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20191117_071834.jpgI feel full already. Not only with the anticipation of lots of turkey, but with a sense of joy, as well.

My Thanksgiving table will have 20 guests, family and friends of all ages… from 6 months to 65. Food will be abundant and laughter too. I am looking forward to full holiday and feeling so grateful. I have so much to be thankful for.

200 Orphanages is closing out the month of November and I am full of joy as I reflect on the impact our donors have made. To finish out the year, after funding more than $100,000 in projects in India, Haiti and Tanzania in 2019, we just received a video from Songea Tanzania showing water spraying out from the well donors are providing. We got a great update from our other partner, Mainsprings, Tanzania and many of the projects are on their way. The projects in India are moving forward and we’re following the updates in Mexico, too. So, yes… I am full of joy.

VID-20191127-WA0000 from Jan Marie on Vimeo.

This video represents a milestone: Clean and Accessible water for 400 children, staff and the local community of St. Teresa’s Orphan Foundation in Tanzania. It’s little by little, step by step this creating foundations so children can live full and productive lives. Clean water is part of that, as are the other projects providing safety, shelter and sustainability. This is how it was this year.

20190425_171537Over and over again, as we made you, our supporters, aware of the needs of the orphans… you took action. SO MANY OF YOU SAID YES! We asked for help and volunteers help with letter writing campaigns, silent auctions, fundraisers, donations and more! It’s because, as I suspected, you want to help orphans as much as I do. I am doing my part by finding credible projects and individuals like you are the key to making them happen. We’re together in this business of impacting and changing lives.

Over the year, there were PartiesWithPurpose organized, fundraisers for two clean water wells, and Facebook fundraising campaigns. There was even a lemonade stand set up to raise funds by a little boy in my little town of Duvall Washington who wanted to help orphans.

The best part is many people were able to learn about what we do and the projects that can help needy kids have better lives. These are seeds sown. And now we wait for the harvest!

Our strategies for 2020 will be to dig deeper, reach wider. We’ll march on, sow our seeds, all to make sure the children in good time, will have their basic needs met. Jh

You Make All The Difference In The World.

Happy Thanksgiving, to you and yours.

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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.

 

Black Friday Deal For YOU!

Today, I have Thanksgiving on my mind. And like many others, I am counting my blessings and planning my Thanksgiving Day Menu. A lot of love and care will go into preparing the Thanksgiving Day meal. We have a tradition, like so many other families, to share what we are thankful for before we say grace and eat. With the sharing, there are tears mixed with loving words. We’ve been blessed with a large family and each one in our family is a treasure.

My heart of gratitude reaches even further since I started the mission to help provide orphans safe shelter and sustainability. I was compelled to start this work because I love my family so much. I can’t imagine a child at any age being left alone in this world. I knew there was something I could do to make their lives better, so this is my something.

And I know many of you have a heart for orphans too, as many of you have friended or followed our work. For all of you who have “liked” our pages and followed our “tweets,” I’m wondering if you can take the next step and participate in our Black Friday Event.

Send in a $50 or more donation online clicktodonate

to help us in our work starting Black Friday until Christmas, and we’ll will send you hand crafted felted mittens, a felted bird house or a neck warmer. Let’s try to make sure the orphans have a reason to celebrate Thanksgiving too!

mittens   WP_20141103_007 WP_20141101_012

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

piechart2014I find it so  amazing that it’s been almost 7 years since I started raising awareness and funds for building projects to better serve orphans.

Because of donors and volunteers, we’ve funded more than one project a year in our quest to one day touch to 200 Orphanages. So, I guess to accomplish our goal, I’ll have to live a long time… or quadruple my efforts! But, as legacies go, this work is supposed to outlast me. My desire to build something that lasts on behalf of orphans remains strong. Little by little, step by step we’re touching the lives of orphans in need.

So, here I am, seven years later and because donors, supporters and volunteers are catching the vision we’ve raised funds to build  family style orphan homes, security walls, dig clean water wells,  outdoor kitchens, even a concession store for vocational training for disabled orphans and livestock buildings. We’ve touched orphans at various organizations in Rwanda, Cameroon, Tanzania, Uganda, India, Haiti and Guatemala.

Truth be told, I didn’t know what to expect when I started this work. I just knew I needed to quit talking about doing something for orphans and actually DO SOMETHING ALREADY!  I yearned to put feet to my faith, and make a direct impact in the lives of orphans and this is the result. It isn’t saving the world, it wasn’t intended to. As we say, we can’t do it all, but we can all do something.

We’ve touched the lives of orphans… and the work goes on.

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!
Give Now

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.

 

 

Child1This is the theme running to and for in my head lately and I keep hearing others say the same thing, “Never Give Up.”

For those of you who know me, I am not one to give up easily. Maybe I fell on my head as a young child, but I stick with something until there’s just no more glue. I admit my tenacity is to a fault at times, some call it stubbornness, others call it persistence…some even dare call it foolish! Call it what you will, today I am digging in my heals.

I’m referring to the Angel of Mercy Home in Cameroon. We have been disappointed in having our grant for the well declined. After three long years and what appeared a funding success for the well, I was left scratching my head. BUT, as you would suspect, I’m not giving up. The orphans have been waiting for three long years to have a safe place to call home, they’re  fighting bad health and poverty beyond our imagination.. and they aren’t giving up, why should I? The  good thing about the delays is that water has become accessible to the orphan home from the road and will cfinishedlookangelofmercyost less to pipe it in. So, we’ve sent funds raised from donors, sponsors and participants from the Sartell Rotary Golf 4 Orphans. I’m told the work will take about a month. So thank you for your support… the project is lovely and one we can be proud to support.

Even though the work we do is such a small part for the orphans, but it’s a good work and it makes a difference in the lives of orphans. When I think about the orphans in Rwanda, Tanzania, Haiti, Uganda, India and Cameroon, and the devastation of their loss…  give up? Never.

When obstacles get in  the way, I dig in my heels and begin to look for ways to get around, through, over. We’ve made things happen to help orphans have safe shelter and sustainable lives. We can’t stop now.

Every orphan deserves a safe place to call home.

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1st Blog for January 2024…. no, that’s not a typo. Even though 2024 sounds light years away, it’s only 10 short years into the future. The goal setter, the visionary, the strategist in me likes to wonder out and just look around a bit.

And, so… in 2024, I’ll be 10 years older. It’s not as horrible as it sounds if I am still healthy and strong. By 2024, 200 Orphanages will be 16 years old, providing safe shelter for more orphans. Setting a course to 2024, my goal is to make the minutes count, all 5,256,000 of them.

To that end, a few weeks ago, I created “My Life in Pie Charts” as a tool to manage my timtimeallocationse and priorities. I have to say the Pie Charts took on a life of their own and my daughter was not impressed. She marveled (out loud) that I had time to create them in the first place. She has four small children, is starting her own business and still finds time to mock me. How does she do it! She’s always been an over achiever. Be that as it may, my life in pie charts is one way I organize and prioritize my time and efforts.

Today, my pie charts are on a white board in front of me as I work. I admit, it adds a bit of stress, like an unrelenting boss, but I always remind myself they are just a guide.  As you can see, when optimizing my personal time, 10% is spent on mental and physical health (I’ll be breaking here in a few to go for a walk). Also, if I follow my Pie Charts, I participate (30%) in our 12+ grandkids’ lives as they travel through teens and into early adulthood.  (Later today, I’mylifeinpiechartsm going to a soccer game featuring a grandson.) I give 30% of my time to the orphan work. (I just prepared this blog, but also sent out an email blast for our Spring Fever 5K this morning and need to make a phone call or two) So, by 2024, my vision is that 200 Orphanages will have more than 20 orphan homes built along with 30 infrastructure projects.  So, I say who has time NOT to have a pie chart?

Granted, I only have a blurry glimpse of 2024, but I know it’s out there and it’s gaining on me! So, I have a plan. In saying that, I fully expect the present to be filled with achievement and celebrations. In 2014, we will have two orphan homes built and are taking on new partners. In my personal life we’ll celebrate life as my parents’ turn 80, my husband and sister turn 60, and my marriage turns 40…. You’d think that the present would be enough to fill my mind, but no, I’m off making pie charts and looking into the future!

give_nowWhere would Santa be without his helpers? Well, I think we all know that answer to that! Please consider donating to help us meet our goals. We’re far behind our goals, but even still, we keep moving forward hoping for the best! It’s uphill all the way my friend!

As you read further, please take a minute to watch a video from one of our partners JBFC-Tanzania. Your support this past year just helped them increase their livestock, enabling them to become sustainable as an orphan home for girls!

As an all volunteer organization, all of your support goes to the project, so be generous.

As you  know, 200 Orphanages Worldwide depends on dedicated and talented volunteers and supporters. Without you, we would not be able to help the orphans the way we do. We are meeting more and more people who just want to help an orphan in some way, so here are just a few who came to help us recently in amazing ways: 

DianaricketsonMeet Diana Ricketson: Diana answered the call on Volunteer Match for a social media manager. Her heart for the children is what motivates her.  She’ll be directing our online communications as Social Networking Coordinator. Diana is great and has amazing qualifications.. She’s brilliant! You’ll be hearing from her soon in numerous ways. Thank you Diana for having a heart for the children.


cgooley
Meet Chuck Gooley: Chuck came to us also through Volunteer Match. We called out for web developers/designers to help us retool our web site. Chuck decided to use his skills to help nonprofits like ours rebrand or retool their websites. Thank you Chuck for what you do! He’s been patient as we work through details of building and rebuilding a better website, it’s a long process, but we will by the first quarter of next year have a new look!

  coryraceMeet Cory Scheer: Cory is running 12 marathons a month for a year to call attention to causes dear to his heart. We are gratefully on his list and he’s organizing his first Virtual 5K. Participants register online with a donation to one of 5 basic needs charities he’s selected.

200 Orphanages provides the basic need of shelter and safety. We’re benefiting by participants donating at varying amounts and selecting 200 Orphanages. All participants run their own 5K on April 13, 2014… We are able to keep the participants updated on our project progress… thank you Cory! Thank you Virtual 5K participants! Learn more about Cory’s story and his own personal marathon challenge progress and the Virtual 5K at www.basicneedsmarathon.com

Meet Lori Fuchs and Kevin Hardy with EnduRUNce Shop and Snap Fitness. These two hearty souls are organizing kevinhardyour Spring Fever 5K for February 23 2014. This is Lori’s 5th year and Kevin’s 2nd. I can’t help but delight in their generous hearts… it takes time and energy out of their busy days to make something happen on behalf of the orphans.

LorifuchsThese just a few examples of how a volunteer organzation is able to provide safe shelter for orphans who have so litte. We’ve met the most amazing people in this work… thank you!

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

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!

Donate Now

 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.

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