Grand Junction couple earns ‘Oprah’ spot for their charity work in Africa

Morgan Hansow, 28, of Grand Junction, dances with the residents of a Ugandan village during one of her trips to Africa.

One day after receiving front row seats to arguably the most popular TV show in the world, Dave Hansow said Wednesday he is a little tired, but extremely humbled, to have been given the chance to fly to Chicago with his wife to be on “Oprah.”

Yes. “Oprah.” Dave and Morgan Hansow were in attendance for the taping of “Oprah’s Ultimate Favorite Things,” which will air Friday.

During the episode, an annual event every November, and one of the most popular shows she does, Oprah Winfrey announces her favorite things. Then, she gives them away to audience members.

The Hansows were in attendance for all of it during Tuesday’s taping — with two reserved, front row seats. However, Hansow could not divulge what Oprah’s favorite things were this year. Viewers will have to check that out Friday at 4 p.m. on KREX, Channel 5.

In fact, Hansow was prohibited from saying much about he and his wife’s whirlwind trip to Chicago. What Hansow did say might make Mesa County residents proud the two were hand-picked to be in attendance for the show.

Dave, 29, and Morgan, 28, started Light Gives Heat, a Grand Junction-based nonprofit organization, three years ago in an effort to provide jobs and a means for Ugandans to better their lives and the lives of their families.

The Hansows were touched by the warmness and beauty of the country’s people while they went through the process of adopting their daughter, Jadyn, nearly three years ago.

Now, Light Gives Heat employs more than 130 men and women from the Jinja, Uganda, area, where they make intricate, handmade necklaces and bags to sell through the Light Gives Heat store, 2507 Weslo Ave., or online at

Every bit of the proceeds is given to the Ugandan workers, Hansow said.

In turn, the Ugandan employees earn a consistent income. Although it isn’t enough to fully support the large families many of the employees’ have, the income is enough to help feed and educate many of their children, Hansow said.

The ongoing work of the Hansows and Light Gives Heat prompted producers of Oprah’s show to contact Dave and Morgan about five months ago regarding the couple’s work in Africa.

Through their contacts and because of their work to promote hope in Uganda, the Hansows were invited to sit in the front row of Oprah’s show that airs Friday.

Nearly the entire audience who will be part of “Oprah’s Ultimate Favorite Things” show this year were deemed heroes through nominations by other people or through the show. Dave Hansow said he met truly remarkable people there.

He said he plans to stay in contact with Oprah’s producers, and there may be a chance Light Gives Heat is featured on a future show.

“I had no idea that we would embark on such a crazy, exciting journey when we first started this. ...We have a feeling that it could be something pretty big,” Morgan Hansow said in an interview with The Daily Sentinel in 2007.

Dave Hansow got a good laugh out of that quote upon hearing it Tuesday. It’s only been three years, but he and Morgan are helping others help themselves.

“We are super humbled and blown away,” he said.

For more information on Light Gives Heat, including information about the $250,000, full-length film nearing its completion about the organization, visit the website or stop by the local store where necklaces and handbags are on display.


Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

Search More Jobs

734 S. Seventh St.
Grand Junction, CO 81501
970-242-5050; M-F 8:00 - 5:00
Subscribe to print edition
Advertiser Tearsheet

© 2015 Grand Junction Media, Inc.
By using this site you agree to the Visitor Agreement and the Privacy Policy