Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Will you join me? With your help, we can impact women who desperately need help. I was there in October. I saw the need with my own eyes. Donate here http://www.acharityproject.com/f/FOVCcrops
Thursday, December 22, 2011
I'm quite thankful for Rich taking the time to meet with me and allow me to critique his article. I must also say that there's one line in the article that really, REALLY bothers me. I asked for it to be taken out multiple times but they didn't listen to that suggestion. So when you read the line "she sleeps well at night...", please know that was creative license. I don't sleep well at night because of the few people we've been able to impact. It's not a proud thing. In fact, my heart aches for the many, many people in the same situation who we pass on the road and never get to impact. It's for those people that we continue to raise money for the crops program (and others) to reach those people.
If the print is too hard to read, you might have to save it and then view it as a jpg.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Yes, it is being gardened and the seeds are growing slowly.
The widows and staffs are always following the garden
and the widows are eagerly waiting to use it for more place in their own gardens and to use the ways you teach them in their own lands
Desalegn, you are so sweet. And I'm so thankful that you make it your passion, your job, and your life focus to serve these widows and orphans. It is a joy to partner with you and FOVC.
Tax deductible donations may be made to FOVC if you'd like to partner with us in the crops program. Email me if you need my address tam4buit at hotmail dot com.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
What I'm up to with Journey4Hope
And last but not least (I know, I said just 2 things), I'm praying and thinking about the next trip to serve FOVC in Ethiopia...
Monday, November 28, 2011
Christmas Wish List
Look at the above picture again. It's more than my two boys in front of the Christmas tree. For me, it shows a struggle and an inner battle. I've recently been to famine-stricken Southern Ethiopia where people are starving and literally teetering on death. There is so much NEED there that my WANTS are ... I can't even think of the word to describe it. Realistic people might say "but there will always be those situations". And to that I reply, but I've seen with my own eyes the need, the desperation, and the difference we can make. No, I can't expect every one else to think like I do, but I can take a few minutes to share with you.
Semi Feral Mama recently had one line on her blog recently that sticks in my mind:
In 24 years can an AP [adoptive parent] look at their child and say, “Yes, I knew your mother was going to die, but the contract I signed said I couldn’t help”? Will the child think, “Wow, my Mom is so ethical”?
That comment was in relationship to adoptive parents meeting up with the birth parent who was suffering from famine related problems. My thought about the above comment also applies today as I took my two younger kids shopping and then decorated a tree with my family later:
In 24 years, when I stand before my maker, will the Creator of the universe tell me "I told you over and over again to care for the orphans and widows in their distress" or will He tell me "what you've done for the least of these, you've done for Me"? While I won't give every penny of my checking account to caring for the orphans and widows, I will be held accountable when I meet my maker. And as we continue through advent season, it's my prayer that I'll look forward to the coming of Christ more than I look forward to opening a few gifts or spending some Christmas cash!
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Friday, November 25, 2011
Shop with a Purpose
Shop with a Purpose.
100% of the proceeds go towards my volunteer work in Ethiopia. By purchasing a necklace, you're providing education to widows in the crops program and giving them Hope for their future. That is something that I'm thankful for.
Sunday, November 20, 2011
I still complain
Early yesterday morning I jacked my back. I immediately did exercises and took meds but even so I had to find a spot on the couch and rest rather than take care of my to-do list. When I woke today, I was thankful for the 12 hours of sleep I'd gotten. But a few hours later, I was getting tired of laying in bed all day long. And as several more hours passed, I still wanted to complain about how uncomfortable my bed was. And then I thought of this guy:
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Friday, November 18, 2011
Each day we taught on a different topic. This particular day, we talked about planting vegetables, composting over the garden bed, and using the seeder that was donated by Earthway Inc. mentioned in this post.
After trying to explain to the women how to create an ox-drawn harrow and not succeeding, I suggested that the ladies bring their hand tools the next day because we needed an even seedbed to make use of the vegetable seeder. They, of course, brought their hand tools and got right to work.
The ladies received training on how to use the seeder with the different seed plates. They were excited to try it out and I was thrilled to watch them. When they were comfortable using the tool and had the seed bed prepped and ready to be seeded, they picked the right plates for the various vegetable seeds we had and started planting. What a sight!
When the 4 rows had been planted, it was time to give a little more education. While water is scarce, and it's a long walk to get water, we explained the importance of watering the seeds to get them to germinate and grow. It will be a hard sell. But if they can see it happen where we planted the veggies, then maybe they'll go through all the work to do the same thing. Yes, it is a long walk to water, but water is so important. So, we watered the seeds while I prayed for rain.
While the seeds were watered on one end of the raised garden bed, the ladies finished planting garlic on the other end.
When the planting was finished, we had the ladies compost the garden bed. It wasn't the best option for compost. But it will help retain soil moisture which is incredibly important during a drought.
Not knowing if they would grasp the idea or not, we did it anyway. And the next day when it was hot and still hadn't rained, we went back to the garden bed. When the ladies pulled back the compost (aka dried grass) and saw that the ground underneath retained the moisture (from the mixing of the top soil with that below it) than the uncovered earth, they got it. Lesson learned today.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
If a 4 year old little girl can do something, so can you!
Did you catch that? You can do something too. You don't have to be an expert. You don't have to be a super creative artist. You don't have to be rich (although we all are compared to the rest of the world). You can be a 4 year old little girl with a desire to do something. And DO IT!!!
There's another reason I re-visit that post. Because not only did Bethany do something, but her post encouraged someone else to do something too. Over the weekend I got an email from someone else who wanted do something. This woman has a big heart. She bought every one of Bethany's bracelets and then turned them around to spread the news to others. At her bible study group this week, she handed out the bracelets to everyone. She then shared Bethany's story with the ladies and encouraged them to do something. To give in some way. So, by buying the bracelets, she'll feed a hungry person for all 4 months of the famine. And in addition to that, she's spreading the word to her friends and encouraging them to do something too. Now, how about that for DOING something. Way to go! And thank you for how you're serving the people of Ethiopia with your heart!
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Wine to Water...
Let me start by saying that I am so thankful for my dear friend, Oscar. He's the owner of Ramos Torres Winery. And not only does he make amazing wines, he makes some great hors d'ouvres too. The tri-tip was amazing and if I wasn't so busy chatting, I would have loved the rest of the food too. Anyway, thank you Oscar for the many ways you served, and gave, to the wine social fundraiser.
A wine social. What's that? Who goes to those? The wine social was mostly a hang out time. In a winery. With wine. And food. But not everyone was drinking wine. In fact, I know of at least 4 people who had no wine to drink at all. Yet they came to socliaze and hear about my work with FOVC. I'm thankful to my friends and family who showed up. Thankful to know that God is working in the hearts of some and I could provide some information and encouragement. And they could see that average people like me can do something.
We socliazed. Laughed. I even gave a brief little presentation. I could talk all night long about the work that I'm a part of through FOVC in Ethiopia. But I'm not huge on being the center of attention (unless I'm cracking a joke). So, I wasn't overly comfortable with that. And I would have done much better if I'd had a little outline. I hope my simple words were an encouragement to the others to get involved.
This was my first time. I know. I need to give myself a bit of a break. It went well. I'm thankful. We were able to raise money from the sale of the tickets and the silent auction. The money raised will go towards helping me get back to Ethiopia for the next time where I plan to set up some water catchment basins and drip irrigation systems. I'm looking forward to it. Friends, this wine social raised money for water... I'm not Jesus and can't turn water to wine or wine directly to water. But, with the help of those in attendance, this wine social will be bringing water to the crops or widows program. Thank you.
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Starvation is Real
This is one of the crops widows Joe and I were training for the week. Her name is Boltase. Upon meeting my crops widows, I greeted each of them with a hug. When I hugged Boltase, it was like hugging sticks. Literally. We use the term "skin and bones" with ease here. At least I do. But this woman, she was skin and bones with no body conditioning on her.
She looked rougher than the rest. As we interacted with each of the women, I kept an eye on this lady who just looked bad. When we talked of walking to a nearby widow's farm, Boltase informed me that she was too ill to walk with us. When we sat in the shade, she sought the sunshine. Something wasn't right.
Starvation is real. I knew there was a chance I'd see it up close and personal.
That night lots of things went through my mind. One was of Boltase. A woman I didn't really know. But a woman created in the likeness of God. A woman who walked a long ways to receive some training and hope. How could we let her down. I talked to Dr. Jo about her. First thing the next morning, I took Boltase to see the lovely Dr. Jo.
I stood there awestruck at what I saw. As I think through those minutes again, I feel a sickness in my stomach. Starvation is real. Even in Shanto, where FOVC exists to help many, they are unable to help everyone. Dr. Jo checked her out, asked her questions and treated her with medical care and love. In this picture below, Dr. Jo had to use a children's blood pressure cuff on Boltase because an adult one was too big. Her arm was literally the size of a two-year-old.
Friends, it's so much more than a crops project. It's so much more than providing food to those facing starvation. It's giving hope. To those who supported my trip to Ethiopia with encouragement, prayer, and finances, I just want to say thank you. This woman is alive and smiling because of it.
Friday, November 4, 2011
A few of my favorite scenes...
Left the table for a potty break and who knew we'd find a kiddie
playground. Of course, we took advantage of that!
If you know me, you know I have no problem stopping on the side of the
road, snuggling up to some locals and snapping a photo.
and if you don't know me well, you'll rarely find
me looking like this:
Aki, my "official" friend once he added me on facebook,
was a great guide. And a lovely photographer and great
help translating. Looking forward to seeing you next
time Aki! Thanks for putting up with us last week!
Seriously there, are lots of pics. Between Joe and I, we had over 2500. Joe has great pics so some that I'll be sharing here are actually his. Just so you know.
Oh, and there's nothing with the disclaimer at the top. Ryan thought by me writing that would make people think I'd been scolded. I haven't. I just want to prevent it. While I write about my trip and my experience, it will be my opinion. That's all. It's pretty simple.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Monday, October 31, 2011
Sunday, October 30, 2011
one quick pic
My main reason for going on this trip to Ethiopia was to provide training to the crops widows. This training is one the many ways that FOVC is giving long term help while they provide food during this short term famine. If you've read my blog before, you know that I was pretty excited to take this little garden seeder over for the ladies to use. The picture below is of one of my crops widows using the seeder to plant vegetables behind the FOVC school. One of many encouraging parts was seeing these ladies excitement for use of the seeder. I gave them vegetable seed to take home and plant and told them to borrow the seeder to do it.
Saturday, October 22, 2011
In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia :)
- I'm so glad I've been here, done this before. It could be pretty overwhelming to fly to Africa with a friend who's never been and then meet up with your driver/guide who you've never met. But it wasn't overwhelming at all.
- I thank God for the opporunity to go and love because he first loved us. I get to love on 8 widows this week. Will you join me in praying for them? You could pray for one each day and that would be awesome!
day 1: Trunge
day 2: Latashe
day 3: Bontashe
day 4: Aster
day 5: Matafe
day 6: Martane
day 7: Shibre
day 8: Galate
- Listening to John Piper's message about Adirnirom Judson's life is a tough challenge but interesting timing as i'm going to serve.
- I've seen so much waste in the airports and airplanes. Particularly with food and water. At Chili's I in Detroit I watched the water pitcher fill and then overflow while being left unattended. Of course, I got up and fixed it.
- While the seats certainly aren't luxury, I thank Godd for sustaining my back so far. (written from Amsterdam to Addis) and my most discomfort was my tailbone, not my back.
- Pretty smooth process until security in Amsterdam took away my pliers and brand new crescent wrench. I begged and pleaded and even asked if they stewardess would carry it on and hide it and give it to me later. She could have even put it in the cockpit! I even tried informming them that my whole trip was based around those tools putting the seeder together. I did all but cry. No mercy. Stupid Amsterdam security. You're the same guys who confiscated my bottle of wine a few years ago!
- arrived in Addis. Shoulda had Joe get in line for visas while I exchanged money. I hate exchanging large sums of money by the way. LONG line for visas followed by a long line for customs or whatever was next. Almost 2 hours after landing, we were headed to luggage. I didn't expect it to be on the conveyor but I did expect it to not be lost. More drama ensued. Lack of communication mostly. Did you know that KLM doesn't have a bag delivery when they lose your luggage? I think Ethiopian airlines does. Plus with Et Air you don't have nasty security guys taking stuff away. Yes, I'm bitter. Anyway, we then started the process for lost luggage and we're told we'd have to come back to get it. All donations. I needed them!!! Joe and I weren't satisfied with the lack of looking through the rooms of bags they had so I went hunting for them. The sweet employee told me one spot to look, then another. Then across the room, 100 yards away, he spotted what he thought was my luggage. Could it be???? I ran over and sure enough, I picked up all 4 suitcases of donations!!!! Thank you Lord.
- As I drug all four suitcases through the airport, bypassing the customs guy who wasn't very happy but I just kept smiling at him I made it to Joe who had our ticket stubs in hand. We headed back to the guy I smiled at and let him make sure it was our bags we had and not someone elses. And as we put the bags on the conveyor belt, I continue to pray asking God to let those bags go through with ease. Prepared to fight and then pay for them to be allowed through, I about fell over when they didn't ask one.single.question!!! Thank you God again!!! I hadn't prayed for an easy flight but I had prayed and prayed for gifts and a seeder and all the medical stuff to make it through customs.
- Another bit later our guide tells me that he's reserved one room with two twin beds. While I trust Joe, I really did want my own room. And out of respect for Joe's wife and my husband, I thought it was very important. Thankfully, we got to the guest house and each have our own beautiful rrom.
- It's 1230am on Sunday here. I'm in much need of a shower and some sleep. I didn't catch Ryan on facebook but I did get to chat with my dad and that was a treat!
ciao for now. We head to Shanto tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Well, it's almost 3 and I'm almost done packing. But I still have a list of things to purchase on my way down to the airport. And I've made a bigger mess in my house, not cleaned. At all.
In preparation for leaving, I also wanted to take some time with my family. So, this morning I took my kids to school. After a quick visit to the chiropractor, I joined Bethany's class for a field trip to the pumpkin patch. Then after a few quick errands in town (like mailing out a bunch of FOVC shirts), I headed back to the school for lunch with Scott. Only I was a bit early so I also got to join him for recess whereI pushed him on the swing and he grinned from ear to ear. Then lunch. By the way, I learned today that my son, who fixes his own sandwich, doesn't eat the bread. Hmm. Son, leave off the bread next time... or just eat the bread so you're not starving by time school is out.
Eventually I made it home to begin taking the piles in our reading room and putting them in suitcases. What a chore that is to figure out how to combine the lighter weight stuff with the heavier weight stuff. I'm taking in some IV fluids for Dr. Jo which really impact the weight. Each bag weighs 2 1/2 pounds! So, I got a little creative with my packing. And when I finished, none of my bags are full but each weighs the 50 pound max. side note: one of my pet peeves is having a full suitcase but I guess I'll have to get over that.
Tomorrow, I'll be meeting the other half of my crops team, Joe, at the airport. This is where we'll finalize our packing. I'll kiss my husband good-bye, get a little anxious, ask God to take away my anxiety and set off for Ethiopia.
Saturday, October 15, 2011
7 days left...
I'm so thankful for friends, family, and the love of my life who've pitched in to help or loved me enough to ignore the things in my home that I've ignored lately. In the last two weeks we've had someone cook for our family on Wednesday night, and someone else cook for us on Thursday night. Little things like that sure help.
On my to-do list today:
- Start packing the stuff I won't need in the next 7 days.
- Track down a few high quality items for the FOVC wine social silent auction.
- Sweet talk, or beg, at least 10 people to buy tickets to the wine social.
- Make cookies with Bethany and her girlfriend who's here for the weekend.
- Pray for the FOVC crops widows.
- Prepare a meal for a neighbor who's having surgery.
I'm sure there's at least 10 other things but I'm sure you don't care to know it all :)
Friday, October 14, 2011
I had some cool pics of the RamosTorres winery to share but my hard drive crashed. All the more reason to buy a ticket to the wine social and check it out yourself :)
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Monday, October 3, 2011
Ask and it shall be given to you
Last year while preparing for Ryan and I to head to Ethiopia to serve with FOVC, we were looking at big expenses for the trip and wrote letters asking friends and family to support us financially. One friend was very generous and sent us a check for $500. Thanking him over the phone, he shared that he believed it was important to do things like this. That he wasn't in a position to "go", and was thankful to give to someone who could go. It was his way of getting involved. We were both blessed by his giving.
I've tried to include people in our work with FOVC in Ethiopia. Some allow me to share while others show a genuine interest and get involved. Maybe they can't spend 10 days in Ethiopia but they can do things like show me old corn planters, walk me through how horse/oxen drawn equipment, allow me to take equipment home to look at, share with others about FOVC via blogs, facebook, and chats at the dining room table.
Yesterday we sat in the living room with our friend, Marty. Yet another person I've invited to join this adventure from the comfort of his own home, er shop. I have a borrowed little garden seeder in my living room for him to look at. Marty welds, machines and does other "guy" things out in his metal shop. Before the Cardinals game started, we were asking Marty if he could duplicate something like this with metal that would stand up longer. The more we talked, the more I thought this little garden seeder would be ideal... to get us started. So, I began searching online for this little gadget - an Earthway 1001-B. Made with the large scale gardener in mind, this tool is
an "ideal row crop planter, the 1001-B is a tool that takes the guesswork out of planting any row crop. Here’s how it works: install one of the precision seed plates that best fits your seed, then adjust the depth of planting on the ground opener, and then set your 30” long row marker for the desired width, then fill the seed hopper with seeds, then begin pushing in your well tilled soil, that’s it." (taken straight from their website).
For those friends who plant their crops with a 12 or 24 row John-Deere corn planter, they can't imagine planting their crops with this tool. But, I love the idea of using this tool. The widows I'll be working with crop very few acres (probably less than 3), and this would get them started right away with planting their corn rather than the all-too-common method of broadcast seeding the corn. Our machinist friend, Marty, thought that the plastic and aluminum would hold up well enough that we wouldn't need to have it made of heavier metal. Which sure makes it easier to get to Ethiopia in my checked luggage!!!
I checked out Earthway's website and then began comparing with similar products online. From the comments I read, for a tool of this size and durability, the Earthway was the hands-down way to go. I decided that I would invest a little of the crops money I'd raised to buy this tool. I envisioned it being the beginning of moving forward with improving cropping for the widows of Shanto. I stressed the importance of planting corn but now they'd be able to see it.
However, before I ordered an Earthway Precision Garden Seeder, or the broadcas seeder, I sent them a the following comment via their contact button:
"I volunteer with a non-profit called Friends of Orphans and vulnerable Children (www.fovc.org). I began a crops for widows project with them to teach the widows and community members how to grow a crop and feed themselves. This is in Southern Ethiopia. I've been looking at taking an earthway seeder to help them get corn planted (they currently broadcast seed it). If I can help them improve how they plant crops, along with other education, then these people will have a better chance at providing for their families. And as an adoptive mother of a child from there, I believe strongly in keeping families together compared to them deciding which child to give up for adoption because they're starving - our personal story but also a common one in poverty stricken rural southern ethiopia. I'm contacting you to ask if you'd be willing to donate a precision garden seeder for me to take with me to ethiopia when I fly over there Oct 21st. I would love to answer any questions you might have. Thank you in advance, Tamara B, FOVC Crops Expert, mom, and garderner"
You can imagine my excitement when I had the following reply in my inbox when I got home from work today:
"Tamara, Thanks for the email. We would be happy to help. I'll have a 1001-B and the optional seed plates sent to your address below. Sincerely, Jeff KendallVP Sales & Marketing, Earthway Products, Inc."
I read the email and immediately jumped up and interrupted Ryan's "quiet time" to tell him the good news. I was so EXCITED. I still am. Thank you Jeff and the Earthway Inc team for your partnership in sharing good news with the poorest of poor in Ethiopia. With your generous heart and helpful contribution, you'll join me in helping women keep their families together... something I've dreamed of since the day I met Judah's birth momma! Thank you, thank you Jeff. Your message in my inbox made my day. I'm excited to serve along side FOVC, working to to educate and support orphans, vulnerable children & widows in Ethiopia, empowering them to break the cycle of poverty and hunger as we offer them hope and independence for the future.
I have learned to ask. And it has been given to us. Thank you Lord Jesus for the peole You use to be Your hands and feet. Anyone else want to volunteer and partner with FOVC? Let me know!
[I in no way personally benefitted by posting such nice things about Earthway Inc. However, the people of Shanto, Ethiopia will personally benefit from their generous donation. And I certainly benefitted in that I was encouraged by their generosity. Hmm, maybe I'll put one of these on my Christmas list...]
Saturday, October 1, 2011
Necklaces and Wine
21 day until I'm heading to Ethiopia!
I'm having a wine social event back home in Kingsburg in November. Trying to come up with a creative and catchy name for the event. Got any ideas? Leave me a comment.
Thursday, September 29, 2011
While it would be nice to have my in-country expenses paid for, it was intended to pay that. And I love how intentional the gift was! I called the gift giver's wife and learned that the $1050 gift was for 150 puzzle pieces. I'm thrilled for multiple reasons:
- I was secretly a little bummed that I'd sold very few puzzle pieces.
- Of this gift, $700 goes towards feeding people during the famine - approximately 54 kids for one month. Thanks dear friends for feeding God's precious created children.
- $350 goes towards my travel expenses which will be close to $2600. Thanks friends for helping shoulder those expenses for me.
I have put it on my to do list to start piecing all those pieces together for the puzzle. Thanks friends. For those who are interested, there's 345 tickets left to be purchased :)
Saturday, September 24, 2011
504 pieces to sell. 6 pieces sold to date.
Obviously, I'm behind. And because of that, I've also not raised any funds for the trip. I'm glad to volunteer and serve along side FOVC. But, it's not like we have all the money in the world to fly to Africa every four months. I'm going to be real and honest here. Even with some donations towards our last trip (which helped a ton), it still costs money. And while I really wanted to go home to CA to see family and friends, we couldn't do both and so I chose Ethiopia. And with this recent trip, I chose Ethiopia again. And then recently, with some medical issues with both grandma's, I knew I needed to get home. So, I thought I could better justify the expense of going if I could share about FOVC while there. And it all costs money. And I'm so thankful that I have a husband who wonderfully supports our family. But it costs more than we make. About $2500 for this next Ethiopia trip. And if you average it out, it's a little over $500/month in expenses for the last two trips. Which I would consider expensive.
All of that mumbling to let you know that I really, really could use your help. Would you buy some puzzle pieces? I believe strongly in the work that FOVC is doing and have chosen to fundraise to keep children alive. But if I'm going to go and offer long term hope through the crops program, then I also have to fundraise a little for my own expenses. If you'd like to make a donation, I'd humbly accept.
hating to ask,
Friday, September 23, 2011
"very big food shortage"
- While there's a drought in the horn of Africa, there's very localized, heavy rains in Shanto. Because of the rains, farmers are unable to plant crops. No planting crops = no food to harvest later on. No food to harvest = increased hunger...
- Desalegn visits homes in Shanto. In his words, there is a "very big food shortage". I could have cried when I read this - for two reasons. One is that I can't imagine not being able to feed my family. And two, because I'm overjoyed that I can play a little role in raising money to feed families through this famine. To date, we've raised ~$200. That will feed 15 kids for one month, or just under 4 kids for the length of the expected famine. Oh, how I can only hope that number grows.
- My very non-medical mind understands that following heavy rains, an area will see things like malaria and measles break out. So, not only are they dealing with famine which equals suppressed immune systems and then they'll have to face diseases. Oh Lord, my heart aches for these people.
- Food inflation continues as a rule of thumb. When will it stop?
Friends, I know that I'm passionate about this and know that not everyone is. But, if you could spare 5 bucks, or more, it would be a huge help to others. Just this week, a sweet little girl at Awanas handed me $5 for my trip. It may not pay for my $1500 airline ticket, but her heart and her smile and her $5 were worth so much to me! Be encouraged friends to give a little love this week.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
In the meantime, I love talking about FOVC. But I often don't have time to blog about it. So here's a quick snippet.
We're leaving October 21st. Focusing on teaching them techniques that will grow a crop during the famine. I have lots of prep work to do in the next few weeks. Teaching material to get together. Soil test kits to put together. That on top of my other FOVC fundraising activities - mailing out shirts, making necklaces and mailing them out, and getting together idea for the wine tasting fundraiser.
I'm so, so thankful for my husband who plays a critical role of keeping me grounded, encouraging my strengths and building my weaknesses. There may be dirty dishes on the counter but we're loving God together and I'm so thankful!
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Just in Case
Don't forget about the two other fundraisers I have going on. I'm not trying to over do it. It's just that important to me to help others in need. This is not enabling them. It's saving their lives from famine and teaching them skills so they can provide for themselves long term. Those two fundraisers are:
1. The Feed Hope tshirts that I designed. These shirts help bring an awareness to the work FOVC is doing plus they bring in a little money for the organization I whole-heartedly believe in. A little less than half of the $20 cost of the shirts goes towards the famine relief project.
2. The Puzzle Fundraiser. Thanks to Megan for coming up with this fundraiser. two-thirds of your $21 donation goes towards the FOVC Feed Hope relief project and 1/3 goes towards my personal expenses for the trip.
As always, if you'd like to donate to FOVC, you can always do that by writing a check and mailing it or by donating online. If you'd like to donate to my personal expenses, leave a comment here or toss me an email.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Feed Hope Shirts
I have these sweet shirts needing a home. Shirts are for sale for $20/each with the proceeds going directly to FOVC's Feed Hope relief project.
Need a cool t-shirt that gives hope back to Southern Ethiopia during the drought/famine?
So, while I was sweet talking my kids into modeling a shirt, Judah didn't want me to take his picture. I asked Judah if he wanted to help momma raise money to feed kids. He said yes. I said "then smile big". This is what I got:
Will you help Judah raise money to feed hope to kids just like him in southern Ethiopia?
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
As many of you know, Tamara had been asked to return to Ethiopia because of the drought/famine issues. Her personal expenses are ~$2500 this trip, which is just 4 months after her last trip. This wasn't a "planned" trip in that she wasn't planning on going 4 months later but is going because of the drought/famine issues. She has been blessed in that she can get the time off of work but then there is the obstacle of the money. She hoped to raise funds for the Feed Hope relief project but could also use some help funding her travel.
A little more about the trip (and I am sure you will hear more from Tamara), the Feed Hope relief project is raising funds to feed the local communities for 4 months of the famine. This late October trip will be a small team of 4 (which makes it more expensive per individual). Two of the team will focus on food delivery and medical. Joe and Tamara will focus on crops training - specifically on growing drops during drought. Wow, what a long term impact Tamara will be having on these communities. It is not just immediate relief, but what she is doing will help to insure the communities will be ready for the next drought!
I began to dream of how Tamara could donate to FOVC and also fund her trip. I am not the most creative or experienced fundraiser, but I came up with a little idea.
A puzzle fundraiser! Here's how it will work. I made a 504 piece puzzle, out of the Feed Hope Logo. We are asking folks (YOU) to sponsor pieces of the puzzle. Each piece will cost $7. I am asking each donor will sponsor 3 pieces of the puzzle, so a $21 donation. Yes, 3 pieces! The $7 from one piece will go to Tamara's travel fund, and $14 from the other two pieces will go to FOVC's Feed Hope relief project!!!! When you sponsor a piece of the puzzle, we will write your name on the back, and then start piecing the puzzle together. With your help, we will complete the puzzle before Tamara leaves for her trip! Each piece of the puzzle will literally help complete the Feed Hope logo, and also help build the relief effort!!!!
This is Tamara's wish...to fund part of her own trip AND donate to Feed Hope!!! Let's help her fulfill her dream!!!!
How do you sponsor 3 pieces (or more!)? Funds can be donated directly to FOVC - checks written to FOVC at 1428 Venice Ln., Longmont CO 80503. Please put a sticky note (NOT the memo line) identifying that it's for Tamara's puzzle fundraiser so they will know where to allocate the funds!
THANK YOU so much for considering helping Tamara in her efforts. We hope to have the 500 piece puzzle completed by this time next month!!!! This will raise $3,528!!!!! About the $1176 towards Tamara's travels and $2352 to Feed Hope!!!!! We will keep you updated on the progress! I know many of you are stretched this right now, and $21 is a lot to ask, so we are so thankful for your sacrifice.
Again...here are the steps...
1) Send a $21 (or more) check to FOVC with a sticky note that reads "Tamara". This will sponsor 3 pieces of the puzzle which funds Tamara's travels and Feed Hope.
One step, pretty simple huh??? If you want extra credit, here ya go:
2.) Tell your friends via your blog, facebook, twitter, letters to your old Aunt Sally about FOVC's Feed Hope Relief project
Thanks again friends,
Friday, September 9, 2011
ISU vs. Iowa
Will you buy one? Can we sell it to the highest bidder, starting at $20 each? What are you willing to pay?
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Water is Life
Thank you all for this unexpected thing happen to Shanto! This is more than life to us. Water born diseases killed many children, girls drop out from school to fetch water, pregnant mothers and infants died due to lack of clean water, etc, etc, etc. But clean water is coming soon due to your support. Thank you all many million times for what you did and are doing! A little to you is more than life to the people of Shanto. We love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Isn't that so cool. To see pictures, you'll have to go directly to the blog. I read this and asked myself the following: how can I not find some money in my pocket or piggy bank to give to them that would lead to LIFE. Literally, clean water is the difference of life and death for some. I keep thinking of that change jar in my room that was going towards a vacation. But, right now I don't want to consider a vacation knowing that our change can make lasting change. How about you?
I love a few other things about this project. First off that the well is finally being drilled which allows many to see the fruits of their labor. Secondly that it's being done by "local" guys. Thirdly that it literally means life for some people. Fourthly, ... who knows, I'm so excited I can't even remember what I was thinking.
Anyway, check out the blog and consider if you might have a jar of change that could make a change.
Monday, September 5, 2011
Beading with Bahe was a Blast
I recently called my friend Bahe, the beading queen, and asked her to help me put a few necklaces together. Bahe was super generous and brought her tools and supplies over to help. We discussed what we wanted them to look like and eventually starting putting them together.
In the hours Bahe was helping, we put together a few necklaces. And there are more to come. Some with glass beads, some with paper beads and some with an Ethiopian cross. I have some more to put together and in two weeks we'll have them finished up.
So, be ready to see them here. I will be selling them. All proceeds (which is 100% since I donated the beads) will go towards FOVC and/or my October trip. Be on the lookout.