Monday, December 14, 2009

Check out PROJECT 320

On December 14th,

We are going to build a well.
You are going to build a well.

Because we can.
Because you can.


Right now sweet, generous, creative and caring women from all over the country are sewing, knitting, painting, shopping, blogging, praying.


Over 100 items.

Handmade and heartfelt happiness.

December 14th
and ending
December 18th

Project 320
will be holding a virtual raffle.

10 prize bundles.

earns one virtual ticket.

You get to choose how many "tickets" to buy
and which prize package you want to win.

On December 21st we will "draw" ten winners.

But most of all,
we will celebrate the victory.

The promise of clean water for a village.


Are you excited?

You should be!!!!

Because it is going to be awesome.
Grab a button.
Spread the word.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

My friend is rad

You should check out her blog to see what she's doing with her money...

Monday, August 3, 2009


I'm sorry dear blog.  You have been completely neglected for over 2 months. I know there are no readers left, but hopefully some of them will come back.  I have been busy raising money for Pleasanton schools, and while it is a bit different than my normal "charities",  I have gained a lot of experience in how to hold an auction on a much grander scale.  Hopefully those skills will serve me well in the future.  

I have big plans (after I take a little breather).  I want my family to raise enough money to dig a well in Africa.  After concentrating so hard on keeping our schools up to par in an upper-middle class, rich (by the world's standards) city, I am acutely reminded of our brothers and sisters on the other side of the world who don't have clean water, and often spend the majority of their day fetching water from a disease infested water-source.  While my kids have the privilege of good schools, warm meals, new shoes, over-abundance of toys, and 2 parents, there are so many kids who are orphaned, sick, and don't even have a chance at life.  Access to clean water can literally give a person life.  A well, can give a VILLAGE life.  

My deepest desire would be to see my own town of Pleasanton, who has pulled together as a community to help save our schools, to have that same passion to save lives of children they have never met.  I would love to see our school Valley View sponsor a town about the same size of our school community, and build a relationship with them.   Fundraise to improve their living conditions,  provide food for the hungry and medicine for the sick.  I think it would be amazing for our kids to connect with someone across the globe, to help someone with basic human needs.  I'm fully aware that this doesn't solve the bigger problem of why these people are in such desperate poverty, but it doesn't mean we shouldn't help them.  

Right now this will be a family effort.  If you see my family and I on the side of the road selling lemonade you will know why.  Hopefully one day this will be a school effort.  And in my biggest dream of dreams this would be a city-wide effort.  

Sunday, May 31, 2009


This is from my friend Brandi's blog....


Too often we hear heartbreaking stories like this (that I posted on Saturday) and do nothing. We feel helpless. . . and so we move on. Not this time. There are people DYING in Uganda right now. There are children who's bellies are hungry and aching. There are mamas who are too weak to stand and babies begging to be held. There are people trapping termites hoping for food and eating dung in helplessness. DO NOT CAVE TO DESPAIR. YOU CAN DO SOMETHING.

Join us and Children's HopeChest to FEED THE FORGOTTEN!!! (CLICK HERE TO GIVE NOW)


For $0.14, we can (and WILL) feed someone a meal of posho and beans. (posho is cornmeal, which is filling and beans are protein). Take that in for a moment. . .

$0.14 a meal

$2.86 for 20 days

$1 per FAMILY

$20 feed a family for 20 days.

How much was my Chick Fil A yesterday? How much is your Starbucks? The bigger question is how much am I willing to give up SO THAT OTHERS MIGHT EAT?

Remember Jesus story of the Good Samaritan? Remember how his very neighbors walked right by him? They probably looked at him with pity. . .probably thought "oh poor guy, that breaks my heart" but the fact is THEY DID NOTHING.

What will you do? These children are starving. . .

these actual children. . .

will you help? The money raised will feed those precious children. There are 3 - 4 villages that we are targeting (I'm hoping for more after we see how much we can raise!) to bring food relief to asap. These people are literally starving. . and waiting for you to act. Will you help? Even with paypal fees (2-3%) even $1 will feed 6 people! You CAN make a difference.

Spread the word, blog about it, facebook it, twitter it, ask your church or school or business to give, post the blog badge anything. Truly, we are begging you. . .on behalf of these children not to forget this post and move on to the next in your google reader list. Stop, pray, act.

Add "feed the forgotten" in the notes section when you give!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Tender Hearted

One of the greatest joys of being a parent is when I get a glimpse of my own child showing compassion for others.  I want my children to have a heart like Jesus, and admittedly there are times when I try to force it into them.  But the truly sweet moments are when they show compassion all on their own.  

We have taken our children to Africa.  They have seen the poor, the hungry, the homeless.  They have been to "street church" where we handed out bowls of rice and beans to people wearing filthy rags for clothing.  But it has been 3.5 years and their memories are fading (Dane's are gone, but Genevieve still has some). We talk regularly about those without food, clean water, homes, or even parents to care for them.  I just want them to get it.  I don't want to raise another generation with a sense of entitlement.  With only selfish ambitions.  

So it is mornings like today that give me hope.    

Genevieve had turned the TV on before school in hopes to catch a cartoon before we had to leave.  But instead of Super Why coming right on, the channel was turned to a one of the promos for sponsoring children.  It showed little sick children, with the flies on their faces and bloated bellies.  

In a solemn voice she asked me "mom, are those the poor kids in Africa we talk about?".  I answered that they were.  Then I decided to go about my business getting her lunch made, and let her take it all in.  She sat and watched the program in the other room.  As we were packing up to leave she showed me a container full of change and told me that was the money for the people without food.  She then wanted to know if we had more money we could give them.  I suggested we try to raise some money to send them.  She asked "like a lemon-aid stand?"  She was referring to our failed attempt from last summer.  So I think we are all ready to try doing this again.  And thinking of other ways to raise money too.  

And that my friends, makes a mama's heart swell with pride.  Pride in a good way.  For just a moment I think all will be right in the world if this is what the next generation will be like.  

Saturday, May 16, 2009

iphone's could help feed people.

I've had this idea brewing for awhile now.  Have you ever been in a store, put something in your cart that you really didn't need, and thought "I would rather send the $3.99 to buy a mosquito net for someone in a malaria-inflicted region, or medications for an HIV infected person", and put it back ont  the shelf?  But then you get home and you don't actually send off the $3.99 to the charity?  

How cool would it be if there was an iphone application, let's call it "icharity", where you could send any amount of money at the touch of a button (or 2) to your charity of choice?  Where you are driving through the drive through at Starbucks, and at the last minute decide "instead of this $3.85 mint mocha frapucchino, I can buy 22 meals for the hungry in Uganda through Children's Hope Chest".   And you can do it RIGHT THEN.  

I've been dreaming about it this.  So I finally decided to google what it would take to get an application designed.  

And that would be in the neighborhood of $30,000.  =(

Do I think it's worth it?  YES.  Do I think it would encourage people to give up some of our luxurious spending in turn for thoughtful giving?  YES.  Do I have $30,000 to make this happen?  No =(.

But maybe someone out there in the cybersphere will see this blogspot and also happen to be an iphone application designer =).  And they can HAVE this idea free of charge =).

Oh and by the way, do I have an iphone?  No.  I did for about 4 months until it was stolen.  Would I get one again just for this application?  You betcha.

Monday, May 11, 2009

it's heavy

My heart is heavy....

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

Thinking about mother's today. Mother's who get to spend today with their kids, and mother's who don't. Mostly the mother's who don't. The mother's who don't get to tuck their kids into bed at night or kiss their boo boos all better. 

Because they are dead. 

14 million orphans in Africa alone. Thinking of those mothers today ♥ . Mourning with their children. And thinking about what I can do to help less mother's die.  

All the while hugging my kids and thanking God for allowing me to mother them.  

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

the lonely

"Father to the fatherless, defender of widows, this is God, whose dwelling is holy. God places the lonely in families; he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy." Psalm 68:5&6

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The American not God's dream

Feeling restless tonight.  Once again I am all-consumed with the purpose of my life. 
In a nutshell, I am not okay with being a Christian living the "American Dream".  The words of the Bible are becoming more real and more literal to me every day.  My compassion for God's people, especially "the least of these" is growing at a rapid rate.  

As Christians I think we often sit back and admire others that have been called to do great things in the name of Christ.  I have often thought "if He called me to do that (insert any number of radical sacrifices), would I obey?" And it has only recently occurred to me that we have already been called.  We don't have to have an "ah-ha moment", or a "divine intervention" to follow what He has already asked us to do in His Word.  

Lately, I have literally been kept up at night thinking of the millions of orphans in the world.  I have been resting in the peace that we have not yet been "called" to adopt.  I assumed that God would hit me over the head with something tangible, showing me (us) that this was something we were to pursue.  

But if I truly want to be Christ-like, then my heart needs to bleed like His.  And my actions should reflect that.  

What more does He need to do than to write...

'Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.' (James 1:27)

"But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth." (I John 3:17-18)

I am acutely aware of how blessed I am to be an American.   I realize that my life is a life of luxury to much of the world.  That my "humble" 1400 square foot house and the amenities within would be considered a vacation for millions.  And that is why I cannot shake this verse:

"To whom much is given, of him much will be required.” (Luke 12:38)

Because I have been given so much, I am expected to give much.  Sacrificially.  

My heart hurts.  I have not given much.  Not when thousands are dying daily for lack of clean water and food.  Not when millions of children are without a family to call their own.  

So where do I begin?  

"If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one." (Mother Teresa)

So I will start with just one.  

And as my passion grows I will try to remember.....

“It is not our job to convict the world, but to live as a convicted person.” (John Piper)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

CEO's of non-profits

A big part of me figuring out how to DO SOMETHING against social injustice, is looking at different organizations that are really making making headway and making a difference.  

There are so many and I have high-lighted a few on this blog.  However lately I have felt led to look a little deeper at these organizations, and find out where the donations are going; specifically what salaries the CEO's are taking.  

I was shocked.

And appalled.

At some of the numbers I found.

So I've been thinking about what constitutes a reasonable salary, and what is considered excessive.  People's opinions will surely vary on this, and I haven't figured it out.  But here is my processing.....

When it comes to for-profit companies I don't care much how they distribute their earnings.   I would like to think that a profitable company shares the reward with all the employees providing a reasonable living wage to lowest on the totem pole. But to be honest, I don't lose sleep over this.  

However, when I think about non-profits whose monies come directly in the form of donations, from hard-working people, I have a desire to know where that money is going.  And even more directly, I want to make sure that the people on the top are not getting wealthy from money that we are giving for a cause we believe in.  

Do I think that those who work for non-profits should have to live in poverty?  No.  But do I think they should give up the goal of an affluent lifestyle?  Yes.  I really do.  I think that's a choice that should be made.  They have the freedom to pursue money through working for many for-profit companies.  So when they make a choice to work for a non-profit, I think they should also be choosing to make a modest living.  Especially when the non-profit is faith-based.

Why?  Because the bible teaches us to give sacrificially.   As we forgo wants and even needs to support an organization, should that blood money then go to funding a CEO's elaborate lifestyle?   Shouldn't there be sacrifice in choosing to do this kind of work?  

I have so many more thoughts on this.  I'm still processing.  And researching.  A great resource I found is  where you can find the financial info on almost all non-profits.  Go to the form 990, scroll down a bit and you can see what the CEO's and key employees are making.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

The SOLD Project

Last night I went to Cornerstone's viewing of The Sold Project.  A series of short documentaries highlighting the exploitation of children in Thailand.  
They explained how poverty and lack of education are key factors in this vicious cycle.  
The SOLD Project has focused their energy on PREVENTION.  They feel the best way to keep children from entering the sex industry, either by force, coercion or default, is by helping to provide an education.  While public education is free in Thailand, many families cannot afford the books and uniforms mandatory for attending school.
The SOLD Project has started a scholarship fund for children in poor high-risk villages.  They have an on-site case manager who assesses the local children's needs, and helps them to apply for the scholarships.  
Last night at Cornerstone ALL the children they had profiles for were sponsored!  However, that does not mean their work is done.  It just means the case manager can keep finding more kids to help.
Check them out.  Also check out the film schedule.  They are on tour, so it just might be coming to a city near you.

Friday, January 23, 2009

300 voices for water

You might have noticed the new little button on the right of my sidebar.  Water For All Seasons.  It's a spinoff of Water For Christmas.  Because there are many of us that can't stop at giving the gift of water - the gift of life, just at Christmas time.  

My friend Jody (well, we've never actually met, and I only "know" her through blogland, but she feels like a friend) is leading the way for those of us who are constantly asking ourselves "what can one person do to make a difference in Africa?"  

She is gathering a team of 300, who will do 2 things.  

1.  Commit to sending $20/month to charity: water.

2.  Share with others about water.

Okay, I guess she is only asking that you commit to #1, but is pretty confident you will just be compelled to do #2.  

This is a team effort.

300 voices going strong.

Can you imagine the power and effect God will have through THREE HUNDRED people passionate about water?  

Water is life.  

300 Voices for LIFE.

Will you join us?

Leave a comment below if you will, then go to HERE  to hear what Jody has to say.  Then go HERE to sign up to be part of the team.

I'm secretly hoping to have a little branch of the 300 right here in the tri-valley.  I am yearning for like-minded friends that will come together who want to DO SOMETHING with me.  Not with their extra time, 'cause none of us have that.  I want a group of us who will sacrifice, and carve out a chunk of our already hectic lives to do something beyond ourselves.  Beyond our families.  Beyond our comfort zones.  Where are you friends?  The ones that think BIG?  

Wow I didn't really plan on calling you all out, but since I am, I might as well do it.  Leave a comment if you're on board.  If it's too uncomfortable for you to leave a comment on my blog, then you're not the Big Thinker I'm looking for.  NO OFFENSE.  

Okay, now I'm going to be nervously watching my empty comment section all week.  You can still comment even if you are not feeling like being part of the 300 voices.  You can still send me a word of encouragement, or tell me that once again I've gone off the deep end =)  That just may very well be true.  

Because I do like to swim.  

Friday, January 16, 2009

This is why

This is why I can't be complacent.
This is why I can't sleep at night.
This is why I have to DO SOMETHING.
This is why you do too.

(first turn down the music player at the bottom of my blog)