Sending Goodwill to Mozambique

April 16th

When I was a kid, there was a television program in Phoenix called “The Wallace and Ladmo Show.” Wallace and Ladmo did all kinds of silly skits in front of a live audience of school children. At the end of each show, each kid received a brown paper Ladmo Bag that was overflowing with goodies. They would zoom in on the lucky ones as they tore through their treasure trove of junk food and toys, and rolled the credits.
How I wanted one of those bags. Ask any native Phoenician age 20 or older about Ladmo bags and watch him or her foam at the mouth. It’s a city-wide phenomena.

Sweet girl

What child doesn’t love to receive gifts and feel special? When I return to Mozambique next month, I will work in an orphanage. There are two large orphanages in town — one for babies to age seven, and the second from age seven to 18. Most of the mothers died during childbirth, or afterward from HIV. The orphanage population fluctuates; there are typically more than 100 children in each facility.
The children at the older facility are in school. Like many in this country, they live in a type of poverty (and general hunger) that is unfathomable. Yet I haven’t lost hope that we can nourish these children into becoming the future leaders of a healthy, productive and happy country. They are wonderful kids and like children in any country — they want to be loved. They don’t want their children to be raised in an orphanage. It is easy for them to dream of a better life.

Can't wait to play!

Next month, I would like to hand each of the kids at the older orphanage a small bag of goodies. I envision a quart-sized Ziplock bag including a bar of soap, a toothbrush, dental floss, a pack of gum, Chapstick and perhaps some stickers. Most importantly, I see a small card with a photo of their new American friend. The card is written in English and Portuguese and says why this American wanted to extend her/his friendship and wish this child well. {If I had kids, I’d include a family photo.} The entire bag shouldn’t cost more than $10 to put together and mail.
If you are interested in sending one (or more) of these bags, please contact me. In return, I promise to take many photos of the children at the orphanage and send you a print when I return. This is a simple way you can easily make a difference in the life of a child in need; imagine their joy when they find out there are people they’ve never met who love them.

Love these babies

Will you help? Raesha has offered to help coordinate this. Please email either of us with questions!


Posted in
Africa, Journal, Swap, Travel
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119 Responses

  1. I’d love to participate Kelli and I’ll pass the word along. I know many others would like to send some love too.

  2. Count me in for 4 bags. And I will send the film as well. What a wonderful thought for the older kids who often times get forgotten. Most people feel like they want to help the babies and the older kids get left out. Thank you for your kind heart.

  3. I would love to help!

  4. YES! I’d love to help out.

  5. I’m in. Send me the info. πŸ™‚

  6. Oh Kelli! Count me in! Send me the info and I’ll be shopping away! πŸ™‚
    You are a wonderful inspiration my friend.

  7. Kelli,

    I’d like to use my promotional product connections to get lip balm and perhaps hand sanitizer donated. How many total of each would you need and where can i have them sent to be placed in each bag?

    Email me the info. I’d love to help.


  8. count me in! when do we need to have them to you?

  9. Also, for anyone interested in similar acts of compassion, i invite you to check out I became involved with them through their clothing line of which they donate 100% of the profit to building non-institutional orphanages and schools in India and Nicaragua, with more coming soon.

  10. Yes, please give me all the details. I would love to help.

  11. what a wonderful thing to do! count me and my son in!

  12. Me & My 4 yo son are so in. Now to find the contact information.


  13. Miss Kelli – count me in. I would love to help out.

  14. You can definitely count me in!

  15. I’m in, and I’ll send you some film as well if you’ll give me specifics. I’ll pass the word along as well.

  16. I’m in! Just to clarify… we should send these items to you in the quart sized zip-lock bag, all ready to go?

    I’m going to email my “sticker” connection and see if I can’t get a whole bunch of neat animal ones to send you.


  17. I’m in too!

  18. I’m definitely in! Just let me know where to send.

  19. kelli,

    love to do this, send me info!


  20. Jennifer DiGiuseppe April 16, 2007

    I’m in too! Just give me the details…do you want individual bags already made up or just the stuff to make them?

  21. I’m in. Please send me details. We should be able to contribute 4 bags.

  22. Tina in Santa Monica April 16, 2007

    Way to go, Kelli!
    Where do we mail the bags?
    And can we include some of our own handmade items? What would you do to us if we put more than $10 of stuff in our donation bags?

  23. Absolutely, count me in. Send the info and it will happen. I will tell all my friends as well…ciao

  24. Rebecca April 16, 2007

    I am in, as will my sister and mother. Tell us what you need. BTW – I got a Ladmo bag once. It was uber cool.

  25. I would love to help, too. =) I’ll be waiting for more info! Great idea. =)

  26. of course! And, I’d like to coordinate some from other’s in my ‘hood, if they cooperate. Please afford me the details.

    I’m also curious about the limits. If I take my child and allow her to pick the goods, they may be a tad extravagant (she’ll want to pick the fancy princes toothbrush just like hers, and the Dora toothpaste, and the rootbeer flavored chapstick, etc.) Is that ridiculous?? If it is, I’ll avoid it. But, if it’s ok – I’d like to let her do what she wishes with the shopping list. If standards like this do apply – please make us aware.

    If there are other optional items that can be included – please also advise on that. (sunscreens? healing ointments? washcloths? etc.)

  27. Yes, yes! Please sign me up. I’m happy to give. When I was in Kenya years ago, we took ink pens too for the kids and they seemed to love them. Just let me know what to do/where to send, etc.

  28. I want to play! I think this is smashing, and you rule for thinking it up, Kelli!

  29. Diane Lord April 16, 2007

    I’d love to help. Please send me details!

  30. I would be honored to help, Kelli. Please let me know what you need me to do.

  31. Yep, will do. If I bring the bags on vacay this weekend, would that work?

  32. Please send me some info. It sounds like a great thing to do.

  33. Count me in. This is a wonderful idea!

  34. I’m so in!

  35. Oh Kelli! I would *love* to help out too! =) Please send me more info!

  36. count me in. i’ll let friends know too, see if any of them are interested. i’ll put it on my blog too.

  37. What a wonderful initiative, Kelli!
    I would love to help too… is it possible, even though I’m not American?!

  38. Me too – let me know what I can do – send something from Aust – send money??

  39. Please count me in too…I’d LOVE to help!

  40. Another Ladmo bag winner here!

    Not sure how many bags you can take along, but if you need more, I would love to get my boys involved and put some together.

  41. Count me in! Can you mail the bags ahead of you or will you need a jumbo suitcase? We have an amazing $ store here, stickers are no problem. Even Ziplock bags.

  42. Count me in, please! πŸ™‚

  43. I would love to help! I’ll go pick up some goodies this week and check back here for more info on where to send everything.

  44. Kelli,

    I read about what you are doing from Autum’s site and I think it is wonderful.

    I have a question for you. I have been crocheting baby hats for a program that I was too late to participate in. Would you be interested in some baby hats to take to the other orphanage? Or would this be too much at this time for you? And if you want this could be an ongoing project that I could send you hats as I finish them and you could take them whenever you go. Just a thought. Let me know if interested? Thanks, Kathie from Mesa

  45. kelli, you are a beautiful person with a beautiful heart. please include me + let me know where to send goodies + the deadline before you go.

  46. Kelli, you are awesome. I’d absolutely love to participate. Give us the details whenever you get a chance.

  47. Kelli, this is awesome and I would love to help, but I am totally swamped. Send me the details and I will try to see how I can help.

  48. Those pictures just broke my heart. Of course I’ll participate.

  49. Jennifer April 16, 2007

    Kelli, I love this kind of project! Fantastic. Unfortunately I (like others) am somewhat overwhelmed at the moment and don’t foresee a chance to shop and collate goods myself … Can I send money, to help with purchasing items, or with postage or shipping, or are there other ways to support you at this time? Please do let me know.

  50. I’m in for 3 bags! Just tell me where to send them and I’ll pop them in the mail at the end of the week. Can we include a few other goodies too?

  51. I’d love to participate!

  52. I can get together a few bags to put in the mail too – let me know how many you need and where to send them to!

  53. Cara Kelli,

    Tens um grupo gigante. Eu tambem quero participar. Diz como.

  54. Count me in! I just hope I’ll be able to send in the things on time… *looks for somewhere to send an email*

  55. Hay Kelli! I have a cousin that speaks Portuguese ( he lived in Brazil for 2 years)I told Raesha that I could probably get him to translate a couple generic messages or phrases if that helps. That babblefish is always very accurate.

  56. oops I menat it ISN’T very accurate

  57. Natalie April 16, 2007

    Dear Kelli-Thanks for opportunity to do something meaningful. Keep us posted on the details.

  58. I totally remember Wallace & Ladmo!! I always wanted one of their bags! This is such a great thing you are doing. Me and my kiddo would love to help!

  59. Kelli, you are awesome. I’m in. What do I need to do? When do you need the bags by?

  60. I’m in! Let me know what to do.

  61. I would love to take part. Please send me some information.

  62. Absolutely in it!! Send more details about the items and the deadline, thanks.

  63. i’d love to take part with some bags. is it okay that i’m not american?
    i also have some other things to send you- eek- i’m sorry i’ve taken so long to do this!
    kelli, i love those pictures. x

  64. Kelli, I’m in… After making barrettes for Chinese orphans last month, I can’t wait to send goodies to the African kiddies. Let me know the logistics and I will pass the word around. Thanks to you and Raesha for coordinating this!

  65. Kelli, I’d love to help out if you still need more bags. Please let me know!

  66. you are an inspiration my friend… what a wonderful idea. i am definitely in.

  67. i would love to help. please send more info.

  68. Charisse April 17, 2007

    Count me if for about 10, more if I can!

  69. Please let me know how I can help. I will supply 10 or more as well!! You are doing a really great thing Kelli!!

  70. Wonderful idea! Do you also take packages from other countries?


  71. I would be happy to give a few bags… please let me know where to send them, and if there are other things we can put in… t-shirt?
    glad there are kind people like you in the world.

  72. Hey Kel, have you ever tried to explain Wallace and Ladmo to someone who DIDN’T grow up in AZ? It’s wild.. Chris just doesn’t get it.

    I’m in too of course! Give me the details.. are we sending you $$ or premade bags? Let me know!

  73. Amazing, Kelli. I would love to help. I can send three bags. πŸ˜‰

  74. I would be happy to help. Just let me know where I send the bags to.

  75. I so wanted a Ladmo bag! *sniff* I remember being totally scared of that one guy who played a sorta girl. Gerald or something?
    I’m in for some bags too. It’ll give me an excuse to stalk to $ section of Target.
    Address please so I can stalk you too? j/k πŸ˜‰

  76. i would love to have my kids help me put some together – please let me know the deadline and where to send it if you still need some helpers!
    (also, just stickers, or a small toy or two if it fits?)

  77. I love you. I love who you are. I love what you do.

    Thank you for all you do, and for giving us the privilege to Do Something. YOU are my Oprah Kelli! Raesha is my Oprah too!

  78. Hi Kelli,
    I am definitely sending you some bags. You are incredible. My daughter(Amy/simplecharm) sent this to me and all of her friends who are mothers. She asked us to contribute in honor of all our children. From the response I’m sure you are getting, you’ll have lots of leftovers for your other trip in August!
    Thank you for what you are doing….making a difference in children’s lives. You are giving these kids hope. You know the SECRET!

  79. I’m glad there are people like you out there, who are not totally cynical and hopeless about the situation here. I’m having one of those weeks where I can’t ever imagine that things here will ever be any better…sigh. Definitely time for me to travel and clear my head.

  80. kim kelly April 17, 2007

    I would love to help as well. My kids would be very excited about helping with this project. If you still need the help send me the info.
    Thanks, Kim

  81. I would love to help! Send me the info!

  82. Hi Kelli,
    I would like to help. Just tell me where and when.

  83. I would love to help you.

  84. Stacey O'Connor April 18, 2007

    I would love to help with this project. Please let me know where to send and when to do it. Thank you for doing this and giving me the opportunity to do something like this with my son.

  85. Please include us on the info list. My girls (both from orphanages themselves) and I would love to participate.

  86. My family would love to participate, both of my girls are very excited about the idea. Just let me know how.

  87. I would love to participate. Thanks!

  88. Please count me in–should I send it to you? Would you rather I sent money? Let me know what works. I work with a youth group of Roots and Shoots kids that would love to be involved with a project like this on a long term basis–please be in touch when you have a chance.

  89. Crystal April 18, 2007

    I’m so glad that I was directed here by Randi! Can I still help, Kelli? I’ll send 2 and you can take them to
    South America or wherever you need them. What an awesome person you are – I’m going back into your archives to read more!

    I just sent 2 skirts that I sewed to another girl who’s going to Africa and she has more than 100 to give to girls in a orphanage. It’s amazing how the Lord is directing me to find these ways to help!

  90. Am based in the UK but would love to contribute in whatever way works best for you. Please let me know.

  91. We would love to help as well! Please send us the specifics and we’ll get started.

  92. Please email me with details. We would love to help any way we can. What a great way to teach some lessons to my children AND myself! Thanks you for the opportunity!

  93. This is such a wonderful thing that you are doing to help out those children. I am sure they will love the gift. Please send me the info where to send the bags.

  94. I’m in! Give me info. I’ll post it on my blog, too, and mention it in my podcast.

  95. I would LOVE to participate! May I send more than one bag? Please let me know where to send my package to. What an inspiration you are! Thank you! Cece

  96. jessica April 20, 2007

    I would love to participate! What a wonderful and thoughtful idea.

    My father actually collects the little soaps/shampoos from hotels. He travels quite a bit, and learned long ago that they just toss everything, used or not, out after each guest checks out! I’m sure he wouldn’t mind passing them on, since he usually donates them to a local shelter a few times a year. I’m sure this would be a welcome change. Let me know if that might help a bit! Thanks!

  97. Amazing! Please send me some info on where to send, etc. if it’s not too late.

  98. Just send the info! The bag will be on it’s way.

  99. Oh my gosh. I grew up in Phoenix and always wanted a Ladmo bag! I think I had the only Girl Scout troop that didn’t go to the Wallace and Ladmo Show. When I was about 8 I had a “Wallace and Ladmo Carnival” to raise money for Muscular Dystrophy. It’s one of my fondest chiIdhood memories.

    I still remember exactly where I was when I heard Ladmo died. It actually made me cry. Silly for someone I didn’t actually know but it just made me so sad.

    I love what you’re doing!

  100. I would love to help!

  101. This is wonderful and I would love to help.

  102. I would love to help please send me info on where to send the bags

  103. Thanks for sending the info. I can’t wait to start!

  104. Larissa April 25, 2007

    Please let me send a bag with you.

  105. I linked through from Autum’s blog… Count me in! What’s the maximum limit I can send? Seriously, I’ll send you a hundred bags if you let me!!!!

  106. I would love to recieve some information on it! What a wonderful idea. It’s been sort of a dream of mine to help out in another country the way that you are. I will do any little bit to brighten a child’s day. =)

  107. it was back in 99, watching movies all the tim. Liana Merete.

  108. but your much on my mind, you often get declin. Eka Kolour.

  109. wow great job! keep doing what you do!
    and the almighty God will continue to bless you!

  110. I will do any little bit to brighten a childβ€šΓ„Γ΄s day

  111. Hey very nice blog!! Man .. Beautiful .. Amazing .. I have bookmarked your blog also

  112. A very touching post.