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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.

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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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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