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Tag Archives: Wide Awake

The Big Reveal!

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Not many words need to go in this post, a picture is worth a thousand words!

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Thank you again, all of you who helped us by supporting us with donations, joining us for breakfast,volunteering to serve meals and more (Kelly Lee for being my cohort),  purchasing a t-shirt, raffle ticket, or bracelet, for helping make bracelets, folding brochures, or even helping building Athen’s booth (Ahem..Papa and Oma).    Thank you to our church for supporting us so much!  Thank you, thank you,  thank you everyone!

 

Because of your help, these sweet Ukrainian orphans will have help getting what they need!

 

So proud of my son and his heart for orphans!  Well, his heart for all people really.  He is an amazing kid!  He worked so hard on this and look how it’s paid off.  Wide Awake International, hope it helps!

 

If you would like to know how you can help, visit Wide Awake International.

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Today Was a Good Day!

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Since April, my 13 year old son Athen has been trying to raise awareness, trying to make a difference in the lives of disabled kids in Ukraine.  It all came together last Saturday…

Let me rewind.

Athen has always had a tender heart.  I have always tried to be as real as I can be with him.  Even when it is uncomfortable.  I wanted him to see from a very young age that people make mistakes, they are all different, they are all important.  I taught him that if someone is mean to you, you forgive them and understand that they are that way because they are hurting in some way.  I taught him that he should not care what others think and to always be the one guy to lend a helping hand to someone in need. Even if that means people make fun of you.  And as the years have gone by, I have been rewarded for this lesson.  I have seen time and time again, my son being the only kid to go and ask a much younger kid to be his friend, I have seen him ask kids who are mentally and/or physically disabled if they want to play with him.  He has always done this with no regard for his peers and the possible judgment he may face for “befriending the outcast” as other kids might see it.

Athen has never cared about labels.  He has never cared what color someone is.  He has never cared where someone came from, or what your differences may be.  As a mother, this makes me proud.  He is the first kid to stop and pray for someone, again, not caring if others judge.  I love this about him.

So when Athen wanted to know about Heart of the Young and what I blog about, naturally I was eager to share.  However, with it all being so heavy, I was skeptical if he could handle the reality.  I made a call, and decided to share.

 

Naturally his heart broke. But then he stood up and said “Mom, I have to do something to help”.

 

We began to pray.

 

Then, I read a post about our friends at Wide Awake International and how they wanted to take the kids outside but only had enough coats and shoes for seven of them to go.  I told Athen about it and that is when he knew…

Athen had decided to get approval from school to begin fundraising every day at lunch.  He prepared by making bracelets to sell (his Oma and Mom helped too), getting help from his Papa to build a booth, drawing a logo, and making a t-shirt so he could represent well.  He began in April at the school fair, and continued to sell until school got out mid June.  He was so dedicated.

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Then, we decided that we wanted to do more…  We really wanted to bless Kim and Jed Jonhnson, founders of Wide Awake Int. with money to make a real difference.   So we paired up with a dear friend of mine who is currently adopting two kiddos from China and decided to hold a pancake breakfast benefit at our local Applebees.  We all posted fliers, blew up Facebook, shared with local businesses, collected donations for our raffle, and even shared at church.  When I say shared at church I mean, Athen got up and spoke to a few hundred middle and high school students at church about what he was doing and how they could help.  It was epic!  Takes a lot of guts to do that!

So the day came and we got up at the crack of dawn, kids in tow and headed to Applebee’s.  We had not sold our minumum 100 tickets so Applbee’s gave us a special deal and so with 54 tickets sold online, we held it anyway.  Well, all I can say is we are so blessed.  All the people who came to serve, help and just support us, we could not be more happy!   We did not sell many at the door tickets, but all in all we did well.  Athen stood at his booth selling t-shirts and bracelets.  The raffle was a hit too!

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Athen selling his t-shirts!

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My little 3 year old feeling too big for her britches!

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My husband and some amazing helpers!

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More amazing helpers!!!

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Trying…

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My cohort and her little…

 

We are excited to share how much we raised from all efforts, but not quite yet.   Why?   Well…

 

Athen T-shirt sign 10483991_1448430162077883_6415593516739779025_n

We are hoping for some more t-shirt orders.  Proceeds go to Wide Awake International to help orphans in need! We are trying to fill orders so that we can get a final tally on the amount that Athen (pictured) raised for them through school fundraising, the pancake breakfast and t-shirt sales. Anyone interested in buying a t-shirt to support Athen’s cause?  For $25 you can choose white or black shirt, men or women’s (women’s are v-neck) All have a solid red logo and the small letters H.O.T.Y. horizontal on the arm (If we can get them to do it for us! Otherwise it will be on the back.). Either way it will look cool! And H.O.T.Y. is a conversation starter! Heart of the Young! Wear your support for kids with disabilities and the message of Heart of the Young!  To order, go here http://mkt.com/heartoftheyoung

 

Stay tuned for the final number which we will be donating to Wide Awake!!!

Treasures, Not Trash

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First off I must say a big WOW!  Wow, wow, wow, wow!  I am overwhelmed by all of the support I have received from you all, my readers!  Over the course of the last few days I have had almost 8,000 visitors to my blog and I am truly shocked and overwhelmed!  So thank you all for your support!

In light of my most recent post  No Words,  many of you were so very understandably angry at how something like this could happen.  The answer is simple, God gave us free will.  He allows us to choose, without intervening.   And when evil takes hold on someone and they act in an evil way towards someone else, God cannot do anything to stop it even though His heart is breaking.  That was a really hard lesson for me to learn and accept.  But I too was so angry once, still am, but now I get it.  It isn’t God’s fault, it’s ours (as people). So WE must rise up to change it.  I truly believe He will bless us and guide us step by step, as I have seen Him do in my own quest.  His love for these sweet kids, in every situation around the globe is so immeasurable.  He has not forgotten them.  Every hair on their head is irreplaceable to Him.

My real agenda here is to answer one big question that I got from so many of you and that question is;  “How can I help?”

Truly at first I did not have an answer.  I myself have  been waiting for God to point me in the next direction, an action direction.   But then I started thinking about it and I think I have the answer, or at least an answer for now.

Folks there is so much you can do to help.  The need is so overwhelming and the feeling of not being able to do enough to make a difference is common.    So I am going to give a simple list that may point those wanting to help in the right direction.

  • First off,  prayer is HUGE!  I cannot stress this enough!  God sees every one of these children and cares for them deeply and passionately.  They are His children.  He loves them the same way I love my own children.  They are of His heart and I know it aches for them and their plight.  When you pray for them, He hears you, every time.  So pray fervently and trust that He is listening, loving and helping.
  • Secondly, Educating yourself and sharing what you know can help.  We are power in numbers and can reach so very many closed minds with this knowledge.  I have spent so much time and tears writing the information contained on my blog and encourage you to read read read.  Then, share what moves you.  Don’t be afraid of those who say they “can’t or “won’t” look at it, just share without fear.  When you share, it could save a life.  You could be playing a pivotal role in an orphaned child finding their forever family.  Helping to open ones heart to a world they may never have known otherwise, and finding their child who has been lost in the system.  Or perhaps find their true calling.  All because YOU shared.
  •  Advocate, blog, share your love of children with the world.  I am here if you need advice on that 😉
  • Check out:  http://reecesrainbow.org/waystohelp   . Reece’s Rainbow is a huge and amazing organization who loves these kids greatly.  This adoption site has all kinds of ways you can help these kiddos.
  • My wonderful friends Kim and Jed recently moved their whole family to Ukraine to DO something to help make a difference and let me tell you how awesomely God has blessed them and what they do.  Please check it out, it’s truly phenomenal.  They are all about improving the quality of life for these kids.  http://wideawakeinternational.org/vision/
  • Pleven is known as one of the worst orphanages there is.  So many children perished there from pure neglect and starvation.  I have had the privileged of talking with adoptive parents whose children barely made it out of there with their lives and are now thriving and loved to peices!  Luckily the condition of one of these kids made it to the spotlight and changes have begun!  You can read about that lovely child, little Katie who came from Pleven, here : http://theblessingofverity.com/2013/12/god-won/  .  Pleven has now launched a new program as a way to let others help them meet the great need in this place, which you can see here:  http://www.plevenproject.org/  .  You can also read about it here: http://theblessingofverity.com/2013/12/the-p-l-e-v-e-n-project/  .
Little Katie at 9 years old

Little Katie at 9 years old

Well folks I hope that this helped to answer some of your questions.  Please don’t hesitate to ask if you have more!  Thank you all once again!  I truly believe that if we are willing to step out in faith and do something, anything, we can make a difference to even just one child.  All of these abandoned, abused, neglected children who are seen by those responsible as trash, are really precious treasures just waiting for a chance.

“God doesn’t require us to succeed, he only requires that you try.”
― Mother Teresa

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