Archive for February 2009 | Monthly archive page
Local Jr. Girls Scouts No. 177 in Brea, volunteered their time to host a food drive for the We’ve Got Your Back program.
The young ladies gathered the boxes of food that were donated, and sorted and packed them into 50 backpacks.
Thank you to the Jr. Girl Scouts for serving the Orange County community!
Ok, so patience is a virtue and I’m pretty certain that we all wish we had a little bit more patience. But sometimes I really just suck at it!
Back in September I made the largest purchase of my life when I became a home-owner and purchased a small condo. Ever since then I’ve had lots of fun doing little home-improvement projects as I have time. I’m finally getting to my bathroom – the walls and the cabinet. In order to paint the cabinet all the way, I had to move this piece of furniture that sits over my toilet, but it’s hard to move alone.
So here’s what happened to me today. Earlier this afternoon I painted everything I could except for this spot on the cabinet hoping that my roommate would come home soon. I waited and waited but wanted to get done with painting so I tried to move it myself…and couldn’t. So I let it go for a while and did some other things, but as a pretty independent person it was kind of ticking me off that I couldn’t finish what I wanted to. After waiting some more, I decided that I was going to find a way to move it myself so I could finish my painting for the night.
Here’s what happened. In my zest to move the piece of furniture I didn’t realize that lifting from the shelf was causing a cracking sound and all of a sudden I had damaged my nice cabinet. **Oh stupid impatience and independence!**
It reminds me of sometimes how frustrated I get in my work during a disaster. When disasters happen we get into gear to see who needs help because in major disasters we always find a way to help. But for me impatience takes over. I put up a story on the website, issue a press release and have reporters calling…I want to tell them exactly what we are doing. But you know what, no one knows what they are doing in the aftermath of a disaster. And really we have to wait.
For instance, the recent Gaza conflict took place in late December. It wasn’t until mid-February that it was determined not only who needed help, but who had the capacity to help at each point when you are dealing with things like customs. So here I was stressed that our story on the website had no new updates. We live in an age of real time and immediacy and I immediately want to get aid where it needs to go.
Fortunately for the organization, I work under John Ditty. John’s been doing this for 16 years now. __John reminds me that God is in control and that God always has us work in His timing – not Jenise’s!__
Hopefully one day I’ll get better and learn more of the virtue of patience and waiting on the Lord. Then I’ll break less cabinets as I wait and ask for help when it is available!
How does a Christian humanitarian aid organization try and fundraise to serve Gaza? I’m asking a serious question and am open to replies.
Here’s the scoop. Gaza is so politically controversial and even more so within the Christian community. As an organization we do not take a political stand on any situation. We work hard to get aid to where it needs to go. We will work with anyone willing to get aid to the people – no matter what their political beliefs are. That means in every situation we work with all different people.
**This can make Christians uncomfortable, but this does not undermine our commitment to Jesus Christ.** Quite the opposite. We feel that working together with people who are different than us shows the love of Christ.
The interesting thing about the Palestinian territories (which by the way with our Google map integration we have to do a manual over-ride because even Google doesn’t want to tick anyone off), is that while Christians can debate about the state of Israel and the Jewish people and discuss the Muslims, the Christians living in this region are often Palestinians.
Now, I want to re-emphasize that GCHope has no political stand whatsoever and we are working hard to get aid to a hospital in Gaza City – Ahli Hospital – which has not received ANY supplies in 2 years. As I restate that, I’ll speak of a personal experience in 2004 when I visited the Holy Land.
I traveled to Israel for the wedding of an American and a Canadian – both Christians – taking place where they lived in Jerusalem. I learned a lot from them and their friends on this trip, and with the Christian expatriates I met, they had varying opinions. But I did something else. I went behind the new wall into Bethlehem, just a few miles away from Jerusalem and it was a different world. I met with a Muslim Palestinian who toured us around and talked to us from his opinion. He was very kind and I’ll never forget the graciousness and hospitality he extended to us.
__I also met with some Christian Palestinians and I think their story was the most difficult for me, or the most heart-wrenching.__ You see, no one wanted them. The Jews didn’t want them in Israel and the Muslim Palestinians didn’t want them either. However, they were walled up into Bethlehem unable to get permits to travel, but being absolutely persecuted. And the thing is, they feel that Christians around the world only seem to care about the Jewish people.
Now again, GCHope is not taking sides, nor am I. But I will state that I was deeply impacted by their plight and that I pray often for the Christian Palestinians who feel so very alone in this world.
We’ve taken a bit of heat so far from all sides for trying to help the people of Gaza. I’m personally frustrated because I need to find a way to raise $10,000 to help this hospital and people who has been hit by war. Whatever you believe about the war, breathing humans created in the image of God have undergone traumatic circumstances and no resources are available to help them recover from the physical ailments that they have. I’m not sure how to be politically correct, I’m just trying to do the right thing and serve people in need.
I did have a wonderful conversation this week with an Interfaith group. This is a small group of people from all different faiths who come together to pray and get to know one another and they want to help on Gaza. What a beautiful thing! People different from one another, some Christians, some Muslims, some Jews, all coming together around the cause of serving the people who are hurt in Gaza with the medical care that they need. I think this goes a long way in bringing a more peaceful world which we continue to pray for.
I’m sure that this post has managed to irritate some people. As my boss called me this week, I’m like a piece of sand that acts like an agitator. Hmmmm, not quite the compliment. But then he went on to state that this sand turns into a beautiful pearl. That I pose good questions that make people think and in turn produce beautiful results. So, I hope this made you think. And I hope somewhere it will produce a beautiful result…maybe it will be for those in the Middle East.
On Saturday, February 7, 2009, over 60 volunteers gathered early in the morning to sort medical supplies, package vitamins, and address and fill envelopes for our annual mailings. It is always inspiring to see local community groups and corporations reaching out to their community through service.
In attendance, we had 30 volunteers from “Owens & Minor”:http://www.owens-minor.com/. Owens & Minor, a fortune 500 company, is the nation’s leading distributor of national brand-name medical/surgical supplies to hospitals and integrated health care systems. We also had volunteers from The Interact Club of Los Alamitos High School, “Women for World Health”:http://www.womenforworldhealth.org/, “Health Occupation Students of America”:http://www.hosa.org/, Crean Lutheran South High School, Sequoia Middle School, Agape Church, and Student El Roble Intermediate.
Not only do our volunteers help tremendously, but they also learn a lot in the process. Parents bring their children and show them how to give back to their community. High school students see how they can make a difference in their community despite their age. Students and organizations involved in the medical field get hands-on experience sorting medical supplies and learning about their classifications. Companies like Owens & Minor are able to see what happens to the product they donate: it gets shipped all over the world!
Thank you volunteers for another fun-filled Saturday!
Several months ago I unexpectedly became a Rotarian. I say unexpectedly, because I don’t think it was something I ever thought of doing.
While growing up, my father was a long-time member of the Fullerton lunch Rotary Club. I grew up attending the softball games and other Rotary functions, but I don’t think I ever really realized what it was. Even as I got older, I don’t think I ever gave Rotary another thought.
Last summer I received a call to see if I could please come and speak at the Yorba Linda Sunrise Rotary. Truth be told, I hate public speaking and I hate mornings. When I asked what time, I was told 7 AM. When I asked how long, I was told 30 minutes. And I thought, “Wow, what could I possibly say to 75 people at 7 AM for 30 minutes!!” But as in past positions, you just do all that you need to in order to perform your job. So I accepted.
As it turns out, the YL Sunrise Rotarians are a pretty rowdy crowd. When they found out I wasn’t a Rotarian, they asked me to come back the next week for breakfast. Eventually, they let me in the club.
__One of the things I appreciate most about Rotary is their motto of Service Above Self. What a great motto!__ I’ve also been able to do great things with my club. My club recently contributed $3,000 towards our program which feeds the homeless children in Orange County. I met the Director of the Boys and Girls Clubs who needed toys for Christmas and was able to get him 600 toys for the kids. And most recently I was able to help out on a project to get hygiene boxes to the soldiers in Iraq. We added the boxes into one of our containers that where the US military distributes the supplies to the hospitals not being serviced.
Today I had a nice surprise. My Rotary club was so thankful for getting their boxes to Iraq at no charge to them, they decided to do something for us. They are going to sponsor fixing one of the many parts of our building that needs a little TLC. When you work around needs, you tend to give away what comes in and don’t often think of your own needs. So what a blessing that the YL Rotary decided to help out our building.
If you aren’t currently a Rotarian, I recommend checking out this wonderful service club that truly believes in Service Above Self!
This week I’ve been wondering about my job. Don’t get my wrong, I actually really love my job. But think about it, can you think of anything harder to do right now than fundraising? I mean, I know sales are down for everyone, which has had its toll on just about anything. So while you wouldn’t want to be a realtor right now, think about it, at least people are getting something for the money they give you if they have money. In fundraising, the only thing they get is the sense of feeling good. Not always an easy sell in a tight economy.
The hard thing in times like this too is that needs go up. We’ve noticed a dramatic increase in the agencies that are a part of our Giving For Living program. It seems that they are all serving more individuals so in turn they need more product from us. **How do you balance greater needs with less funding? I’m still not quite sure.**
I will share a praise report though. It’s no secret that Giving Children Hope is a Christian organization. And we are one that takes prayer pretty seriously. Every time I meet someone influential I am really reminded that I have been praying for that connection and I never could have done it, but God really does bring us what we need when we need it.
So yesterday, just when I was getting really discouraged about getting some funds in the door to do our work the mail came. It contained two wonderful pieces of mail. One was funding towards a new medical clinic we’ll be doing in Sri Lanka. Check out that page because the clinic story I find very touching. I was expecting this funding at some point, but it came earlier than I anticipated.
The second check was one that was totally unexpected. Months ago I had a student intern working with me writing some grant proposals. Caleb was a tremendous asset to the organization and yesterday was a direct result of a grant he put together. The grant was towards our We’ve Got Your Back program that feeds the homeless children in Orange County. I actually figured that at this point, he’s been gone so long, that whatever he worked on either came in or was rejected. But I was wrong. Here this gift from God came in to help a program where the needs are growing. The grant also fulfilled our $15,000 matching grant for the Dhont Family Foundation so now we should be receiving that matching funding.
__Yesterday was a testament to me to stay on our knees and continue to present our requests before the Lord.__ It was a reminder that all of the money is the Lord’s and He will supply our daily bread.
Acaciawood High School students immediately jumped on board with the We’ve Got Your Back Toy Drive, and helped by distributing fliers to their peers, classmates, and teachers. Students also volunteered their time to wrap gifts for homeless children in the program. They used their creative skills to bring a special touch to every gift they wrapped and every card they made. They were also the first to arrive and the last to leave; volunteering to clean up after all gifts were wrapped.
On top of all that, they were able to donate over 50 toys to this year’s toy drive!
Volunteer Coordinator, Melissa Strauss, says, “As a coordinator of volunteers, it warms my heart to see young people aware of the needs of others. Not only the needs of the community, but noticing our own organization’s needs….like cleaning up before you leave. I am so impressed by the Acaciawood students. They are a delightful group to work with. I hope we become great friends and see them at many more functions.”
Acaciawood students have participated in our Saturday serve days and are always lending a helping hand with a smile.
Thank you, Acaciawood students!
Now that’s the Power of YOU!
For Immediate Release
Students Work to Improve Education in Ghana
BUENA PARK, Calif. (August 12, 2008) – Tomorrow, Giving Children Hope will fill a 40-foot container of medical equipment and supplies to be shipped to Valley View University in Oyibi, Ghana. The aid will benefit the university’s Nursing Department and on-campus clinic. This container is in partnership with Student in Free Enterprise from La Sierra University,
Valley View University, a Seventh -Day Adventist private institution, orchestrates programs to assist local grade schools and train adults in micro business. Giving Children Hope and Students in Free Enterprise have collaborated in the past to help equip these programs with computers and medical supplies.
Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) is a global non-profit organization that mobilizes university students in over 40 countries. The organization’s branch at La Sierra University recently won first place at the World SIFE Competition for their efforts in Ghana.
Giving Children Hope is a faith-based nonprofit organization dedicated to alleviating poverty (domestically and abroad) through disaster relief, health and community development, vocational training and advocacy. For more information, visit www.gchope.org.
Giving Children Hope
Ph: 714-523-4454 x. 112
We’ve Got Your Back is a weekend nutrition program created by Giving Children Hope for students in the Orange County Unified School District who have been identified as homeless under the McKinney-Vento act.
These children also take part in the free and reduced lunch program at their schools. For most of these children, the school cafeteria is their primary source of nutrition. Many return home on Friday to a household without food. This is where Giving Children Hope and the Orange County Unified School District partner together to alleviate hunger among our children in Orange County.
Giving Children Hope distributes backpacks weekly to elementary schools. There, a site coordinator distributes each backpack confidentially to every student in the program. This continues throughout the entire school year. The program is presented to the children as a Weekend Nutrition Club, instead of the “We’ve Got Your Back” program. Our first priority is to maintain and uphold the dignity and self-esteem of the children. Students in the weekend nutrition club will receive a weekly activity sheet that will pertain to nutrition. This activity sheet is returned every week in each backpack and is the students’ responsibility. Children who return their activity sheets will be rewarded. With the assistance of a school site coordinator from your school, the distribution of backpacks and the collection of empty ones can be facilitated in a simple and time efficient manner.