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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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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!

 

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.

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!

Today, I am filled with thanksgiving as I move toward… well Thanksgiving.

emanuelleI 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

 

 

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.

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I really love our mission statement, because it describes exactly what we do. It’s simple. It’s straightforward.  “We help partner organizations raise funds and awareness for building projects to better serve orphans in their care.”

We’re a small nonprofit with an over-sized vision. We hope to one day have helped 200 orphanages worldwide… and each day, with each supporter, we are grateful and at times astonished, as we take two steps forward and one step back! But we’re moving ahead! We have been effective helping 8 so far…192 more to go!

And you are a part of the vision. We’ve been marching ahead for 5 years taking you along with us on this journey. You’ve helped build fences, security walls, wells, outdoor kitchens, latrines and most recently an HIV/AIDS orphan home. We’ve made a difference to orphans in 7 countries, two locations in Haiti, one in Cameroon, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, India and Rwanda. In 2013, we continue to not only get the word out, but we’ll build a network of supporters in various other parts of the country.

IMG_3338The friends of orphans who have been inspired to help build brighter futures have organized small fund raisers for various projects throughout this year. Our strategy is to have volunteers mobilize 12 fund raisers in 2013. We’ve had some successes. The ngathaboyslatrineOasis Fitness Trek in Arizona raised $1,000 for the modern outdoor latrine for our partner Ngatha International in Kenya; the Building Hope Together in New York raised $1,500 to be used for the boy’s latrine. We raised $2,300 at the 5K in MN in February and sent some of the funds to Mercy Homes Kerala, India to build the well for the orphan home. The rest of the funds and those we raise at the next fund raisers, like the Sartell Rotary Golf 4 Orphans will be used to benefit the orphan home for Mercy Homes.

Cameroon Update: We’re happy to report that the home is 98% completed.

Here are some photos of the inside of the building. Mary Tjosvold, CEO of Mary T Inc, in Coon Rapids, MN, traveled to Cameroon and visited the Angels Home for Orphans in Bamenda with Relindis this March.  She came back with great reports on the lovely new home for the HIV/AIDS orphans.  She originally introduced us to Relindis. Mary has a school she built and supports in Cameroon, and agreed to visit the site while on her travels. 

Angel of Mercy is in the process of erecting the temporary fence, and they are still awaiting approval on the Rotary International Grant for the well. The well grant application has been a difficult journey, but we are still hoping to get approval. ???????????????????????????????If we don’t get the grant, we’ll as the well to our list and work on raising support to get it by the end of the year.

We remain committed to our partners around the world and continue to help them achieve their dream of building brighter futures for the orphans in their communities.

So, as we march ahead preparing for our next 5 years… thank you. There are no gifts or efforts too small. Just ask one of the orphans who can now use the restroom in comfort, they can eat regular meals as a family; they can study, sleep and play without fear of intruders walking through the court yard. These small efforts are not small to them. We treasure every dollar; we use each dime for the purpose intended knowing that every minute spent every dollar donated is your response, your gift to help make the life of an orphan just a bit brighter. Thank you. jh

I’ve always had a mind to make a difference.

For years I sat in a church pew and waited for an opportunity to come to me. Then one day, I realized that might never happen, so I set about to create an opportunity. With the help of Jesse Bowman, my accountant and Fred Cornforth a professional colleague, 200 Orphanages Worldwide was developed and organized into a nonprofit. Step by step with my own funds, many donations large and small, and lots of support from many individuals and businesses, we’ve been helping orphans have a safe place to call home. We help people with the heart and the means, to make a direct impact in the lives of orphans.

I knew early on that I was not equipped or called to run an orphanage or to care daily for the needs of orphans. But I wanted to do something for the orphans who have so little. I knew there were organizations already in place and I might be able to use my talents to mobilize on their behalf to help them provide for the orphans in their care. So, today, we partner with organizations to help them raise funds for building projects to better serve orphans in their care. A simple vision.

Today, you and I are partners with Angel of Mercy, Cameroon, Nibakure Children’s Village, Rwanda, Mercy Homes, Kerala India, JBFC-Online, Tanzania, Haiti Outreach Mission, Haiti, and soon… Ngatha International in Kenya and Ashirvad Orphanage in Tuni, India.

I realize our work is so minor in the big scheme of things. But, we’ve set out to make a difference, and we have. We’ve helped build security walls, latrines, outdoor kitchens, dining halls, and most recently Phase One of the Angels Home for Orphans in Cameroon. You and I did this. See? We can make a difference. We are making a difference. Knowing full well…we can’t do it all, but we can all do something. Click below to enjoy the slideshow of your work.

http://www.flickr.com//photos/jmarie37/sets/72157632677557403/show/

And today… we continue… day by day, hour by hour working to make the lives of orphans just a bit brighter.

Thank you for sharing the vision! JH

When we founded 200 Orphanages Worldwide, one inspiration was the act of simply building a security wall around a school playground knowing it would bring a smile to the face of a child.  Today, I imagine the smiles of children, safely playing protected by security walls, children sleeping soundly behind a fence your support has built, and I imagine children laughing and talking with each other in the building you funded, the building they call home. 

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We’re getting reports of the roof going up on the orphan home you helped fund. We’ve asked you for donations over the past few years and you’ve faithfully given. Soon you will see the smiling faces of the HIV/AIDS orphans who now have a home of their own.

Your funds have provided for clearing the land, moving earth, building the foundation, forming the block, crafting the custom designed window irons, plumbing, electricity and now the roof is going up…The orphans will soon have a safe place to call home…all because of you.

Thank you for responding to the call to give.  I hope you will know that it wouldn’t have happened without you.

 

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