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It’s been about a month since I returned from a 10 day trip to Guatemala and I’ve had time to ponder the experience. One of the best decisions I made was to take the time to visit NPH Guatemala, an orphan home in San Andres, Itzapa. I’ve known about NPH since we started 200 Orphanages as we helped NPH Haiti expand their orphan home after the earthquake in 2009.
This visit was my first to an NPH home and included our Guatemalan daughter and her family. It was also my husband’s first trip to an orphanage. Their hearts were touched beyond words and not only were their emotions moved, they made decisions to take action to do something to help an orphan in some way.
We visited on a Sunday and so the kids were all enjoying a relaxing day of fun and fellowship with volunteers and weekend staff. When we arrived, on-site director Chris Hoyt was out for a run with some of the older kids. We arrived a bit late and so we were met by one of the staff members until Chris and the running entourage returned.
To see NPH on a weekend, when the kids are free to play and enjoy their day was especially moving. They wandered up freely to Chris and the other staff for hugs and loving greetings and were met with hugs and greetings in return. The mutual love was apparent reflecting founder Father Wasson’s original vision that every child in the home is part of a loving family. In this case, a family of 300! But each child is special and is given individualized care and love. I am so touched by this wonderful organization. It is one of the many I am proud to support. It’s heart warming to see the vision of the founders be lived out day by day through staff and volunteers.
So many things about the organization touched me. It is an example of the kind of partners we seek to help. They provide loving care to the orphans from infant to adulthood. The kids are well cared for and sustained by sponsors and receive food, clothing, education and medical care. There is a large garden that the kids help with that provides food day to day for the kids, along with livestock. Children take turns doing their part in the kitchen, cleaning, everything a child would do in a family. Each one has responsibilities and is encouraged to help their siblings. The farm is a large part of their operations, and takes a lot to keep up. Chris mentioned they could use more chickens and cattle, so if you want to help let us know. The kids don’t get meat very often, just once a week. As you can imagine, 300 mouths are a lot to feed!
I was impressed that the life of each child is important and a holistic approach is taken when considering their care. I love this. Children need individual guidance and even more so as they approach adulthood. NPH provides that. Once a child is older, he/she is able to learn a trade in the on-site vocational training, such as welding, baking, sewing and carpentry. Others who qualify for university are sponsored an NPH Guatemala had the largest number of children in their history attend University last year.
The NPH children are raised to be productive members of the family and the larger community. Children in the NPH family are asked to volunteer for a year of service in one of the NPH homes after they leave NPH. Many do, and many are the current leaders of the homes in one capacity or another.
NPH cares for special needs children as well, and there is also a Montessori school. The Montessori school needs a fence that we’d like to fund. If you’d like to adopt this project, let me know! You can underwrite the whole fence, or any part of it. The total cost is $1800. Click here to donate. Write NPH Fence in the comments if you donate online!
We can’t do it all, but we can all do something!
Think about the people in your life and if you have room or want to make room, there are lots of things you can do.You can mentor a child with groups like Big Brothers Big Sisters, you can adopt a child as your own, you can sponsor a child’s education or living expenses, you can help us raise awareness and funds to provide safety, shelter and sustenance for orphans. You can help us help them.
There may be ways to move things around in our lives, in our hearts even and make room for just one more. If we ACT, SHARE OR GIVE, if we all just made room for one more, what a different world this would be! I know many of you have already made room, but if not you can join our Giving Hearts Club! You can help us help them, and participate in building an orphan home, click on the photo and get started!
We can’t do it all, but we can all do something!
I made a choice a few years ago to think of time spent in the same terms as money. If time and talents were resources to be invested or spent, what am I spending mine on? It’s easier to track with money, you spend and get something in return. It’s easy to see what you’ve purchased. But, what about time and talents? It’s not as tangible, but your return is just as real.
So, with that comparison, I decided to deliberately spend my time and talents on things that I believed mattered the most, my family, and faith and the orphans. Today, I deliberately choose to spend my time and talents to help orphans knowing I can’t do it all, but I can do something.
I started 200 Orphanages Worldwide more than 5 years ago and since then, we’ve made it part of our mission to encourage deliberate generosity in others. With the support of others, we’ve helped provide safety and shelter at 8 different partners. We’ve built security walls in Haiti, Uganda and Rwanda. We’ve helped orphan homes with sustainable agricultural projects in Rwanda, Cameroon and Tanzania. We’ve built two orphan homes, one in India and one in Cameroon and expanded another in Haiti. We’ve helped complete dining halls in India and Tanzania. These projects were completed because of deliberate generosity.
We all have one life to spend and limited resources… so join me in making life count. Consider deliberate generosity as your way of life by sharing a portion of your time and talents on something you’re passionate about. We’d love to have your help providing safe shelter for orphans in 2014. You really can do a world of good.
“Does the road wind up-hill all the way?
Yes, to the very end.
Will the day’s journey take the whole long day?
From morn to night, my friend.”
This describes many of our lives, so we better be enjoying what we do! My work on behalf of the orphans is a daily climb, sometimes up, sometimes down… but I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else with my time, talent and energy.
I love what I do, because I know that it matters. I also know that I can’t do it all, but I can do something. So, today, I am climbing another hill! Many of you know that Dec. 3 is set aside as a national day of giving…how perfect… right? Right before Christmas…Yes I know.
I am so blessed to know so many generous people, so many who labor and give. I know it’s not always about giving money, but often it’s time and talents that are as valuable. So, with that, my heart is filled with gratitude knowing we can’t do it all, but we can all do something. As I hear reports from our partners across the globe, their something is providing brighter futures for the orphans with loving, daily care.. As donors and supporters, your something is helping finance our partner projects in some way.
It’s important for you to know that your donated funds are sent directly to our partners for the project. You and your gifts are making a direct impact in the lives of orphans in need. My part is to continue our mission of helping our partners raise awareness and funds for building projects to better serve orphans in their care. When you donate, you become my partner in this work. It warms my heart to know that children we may never meet will have a home to call their own and for the first time in their young lives they have a sense of well being and hope for a brighter future. Here’s how you can help today. Go to this link and donate at any level. Then please share this link http://goto.gg/15248 on your friend network.
We’ll have matching opportunities through this campaign so give when you can! Tuesday Dec. 3 is one of those days. I’m reaching out to as many individuals as I can to personally for a donation of any kind. Our goal is 40 donors and $4,000. So, I’m going to at the very least be contacting 40 of you! Up Hill all the way my friend! The close of that poem reads:
Thank you in advance for helping complete the orphan home in India. Beds for all who come!
Thank you for joining me Up Hill!
Could there be a better time of year to share a gift with a child in need? Thanksgiving is the perfect time to remember those who have so little. Our Global Giving Campaign is now live and we’re encouraging our friends to donate at any level toward the Mercy Home project in Kerala India.
Click on the button, or go to our Project Page and consider making a monthly gift at http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/provide-10-orphans-a-home-of-their-own/?show=recurring.
You can be a part of helping the kids in Kerala India be home for the holidays.
I’ll be sharing a video that gives you a glimpse of just a few of the lovely children cared for by Mercy Homes. It touches my heart each time I see the kids smile as I am sure it touches yours. I am so blessed to be a part of their lives. You can donate at any level. It takes so little to make a child smile! We know we can’t do it all, but we can all do something.
Happy Thanksgiving Week!
Many have received a letter from us in the mail, adding to the thousands of nonprofits around the country asking for donations. Believe me, I resisted sending snail mail… we have email and Facebook, right? Even so, it seems this time of year presents you with a smorgasbord of opportunities to give. Ok, I know many in the social media generation don’t even know what a smorgasbord is…(think glorified buffet). It means you get to choose from a variety of options… and that’s a good thing. Everyone has a favorite…we are hoping helping an orphan have safe shelter is yours!
So, with that as a backdrop, I must apologize in advance for all the email and social media chatter coming your way from us. You are going to hear a lot about our ongoing projects and the kids at Mercy Home in India. We want to raise $13,000 by the end of the year and we can’t do it without you, your friends and their friends… even perfect strangers. We’re going to use these tools to make that happen, all the while spreading the word about our partners and the wonderful work they’re doing on behalf of the orphans in their care.
So, here’s what’s at the smorgasbord…
This exciting campaign is the brainchild of our Board member Cory Scheer, assistant professor of nonprofit and business leadership at William Jewell College in Liberty Missouri. Cory joined the board in June 2012 and wanted to help raise funds for shelter, knowing he couldn’t do it all, but he could do something. His something is athletics…and today, after a serious injury, he’s organizing a fund raising marathon campaign around his Virtual 5K. Learn more at www.basicneedsmarathon.com
Cory will be running 12 Marathons in 12 months to draw attention to the causes he supports. We’re proud to be one of them and we’re already hearing from runners from Pennsyvania to California! We will stay with Cory’s campaign through our own Minnesota Spring Fever 5K in February until the culmination of his campaign in April. If you’re a runner, know a runner or are a wanna be runner…let’s do this thing!
NOVEMBER 14: Give to the MAX: We are participating and will post social media.
COMING SOON! November 25: Global Giving Campaign November 25-Dec. 25: Thanksgiving Week Till Christmas. In just a few weeks, starting November 25, you can help 10 orphans in India have a home of their own by Christmas. Give any amount. I’m seeking at least 50 people in my network… and your network to donate at any level. By raising $4,000 with 50 or more donors, we’ll be eligible for matching grants in future campaigns wiht Global Giving. This is a lot in just a few short weeks to get the word out, so I will try really hard not to inundate or be redundant…but sometimes it just happens. Please forgive… and just give! Any amount helps us reach our goal. Your gift changes lives and builds a foundation for a brighter future. As a volunteer organization, 100% of your gift goes to the project. So, think of my zealous communications as making the life of an orphan just a bit brighter.
Just so you know, 100% of the proceeds from these campaigns will go to the Mercy Home project. Your donation of $30 buys items like door posts; window frames are $50 each. These are the tangibles your funds are buying. $3,000 provides the flooring or a roof. Concrete for the home is about $500. What is intangible is the sense of security and belonging that comes to an orphan with a place to call home. So you see, you really can make a difference.
You can also donate directly from our site and choose a project that you’re passionate about.
I’m touched by the giving hearts of family, friends, and colleagues, even perfect strangers who have caught the vision and helped provide safe shelter for orphans. So many have supported our cause from the beginning and more are coming alongside every week. One of our supporters and board members Cory Scheer is taking the challenge with a Basic Needs Marathon well…marathon… http://www.basicneedsmarathon.com/. He’s running 12 Marathons in 12 Months to raise funds for our cause.
Check out his site and what he’s doing to make a difference…Thanks Cory!
Others have also mobilized to fund raise for partner projects serving orphans. We’re soon going to kick off a FUNDRAISING FLASH toward a $5,000 end of the year goal for phase one of the Mercy Homes in Kerala India. Please consider joining our Giving Hearts Club with a fund raiser of your own or an online donation… Simply select Mercy Homes in the drop down menu from our online donation page. As always, 100% of your funds go toward the building project.
I’m also touched by the vision, dedication and perseverance of our partners who provide love and care for the orphans day by day. Both Angel of Mercy and Nibakure Children’s Village have a fund raiser within the next month to help them fund their operations.
Your partnership with us in building safe shelter for orphans has resulted in security walls in Rwanda, Haiti and Uganda; an outdoor kitchen, an outdoor latrine in Kenya and Rwanda; you’ve helped fund an HIV/AIDS home for orphans in Cameroon and a loving family style home in Kerala India. Since our first project in 2009, we’ve raised more than $150,000 and distributed more than half of that since we started raising funds a few short years ago.
In the next few months, we’ll fund phase one of Mercy Homes in Kerala, India, we’ll repair a roof at Ashirvad Home for orphans in India through Halo Foundation, participate in funding a chicken coop to feed orphans in Rwanda and Tanzania. We’ll also send funds toward the boys’ latrine for Ngatha International in Kenya.
There are lots of ways to support building projects so orphans can live securely and well… do what children do! Here are a few more events to help the cause:
Angel of Mercy Annual Fundraiser: https://www.facebook.com/#!/angelof.mercy.773
Nibakure Children’s Village: https://www.facebook.com/#!/Nibakure?hc_location=timeline
It’s always important to remember why we do what we do…It’s for the children…Here are a few of the children your support. We can’t do it all, but we can all do something! And, just think, our work together has just begun.
Emanuel, 14, lost both parents to HIV/AIDS. Fortunately he was introduced to Angel of Mercy and is now in their daily care. He will be one of the first residents of the home in Cameroon your investment helped build. He’s so excited to move into the new home you’ve provided. Imagine for the first time feeling like you belong somewhere! These are the intangibles your gifts provide.
Yvette UWAMAHORO is 10. Yvette and her three siblings lost their parents five years ago. Before coming to Nibakure Children’s Village, Yvette lived in the Kageyo Refugee Camp in Northern Rwanda with her aunt. Life in the camp was difficult, as after school she had to walk long distances to fetch water, look after her little brother, and sometimes cook for the whole family. Today, in NCV, her vision for her life has completely changed and she hopes to one day be a doctor.
Subha was born into a poor family in India. Each day was a struggle for the family to find food to eat. She lived in a slum and was neglected both in health and hygiene. She was not sent to school until she came to Mercy Homes in India. Now, she is studying in 6th grade and is receiving a foundation for a bright future.
Today, I am filled with thanksgiving as I move toward… well Thanksgiving.
I know it’s not quite October, but I am getting an early start on my giving of thanks for November. First of all, I am so grateful to my family, friends and colleagues, even many of the perfect strangers who have caught the vision and have become partners on behalf of the orphans in the world.
Since we started, your Giving Hearts have provided funds for safe shelter for orphans. You’ve helped our partners build security walls and fences, dining halls, latrines and outdoor kitchens. You’re support has built a home for HIV/AIDS orphans in Cameroon and have almost completed raising funds for the first floor of the Mercy Home in Kerala India. Next year, we hope to complete the fundraising for the Mercy Home, along with the Ngatha International boy’s dormitory and outdoor latrine in Kenya. We’ll be moving toward helping another project in India sponsored by Halo Foundation in India. There will be other requests and we’ll review them and do what we can. That being said, I am so grateful for every dollar you send to build these projects. Every dime is used with care and thanksgiving.
This year, we’re committed to helping our partners again by the end of the year. Many orphans now have safe shelter… and it’s because of you. Your donations and support help make dreams come true for children left without hope.
Orphans like Emanuel, thank you too. These once voiceless children, who would be a sad statistic without the hope and help from our partners. The orphan girls in Kerala India thank you because without you helping provide safety and shelter, their future would be much different. Because of your support, the young girls and boys in Rwanda have a home of their own, with a future and a hope. The children in Haiti still reeling from the devastating earthquake have housing and temporary classrooms to continue their education.You are doing a good work in the world.
So, thank you for investing in brick and mortar; you’re support is doing so much more… you’re changing futures and building hope. Jh
The waiting place is from Dr. Seuss’s book “Oh the Places You’ll Go”. This waiting place is the place we all end up in once and a while. One good thing about being in the waiting place is that eventually it ends. In that place, we’ve learned patience and endurance…maybe perseverence.. and eventually you move on to another, better place.
Today, I got word that the grant funds from the International Rotary Foundation are in the account! It’s been a long wait, but soon we’ll get started on the well for Angels Home for Orphans as the project is built and the rainy season is almost over.
Unfortunately, we lost one of the orphans since we began this work. Precious passed on last year waiting for the orphan home to be built. But, there are others still in the waiting place. Emanuel, 14, has been with Angel of Mercy since he was six. His parents died from HIV/AIDS a few years after he was born. He was orphaned and lived with his aunt, and then an uncle. When he was brought to “Angel of Mercy”, he was not well and suffered from nutrition and protein deficiency. He attended every support group meeting at Angel of Mercy with his aunt. Those were some of his happiest moments because everyone in the group treated him with so much love and kindness. Emanuel attends a Government Primary School in the Bambui village in Cameroon. He is presently in class Five. “Angel of Mercy” sponsors his schooling and helps provide dental and medical care.
Emanuel is one of the children waiting to relocate to Angels Home for Orphans. His health is stabilized and he smiles more often as he has some hope for the future. Emanuel has found another family with “Angel of Mercy” and remains a precious child in their care.
If you want to help an orphan, please do. You can’t save them all, but you can save just one. Help us build safe shelter. Every orphan deserves a safe place to call home. Go to www.200Orphanagesworldwide.org and donate securely online.
Now everyone can help an orphan! I received an email one Sunday afternoon from one of the founders of an organization called Charitysub. They are a subscription based donation site where you are able to donate as little as $5 monthly to a cause that moves your heart. They feature different causes each month and July their cause is orphans. We were contacted to participate, they video taped our message while I was in NY attending the Building Hope Together event. Their mission is much like ours, they partner with worthy organizations to help them complete their vision. They are on my list of some of the most wonderful people I’ve met on earth… check them out and maybe consider donating to directly to a project or to our cause on their site… You really can make a difference in the life of an orphan. We can’t do it all, but we can all do something! Click www.Charitysub.org and join our journey to make a difference.