Braden’s Furniture kicks off Project Ghana initiative

Braden’s Lifestyle Furniture is partnering with a local nonprofit group called Feeding the Orphans in a program to support women and children in the African nation of Ghana.

Through Project Ghana, Braden’s donates a mattress every time one is purchased at its store at 11105 Turkey Drive.

At noon on Saturday, the store will kick off Project Ghana with a ribbon-cutting with the founders of Feeding the Orphans. Austin East High School’s African Drum Ensemble will perform at the event.

Feeding the Orphans begun in 2010 by Sydney O’Leary, a Loudon girl who was just 10 at the time. Her parents had decided to adopt a boy and a girl from Ghana, and Sydney became concerned about the plight of women and children there. She started a blog with a goal of raising $500 to help feed the hungry in Africa.

Since then, the program has expanded, as has Sydney’s family. Her parents have now adopted four children, and her father, Righ O’Leary, serves as full-time director of Feeding the Orphans.

The organization’s newest initiative is called Esther’s Hope. It trains single women as artisans and teaches them to be self-supporting.

Today, nine women are employed through the program by Feeding the Orphans, producing handbags, jewelry and accessories.

In announcing its support, Braden’s management said, “Our goal with ‘going public’ about Project Ghana is to ‘speak out’ about one simple way we are working to give back. It’s to challenge our local communities to get involved, give back and make a conscious effort to do something for others! In time, we are hopeful to extend our partnership with Feeding the Orphans by creating other ways to fundraise for and contribute toward some of their great work in Ghana.”

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