Honoring Those We Have Loved and Lost A Tribute to Carl and Colleen O’Banion
Orphans Africa (OA) is a 501 (c) 3 tax-exempt charitable organization that began in 2007 with the coming together of three ordinary people whose desire was to build peace between nations by providing assistance to those who are most vulnerable.
The author and philosopher, William Wordsworth wrote:
“The best portion of a good man’s life (is spent doing) his little, nameless unremembered acts of kindness and love.”
Recently, one of our dear family friends, Carl O’Banion, passed away this summer after a lifetime of helping others. Carl and his wife Colleen were instrumental in helping me and my family when I was growing up. My mother was trying to support four young children as a hairdresser making $40 a week. I was a lonely, disconnected, angry and potentially bitter child, and then Carl and Coleen O’Banion came into our lives. They are two people that bring meaning to the phrase: “These are good people”.
They welcomed us into their home as though we were family. I don’t ever recall a time when I left their house without a full belly and a warm heart. There was always a warm hug, a welcoming grace, a friendly tickle, that made me want to be around these people.
Because the O’Banions filled my tummy, my heart and my mind on so many occasions, we feel it appropriate to sponsor a kitchen and dining facility in their name at the Mawaji Secondary School in Tanzania. The Carl and Coleen O’Banion dining hall will be completed over the coming months, and beginning next year will provide breakfast, lunch and dinner to over 80 orphans on a daily basis.
The building will be named after Carl and Coleen O’Banion so that more of the world can know and benefit from the kindness of these fine people.
Amelia Earhart once said: A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.
Carl and Colleen O’Banion have created forests.
-Article written by Barry Reid