Archive for May 2009 | Monthly archive page
If you missed the My Hands Have a Voice art exhibition to end human slavery, here are some testimonials from some of the attendees and participating artists:
“I’m so glad to have seen that movie call and response at the my hands have a voice show. I have decided to do my part and help out with abolishing human trafficking/slavery. I am going to give 25% of all my [art] sales to help free the slaves, and start bringing awareness to my own community through art. THANK YOU FOR OPENING MY EYES!” – Todd Sanders, artist
“Just wanted to let you know that the exhibition was great. Thanks for allowing our class to have the opportunity to learn and spread the word of this atrocious issue.” -Mike Cook, artist
“Congratulations on such a great event last weekend. The turnout was great and the entire event was wonderful. I was blessed by you giving me a chance to be a part of it as an artist.” – Jennifer Kwan, artist
“Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
Thank you for making the students feel so worthwhile and honored. Coming to our class, inviting them to the event, photographing their work, and asking for their opinion on camera showed a level of commitment and caring that most of them have never experienced. You broke down their defenses. I believe that due to your honesty and integrity the students will take themselves and their art more seriously. I could ask for nothing greater.
And yet, there is something greater. The students were floored to see bids for $100 on their work. They could not believe that their efforts would be rewarded and in turn, that your organization could benefit. The students are forced to acknowledge that their work may/can create change. And for that I am deeply grateful!” – Sarah A Meyer, Associate Professor of Graphic Design, Cal Poly Pomona
I often struggle with giving. No, not that I don’t want to give, I am grateful that I was raised in a home that taught me to give generously from the time I received allowance at 5 years old. So parting with money to make a difference is not that hard (most of the time). But I struggle with giving in that there are so many worthy things I want to give to that some days I feel like I should return to the private sector so I can make more money and fund more endeavors. The thing is….it isn’t what God has for me and I finally had to accept that.
I guess I’ve been thinking more about giving the last couple of days because first I was included on an email of someone that I recently met asking to assist on a trip to Thailand for a filming project. Then I was asked by someone I’ve never met, except via email, if I would host a fundraising event in my home. __While most of what I give to is for the organization for which I work, GCHope, I actually said yes to both requests and here’s why:__
Do you ever come in contact with people that you know somehow you should be connected to even though you don’t know why? For me it happens. Not all of the time, but it definitely happens. So on both of these instances they are people whose names keep coming up over and over. That’s reason enough to pause and stay connected. And when you believe that people are going to do something great – and by helping you’ll be a little part of it – it’s kind of exciting.
First, let me tell you about the email for the trip to Thailand. The email resonated with me for a couple of reasons. First, when you work for a non-profit and you are in charge of marketing/fundraising you tend to come across many amazing stories. In order to fundraise you need to find the most effective way to tell those stories. I’ve resolved to having an effective website and doing tons of video interviews with my new little “flip camera”:http://www.theflip.com/. **I always feel like if others could sit in my meetings and hear about a particular project they might more readily give.** Since I can’t bring hundreds of people into meetings with me, I try and bring the meetings to them on-line via video in our “GCHope TV”:http://www.gchope.org/gchope-tv.html channel. But video from the field projects themselves…those are hard for us non-profits to fund because people might give to us to deliver medicines to IDP camps in Africa, but many won’t give to produce the video sharing the story. BUT I know that with a proper video I might be able to help more people, it breaks my heart so often. So when a filmmaker takes it upon himself to raise funds to go out and film a project, I know it assists the non-profit community as a whole since it raises awareness.
Second, I met this filmmaker when he responded to a volunteer opportunity for GCHope. __Without asking anything in return, he gave first.__ That always speaks volumes to me that someone is responding with their heart and engaged in the cause. I love supporting the causes of other givers!
Third, I think I gave almost because the email was so honest…he doesn’t really know yet why he is going other than he feels God is bringing him there. It reminds me of so much of my life. When I quit my job to attend business school in Italy; then I completed my degree in Johannesburg against the many warnings of how dangerous the Jo’burg townships are. People wanted to know what I was going to do when I finished school and if I wanted to work in non-profit how was I going to end up paying for business school on non-profit salary? Honestly, they were all great questions of which I didn’t have a clue how to answer. But you know what, I knew that God was calling me into these things and I just had to move forward and trust. I had ZERO clue what I was going to do when I finished school – I couldn’t even describe my ideal job. Somewhere I tried to trust that God had a place for me. And He did. There’s something beautiful about letting go of being in control and letting God lead.
Lastly, the email talked about producing something that leads to action. Let’s face it. There are many things out there that teach you something but people don’t decide to do anything about it. **The gap between ignorance and awareness is smaller than the gap between awareness and action.** As a pretty action oriented person and an action oriented organization I’m always in support of things that help people to get outside of themselves and go out and make a difference in the world. So, while I mostly give to my own organization because I am so entrenched in what our needs are and how we serve our partners, I also give to some other things that I feel like can make a difference. So I am happy to support efforts that lead others into action!
That leads me to the email asking me to host an event. Honestly, I have a humble little condo. But I’ve always had an open door policy and know that if God blessed me with home ownership along with that comes the privilege of using my home to extend hospitality. So when the venue they originally had fell through and I was asked if I would consider hosting the event, it didn’t even faze me to say yes…even though we’ve never met in person.
I guess when as an organization you help a host of other non-profits with their projects, people think that you must know how to get in the needed funding. Truth be told, I don’t actually like asking people for money and most of the time I don’t feel like I know what I am doing. But I also know that so much joy happens when people can participate in something bigger than themselves – and that’s what happens when you ask people for money and they say yes. If I could do it all myself, I probably would. I only ask because I have to. However, it’s backwards thinking because people can feel a tremendous amount of joy when they can make a difference in someone else’s life. __When you don’t ask, you deprive people of participating.__
So when I know that three families are giving up everything and moving to Rwanda so they can teach young entrepreneurs how to do business and can help create a culture of sustainable communities – I’m onboard. I do what I do because I know that efforts like this are in vain if people aren’t healthy and can’t work, but I also know that healthy people who can’t sustain themselves doesn’t work either. We need it all. So if all that I can do to participate is to open my home that God has graced me with to assist in this project, I honestly feel honored.
So, for me, while the work that I do I feel is powerful in many communities, it’s also personally powerful to give to other opportunities and be a small part of something bigger than myself. **I’d love to hear from people why YOU give.** And since I fundraise for a living, or at least I try, I’d love to know what you find compelling about the work of GCHope or what you want to see more of that would make you feel more connected. Send an email to email@example.com or leave a comment on the blog. I want people to know that ANYONE who gives of their time or their finances is a part of making a community a better, healthier community. YOU are a part of something bigger than yourself…and if you aren’t yet part of something, what are you waiting for?
One of the things that GCHope procures and distributes to partner organizations is pharmaceuticals. Being a medical distribution organization, we try listen to our partners as well as anticipate their needs and try to meet those needs – and medicines is often one of those needs.
Sometimes I am asked the question of why we ship in medicines as opposed to purchasing them locally. Now, if you are like me then you want to do the best job you can for the local economy you are working in and you want to make the most cost effective decision for the community you are serving. Of course if you can purchase local medicines for less expensive then the cost it takes to procure and ship in medicines, that’s what you should do. However, you need to make sure you are comparing apples to apples.
Earlier this week I had a new partner organization in my office and Linus also happens to be a pharmacist. We had a great conversation about why he works with charities to get medicines for his projects as opposed to purchasing locally. Unfortunately the quality of medicines you can get around the world varies. Unscrupulous entrepreneurs in many developing countries learned that if you just replace all or part of the real medicine with white chalk, but called it medicine, well, there was more profit to be made. **So when comparing shipping in meds versus purchasing locally, you need to be sure that you are talking about the same quality.**
In our conversation I did, of course, what I do best: pull out the video camera and do a 2 minute interview. I figure, if I find this stuff interesting and educational, there are others who do too. So don’t listen to what the girl writing the blog says about medicines, listen to the pharmacist himself.
If you know of an organization that needs to get medicines to their project, please have them visit our page detailing our pharmaceutical program. All of our medicines come with a certificate of analysis from the manufacturer verifying their quality and are valued with the Red Book industry standard.
I hope that this little blog entry taught you just a little bit more about the quality and cost-effectiveness of conducting development projects!
On Sunday, May 17, Messiah Lutheran Church presented Giving Children Hope with a check for $7,707.13 for the “We’ve Got Your Back”:[~425~] program!
Every year the children in Sunday school do a service project for Lent. This year the kids were given mini backpacks to collect spare money and change during Lent for Giving Children Hope. On Palm Sunday the kids deposited the coins into “BIG” backpacks during their Children’s Worship Hour. The kids collected just over $700. The balance of the money was donations by the congregation. Usually church members can donate $10 for the cost of an Easter Lily for the Sanctuary for Easter services. Instead of lilies this year, the church asked the congregation to donate to Giving Children Hope. The children also came to fill backpacks full of food.
This money will help Giving Children Hope continue to feed homeless children in Orange County.
GCHope wants to thank Messiah Lutheran for making a difference in our community!
I had the privilege of attending “Messiah Lutheran Church in Yorba Linda”:http://www.messiahyl.com/ for yesterday’s service. It was my second time at their church; both times I was there representing Giving Children Hope and receiving funding for the organization.
**One of the things that has impressed me about Messiah Lutheran is really the leadership at the top: Pastor Bob Mooney.** I actually first met Pastor Bob over a year ago when he helped with a small fund-raising dinner we were hosting. I needed some audio-visual equipment and was told that Messiah Lutheran could probably loan us theirs. Here’s the thing though, not only did they loan it to us, but Pastor Bob came himself to do the set-up. I was immediately impressed that the head pastor of a large church would come himself to set up and run all of the equipment.
Since getting to know Pastor Bob over the next year plus, I have only grown in admiration for his leadership. Pastor Bob has such a heart for the poor and to serve others and that flows down to the entire church.
GCHope is grateful for each and every financial donation we receive. We cannot exist without financial donations and in this economy they are getting harder and harder to come by. __So while every gift we receive comes with great joy, it is always wonderful to partner with a church that promotes your organization and cause and cares for the poor in their community and around the world.__
Sunday they presented a check in the amount of $7,707.13 to support our “We’ve Got Your Back”:www.wgyb.org program which feeds homeless children in Orange County. Pastor Bob talked about how God formed us and knit us together in the womb. He talked about the value of each person’s like and gave the example of Rahab and modern day prostitutes. No matter what sins may have committed, you are a child of God created in His image.
So that was my Sunday afternoon. I feel continually blessed to partner with wonderful people to make a difference. But especially blessed to partner with Messiah Lutheran Church and with their wonderful servant leader, Pastor Bob Mooney!
On Friday I had my first opportunity to attend an annual Yorba Linda event put on by the “Yorba Linda Rotary club”:http://www.ylrotary.org/ called Lobsterfest. I came to speak at the Rotary in Yorba Linda almost a year ago now…it was last May right after their annual fundraiser. So I was a first time Lobsterfest attendee and worker.
Wow, what a fun event. We flew in over 2,500 from Maine that arrived that morning into LAX. A whole team of Rotarians cooked the lobsters in giant pots, as well as steak, corn and coleslaw. The annual event raises close to $100,000 each year and then the month goes to a number of different non-profits to support local community efforts as well as international projects around the world.
It’s been a great joy to be a new Rotarian and join efforts with a group of people who have a motto: Service Above Self. If you are looking to join a service club in your community, I encourage you to check out your local Rotary Club. You just might find yourself with a group of like-minded people who want to make a difference in the world.
As for me, not only is my Rotary group great, but I also got to eat some lobster. Cracking that big lobster on my plate was quite the experience…..
Every week, Giving Children Hope delivers backpacks full on nutritious food to 300 homeless children in Orange County’s elementary schools.
This week, a little girl who receives a backpack each week, expressed her joy when she received her food, which is enough to feed a family of five. She said that her family had just finished their last can of soup for dinner the night before and would now be able to eat.
Through We’ve Got Your Back, we are able to ensure that children like her don’t go hungry.
When you donate to We’ve Got Your Back, you are bringing hope to the local community.
When Rose Perez, the Practical Care Ministry Leader at the Cornerstone Church, learned about Giving Children Hope’s Giving for Living program, she knew that there were families in the local community that could use assistance.
She explained that right now there are not any diaper assistance programs in place for families with small children who find buying necessary items difficult. Some families are larger and do not qualify for government assistance which is why Perez came to Giving Children Hope in an effort to meet these families’ need.
“I had a 19-year-old girl with two small children, [with a] husband that was unemployed and she could not work due to her pregnancy. We assisted her with food, clothing [for the baby] and diapers. She was so grateful that we were able to help her because there were times she had one diaper left and did not know what to buy: either food or diapers for both her small children,” recalled Perez.
In another case, a desperate mother wanted to take her one-year-old child out of diapers because it was an expense she couldn’t afford. “She was glad we could help her and her daughter could be potty trained like any other child in the U.S.” said Perez.
Giving for Living provides clothes and items such as diapers for those in need in the local community.