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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA If you’re going to fall,  try to fall forward. Then, get up and look around, brush yourself off and start again from there. When I hurled myself off the cliff, endeavoring to beat the odds, start a nonprofit during the Great Recession, my mission was to do what I could to serve orphan needs. There’s been a lot of first, fails and falls… but at least we’re falling forward. I knew the work would be hard, but it’s easy to put “hard” in perspective with orphan care. “Hard” is living each day as an orphan.

finishedlookangelofmercySo we continue the work.  All the successes we claim are because we haven’t given up and because  our supporters and volunteers share our passion to help orphans.  It’s because of our supporters that a handful of the 150 million orphans in the world have a safe place to call home. IMG_3338The need is great. We can’t do it all, but we can all do something.

Each day, each week, each month and each year we fall forward. We’ve been  raising awareness and funds to provide safety, shelter and sustainability for orphans for about 6 years.

We’re on the way to building our second orphan home, we’ve provided security with block walls and fences, and we’ve helped build sustainability with wells, outdoor kitchens and livestock buildings. IMG_0544All of this  so  orphans can have a safety, shelter and sustainability. And you get the benefit of knowing your funds made a direct impact in the life of an orphan. Your investment has real life returns.

And the smile on that child’s face? It’s because of you.

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I have the privilege of working with many talented and generous people. More examples of those practicing deliberate generosity. Today,  I’m introducing three dedicated individuals who each decided on their own they want to do something for orphans in need. They found us on volunteermatch.org as they sought out opportunities. Today they are making our mission their own. Each oneusing their talents and skills to help our partners build awareness and funds about building  projects that will better serve the orphans in their care. We can’t do it all but we can all do something.

They each took the next step after learning about what we do. They said… how can I help.

Diana Ricketson, Social Media Manager

Diana Ricketson, Social Media Manager

Diana Ricketson lives in Atlanta and her mission is to help make life better for orphans from right where she is. She’s engaging  her marketing and social networking skills to that end. Her heart and motivation inspires me. She lives for likes, so do us a favor… like our page on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/200Orphans

Dorie Lincoln

Dorie Lincoln, Web Designer

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Albert Hurt, Social Media Specialist

Dorie Lincoln also took the next step and connected with us when she heard about our mission. She’s  developing skills in coding and web design. Well, guess what we needed! Dorie is helping us enhance our image and soon we’ll see the results of her dedication and effort. She too has a heart for orphans and using her skills and talents to make the life of an orphan just a bit brighter. Watch for our new site in the next few months.

Albert Hur engaged with us almost two months ago and is intense about helping our cause through social networking. His goal is to engage our followers and friends and see results through making a greater impact building projects for the orphans. For him, results are in people pressing that GIVE button and following up with a donation!
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The best thing is, they all have embraced the vision and are doing what they can to make a difference. They are so much fun to work with I can only say thank you. Each one brings joy to my heart and a smile to my face. Our  virtual meetings are delightful and I can only see more orphans having safety, shelter and sustainability as a result.

We can’t do it all… but we can all do something.

Thank you Diana! Dorie! Albert. You rock.

 

 

TaNZANIA CHICKENSYes, that’s a chicken and a very happy girl.

We recently were made aware of a few needs from our partners–a chicken coop in Tanzania and four wells in India. We shared the needs with two friends with generous hearts who decided they would meet the needs.

The gratitude is obvious on the faces of the children. The orphan girls at Janada Batchelor Foundation for Children in Tanzania now have meat to eat more often and can sell their product at the market. Being 001sustainable is critical  and we are happy our supporter made that happen.

The4  clean water wells in India were  funded recently and will  provide water for orphan homes and the community at large. Imagine having access to clean water for the first time in your life. One person with a heart for clean water made that happen.

We are so touched by the deliberate generosity of our friends.

We are reaching out to our friends and supporters to help build a fence around the Montessori school at NPH-Guatemala. The cost is $1800 and all the funds donated will go directly to the fence. If you’d like to help, donate online from our website. You can make a child smile today!

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We Can’t Do it all, but we can all do something!

 

DSC_2314 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 DSC_2326Guatemalan 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!

handactsharegiveDo you have room in your heart for one more?

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!

LOGOsquarenyearsI’m ringing in the new year with a call to “Deliberate Generosity”.

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.

mercyhomesindiagroup One of my favorite poems is “Up Hill” By Christina Rossetti.  It starts this way:

“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:

Shall I find comfort, travel-sore and weak?
   Of labour you shall find the sum.
Will there be beds for me and all who seek?
   Yea, beds for all who come.

Thank you in advance for helping complete the orphan home in India. Beds for all who come!

Thank you for joining me Up Hill!

mercyhomesindiagroupgive_now 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!

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croppedindiagirlMany 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…

coryraceNOVEMBER 14-April 2014: Basic Needs Marathon Challenge:

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!

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 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.

Help an orphan be home for Christmas! Thank you in advance for giving to make the life of an orphan just a bit brighter.give

You can also donate directly from our site and choose a project that you’re passionate about.

coryraceI’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 fundRelindsandemanuel 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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn 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. 

 emanuelle 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.

yvetteYvette 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.

 croppedindiagirlSubha 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.

Tweet For Tots

  • Wednesdays Volunteer Highlight! Meet Kim Anderson and hear her story about why she wants to help orphans have... fb.me/2CErfdVFITweet For Tots 1 week ago
  • I was a able early on in this work to obtain a copy of George Mueller's Autobiography.... fb.me/3lHbKDJufTweet For Tots 1 week ago
  • This is a project we're working to complete. It would be great to see the kids in their new home. We can't do it... fb.me/6NFEct8HKTweet For Tots 1 week ago

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