Archive for October 2009 | Monthly archive page
Today I waited on pin and needles to find out if GCHope would be one of the non-profits selected as a finalist in the Social Innovative Fast Pitch. Since September I have been competing as a semi-finalist at the USC School of Business in a “Fast Pitch.”:http://socialinnovationpitch.org/pp/
Not sure what a Fast Pitch is? Here’s how it’s described:
The Social Innovation Fast Pitch is a two-month training and mentoring program for innovative nonprofits that are effecting social change in Greater Los Angeles. __The goal of the Social Innovation Fast Pitch program is to build the capacity of, and create visibility for, innovative local nonprofits and the social entrepreneurs who lead them.__ In 2009, leaders from 22 organizations have been accepted into the program, where they will receive training, feedback and mentoring on how to succinctly and powerfully “tell their story.” Through the process, they will also build valuable cross-sector relationships.
So, today was the day I would find out if I would be one of the fortunate 10 of the 22 who moves on to the finals….and I am pleased to say that we were chosen!
So now, in just 1 ½ weeks, I’ll be up on a stage to present my 3 minute fast pitch. That’s right, I will be summing up what GCHope does and present our new mobile medical clinic project that will be serving Los Angeles and Orange County’s. Three minutes, no notes, no props, hundreds of people. Me – petrified! I’m a pretty shy person so this is a huge stretch for me. However, I believe so much in the work we do that it has carried me through.
The top presentation will receive a prize of $10,000. Honestly, the funding would be nice, but for me winning was becoming a finalist. My goal has been to get us into the competition to be able to tell our story to a group of people who really care. So, whatever happens in the actual competition, I do feel like GCHope is a winner!
If you are free on November 11th and live near Los Angeles, I invite you to get your “tickets”:http://socialinnovationpitch.org/pp/com/page2/p/registration for the Fast Pitch event. I can use the moral support!
Recently we received a donation of $255 for our “We’ve Got Your Back” fund. After contacting the donor and thanking her for her support, we asked her how she heard about our program. She replied with a wonderful letter that we’d like to share with you:
My husband John Kao and I have a little girl, Cassidy, who just turned 4 years old a couple days ago. We know how fortunate we are to live in beautiful Orange County and we wanted to help Cassidy to understand that not every kid here is so fortunate (to have a nice playroom and princess bedroom as she does) and may need our help. At around the same time we started to have her help us do some recycling.
So, I thought we could combine the two by donating the CRV we got back from the recyclable cans and bottles we collected. I wanted to find a local charity that sets out to help children so it’s easier for Cassidy to relate to. From my research, I came across GCHope and We’ve Got Your Back project. I was in shock to learn how many homeless children there are in our community and definitely feel very compelled to give to the cause.
While I was planning for Cassidy’s 4th birthday party, we decided to get more people involved with our project. We asked all her friends (about 20 families in total) to recycle all the cans and bottles for about a month and bring them to the party. Including some of the cans and bottles we’ve collected since July and what we collected from the party, we were able to get back CRV of $55. In addition, some of our friends were very generous and also donated cash of $200 in total.
Like what I told all our friends that even though $255 may not seem a lot but we were able to keep more than 50 homeless kids from being hungry for the whole weekend.
So this is our story.
This was such a great experience for us as a family and I was very impressed with how much these little kids understand. We’ll definitely keep the tradition going and continue to recycle and to donate all the CRVs we collected to Giving Children Hope in the future.
The Buena Park Women’s Club held a food drive for our We’ve Got Your Back program on October 24.
They were able to raise more than 350 food items and $45 for the homeless children in Orange County.
We would like to thank Sandy Smith, Virginia Vaughn, Laura Martin, Diane Meis, Chonie Sinclair, Tami Gallegos, Roslyn Daily, Chris Salts and Barbara Berg (from left to right in the picture) for their wonderful contributions.
GCHopers, a couple of months ago we changed the look of our e-mail system. I know a lot of you noticed because many of you emailed me that you felt like it was easier to read and find information. Since we never officially announced it, I wanted to point out a couple of items
**You’ll notice on our “contact list”:http://www.gchope.org/contact.html a few different lists you can get on.** We don’t want to spam you so we decided we’d try and segment the list. If you are receiving this it means you are on the general list. Everyone is on the general list. This is where we send out monthly updates on shipments and news. Also, if there’s a major disaster we’re responding to or something really amazing or interesting happens, we’ll send out an email. If we are hosting a major event we will also announce it here. This list will probably have 12-18 emails per year.
The GCHope events for California is just that – events in California. Many times others in our community will host an event on our behalf. These get listed on our event page, but we’ll also send you information about these events. This might be the Celebrity Chef Event or a Cut-A-Thon. But we know that if you live in North Carolina you probably don’t want these emails – unless you plan on flying out.
The GCHope Global events is a list we don’t even know how we might use. But we are thinking ahead. You know, maybe someone in New York or Paris is going to want to hold a fundraiser for us and YOU might want to attend. Don’t laugh, it could happen and we wanted to be prepared.
__The Prayer list was created because we believe in the power of prayer.__ And in order to function we want you to PRAY for us and our partner projects. We try and send out an email every other week with about 5-7 prayer requests. These could be anything from a grant going out to an important meeting to a customs problem. Of course, in the face of disasters we want you to pray specifically for communities we are serving. So get on this list if you have the time to pray.
The Volunteer list is currently for those close enough to us to want to volunteer with us. We’ll announce anything new with the volunteer program, urgent volunteer needs, volunteer Saturdays, etc. If you want to give of your TIME, you should be on this list.
The We’ve Got Your Back list is designed for our local Orange County community who want to be involved in the We’ve Got Your Back program feeding the homeless kids each week. We will let you know any updates on kids and schools, new needs and ways to get involved, etc. So if you want to help feed homeless kids in Orange County, this is the list for you.
The Non-Profit Information list is for the non-profits we partner with who wish to receive medical supplies, equipment and medicines. Here is where we let partners know about new donations we have received and we communicate new programs you can participate in. We ask that you subscribe to this list only if you are a non-profit organization.
We hope that this new segmentation allows you to receive the information you are looking for and not receive information that is irrelevant to you.
We also have new social networking links at the bottom of the emails. **So you can easily post our announcements to you Facebook, Twitter and other sites to spread the word and help the cause!**
Thanks for being a part of Giving Children Hope!
I’m a “Baby Buster, also known as Generation X.”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baby_Busters My generation is still defining ourselves and our contribution to society.
I’m pretty proud of some of my fellow Gen Xers thus far. While I think we appreciate those that came before us, I also think that we didn’t feel adequately reached out to for our input and ability to make a difference. **I think we have then tried to create venues where we reach out and inspire our younger counterparts.**
A few that I admire from Gen X are:
Jessica & Matt Flannery – the co-founders of “Kiva.”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kiva_(organization) They didn’t recreate the wheel on micro-finance, but they took those who did it well, developed an awesome platform, and engaged the public in one to one giving.
Cameron Strang, founder of “Relevant Magazine.”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relevant_Magazine Finally someone created a magazine that was funny and has interesting and thought provoking articles that I found, well, relevant.
Blake Mycoskie: founder of “TOMS Shoes.”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toms_shoes A great social entreprenuer that decided he didn’t have to choose between great business and social good, he could do both. Now we can have great fashion on our feet and help children around the world at the same time.
Justin Dillon: director of the “Call + Response film.”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Call_%2B_response He was working with several different anti-slavery organizations but kept wanting to do more. So he gathered talented musicians and advocates, high-lighted the problem, and kicked everyone in the butt to DO SOMETHING!
Donald Miller: Author of “Blue Like Jazz.”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_like_jazz Donald cuts through the jargon and asks the questions we think but don’t say outloud. He talks straight and encourages us to push the envelope.
Jon Foreman: Lead Singer for “Switchfoot.”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Switchfoot Jon using his music to ask poignant questions: “This is YOUR life, are you who you want to be?”
Founders of “Invisible Children.”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invisible_children Well, they inspired a generation of young people to care about vulnerable children in Uganda. Most of the people they educated had never even heard of Uganda, let alone child soldiers.
I know there are more. But these are the leaders of my generation who came to mind. Incidentally, I’m pretty sure these are all people of faith. They don’t flaunt their faith – some of them I’m not sure even talk about it. But that’s another characteristic of my generation I think. __We don’t want people to know we are Christians because we say it. It’s not that we are hiding it, we just want our actions to be the speakers of our faith.__
As Jesus said, “You will know them by their fruit.”
In March of this year, Giving Children Hope helped “a short term mission team”:http://walkingwjesusministry.weebly.com/, from Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa that traveled to the Philippines. GCHope supplied varies medical supplies to the team.
As we have spent the year focusing a bit on the issue of human slavery we hope that you have been educated that this is:
1) an important issue and
2) there are things YOU can do to change the situation
I want to let you know about an event taking place tomorrow.
On Tuesday, October 13, “Causecast”:http://www.causecast.org/ will be streaming live from “USC’s”:http://www.usc.edu/ campus the “Free The Slaves”:http://www.freetheslaves.net/Page.aspx?pid=524 foundation’s annual Freedom Awards. The Freedom Awards celebrates the heroes of the anti-slavery movement from around the world, awarding community-based organizations, individuals who have lobbied for progress, and former slaves who are continuing to fight human trafficking worldwide. This year, the awards will be presented by Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher, Carla Gugino, Isabel Allende, Tom Shadyac, and many more.
The Awards show starts at 7pm PT (10pm ET), and immediately after will be interviews the celebrity guests, speakers, and more info on the anti-slavery movement and how you can help.
We encourage you “to watch it”:http://www.stickam.com/causecast and be educated.
We also invite you to the “Voyage of Hope”:http://www.gchope.org/2009-gala-voyage-of-hope.html on October 24 as learn about the connection of human slavery and healthcare from David Batstone of the “Not For Sale Campaign.”:http://www.notforsalecampaign.org/
Thanks for taking a stand against slavery!!
The last two days I participated in the Global Forum on Human Trafficking where GCHope was a co-sponsor of the event.
It was an awe-inspiring event to see 500-600 gather together to take a stand against this very important issue of our time. We give great thanks to David Batstone and the Not For Sale team for organizing such a wonderful event.
In addition to key leaders, there were great musicians that came out including Switchfoot’s own Jon Foreman. We really love Switchfoot and Jon for all they do to get others to change the world.
Do you want to do something about this important topic? We hope the answer is yes! We invite you to get involved with us and help on the healthcare component. If you want to do even more, we invite you to get involved in some of the great organization working on legislation, lobbying, and other forms of advocacy. Not For Sale is a great organization that is organizing events around the country and you should check them out.
You should also come on October 24 to GCHope’s Annual Voyage of Hope. There you will hear from David Batstone about a partnership in Northern Thailand and you’ll see a small clip from Thailand from our up-coming documentary. Our filmmakers will be present as well as a wonderful mini-Broadway performance from The Kids Next Door.
Oh yeah, Jon Foreman says you should come cause it’s two days after his birthday. That’s reason enough!
Today I write to ask on behalf of field partners for your prayers. I’m also asking on behalf of field partners for your money. I need to raise about $25,000 in the next few days and time is of the essence. Yes, this is in addition to our normal programs and expenses to meet the needs of field partners unexpectedly hit by natural disasters.
Three natural disasters.
Last week, as you’ve heard in the news, you heard about disasters in the Philippines, Indonesia and American Samoa. Sometimes I get asked the question, how does Giving Children Hope decide to respond so I thought I’d take a moment and share what has transpired in the last week.
Let me lead by stating that when disasters happen sometimes there is a critical window of time in which it is easy to work with customs and get needed items in quickly. That is the current situation particularly in the Philippines.
Our costs to provide the requested medicines and other supplies in the Philippines are about $4,000 per shipment. Additionally, our own GCHope field office in Indonesia has been responding on the ground with medical care and rice and we are talking with partners in American Samoa to see how we can best help. If you want to hear from our field office yourself, in our Field Director Herman’s own voice, be sure and watch our video that also includes a word from GCHope CEO John Ditty.
Here’s one of the amazing things about an organization like GCHope – we are a multiplier. **So that $25,000 that we need to raise will be able to send about $1.5 million worth of life-saving supplies and medicines directly to field partners working on the ground.** That’s pretty amazing!
So I write to you today and I ask for your help. Many of you are financially struggling yourselves, and I don’t want to burden you. But some of you have the ability to contribute. Some of you can help by simply spreading the word. You can post one of the projects as your status on Facebook or Twitter. Some of you can forward our email to your friends, others can contribute themselves and some of you can go to your church or service club to see if they can help.
We always ask our partners if they can help in the costs. We have this time too. But when disasters strike we know they don’t have the ability to cover the full costs in the necessary time and so we act on faith and ask for your help which is what we are doing today.
So today I’m asking for your help – whatever that may mean to you. As we always say, Giving Children Hope isn’t the few of us that work here, it’s the many outside organizations and individuals that decide they want to make a difference. Without them our doors would close. Without YOU our doors would close. YOU are Giving Children Hope.
Thanks for your partnership in serving those: caught in crisis!
If you read this blog at all then you have probably read at one point or another about “Westmont College”:http://www.westmont.edu/ because Westmont was important to me in my foundation.
I’m proud to say that Westmont Alumni’s networking group in Orange County is continuing the tradition of giving back to their community by forming a partnership with Giving Children Hope.
Giving back was such a part of the Westmont experience. Whether it was participating in Montecito clean-up days, or traveling to Mexico to be a part of Potter’s Clay or Juntos, Westmont encouraged us to take our Bible seriously and to serve others.
Keeping with that tradition that was taught to us over four years, the Orange County alumni group wanted to find ways to incorporate service into our function. The leadership team approached me about a partnership to team up together and of course I was excited.
This isn’t the first Westmont affiliation GCHope has had. A couple months back we did a “project in Thailand”:http://www.gchope.org/saved-from-slavery.html with Westmont alum David Batstone and the Not For Sale Campaign. We’ve been working on raising funding to complete a project with Brendan Mayer for the “Shiloh Clinic.”:http://www.gchope.org/healthcare-south-of-the-border.html And over the summer we had guest speakers “Ruthi Hoffman at World Vision”:http://www.gchope.org/introducing-ruthi-hoffman-and-world-vision.html and “Patrick Steele from Heal the World”:http://www.gchope.org/partick-steele-talks-about-life-and-god-pt.-1.html – both Westmont alumni. So it was very natural for us to engage Westmont alumni into some of our service events.
**Thank you Westmont faculty for engraining acts of service into the classroom that it only feels natural to keep the tradition going.** We are grateful for what we learned!
Oh, and if you want to be a part of Giving Children Hope’s “Voyage of Hope event on October 24″:http://www.gchope.org/2009-gala-voyage-of-hope.html with keynote speaker David Batstone, get your tickets here today while there is still time!