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The kids, Peter, and I hauled our cooler and patio table out to the street yesterday afternoon and set up a little lemonade stand to raise money for “Feed the Forgotten.”  I posted about it a few days ago on my other blog, so you can read a few random thoughts there… but let me just say again what a great opportunity this campaign is to give a little (or a lot!)   Sometimes it’s hard to feel like I’m even going to make any kind of a difference because I don’t have very much to give — and so it’s easier to just skim over tough articles or not look at the needs smack on because it’s so overwhelming.   We’ve been in a really tough place financially with the business and still are, but in spite of that, I really, really don’t want to just turn my back.   I want to stay involved, giving what I can — even if that’s just my prayers or my passion or my time selling a few glasses of lemonade on the sidewalk with my kids.  And I so want my kids to grow up always seeing mommy and daddy ready to give and serve and love — even when times are tight.   Giving even a little every time  — and making opportunities to give or serve if they aren’t right there…  ’cause giving and loving people and being Jesus’ hands and feet is what life is ALL ABOUT.    

There was one gal yesterday who came to our lemonade stand and Peter and I were both so struck by her giving heart.  We didn’t want to assume anything about her financial situation based on outer appearances, but she was driving an older Subie and she didn’t come across like she had a lot of money (um, as opposed to the other veeeery nice Hummers that kept driving by — we live in on a street that leads to a very wealthy area…)  Anyway, this gal was probably my age and she drove by in her car with a little girl in the backseat and then hit the brakes and flipped a U-turn to come back and give us a twenty dollar bill.  Just like that.  She was driving by, saw the sign and turned around to give us twenty dollars to help feed children in Africa.  Now I know twenty bucks might not seem like a lot, but it just hit me hard because it didn’t appear like she had a lot (and again, maybe she did, but it really doesn’t matter — she was so happy to stop and give what she had with her to help out children in Africa that she’d never met through people selling lemonade on the sidewalk who were total strangers.)  It reminded me of the story of the widow in the Bible who gave EVERYTHING she had, and even though it was such a small amount, Jesus was amazed and said that her gift was more than all the others because she gave so freely of ALL she had.  It’s about our hearts, ya know?  Not about how much we give.  I was so, so convicted.  I still hold back —  it’s like I say, “yes, I want to give it all”  but I’m still not there where it’s my absolute first response… driving down the road, see a need and whoa, stop everything, turn around and give whatever I can.  I turn my back sometimes out of the fear that we’re not going to have enough.  Thank you, lady in the Subaru.  You made a huge impact on me… and I hope on my kids.  God bless you ABUNDANTLY. 

We’re going to set up again on Saturday because the neighborhood is having a community yard sale, and then we decided to just set up every Thursday afternoon for the rest of the summer to raise money for various other projects and organizations as long as we don’t have something else going on.  Hopefully we’ll be able to meet more people in our area and make a difference in their lives as well as people around the world with whatever we raise.  Plus, it’ll be a great thing to do as a family. 

The kids really got into it.  They were standing on the cooler waving at every vehicle and bicycle that passed.  They took turns with the streamer and Henry would yell out “buy lemonade; help the children” in his adorable loud voice.  They got it.  And I LOVE it when my kids get it.  They were helping kids across the world and they were loving it. 

Anyway here are a few pics from yesterday (and please excuse little blondie’s hair in all of my photos past, present and future.  Yes, as a matter of fact, I DO brush it every morning — but by noon it looks like that again… too much hard-playing and the curls get out of control!  Oh, and don’t mind Mr. Brooding Aviator-Shades in the background of the first two pictures, he really WAS happy to be there!  🙂

 

 

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Here is a post from Amy concerning RLC and Children’s Hope Chest that I wanted to pass on.  Spread the word!

“As some of you know, Red Letters Campaign is partnering with Children’s Hope Chest to launch their Ethiopia care program in Ethiopia!  We are very excited to help with this.  We are currently in the fundraising stage of things…  It costs a significant amount of money to get Children’s Hope Chest up and running in a new country.  Red Letters Campaign (RLC) is committed to helping raise some of these funds.  There are a few ways we plan to help to do this, but you will have to wait until September to find out all the details.  🙂  What we need right now are DONATIONS of GOODS!  Do you make something or own a fun store or business???  Would you be interested in donating to the fundraising efforts of RLC?  All donations will be used in a Project Ethiopia Raffle Fundraiser.  If you have any items you can donate, please contact Amy at amyde63@hotmail.com  Also, feel free to contact Amy with any questions.”

I have a great adoption fundraiser to share with you all.  (I know how hard it can be to find good, unique fund-raising ideas!)  It’s also just a great cause to support, even if you aren’t in need of a fundraiser…

Threads of Hope is a small organization started by a missionary couple selling hand-made bracelets from the Philippines.  They are literally saving lives and changing lives by giving struggling people on the island of Mindoro a chance to earn a living by making these bracelets.  My sis-in-law, Channelle, shared with us about Threads of Hope while she was here visiting last week — she has a lot of the same passions as we do and has been working with Threads of Hope for a couple months now.  Peter and I were really excited to learn about their philosophy because it goes right along with our desire to help empower local artisans in developing countries to make a living through fair trade commerce.  Peter called and talked to Alex (the missionary who started Threads of Hope) and they had a great conversation about ways we can get more involved and help them out once we get our site going.  Alex ended up sending us several thousand bracelets so we can begin selling them here locally as well as on the website eventually.

We are going to be selling them and giving all the profits back to their ministry, but Threads of Hope also sends out batches of bracelets for people to use as a fundraiser.  This is REALLY cool.  You contact them and let them know what you are going to be fund raising for (this gives them the chance to approve the cause) and then they send you as many bracelets as you think you can sell.  (No money needed up front — they are very trusting! 🙂 )  Then you sell the bracelets at local venues (church functions, schools, fairs, etc.) for $1 a piece and then send 60% of the sales back to Alex.  The rest is for your fundraiser!  It’s a total win/win.  People in the Philippines are earning a living AND you are able to raise money for your cause.  Reciprocal blessing — it doesn’t get much better than that!!

Check out their website and read the story about how it all got started.  It’s pretty inspiring what God can do when ordinary people see a need and choose to do something about it!

The bracelets are awesome, too, by the way.  Each one is so unique and the colors are gorgeous! (I won’t even tell you how many I bought for myself personally!!  🙂  The Threads of Hope website isn’t set up for small orders — and it’s not really a commerce site, so if you want to buy a few (anywhere between ten and a hundred!) let me know and I can send them to you in the mail.  They would make great party favors, or small gifts and the cause is a good one! 

 

 

 

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This is Alice.  We’ve been blessed with the opportunity to help her go to school.  She lives in Burkina Faso, a west african country close to Liberia.  She has never been to school before and the opportunity to go represents an infathomable difference in her future.  

I talked to Ann, the director of Until All Have Homes, about putting in a quick word here about their sponsorship program.  I was really touched by the story and plea to pass the word on to family and friends to help get the rest of the kids sponsored so they, too, can go to school.  I know there are so many opportunities to sponsor children… it can seem overwhelming sometimes.  We felt like this was another sponsorship God wanted us to sow into at this point, and I wanted to share this great opporunity to bless a child.

From Ann’s post:  “I really need everyones help!!! We have some darling children on our site from Africa who want to go to school. When our coordinator in Africa put out the “word” that she was getting info and taking of pictures of children who wanted to go to school, these kids LINED UP!!!! I mean this is HUGE for them!! They put on their Sunday clothes and SHOWED up at the place they were taking the pictures!! And we aren’t talking digital camera either!!! LOL. OLD FASHIONED PICTURES!! We have over 54 kids on our sponsorship page that want to go to school. We have been blessed by 19 sponsors as of today. That means there are still 35 children who need sponsors!! I was praying and I thought I don’t want to tell these kids that they dont’ have a sponsor to go to school!! So I am not. I am asking for everyones prayers and help. You might not have the extra money but maybe you can team up with a friend. Or maybe several friends. You could pray for a couple of the kids or all of them, that sponsors would come forward.”

If you feel led, please follow this link to the UAHH website and you will find the sponsorship information on the upper left-hand corner.   It is only $125 a year ($10.41 a month) and it really does make such an incredible difference in the kid’s lives.
I love the UAHH mission and have volunteered to help with their ministry.  If you haven’t followed my sidebar link to them yet, you really should.  All the volunteers are adoptive moms with such a heart for waiting and special needs kids worldwide to find families. (I first saw Henry’s picture on their site, so they definitely hold a special place in my heart! 🙂 Many, many children have been blessed by Ann’s ministry.

A little about me…

Wife. Mother. Friend. Daughter. Sister. Aunt. Student. Adventure-lover. Photo-taker. Book-reader. Organic gardener. Granola-maker. Green smoothie drinker. Snowboarder. Soccer-player. Aspiring rock-climber. Sometime health nut. Passionate about justice and mercy. Adoption advocate. Business owner and jewelry designer. Wild at heart. Crazy-blessed to live out in the country with my awesome family.

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Contact Me:

sunfreckled@gmail.com
"I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something I can do." {Helen Keller}

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