Inwood family hatches plan to help children in Ethiopia

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INWOOD, IOWA - A family in Inwood, Iowa is making a big difference half a world away.
The Van De Stroet family has felt called to help children in Ethiopia.

Three years ago they adopted two boys from the village of Wuchale. But their call to service did not stop there.
In fact, it was just getting started.

What would you say if your child told you they wanted to do something to help other kids who are going hungry?
That's the situation the Van De Stroet family found themselves in three year ago when their son Biruk told them he was worried about his friends back in Wuchale. In that moment they knew they needed to do something to help.

This is how Tami Van De Stroet spends her Thursday mornings, delivering eggs by the dozen all over Canton.

“We get quite a bit of support from both Canton and Sioux Falls,” Tami Van De Stroet said.

This is all part of Biruk's Egg Project, an idea that was hatched three years ago when he asked for 8 chickens.

“My parents asked me what I wanted to do with it and then I said to give it back to Ethiopia so we can raise money,” Biruk Van De Stroet said.

He was worried about his friends back in Wuchale.

“You don't know when you're going to eat, like you got to survive on your own, and it's really scary,” he said.

The Van De Stroetst decided to purchase a brood of 100.
And when it comes to hard work, this family isn't chicken.

“It's like a family project. I don't do it all. Everyone has their parts,” Biruk said.

They do it all from making deliveries, to making sure the birds are fed.

The family thought they would send money to Wuchale one time.

“It's kind of crazy how it started a little bit and now it's gone like really big,” Biruk said.

Their operation now has grown to have more than 700 chickens.

And with community support the Van De Stroets have been able to raise more than $90,000 for the village.

“The funny thing is very rarely do we have big donations. Most of those donations came three and four dollars at a time,” Tami said.

They currently sponsor 76 children.

“Anybody can make a big difference,” Elijah Van De Stroet said.
When it comes to this family project, they don't see an end in sight.

“We can't let them down. We want to keep supporting them as well as we can,” Tami said.

When the Van De Stroet family sponsors a child, it covers their basic medical care, food assistance, school supplies and clothes.

For information about how to purchase the family’s farm fresh eggs or donate, head to their Facebook page. The link is in this story.