Stay in Touch

Check out CL's Book

Help Annabel Go to School

AnnabelWelcomeTomorrow is Valentine’s Day and think of all the money you’re saving not buying an ungrateful cheater chocolates and flowers. Consider using the cost savings to help a 12-year-old girl, Annabel, start school instead. Annabel would appreciate your gifts. Cheaters, not so much.

Chump Nation has a big heart, as I learned during our “Buy an Orphan a Book or Some Sparkly Shoes” campaign last November.  For those of you just tuning in, my friend LeAnna Marr is stationed as a USAID officer in South Sudan. Last Christmas, in lieu of giving or receiving gifts, she asked for donations to an orphan school in Juba and posted her Amazon wish list to her friends. Unbeknownst to her, I posted that wish list here, and Chump Nation filled the list and then some! within 24 hours, bringing needed shoes, toys, and books to the kids. (See pictures here.)

Well, I hate to go to the well too many times, but guys, if you feel moved I’m asking you to help again. LeAnna has started an Indiegogo campaign to help one of the school girls, Annabel (her name has been changed to protect her privacy), receive an education in Uganda. I can personally vouch for LeAnna and the good work she’s doing in South Sudan.

Annabel is deaf. Life is very difficult in a refugee camp, especially if you are a girl (if you want the horrifying particulars, read this State Department report) — and especially if you are a girl with a disability. Annabel was brought to the school LeAnna volunteers at run by Confident Children Out of Conflict. They were able to get her medical help and eventually a place at a school for the deaf in Uganda. But her tuition and expenses are $3,500 a year. While she has a place, she doesn’t have funding. Enter LeAnna and her Indiegogo campaign.

If you think being a chump is humiliating, try starting school for the first time at age 12, sitting in the second grade. Above is a picture of Annabel (the tall girl) being welcomed at her new school in Uganda. This kid is an example to us all of resiliency. If she can be mighty, we can too.

Please consider giving here. Every bit helps, and heck, your money will go much farther than a reconciliation book bought on Amazon or lame cheater chocolates.

Tomorrow I’ll announce the Valentine’s Day poem winners. 

Annabel’s Story

annabelAnnabel* is a 12 year old South Sudanese girl. She has grown up living on the street, and was caught up in fighting in her home town when conflict broke out in December 2013.

She was referred to Confident Children out of Conflict (CCC) interim care facility because she was unaccompanied and at risk. It turned out she was also physically unwell and deaf. She never had hope of going to school, because in South Sudan there are no schools for children with hearing impairments.

Last year Annabel attended an end of year school event with some of the other girls from CCC. She watched three of her friends from CCC receive awards for excellent performance. The experience sparked a strong desire in her to go to school.

After an extensive search, the Executive Director and Founder of CCC, Cathy Groenendijk, found a specialized school in neighboring Uganda, the Mulago School for the Deaf, which seems to be ideal for Annabel.

Without any formal schooling, Annabel will need to start in second grade with children much younger than herself. Although she stood out because she was twice the size and average age of the other children in her class, she refused to let it get in her way. She went through a series of emotions: excitement, anxiety, fear… but remained calm and hopeful. She was admitted in the boarding section and bid Cathy farewell and promised to do her best.

Your Contributions

CCC has sent Annabel to her new school on a wing and a prayer. Annabel needs $3,500 a year for five years to keep her in this school.

This amount will cover her tuition, extra tutoring and classes, bedding, uniform, shoes, books, pencils, food, visitation, transport, specialized health care, and psychological and social services.

Our goal is to raise one year of tuition and costs for Annabel. Any additional funds raised over the $3,500 will go for Annabel’s tuition for subsequent years.

Thank you to everyone who has already donated to CCC, and specifically to Annabel’s cause. You are helping us to make Annabel’s dream of going to school a reality.

*name changed to protect identity

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Thank you for giving me this opportunity! There is nothing I could do for anyone I know (I am blessed) that will bring the joy that this will bring to Annabel.
    Great outlet for this chumpy heart.
    Happy Velentine’s Day, Annabel.

  • Thanks for the opportunity to do something for an beautiful child who might not get help otherwise.My father took a missionary trip to Uganda some years back and he said the poverty is unbelievable. We each ended up supporting a child through other organizations for years as things there’re totally deplorable. Things like drinking water, basics we take for granted are not always available.

  • So very glad to contribute in gratitude for all Chump Nation has done for me. And for those Chumps dreading Valentine’s Day–don’t. Remember humans do not need to be lines up two by two, with a partner, as if we were marching onto Noah’s Ark. Send Annabel a Valentine. Take yourself to dinner at your favorite place. Go through the house and gather old blankets and towel for the local animal shelter. Adopt a kitty for Valentine’s Day! Send a $10 gift card to someone who is alone. There are so many people and animals that need your love.

    It’s OK to be sad because your heart is broken, but if you were with a disordered cheater chances are Valentine’s Day was disappointing in some way or another. I spent last year crying into my yoga mat because Jackass sent me a cruel message. Never doing THAT again. I sent my contribution to Annabel and will put out a feast for the deer and turkeys and squirrels. And I will go to Five Guys for cheeseburger and fries and wear my sparkly lace dress and heels to do if it isn’t ten below zero. Celebrate your own capacity to love! Spread that good stuff around to those who will appreciate it, because clearly the cheaters didn’t.

    • LAJ….My Dday came five days after Valentine’s day several years ago so has particular meaning. My cheater said he was going to a city 50 miles away to buy my Valentine gift as he had seen something ‘special’ at Christmas in a mall there. Come Valentines day I got a gift certificate to a massage place down the street from our house. When I questioned this he told me he couldn’t find the ‘special thing.’ In reality he wasn’t really there looking for my present, he was there banging his skank at a shitty motel.

      If you lived close I’d wear a sparkly dress too and meet you at Five Guys ;-/

      • I wish you could jet over here but I hope you find something to do tomorrow that is truly SPECIA (and doesn’t involve a cheating jackass and a skank…) 🙂

        • You just made me laugh out
          Loud of course I’ll find something cool to do. Wish you were here!

          • P.S. LAJ…Bet it’s warmer where I am. I have tulips pushing up. So…I think you should come here tomorrow for a quaint Valentine’s party!

            The Truth: I had to Google Five Guys…never heard of it. The closest is in Seattle west 300 miles or Boise 380 miles south.

    • Great post, LAJ!

      Contributed to Annabel, as it’s my education that has ensured the future of my two boys, and has ensured I’m not on the streets because The Cheater left. Go, Annabel!

      Love suggestion of Five Guys! I’m going there tomorrow to have a celebratory burger!!

        • So if you are alone tomorrow–or dining with a chumped friend, as I will–find a Five Guys and eat that cheeseburger! And some fries! The great thing is you can get the junior size if you are watching calories. But in any event, we should all have a fine meal and make a toast to the mightiness of Chump Nation!

  • Done, I lurk here and will do my part to support those that support us as well, We all need help at some point

    • So true, Falcon. I’ve been helped and now I can pay it forward (at least a little).

  • Done.

    “This kid is an example to us all of resiliency. If she can be mighty, we can too.”


    Ju suis Annabel.

  • Thanks for giving me someone to show love to this Valentine’s Day. Chumps, don’t let anyone take Valentine’s Day from you, there are plenty of people who need love and you have plenty to give!

  • Now this is a Valentines… perhaps CL you can spark a movement to wrestle this stinking holiday away from Hallmark and turn it back into what St Valentine was about: succour. Actually very little is know about St Valentine as the expert wikipedia attests… But here in a nutshell is what wiki said he did, “J.C. Cooper, in The Dictionary of Christianity, writes that Saint Valentine was “a priest of Rome who was imprisoned for succouring persecuted Christians.” So CL this request is truly in keeping with St Valentines. Thank you for doing this. Now go out and show your own world some MIGHTY love, MIGHTY chumps.

  • Thanks, CL, for the chance to share some love this Valentine’s Day. This year, it’ll be sharing my love of learning with Annabel. She sounds like an amazing person.

  • Having difficulty getting into indiegogo with my antique computer. Anyone willing to be a paypal pipeline to help with this?

    Also. While $3500 might sound daunting, if a mere hundred of us pledged $35 a year for the next ten years (or whatever the adjusted amount will be), she’ll be covered. Anyone else consider this a good idea?

    • If you donate to me via PayPal (link on my homepage), put a message in there that it’s for Annabel and I’ll make sure she gets it.

  • Theories on the meaning of the name Annabel: “Likely a variant of Amabel, an old French name derived from the Latin amābilis (LOVABLE), or from the Gaelic Ainè (JOY).”

  • New chump hubby and I contributed as part of our Valentine to each other (and it’s our six-month wedding anniversary, too!) Pay it forward!

  • Chump Nation is incredible! Thank you! Do you realize we hit the half-way mark just THIS MORNING thanks to you? I recognize your emails and screen names on the donor list — so, hey, I know it’s you. 😉 You guys are the best Valentines ever. I’m all sniffly over here. Must be Texas cedar fever…

  • Done. Especially delicious, since as we know after yesterday’s vomit letter, cheater’s can’t hear, and can’t be fixed. It’s a delight and a privilege to offer help to someone who will go far with it. Yay Anabel!

    • arrrg. I’ll bet she learns not to use Greengrocers’ apostrophes, also. too. “Cheaters”.

  • WOW! Chump Nation ROCKS! I just checked the donation amounts for Annabel.


    And, considering all that is covered by that tuition, it is really a bargain!

    Can hardly wait to see her “First Day of School” pictures!

    Thanks, Tracy and LeAnna, for the opportunity to be a part of something that really matters, really makes a difference.

    Forge on, all you generous ones….ForgeOn!

  • Done. What a wonderful opportunity to share our blessings to those who are truly appreciative. Thank you, Tracy.

  • Done. Thanks, CL. What a wonderful and beautiful tradition to do some good on those rough days where emotional paralysis is on the horizon.
    Love to all at Chump Nation.

  • Woo hoo!~ I keep checking back and they only need about $300 for Annabel’s first year of school. Go Chump Nation!!!

  • It’s been fun to check the funds going up throughout the day. I’m sure we’re going to reach the $3500 mark. I posted it on my FB page but unfortunately doesn’t seem to be getting any interest. Sent it to my small church as well, they might be able to donate some. I know there are a lot of needs in the world, but it’s nice to be able to help one specific person to have a better life.

  • Done. Thank you, Tracy, for giving us the opportunity to spread some love this Valentine’s Day.

  • Hey guys, we are $65 short of the goal. SooooOooo close so fast! ALL THANKS TO CHUMP NATION! You guys totally ROCK. LeAnna’s in Dubai and just Facebook messaged to say Wow! and thanks! I’m sure we’ll hear more soon. So happy to be a part of making this girl’s education dreams become a reality. You guys are the best Valentines EVER!

  • So I called DD and told her I had been planning on calling the florist shop on her post and sending flowers, but how would she feel about our passing the love on to Miss A, and I got a very sparkly “Yes!” back from her. Then she asked me how I would feel about her doing the same, as she had been planning on sending me flowers, too. So I’m headed back to drop her donation in the bucket as well. And sooooo proud of my DD (whom, by the way, also shares the nickname Annabel with our little scholar.

    • You’re going to topple it over the goal! I got cedar fever (sniff) again reading this. Damn pollen.

  • We did it! YEA!!! We hit the goal and a bit more! THANK YOU!

    And anyone else who wants to still donate, please use the indiegogo site (link in my post above), instead of via me. I made a couple exceptions, (about $400 worth), but I have to report all donations as taxable income, so it’s really best to donate via Indiegogo directly. THANKS.

    You guys never cease to impress me. I so appreciate your generosity. Thanks again.

    • ouch, I didn’t think of the tax consequences for you.
      And your site never ceases to impress me, both for your wisdom and the mighty commentators.

  • Happy to help. I can’t imagine the challenge of being deaf at age 12. In the year leading up to my D-Day I was diagnosed with Meniere’s disease and in addition to frequent vertigo attacks I have lost 100% of my hearing and balance in my right ear. Thanks to CL and to LeAnna for the reminder that there is more to life that the shallow crap the cheaters and their AP’s are willing to destroy families over.

  • Done. I’m a little late to the game but better late than never 🙂 My daughters donated their weekly allowance money as well. Off to reward them with some Dairy Queen ice cream!

    Hugs to all 🙂

  • Got my bit in early, but can’t post here at work. Congratulations everyone on a fabulous life-changing Valentine’s gift! That is better than awesome!

  • We are indeed a mighty community!
    In one day, the generousity of a group of individuals, who were made to feel worthless, joined forces to give the gift of an education and a safe, loving place to live to a young girl with few options.
    I will never again waste my love on anyone who doesn’t deserve it.
    I hope Annabel will be told that a group of strangers chose to give their love to HER today.

    • Thank you Rebecca for saying the words that I felt. Yes. I so hope that someday someone tells this little girl how much she meant to us. To me. I wish I could hold her in my arms tonight and tell her how much she matters.

  • Done! After last year’s Valentine’s Day of false reconciliation and dancing the pick me dance, this feels so wonderful to be in control of my life and donating to a great cause. I would pick this over any other Valentine’s Day ever!!

  • Donated in the name of my divorce that may be finalized tomorrow, on valentine´s day! Something good had to come out of all of this.

    Best of luck for Annabel!

  • Wow. I am awed by the generosity of Chump Nation. Though not one bit surprised after your outpouring at Christmas. I am taking a bit of a breather break for the long holiday weekend. When I got on the plane, this was before Tracy posted on chump nation, we had reached 20% of our goal. By the time I got off the plane, we had surpassed our goal, all because of the donations flooding in from Chump Nation. You are awesome! Now that we have reached our goal, we would like to try to raise a second year of tuition! Your comments have really touched me. Annabel is such a wonderful girl. She has been through some really horrific experiences in her short 12 years. This will really help to give her the tools to take charge of her life and put the trauma behind her. She is now in a safe place where she can focus on her education. And ALL BECAUSE OF THE MIGHTY CHUMPS.

    Je suis Annabel. Nous sommes Annabel.

    • LeAnna, this community is a lot of good and kind people. Giving people. Some aren’t able yet. Some aren’t free yet. And I can’t be happier that your child in need got some help here. It lights a torch that needs to burn bright.

  • It’s past 11:00 pm here on the West Coast and stayed up and checked….and Annabel has at least $3,900 in her account! First year of school paid for!
    Rock on Chump Nation!!!

  • I only was able to send $5, but that was a better thing to do than spending this Valentine’s feeling pathetically sorry for myself.

  • I’m sure you will, but CL–please tell LeAnn to tell Anabel that a whole big bunch of people from all over the world, are sending her love and encouragement, along with the money! Specifically her, Anabel. That she’s special, and so entirely worth it.

  • Sorry this took so long CL but I think everyone tried to do this at the same time on Friday because the site kept telling me it was too busy and to come back later. Later turned into I forget and I just remembered to try again. Better late than never right? So apparently I’m contributing to her next year of school but that’s cool because we all want her to be able to finish right!

    This is very close to my heart since my eldest son is also deaf. It sort of reminds you how lucky we are.

    Rock on Chump Nation

  • >
    %d bloggers like this: