Yesterday my husband and I celebrated Palm Sunday, one of the great Christian holy days. We went to church and the message centered on the Bible story when throngs of people waved Palm leaves and laid them on the path as Christ entered Jerusalem on a donkey.  The spontaneous crowds honored him using what they had.

Four words from the message have been rolling around in my head: “Use what you have.”

This has meaning to me because this is what I do each day on behalf of the orphans. Sometimes I wake up and my motivation is low, so I pour another cup of coffee and start using what I have. I write that email, call that donor, read the funds request and take action. What I do never seems like much, but I’ve seen that if I just do what I am supposed to do every day, no matter how big or small, and if I just use what I have, things happen. I faithfully take the next step to move the mission forward. I use my passion, I use voice, I use my talents and skills, I use my gifts, and I use my time. I use what I have. And, our partners have the same mind.

RelindsandemanuelRelindis Moffor started Angel of Mercy for those infected with HIV/AIDS in her home country of Cameroon. She saw people suffering and had to do something. She worked two jobs, one paid for her and her family’s livelihood, and the other supported those she cared for in Cameroon. Relindis paid her staff in Cameroon, bought the medicines, provided housing for the homeless and she offered microloans to the women who needed funds to start businesses to support themselves. Relindis used what she had.

img-20160801-wa0064Partners Raja and Sudha Sekher in India saw the many children in and around the villages around Tuni India who were left fatherless and living in extreme poverty. They had to do something. They didn’t have much to give, but they used what they had to begin caring for the children in need, and now they care for more than 100 orphan children.

chrisgatesAnd then there’s Chris Gates from Tulsa Oklahoma who traveled with his grandmother when he was 15 years old to Tanzania. The experience set the path for his young life and his heart was forever in Tanzania. He set his heart and used what he had. He and his family have built a home for 50+ vulnerable girls in Tanzania and have a school that serves more than 500 students.

I could go on and on. Our partners are the workers on the ground every day who are changing lives and it all got started because they were willing to use what they had.

You probably do this already, but if not… and if you see a need and have a passion to help, set your heart toward the goal and get started using what you have. You don’t have to start something on your own, either. You can join those who are already doing something like we did.

You’ll never know what you can do until you get started!

Use. What. You. Have.

 

I know it’s almost April, and that 2017 is marching steadily along. I feel as if I’m just jan2getting started on very important things for our partners this year. So here we go!

First of all, much of my time in 2017 has been spent with my grandchildren in Arizona. They are filled with such joy when they see me and I can’t get enough of that! To make things even better, there’s a new baby in our family in Washington. Holding that little one reminds me again why I have such a heart for the orphans. When I hold her close in my arms, and put my face to hers, my heart floods with love so strong. This new life has a loving mom and dad and two very loving sisters. She has aunts and cousins, another set of grandparents, great grand parents and many great aunts and uncles. What a joyous way to start her life.

But, then I remember. There are so many children who don’t have a large loving family to shower them in this kind of love and it breaks my heart. I know it breaks your heart too and that’s why you have partnered with us to make life better for these dear ones.

I’m so proud of you and blessed that you love the orphans too. Last year, your love was expressed with generous donations. Your love dug a well for children and communities in India who didn’t have water. It’s hard to even understand what that would be like, and

you get that. Your love bought 100 orphans in India a bus so that as a family the kids can go on outings and be brought safely to school and back. Your love and generosity provided windows and concrete work toward finishing the dormitory for 80 orphans in Burundi. And your love sent funds to provide clean water for the 500 students, the orphans and the local villagers through a bored well. Your love repaired a dining hall roof in Cambodia and as we speak, a security wall and buildings are being repaired and painted. Your love provided screens for a girls orphan dormitory in Uganda. Your love allowed a special needs orphans group in Haiti get a bus to transport volunteers who provide medical, physical therapy and other necessary support for the orphans and families. You even loved the kids at Ashirvad in India enough to help them have their own library. There was a lot of love spread around the world for orphans last year because you cared so much!

Some of the work you funded is still in progress. I expect to get photo updates of the security wall in Cambodia and the bus is expected to arrive in Haiti in early May. The bored well company in Burundi will soon begin its work to provide the children at the school much needed fresh water for their sustenance and I will update with photos and stories.

images-duckduckgo-comThis year’s projects include a tractor and greenhouse in Tanzania and finishing raising funds for the dormitory in Burundi.

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Other projects include remodeling the NPH- Guatemala special needs dormitory to make room for physical therapy rooms, a generator and well for a new family home for a special needs orphan in Haiti, an additional dormitory to separate the boys and girls at Serenity Homes for Angel of Mercy in Cameroon. There’s talk of a school for the kids in Ashirvad and other needs along the way.

There are so many ways for you to show your love again as the year goes on. Here’s  link for you if you want to help today!

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Thanks for caring and sharing!

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Not sure when it began in me–this passion to help orphans. But I remember my response–it was immediate and with my whole being.

Orphans. I thought it unbelievable that someone would have to go through that experience, but I knew early in my life I wanted to do something about it. It’s heart-rending to me.

Orphans. An earthquake, a tsunami, devastation brought on by economic distress or war–disease, all are life up-ending events. Some areas are hit by two or even more of these unfortunate occurrences… and what is the collateral damage?

Orphans. The kids…and they are just kids. It’s the kids who are left on their own, some will die, some will be exploited, and yet some, in fact, will find caring people who’ll take them in.

We can’t do it all, but as a growing group of caring people at 200 Orphanages World Wide, we are doing something about it, every chance the opportunity to help presents itself.

Next time you see something–something devastating–think about the kids left behind, then act! Rather than turn your head or heart from the TV or your laptop, think about the $25 you can spare, knowing there’s group of people, just like you, who are dedicated to doing something to help.

Orphans: Respond to the needs when you hear of them.  Give generously or with your time. There are MANY ways you can take action. Think about approaching a service group like Rotary, Lions, or Kiwanis, any number of groups like churches, or even schools–I even know of one 4th grade elementary class that raised $1280.00 for an orphanage in Mexico. There’s a service group that sent 25 members to help run a medical and dental clinic for 250 orphans in Haiti that needed the care. Have a yard sale at your church, synagogue or mosque, or do one together, making it a cross-faith experience! See your community, not by who’s a member here or there, but as a group of people that can rally together in response to devastation when it hits. When we come together, in response to the collateral damage impacting kids, we emerge, in a collateral beauty and goodness, seen all too rarely. The goodness of people comes out when we are working together, with a force far stronger than anything nature can conjure, far more reaching than any war raged by man.

Next time you see a need, look, observe, feel, sense and see, THEN respond. Move toward the solution, and away from denial or being overwhelmed. Working together, people helping people, because its the right thing to do, because then a collateral beauty will emerge.

Guest Blogger C. Fred Cornforth,
Co-Founder 200 Orphanages Worldwide
Chief Executive Officer, CDI Group of Companies|
Garden City, ID

windowinstall16What an amazing year we had in 2016 thanks to you. Best of all, our partners around the world and the children they serve have been blessed beyond measure because or YOU. I am touched so deeply because I feared the project requests in 2016 were almost insurmountable. But today I am overjoyed as many family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, even acquaintances were moved to help the children have safety, shelter and sustainability. In 2016 we exceeded the amount we set out to raise and got a start on other projects for 2017. I realize that we are all in this together-this desire to help orphans in need. That inspires me so much! I am filled with gratitude and motivated for 2017.

Last year donors contributed enough to send more than $80,000 to projects that serve orphans. More than $91,000 came in for projects and will be used as each donor designated. Thank you so much for your love for the orphans.

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How did this happen? YOU DID IT! So many longtime supporters continue to donate and gave more than ever to the needs of our partners as they provide safety, shelter and sustainability for orphans. I am so touched that so many continue to share the vision to help our partners care for the day to day needs of orphans in their care.

You rallied around our partners and helped replace a roof on a dining hall in Cambodia, buy not just one school bus, but two, one for Ashirvad in India and one for MyLifeSpeaks in Haiti. Both these bus projects mean the world to the kids. In Ashirvad, Raja and Sudha drive the bus with 100+ kids around as a family. They go to the beach, to school and on field trips as one very large family! In Haiti, volunteers, the life-blood of MylifeSpeaks, will use the bus to visit homes, take special needs orphans to medical appointments, training and more. The Ashirvad Children Home’s library is being finished off with tile on the floor and tables and chairs so kids can study and read in a comfortable quiet place. Soon we’ll be hearing about water in Burundi being accessible to the students, staff and surrounding community… and one day the orphans in the dormitory will be filled with laughing children. We have watched the windows and doors get installed on the dormitory and now we’re watching as the concrete is being poured for interior floors and walls. Step by step that dormitory will be completed. Just watch!

So, what’s next?

This year, the first quarter of 2017, we’re creating three small campaigns. One campaign will finish the dormitory in Burundi. We’ll need about $11,500. The next two projects are the tractor for $8,000 and a green house for $4,000 in Tanzania. images-duckduckgo-comThe campaigns, the Ty Tractor Campaign and Dylan Green House Project, will serve the JBFC Girls home in Tanzania. Agriculture is so important for sustainability in developing countries, and JBFC benefits greatly with their agricultural projects. Late last year, Ty and Dylan Irish, sons of Jeffrey Irish in Idaho, donated funds to the tractor and the Green House projects on our site.I feel compelled to get that tractor (8,000) and greenhouse ($4,000)  funded as soon as possible! You can help!

We’ll be reaching out to the rest of our partners shortly to learn of their needs in the coming year. We know one or more of their projects will tug on your heartstrings and we look forward to working with you to make life better for orphans all around the world.

Look out 2017… here we come!

 

2016—I like to call the elation that comes from helping orphans “Pure Joy”. I’ve said it time and again. I’ve felt Pure Joy while holding the small hand of an orphan boy in Peru; I’ve seen Pure Joy in the eyes of the volunteer holding a baby in Cameroon; I’ve heard Pure Joy in the voices of supporters sharing through tears their passion to provide clean water to as many people as possible. This erupts in simple, PURE JOY!

The past year I have again been surprised by joy as supporters have responded to the call to fund buses, and wells, and library shelves and dormitory walls so orphan children can be loved and cared for. These items might seem mundane, but they are not mundane to the children, nor to us.

With the changes over the past few years of my moving to Washington state, I worried about where the support would come from for the needs that were being brought to us. We were made aware of our partners’ needs and set out to raise more than we’d ever raised before. I didn’t know how we’d do it.

Well, silly me! Your support over the years shows how much you care for the orphans. I knew when I started this work on behalf of the orphans that I wasn’t alone. I knew there would be more people who wanted to help orphans have safety and shelter. So, as I made the needs known to you, you responded. Because of you this year the kids at two orphan homes have a bus, others get to eat in their dining hall with a non-leaking roof; still others ave clean water and even a library. Can you feel that welling up deep inside of you? That my friend is Pure Joy!

Well done my friends! Look out 2017! Here we come!

2017happynewyear from Jan Marie on Vimeo.

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I’ve been celebrating Thanksgiving for a while now. A few weeks ago, Kim and Dan Anderson hosted Raja and Sudha Sekhar at their home and invited friends and family to enjoy an early Thanksgiving feast. Then I got to see my daughter and family in Missouri before returning back to Washington.

Thanksgiving Day is here and the day’s preparations are underway. At this moment, coffee in hand, my German Shepherd Winston is sitting next to me and I am live streaming the Macy’s Day Thanksgiving Day Parade on one device, listening to Garth Brooks sing his Thanksgiving Song on another, while I write this blog on yet another. I’d say I’m immersed in the holiday.

In a few hours, I will be preparing a feast of my own. My menu includes all the excesses, including my Holiday Bread, rice stuffed duck, turkey, lamb, Jason’s Green Beans, Emi’s mashed potatoes, carrot cake and home made pumpkin pie. My daughter, her husband and their four lovely children will be here, and she’s invited friends to join us. There will be lots of football, chit chat, games and movies for kids interrupted by a feast of mammoth proportions.

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The children’s home in Cambodia has a new roof on the dining hall because of generous donors! Look at the smiles you are bringing!

You’ve also generously donated to complete the dining hall roof in Cambodia, donated toward the dormitory in Burundi and we’ve been able to put in windows and doors and are half way there to funding a bored well for clean drinking water. You’ve donated to put screens on windows in Uganda for the Gulu Girls home so the chance of them getting malaria has been reduced. Just look at the smiles you are bringing!

In all of our excess and traditions, I am well aware that many of the children we serve, barely have enough to eat in a day, let alone a family to surround them with love. This is why I started 200 Orphanages and began to reach out to friends and family to try to do something so abandoned and vulnerable children would have a safe place to call home. This is why you have come along side and are helping in so many ways.

Today I am thankful for our loving partners who care daily for the vulnerable child. And, I am so grateful that you have joined in this quest to provide safety, shelter and sustainability for the orphan child. We can’t do it all, but we can all do something.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and  yours! Here’s my personal message to you and yours.

Thanks Giving 2016 from Jan Marie on Vimeo.

Jan Hanson

nicoleandjordannimaSometimes it just takes one person to make a difference. We always say, “We Can’t Do It All, But We Can All Do Something.”

In the case of raising awareness and funds for Ashirvad Children’s Home in India, one person who started the ball rolling is Nicole Hanson, my niece in law. Nicole’s simple act of sharing a Facebook post started the ball rolling that would ultimately touch more than 100 orphans and vulnerable children in Ashirvad Children’s Home in India.

Nicole loves our cause and how we help orphans in need. When she learned that her husband Jordan was participating in our Golf 4 Orphan event a few years ago, she shared the event on her Facebook page. She was especially excited about the event when she learned we were raising funds for an orphan home in India. It touched her deeply.

Nicole’s passion for India’s vulnerable children is personal. She was born in India and as a small child, she was taken into an orphanage and then adopted by her family in Minnesota. She grew up in the U.S. and had the benefits of a strong loving family and  friends. When she met my nephew in high school, they fell in love and were married.

Because Nicole shared our event, her aunt, Kim Anderson, who also loves helping orphans became aware of 200 Orphanages. When Kim read Nicole’s post, she asked about us and the rest is history. Over the past two years, Kim and her husband Dan have built amazing teams and accomplished successful fund raising events with proceeds going to complete a dining hall,  a library, a steam kitchen and this year funds were raised to buy a school bus.

This past week, Kim and Dan hosted Ashirvad Directors and Founders Raja and Sudha Sekhar in their home. It was their first time in the U.S., made possible by a generous donor. The couple was able to meet some of the people in Minnesota who participated in helping them help their children.

 

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Nicole, Jordan and their lovely newborn baby Nima Rae were at the gathering. They were able to hear stories from Raja of how great an impact the fundraisers have made by perfect strangers far away. I was reminded as we shared a meal over stories that night at Kim and Dan’s how something seemingly small and inconsequential to us can make the world of difference to someone in need. By individuals like Nicole, Kim and countless others, doing what they can, we are able to help partners around the world provide orphans with safety, shelter and sustainability.

I can’t help but wonder, as Nicole sees the photos of the kids at Ashirvad flash across the screen, if she doesn’t somehow see herself and say a prayer of thanksgiving. I can see in their faces that she and Jordan are filled with gratitude, even Pure Joy as they enjoy their daughter surrounding her with a loving family and friends as well as loving souls from abroad.

Thank you Nicole for your heart to help the orphans. Thanks you everyone.

Some think the meaning of life is seeking happiness. Not sure I go along with that, only because the happiest people I know seek to serve others. It’s a mystery to some that selfless people radiate happiness all around them.  And who doesn’t love being around happy people!

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Selfless, happy CDI board of directors and wives.

In this journey, building an organization to make the lives of orphans brighter, I’m touched by the people I meet who selflessly work to make the lives of a child better. These are the happiest people I’ve ever met. And they’re all around me these days. Our partners, their staff, our donors, volunteers and supporters all radiate happiness out of full hearts that selflessly give to others.

From the beginning of this journey, one such person is Fred Cornforth, CEO of CDI in Boise Idaho has provided support, funds and guidance to our work. In our initial meeting Fred told me his dream to one day build 200 Orphanages. Thus, he coined our name! Not long after, Fred helped us make our very first funds disbursement to Haiti after the earthquake, he’s funded projects and administration expenses ever since.

Last weekend, my husband and I were invited to share the orphan work with the CDI board of directors. Each board member shared their own selfless work helping orphans and other organizations with time and talent over the years. Their stories of selflessness and unbridled love for the orphan might just explain their smiles!

I’m filled with gratitude to all those who selflessly give encouragement and support. I love being around happy people.

 

I wept over my keyboard yesterday, while sitting in my little office in Redmond. It was a good day. But, I cried (I seldom cry, by the way).  I actually wept and even today I’m tearing up. Mine were tears of joy mixed with gratitude to a God who cares so much for the abandoned children we serve. He loves them so much that He sends people through us to bless these children.

Lacy Gordon at Halo Foundation, one of our long-term partners, sent photos of the screens one of our donor funded. This donor, like so many, wanted to make an impact with his funds, so he asked about the Gulu Girls Orphanage in Uganda. Lacy shared the need for screens on the dorm windows to keep the mosquitoes out, you see Malaria is a problem there. So, 100% of his funds went directly to pay for the screens for these beautiful girls. I put a collage together of the photos she sent.

GULUGIRLSCREENCOLLAGE

I went to the Halo website to see more about these girls, and I cried like a baby. I love this work. Look at those faces. More tears.

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The Gulu Girls home is based in northern Uganda and currently supports 18 girls.  The Gulu area saw over twenty years of brutal violence from the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and is now recovering from the many atrocities it faced.  The war left many children orphaned and traumatized as they saw their families killed or forced by rebels to be soldiers or sex slaves.  The Gulu home hopes to contribute to the rehabilitation of northern Uganda by providing a group of girls in need with a family-like environment, an education for a promising future, and mentoring to become women of character and leaders in their community as it rebuilds.

 

There’s More: A donor friend of mine reached out yesterday to ask if we received he and his wife’s $1,000 check for the JRMD dormitory in Burundi. They’re Dream Makers! And others have reached out letting us know their funds are on the way. (Tears) The Dream Maker Campaign has raised $10600 so far and people are still working toward their goals. Everyone is making such a huge impact so 80 kids will have a place to call home. Tears.

And then, another friend and compassionate soul emailed me. He cries every time he talks about children dying just because they don’t have clean water.  He wants to help by offering matching funds for boring the well that JRMD needs in Burundi.

Then, another crier, one of our board members, said she’s sending money (lots of) for the Cambodia project. She just can’t help herself.

Also, we have a group forming in Washington to help the special needs orphans in Haiti. Tears.

My heart is filled with pure joy because so many of you feel the same way I do about caring for abandoned children. And we know the needs are great. We can’t do it all, but we can all do something.

You bless my heart beyond measure. You inspire me that our work together is touching lives. Tears. I’m a mess.

 

generic2016logoWe’ve been working for the past 8 years inviting you to invest in the life of the abandoned, vulnerable child.This is all we can offer you. It is our value statement. We provide you with an opportunity to help a child grow in safe shelter and lifelong sustainability.

We can’t begin to feel their loneliness and fear, but we’re committed to helping in some way. We can’t be there to wipe the tears, but our partners can. So, with that we’re thrilled that donors have come alongside our vision to help them help them. Please read our June 2016 Update. Newsletter2016JuneJuly

Investments of all size make a difference. You select a project and your funds will go directly to the project of your choice–even your monthly donations. Here’s what you’ve been up to over the years. This doesn’t include our funding this year of about $38,000. So, you’ve been busy helping orphans have safety shelter and sustainability.

graphicJoin Our Next Campaign to complete the dormitory in Burundi!

Be A Dream Maker! 

 

 

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