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Your gifts of love help provide safe shelter for orphans.

Your gifts of love help provide safe shelter for orphans.

Love! In plain English, the best holiday gift is not a noun, but in our world, LOVE is the real thing: a verb.

Love is an action word and it’s why we do what we do, loving God and loving children in deed.

The girls in Rwanda in the T Shirts donors sent along.

The girls in Rwanda in the T Shirts donors sent along.

Gifts of love the verb take many forms in our world. These include helping move our mission forward in big or small ways. We’ve had RSVP volunteers stuff envelopes, we’ve had big and small kids in the classroom engage in our cause, some run marathons, create and donate works of art, some mobilize friends and families, some give money, some give services, some participate in our events some sponsor our events… the list goes on and one. All of these gifts are gifts of love to use. Verbs, (action words) not mere nouns.

Those who generously give time and talent are helping us build safety, shelter and sustainability of orphans. We can’t do it all, but we can all do something!

There are so many  who want to do something for an orphan and they’ve found us. That’s love in action!~ I love the holidays…don’t you? Happy Holidays to all our friends.

I only wonder what Love will bring in 2015.

 

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.

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

The waiting place is from Dr. Seuss’s book “Oh the Places You’ll Go”. This waiting place is the place we all end up in once and a while. One good thing about being in the waiting place is that eventually it ends. In that place, we’ve learned patience and endurance…maybe perseverence.. and eventually you move on to another, better place.

Today, I got word that the grant funds from the International Rotary Foundation are in the account! It’s been a long wait, but soon we’ll get started on the well for Angels Home for Orphans as the project is built and the rainy season is almost over.

Unfortunately, we lost one of the orphans since we began this work. Precious passed on last year waiting for the orphan home to be built. But, there are others still in the waiting place. Emanuel, 14, has been with Angel of Mercy since he was six. His parents died from HIV/AIDS a few years after he was born. He was emmanuelleorphaned and lived with his aunt, and then an uncle.   When he was brought to “Angel of Mercy”, he was not well and suffered from nutrition and protein deficiency. He attended every support group meeting at Angel of Mercy  with his aunt.  Those were some of his happiest moments because everyone in the group treated him with so much love and kindness. Emanuel attends a Government Primary School in the Bambui village in Cameroon. He is presently in class Five. “Angel of Mercy” sponsors his schooling and helps provide dental and medical care.  

 Emanuel is one of the children waiting to relocate to Angels Home for Orphans. His health is stabilized and he smiles more often as he has some hope for the future.  Emanuel has found another family with “Angel of Mercy” and remains a precious child in their care.
If you want to help an orphan, please do. You can’t save them all, but you can save just one. Help us build safe shelter. Every orphan deserves a safe place to call home. Go to www.200Orphanagesworldwide.org and donate securely online.

moniqueandorphan2I am so blessed by the people I’ve met along the way in this work.   Monique Aiken and her sister Christina Aiken-Yulfo are among the many supporters who have come along side our mission, embracing the vision to help build hope and shelter for orphans. I’ve known Monique for 2 plus years and her love for the orphans and our cause never ends. After traveling with us to Cameroon, she accepted a postion on our board. I often call Monique our mobilizer in chief.

Monique’s heart to help has once again been activated and she’s planning a  fund raising event at Zinc Bar in New York April 19.

 She’s been instrumental over the past year in helping raise awareness and funds for Angels Home for Orphans in Cameroon. Now the building is almost complete. Her vision is expanding…and she’ snow helping raise funds for Mercy Homes India and Ngatha International in Kenya. Monique’s sister Christina is the Angels Home for Orphans architect and she will be at the event to share her heart for the children. It’s people like Monique and Christina who keep the vision alive… and then there’s Ron…

ROnmoore

Ron Moore is owner of Oasis Personal Fitness Training in Phoenix. He heard about our partner Ngatha International, caring for the orphans in Kenya. He immediately offered to organize a Fitness Trek to be held May 11 to raise funds… because he loves kids. It’s a lot of effort and he’s got a very simple goal: to raise $3,500 for a modern latrine for the orphan boys.daniellandboy copy 

Did I mention Danielle Lewis and Magda Peronel? Both are medical students at Scottsdale School for Naturopathic Medicine and both traveled with a team of 7 to Cameroon in 2010. Their role as medical professionals served the ill and those infected with HIV/AIDs. They served more than 500 patients in three days while in Cameroon. Both are completing their medical studies, and at the same time keeping their love for orphans alive. Each is volunteering in Haiti in a few weeks and both hope to return to Cameroon once the orphans are in the home. Danielle serves on Angel of Mercy board.

newthreesome

It takes people from all walks of life to come along side the orphans and help build hope and a future. To make a greater impact in the lives of the orphans we serve, we’ve set a goal to have 12 fund raisers this year… and we need to more mobilizers! We can’t do it all, but we can all do something. What’s your something?

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. 

Dormitory

Cameroonprojectcosts-copy2

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.

 

 

Pure Joy

There is no greater joy than helping orphans have a safe place to call home. In this work, I’ve seen the faces of joy. I’ve watched the directors of our partner organizations work daily to provide for the orphans and seen the joy in their faces when they reach down to pick up a child in their care. I’ve seen our volunteers and supporters sacrifice time and talent not to mention money to help make dreams for our partners a reality. I’ve seen faces light up with joy with the retelling of the stories of successful events and the difference the efforts will make. The faces of joy belong to those dear ones who reach out beyond their busy lives and the size of their pocketbooks to do something to help an orphan. They belong to those who know indeed we can’t do it all, but we can all do something.

Maybe this joy is because any work we do on behalf of orphans is from the heart of God. His love and care for the forgotten ones is expressed through those who choose to do something large or small. It may be that the pure joy comes from God’s heart as we try to make a direct impact in the life of an orphan. I can only imagine the joy on the faces of the little ones who have a warm safe bed of their own, a hot nutritious meal and a way to get an education. I can see their smiles now. I’ve seen the faces of joy…

Wishing you and yours JOY this holiday season!

For the Children, Jan

I just received a photo progress report from Relindis Moffor, Director of Angel of Mercy. The Angels Home for Orphans is progressing. We’re at the stage where blocks are being formed. This is tedious, dirty, manual hard labor made even more difficult by the lack of water and tools on the site. (Note the hole being dug with a pick ax). This is not uncommon. In Rwanda, we had to have water hauled in for the mortor for the Nibakure Children’s Village. The water is being hauled to the site in  Cameroon sometimes on bike, sometimes on foot. If someone gets lucky, the water is hauled on a motorbike. Soon, though, water from a well will be supplied thanks to Rotary International. Our local Sartell Rotary Club, Pinnacle Peak Rotary Club and Bamenda Rotary Club along with each clubs’ district and the Rotary Foundation a well will be dug. Rotray exists to help alleviate suffering of hopeless and helpless in countries all across the world. I am a proud member. My local club hosts an annual Golf 4 Orphans so we can raise funds for projects just like this one.

And in the meanwhile, brick by brick a home is being crafted. All this hard, manual labor all so an orphan can have a safe place to call home. So, as you view the photos, think of how much love is going into this home.

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As you sit down to enjoy your Thanksgiving Dinner with your family and friends,take a moment to remember the orphans. They, I can assure you, are remembering you! Thank you for all your help in making it possible for the orphans to have safe shelter.

For the Children, Jan

I’m so thankful for the people I’ve met over the past few years. I’ve seen the faces of volunteers beam with joy when touching the lives of orphans. I’ve seen men and women work day and night to provide daily care and education for orphans. I’ve seen people sacrifice time and offer talents to do their part to bring joy to even just one of the little ones. I’ve been blessed to witness this pure joy. It’s such an honor to be surrounded by men and women who seek to help orphans have a brighter life. Our supporters have responded, caught the vision and wanted to help in some way…

So, it’s in this spirit we’re hosting  Thanks for Giving Celebration this Friday, 113 5th Ave. S, St. Cloud during the Downtown Art Crawl.

I’m so grateful for our donors, supporters and partners who’ve made a difference in the lives of orphans. Together, we’ve built a security wall in Rwanda, Haiti and Uganda. We built an outdoor kitchen, latrines and dormitory in Tanzania. And the most recent project our volunteers and donors are building a home for HIV/AIDS orphans in Cameroon. These heartfelt efforts have brought safety, security and a sense of well being to sometimes chaotic lives.

It’s because of your help, we can help them. Volunteers, supporters and donors, event sponsors, organizers, all of you have done your part to make a direct impact in the life of an orphan. We can’t do it all, but we can all do something! So, we’re saying Thanks For Giving.

Step by step you’ve made a direct impact in the lives of orphans. The work continues, there are so many needs. We’re now seeking to help Merch Homes in Kerala India build a 2,500 square foot home for 10 orphans and their caretakers.  Here’s a short video about them below.

Thank you for all you do

For the Children,

Jan

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