Eve Zvulun feels she owes a debt to the Chongren Orphanage in Jiangxi Province, China.
After all, that’s where the 16-year-old got her sister.
Her 8-year-old sister, Eliana Tilem, was adopted from the orphanage when she was a baby.
Now Eve, a junior at the Frisch School in Paramus, is selling bracelets for $2 a pop in order to raise money for baby formula for the orphanage.
Eve found out about the orphanage’s needs through Peggy Gurrad, who works with various orphanage foundations. The two corresponded by email over the past few months, and she decided to raise funds through selling the Armstrong-style bracelets.
|Mickey Mouse posed for a photo with the three sisters; from left, Leila, Eliana, and Eve. Peter Tilem|
“When I heard that they needed baby formula, I wanted to raise the money they need to provide a better, healthier life for these children,” Eve said. “It will certainly increase their chances of surviving under the harsh living conditions they are in.”
Eve knows firsthand how adopting a child can change the life of a family for the better. She and her parents, Ellen and Peter Tilem, lived quietly until Eliana came to live with them, she recalls. Eve describes Eliana as lively, “absolutely adorable, extremely athletic. She is a wonderful friend and she is kind, caring, and brilliant.
“She is beautiful and I love her very much.” In fact, she said, she can’t imagine life without her – any more than she can imagine life without her other sister, Leila. Now, following Eve’s path, the two younger sisters both are students at Yeshivat Noam in Paramus.
The response to the bracelet sale has been overwhelming, Eve said. Her friends are helping by hanging up flyers around the school, and they are buying and selling the bracelets too. Some even donated extra money to the cause.
“I feel this is so important because when I think about how Eliana has impacted my life and my family, and then I think of the other children who are still in the orphanage I feel the need to impact their lives just like Eliana has impacted mine,” Eve said.
“I want to make sure that these children are living happy, healthy lives while they are waiting to be adopted. Thankfully Eliana was blessed, and was adopted from the orphanage as a happy, healthy baby. However, the other children in the orphanage who have not been adopted yet are still living there waiting for a family.
“To think that they are there without being properly fed makes me want to do something. My sister was once no different from these children.”
For more information, email Eve at firstname.lastname@example.org.