Tuesday, May 31, 2011

2,034 Silly Bands!

A huge thank you to the kids at Arroyo Elementary School in Tustin! Last month Aidan Ramsey challenged his schoolmates to donate 1,000 silly bands for him to take to kids in El Salvador. Last week he collected all of the containers that he had distributed in each classroom. He received 2,034 silly bands! Way to go Arroyo! We can't wait to see the smiles' on the childrens' faces when they receive the silly bands this summer!

We are still accepting new and used silly bands. Let us know if you'd like to donate!

Monday, May 9, 2011

An Amazing Network Gathering...

Last Monday, May 2, Susan Clark and I led our first network gathering for So Cal leaders who serve in adoption or orphan care ministries. We had an incredible gathering with twenty-two people in attendance from Long Beach, Simi Valley, Riverside and Orange County! There were many more who wanted to join us and were unable to be there.

We invited each person to briefly share their personal journey with the group. I literally could have stayed for hours to hear the stories and vision that exuded from each person. Our group included adoption agency representatives, pastors, adoptive families, a family therapist and church leaders who are mobilizing their churches to "care for the least of these." I felt honored to spend time with other leaders who are intensely passionate about needy children in our community as well as the international orphan crisis. Our waitress was deeply impacted by the stories that were shared around the table. She actually interrupted our sharing time to tell us how inspired she was by our gathering. Awesome!

We are currently creating a roster of those who were in attendance. We are also researching an online network system that can help us to communicate with one another. Our goal is to begin meeting every quarter to encourage one another and to share our visions and ideas regarding orphan care, fostering and adoption. I can't wait to see how this network evolves and impacts our communities!

Headed to the Summit...

I can't believe that I leave for The Summit in just two days! Last week I learned that I won a contest through Christian Alliance for Orphans. The contest gave applicants points for posting information about The Summit on their blogs/Facebook and for recruiting to The Summit! I received front row seats and an invitation to a private reception with Christian recording artist, Sara Groves! The concert will be held this Friday night, May 13, at the end of The Summit. Lucy Armistead, the founder of All Blessings will be attending with me! We will be staying together at The Summit along with another All Blessings staff member. I can't wait!

Award winning songwriter/musician Sara Groves

Here are the break out sessions that I will be attending during The Summit:

Encouragement for Orphan Ministry Leaders
Creative Fundraising for Your Adoption
Adoption Reworked: Orphan Care Through the Rediscovery of Abba Father
Raising Children with a Heart for Orphans
Advocating as a Busy Mom
Creative Advocacy: Training Storytellers that Change the World

I am also excited to be hosting the regional network break out session for California. This will be a great opportunity to meet and network with other conference attendees who live in California!

Stay tuned for more!