74. Barrington Country Garden and Antique Faire

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First Lady of Uganda, Janet Museveni visits the Home of Barrington Resident Vicky Wauterlek
First Lady of Uganda, Janet Museveni, visits Barrington resident and Hands of Hope founder, Vicky Wauterlek - Photo courtesy of Laura Scoville Ekstrom and Hands of Hope

There is so much to be grateful for here in Barrington, but sometimes it’s easy to forget to stop and appreciate our blessings. Daily responsibilities, job stresses, changing real estate values, economic uncertainties… these things can be all-consuming and I’m as guilty as the next guy.  But there are people in our midst who are working quietly and working hard to help remind us of the bigger picture.  And there’s an event coming up in Barrington to help impoverished families in Africa that was started ten years ago by this woman on the right.

First Lady of Uganda, Janet Museveni visits the Home of Barrington Resident Vicky Wauterlek
Photo Courtesy of Laura Ekstrom and Hands of Hope

Her name is Vicky Wauterlek. She lives in Barrington.  The woman on the left  is her friend and the First Lady of Uganda, Janet Museveni. This photo was taken last fall when Vicky hosted the Ugandan First Lady at her home in Barrington.  In 1999, Vicky took a ministry trip to Nigeria and she came home with a new mission in life. She has since created a local way for us to directly help children and families Africa. Ten years ago she formed Hands of Hope, a community of women in the Barrington area helping raise money for African families in crisis. Because of Vicky’s vision, these kids have clean water, new schools to attend and their families have a means to escape a life of poverty and disease.

Hands of Hope Helping Families in Africa

It all starts with water. Vicky Wauterlek says the average woman in these parts of Africa walks 7-and-a-half miles to get water that may not even be healthy and that’s just for the critical needs of the day. That same “average woman” typically has to walk back to the well a third time each day for water to wash her children.  Since Vicky founded Hands of Hope, the group has raised money locally to put 20 water wells in the poorest parts of Zambia. The group also assisted with agricultural aid, established a medical clinic and funded the construction of four community schools, two in Zambia and two in Uganda.

Hands of Hope Building Wells in AfricaHands of Hope’s latest goal is to raise money to build 50 wells in Uganda.

They cost about $12,000 a piece.

That’s a total of about $600,000 and close to the current average sale price for a single family home in Barrington.

These 50 water wells will support 50 communities and 50 schools of  up to 1,000 kids each. Hands of Hope has also purchased a brick-making machine to help dads in these communities start building schools.  I’d say that’s making a difference!

There’s a big way that YOU can make a difference. You may have seen signs around town advertising the upcoming “Barrington Country Garden and Antique Faire”.

10th Annual Hands of Hope Antique and Garden FaireIt’s coming up on June 18th and 19th. On BOTH days, there are buses which will run from 10AM to 4PM, taking guests to three Barrington estates where you can tour the garden grounds and purchase antiques from about 20 carefully chosen vendors.

This event is how Hands of Hope has raised over 3-Million dollars in the past ten years.

It’s a fun way to spend a day shopping and garden walking in Barrington and the ticket price is $50.

There will be food and drinks available and guest speakers at the gardens, too, including a wild bird expert, garden designers and a workshop led by local chef, Mary Rose Hoover.

You’ll find all the details about the Faire and can buy tickets by clicking HERE.

You can purchase tickets to the Barrington Country Garden and Antique Faire online, but only through this Wednesday, June 16th.  After Wednesday, you can purchase tickets by showing up to the shuttle staging area on Friday or Saturday at 800 Hart Road in Barrington.

You also have the option of purchasing a $75 “Early Buy” ticket which will allow you to shop the French Market and Avant Garden before the Garden Faire opens.

Call 847-381-7367 for more information and consider these words from Vicky Wauterlek, “Once you deal with the day to day needs that put everybody in crisis.  Once that eases, these families in Africa are just like us as parents.  They worry about the next generation just like we do.”  I’m not sure yet whether my schedule will allow me to attend, but I’m getting involved by simply buying a ticket.  It’s a small step, but it’s a start.  You can join me at HandsofHopeOnline.org.

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