Read about the History ↓ of HOPE Preserves
Your Help Preserves
Brighten someone's future! Fill an empty belly! Help create hopes and dreams! Build schools! You can do this and more!
- Nourishing Minds – donations for school supplies and more
- Jammin' Towards Our Goals – donate unused preserve jars and fruits
- Fundraising for Futures – cash donations for valuable projects and resources
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About HOPE Preserves
Founding Board Members
— Paula has been involved with projects in Africa for many, many years. She has always had a dream of creating a non-profit that would involve the projects she helped support while she lived in Namibia. Paula began making the fruit preserves that gave our organization its name. Paula says, "Starting this organization is a means to addressing the needs faced every day by these children lost to the world. It’s one of the most gratifying experiences of my life. I am very proud to be associated with this work that is all about the kids."
— Dennis became involved with HOPE Preserves when Paula and her family lived in Namibia. Dennis was able to gather some friends together to donate money to the HISA Soup Kitchen where Paula was volunteering. When she returned home, he told her if she ever wanted to start a non-profit to help end hunger and illiteracy for orphans and vulnerable children affected by disease and/or disaster throughout the world, he would be willing to help her start and run the organization. Mission accomplished! Mainly, Dennis wants to leave the world a better place and truly make a difference.
— Almost 10 years ago, Joanne partnered with a tiny rural school in Zimbabwe. She began the Simbala Sister School Project at Riebli School where Joanne taught kindergarden. Throughout those years, Riebli families and staff sent over 2 tons of books and supplies. It was an amazing decade-long project! Sadly, the difficult political atmosphere ended this program. Joanne has visited 18 African countries and her heart has been happily stolen by this incredible continent. She is thrilled to be involved with HOPE Preserves to continue effecting true and positive change for vulnerable, at-risk children and their families.
— Steven learned about HOPE Preserves through his friend Dennis Prior. He became the fifth and final member of the new non-profit organization's first Board of Directors. Steven realizes, while there is no shortage of worthwhile causes for people to support, in his view, helping protect, nourish and educate vulnerable children is a mission without peer. He is thankful for the opportunity to help HOPE Preserves grow and persevere.
— Kimberly is the Registrar at Safari West Wildlife Preserve, which is a fantastic safari experience in Santa Rosa, CA. She has known Nancy Lang, one of the owners of Safari West, for 30 years. Kimberly is a well-traveled, multicultural woman who speaks fluent Japanese. She lived in Japan and while there, taught English to children. In March 2011, Kimberly is traveling to Namibia to work at our sister schools and learn more about our projects in Katutura. Kimberly positively jumped at the chance to be a founding member of the HOPE Preserves Board.
History of Hope Preserves
HOPE Preserves' mission is to help end hunger and illiteracy for HIV/AIDS orphans and vulnerable children affected by disaster and/or catastrophic disease. Our vision is to support existing feeding programs and schools that focus on at-risk children throughout the world. We believe in helping to create hopes, dreams and futures for these children. We can achieve this goal by offering financial and consulting support to those in need. HOPE Preserves is a non-profit fundraising organization.
Board Members "Collide" to Create HOPE Preserves
Paula Seitz-Netherda is a registered nurse in the Santa Rosa, CA area. Since 2003, her husband, Dr. Mark Netherda has worked in Windhoek as an HIV/AIDS consultant for the Namibian Ministry of Health. She and Mark had been working on the AIDS epidemic since its onset in the early '80s. In 2006, Mark and Paula packed up their three children and moved to Namibia for a year.
All three of the Netherda children had been students in teacher Joanne Borovoy's kindergarten class at Riebli Elementary School, also in Santa Rosa, California. Joanne and Paula had long, wonderful conversations about Africa and the upcoming move. The Netherdas had been excellent participants in Riebli's Simbala Sister School Project. Joanne and Paula often discussed their dual involvement in the welfare and education of the children there. They dreamed of founding a non-profit to further their ability to effect real change and empowerment for these children, who are suffering against disastrous odds. One year, on his way to Namibia, Dr. Mark actually delivered a suitcase filled with supplies and donations, from Riebli School's Suitcase Project, directly to the Simbala Sister School in Zimbabwe!
Joanne's travels in Africa, and the Netherda family's experience living in Namibia, truly deepened their awareness and dedication to the African plight, especially for the poverty-level Namibian children. While in Namibia, Paula and her children volunteered at a school and soup kitchen through the HISA Foundation (Hope Initiatives South Africa - Namibia) started by Patricia Sola Mafukidze and John Mafukidze. This experience gave them a real understanding of the challenges these children face every day.
When the Netherdas returned home, their devotion to providing for the basic needs and education of these children was deep-rooted. They wanted to share this story with the world. Mark and Paula's story brought in Dennis Prior, a family friend who was extremely interested in this cause, as well. Dennis knew Steven Townsend, who was also looking for a way to volunteer his time and energy. The idea of a non-profit fulfilled Joanne's passion about adopting and supporting another school in Africa. Finally, Dr. Mark had worked at Santa Rosa's incredible wildlife preserve, Safari West with registrar Kimberly Robertson. When Kimberly heard about this project, she was delighted to dive in and help form HOPE Preserves.
In the summer of 2010, the board members celebrated HOPE Preserves' status as a non-profit organization. Now, HOPE Preserves' first focus is to help support the HISA school programs in Katutura, Namibia. HOPE Preserves' vision is to eventually reach out to other schools in many areas of the world.
The Name Evolves
One day, Paula Seitz-Netherda went next door to pick up her son. The neighbor had fruit trees in her yard, laden with beautifully ripe fruit. Much of the fruit was already on the ground. She asked what happened to all of the fruit. The neighbor replied, "Oh, nothing, the boys were having an apple fight." Paula had just spent a year at a soup kitchen in Katutura, Namibia that served some of the poorest people in the world. She could not watch all that gorgeous free fruit go to waste. She asked if she could have some and took home whatever she could carry. She looked at the bushels of fruit and decided she'd have to can it. Then, AHA! She lit on the idea of preserving the 'extra' from our community and offering it to help the at-risk kids affected by HIV. She realized that there was a multitude of fruit and produce that is allowed to fall to the ground here in Sonoma County, while other children - people - would consider it a privilege to eat any fruit. When the non-profit began to evolve, everyone thought and thought about a name. Paula had already begun to raise money selling her preserves. Hummm, she thought, what about "HOPE Preserves!" (noun and verb) and our organization was named.