Charity and Ciarra

Ciarra was always willing to give to others that needed.  She was involved in a charity called the HIRA PROJECT.  This was a project that originated with her school class.  They decided when they were in the 5th class to “adopt” a child in Nepal.  This child was 7 years old at the time and named Hira.  The goal of the charity was to keep this child in a house where he would be safe, fed, clothed and educated until he was 17 years old.  The issue was that her class would break up and attend other schools after the 9th class.

It costs 50 Euros a month to keep this child there.  All of the parents donated 25 Euros at the beginning of each school year.  The children had to work to raise the additional money that it would take to keep Hira there.  These children, but especially Ciarra, worked hard to accomplish this.


This is a picture of one of those events.  The kids would sell Christmas cookies at various German places.  They would sell calendars.  Some of the students played soccer in a club and held an indoor tournament with the proceeds going to the Hira Project.  But the largest amount came from an idea that Ciarra had.

My family are avid softball players.  We often travel across Germany on weekends to play in various tournaments.  Ciarra came up with the idea to pit up information boards at these tournaments asking for donations.  As her father I tried to get the ok from the various organizers.  Except for one team in Mainz every other team was all for it.  Some went above and beyond!  The picture above was from a tourney in Buchenbeuren Germany.   The tourney organizers had a Trombula, or a raffle.  Many people donated things for it.  Ciarra and her two volunteer classmates spent the entire weekend selling tickets and getting everything set up.  These three kids were relentless in ensuring that everyone had multiple chances to purchase a winning ticket or ten! The organizers donated every cent raised to the Hira Project.  Well ever 600 Euros was raised that weekend.

Many other teams including Drieieich who donated all of the money they made from the concessions for the tourney and Aschaffenburg donated money as well.  The team from Babenhausen held two tournaments and allowed Ciarra to ask for donations and set up a stand everyday.  My daughter came up with the idea to bake brownies and cupcakes as these are not typical here in Germany.  She would walk around offering these sweets and asking for donations.  If someone did not offer or have money she insisted that they take a brownie or cupcake anyway.  That is how she was.  She made a difference.

This tradition will continue.  Many friends that were touched by this suicide have decided to have a Softball tournament in her honor.  The first Annual Ciarra Joi Rhodes Memorial Softball Tournament will be held from 31 May-1 Jun 2014.  Many have donated things to raffle off.  All proceeds will be going to the Hira Project.  This amazes us.  For others to do this shows that not only is the Softball Family in Germany an amazing thing, but, that Ciarra made a difference in this world!

We also donated over 2300 euros from a small can that was placed n the church at the funeral.  Her Godfather decided that morning to make this box as he wanted Ciarra to be proud of him as he was always so proud of her.  Jens, she is proud of you sir!

The outpouring of love still amazes us.  Ciarra we love you!


About Dusty

I am the father of Ciarra Joi "CJ" Rhodes. I am the man blessed to have 13 and a half years with my beautiful daughter. I am also the survivor of her teenage suicide. I miss her every minute of every day! I hope this site will keep her memory alive and maybe help others.

2 thoughts on “Charity and Ciarra

  1. Jill Nunnery

    Ciarra worked hard and used all of her many talents to raise funds for this charity. Her passion was evident at every softball game Dusty played. For example, she and Dusty would bake cupcakes before each tournament or game. She would load them up and once at the field would walk a thousand miles peddling her cakes. And she didn’t take no for an answer. My husband Robbie is a diabetic and can’t eat sweets. She would (with her sweetest smile) ask Robbie if he wanted a cupcake, He would decline. Her bright shining smile would grow and she would suggest that Robbie didn’t need to eat it, but could give it to someone else. See, she even shared her generous spirit to make others more generous. I looked forward to seeing her because I loved her cupcakes and her dedication to something so much bigger than her.

    • Jana

      I share this memory – also the one when Robbie bought a ton of cupcakes to give them to others. I will miss her brownies. I will miss her bright smile when selling the sweats.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> 

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.