“What started with one child, led to changing the lives of so many more children.”
In 2005, Emily Mancinetti began sponsoring a little girl in Ethiopia named Weinitu. They wrote many letters to each other and Weinitu often asked if Emily would be able to visit her in Ethiopia. A few years after Jeff and Emily were married they took the trip to Africa in 2011 to see Weinitu. They had such a great time meeting the girl Emily had been sponsoring for so many years.
While they sat with Weinitu and her grandmother in their small one room home, Jeff and Emily learned that Weinitu became an orphan around the same time Emily started sponsoring her. Even though Weinitu had lost her parents, her grandmother explained that Jeff and Emily were like parents to Weinitu as well.
After coming back home, Jeff and Emily could not forget the things they had seen on the trip and the impact their sponsorship had in the life of a child. They knew God was leading them to do something to help more children in Ethiopia.
Jeff stayed in contact with their translator from Ethiopia and asked if there were any needs they could address. The translator referenced Jeff and Emily to a friend of his named Misganaw, the Executive Director of the Stand for Vulnerable Organization (SVO). Misganaw explained the work that SVO was doing in Ethiopia and shared his desire to rescue abandoned children who were living on the streets in the town of Bako. This lead the Mancinetti’s and Misganaw to address the problem of orphaned children in Bako by starting 30 Hearts.
While the Mancinetti’s were planning, they shared the 30 Hearts vision with their friends Joe and Ranae Seestadt and they were excited to team up to help 30 Hearts become a reality. Jeff and Joe traveled to Ethiopia in September 2014 and spent time developing the project with Misganaw and his team, as well as the Bako government and local churches. As of May 2015, the 30 Hearts project officially began and 6 permanent families were created for 30 orphaned children in Bako, Ethiopia.