women Build volunteers have constructed more than 1,600 homes around the world. Women Build 2014 will be taking place in the Capital District May 6th through May 10th, 2014 in Sheridan Hollow. This is a 60 house neighborhood revitalization project in downtown Albany. There is a suggested donation of $25/volunteer for this build to help empower women in the Capital District through home-ownership!

RPCV Starts Language Learning Library Project

Ray Blakney (Mexico 2006-08) has begun a 3rd goal project with the PC regional offices and the PC 3rd goal office in DC to try to create an online archive to keep the language training material made all over the world from getting lost.  Ray has created a sub-section on his website with all the information gathered to date. He has currently close to 100 languages with ebooks, audios and even some videos.

The next step for this project is to get the world out about this resource so that it can not only be used by PCV’s or those accepted into the Peace Corps, but also so that when people run across material that is not on the site. There should be something there for almost everybody.  It is all 100% free to use and share.

Any assistance in getting the word out would be appreciated, whether it be by mentioning it on your website, in a newsletter or just word of mouth in your group.   Here is the page:

Thanks for any help you can provide in making this 3rd goal project a success.   And if anybody in your group has some old material they can scan or already have in digital form, and want to add to the archive, you can email it to Ray directly at

Call for Input on a Library Project in Sierra Leone

Via Beth Deitcher:

Sewie Pujah, a friend of Beth Deitcher (Namibia 2007-2010) is looking for input and assistance for a library project in Sierra Leone. Sewie was born in Bondea, Sierra Leone, grew up in the United States and is now living in Albany, NY.  She has been collaborating with the chief of her village to develop the idea for this library project. Sewie is not affiliated with an NGO and is trying to figure out the best way to fund the library.

Some planning documents are available to view. For more information or to get involved, email Sewie at or Beth at