On a Mission
About 75 km northeast of East London, South Africa on a beautiful 70-acre hilltop property sits the Open Arms Home for Children. As an established nonprofit organization, registered in South Africa and the United States, Open Arms provides love and security to children orphaned by the AIDS pandemic.
An Aerial View of Open Arms
We are committed to raising the children in our care to adulthood. Our model is to place 6-8 children in cottages with a permanent house mother or father. The children go to pre-school on our property and elementary, high school and college in the larger community. We aim to serve the whole child: developmentally, physically and spiritually.
We are a human service organization. As such, our children are served regardless of background, race, economic status or religion. Likewise, our donors come from all faiths and backgrounds, united in simple service to children in need.
God has blessed this project since its inception with caring donors, staff and volunteers. We feel privileged to carry out this important work.
CURIOUS ABOUT OUR ROOTS?
Read about Bob’s incredible 700-mile walk across South Africa!
Board of Directors
Our Board of Directors serves as a crucial advisory role for Open Arms and we are grateful for their service and commitment.
The 2017 – 2018 Board is made up of the following individuals. Click on their names to read more about each one.
Bob Solis, President
|Bob Solis co-founded Open Arms with his wife Sallie in 2006. He is President of the organization and devotes a great deal of time and energy to the cause. Bob and Sallie raised five children and live in suburban Phoenix. Bob is a financial advisor with a major financial services firm.|
Sallie Solis has been a driving force behind Open Arms since our inception. She is a passionate advocate for the children who call Open Arms “home.” Sallie is a devoted mother of five and is a joy to be around!
Ted Freese, Treasurer
Ted Freese is a founding Board member and lives in the Minneapolis area. He is the Director of Admissions at a college preparatory in the Minneapolis area. Ted serves as the Treasurer for Open Arms and is one of the most enthusiastic people in the world about this cause! Ted is married to Mary Freese and they have two grown children.
Ann Parsons has been on the Board at Open Arms for more than 10 years. A native of North Dakota, “Auntie Ann” lives in the Minneapolis area and has worked extensively in the travel industry for more than 20 years. As you can see, Ann loves spending time with the children!
Jeff Towery hails from Boise, Idaho and has been on the Board at Open Arms since it began. He is a financial advisor who is happily married to his wife, Cheryl. They have 3 grown children and 3 grandchildren. Jeff calls Open Arms “one of the greatest blessings in my life!“
Dave Horan has been on the Board of Open Arms since before we opened our doors. He has traveled to Open Arms many times with his wife Michelle and two children, John and Maggie. Dave is a financial advisor in the Minneapolis area and calls Open Arms “a special place that gives our family an opportunity to serve others.”
Steve Slaughter works in the investment business and lives in Chicago with his wife Susan and four awesome children. Steve has been to Open Arms several times and his daughter volunteered there as well. He loves being part of such a vibrant and life-changing cause.
I am a born-and-raised Minnesotan, devoted wife, mother, and friend. I have had a passion to volunteer in my kid’s schools, fundraised for Children’s Hospital and Clinics, and most recently, served on the Miami University of Ohio Parent Council for 7 years. I am proud to have served on the Open Arms Board since 2015.
Dale Zeh Jr.
Dale is a senior executive in the healthcare industry as well as a Volunteer Firefighter (which often require similar skills). He lives in Colorado with his wife Laura and daughters Heidi and Maggie.
Moira is serving as our Interim Director and brings more than 20 years of experience in childcare to her role.
She is passionate about vulnerable children and previously worked for more than two decades at the East London Child and Youthcare Centre. We are pleased to have Moira in this role!