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Storyteller helps raise thousands for Uganda

From STAFF REPORTS
While serving as last week’s Teller-in-Residence at the International Storytelling Center in Jonesborough, Connie Regan-Blake didn’t just entertain, although she did that as well.
The acclaimed storyteller also came to Jonesborough with a mission to raise money for an organization and group of people she holds close to her heart.
Regan-Blake hosted a benefit performance Friday morning, with proceeds from ticket sales going directly to the BeadforLife organization, a nonprofit organization that helps support a community of impoverished women in Uganda.
Regan-Blake has become the informal teller-in-residence for the organization, sharing the powerful stories of Ugandan women whose lives have been plagued by violent civil war and the AIDS crisis.
Her BeadforLife presentation, “Hope Is Back on Me: A Storyteller’s Journey in Africa,” included a heartfelt account of her time among these women, along with video footage she collected on her journey.
An important part of BeadforLife’s mission is to help African women build better lives for themselves by selling their handmade jewelry. The remarkable baubles are made from brightly colored beads fashioned from recycled paper and were on sale all day Friday at the ISC.
The proceeds from all jewelry sales generate income that the women can use to buy medicine, training, and other necessities.
In bead sales alone, an estimated $3,000 was raised on Friday, Regan-Blake said.
For more information on Regan-Blake, visit www.StoryWindow.com. For more information on BeadforLife, visit www.beadforlife.org.