Tuesday, August 14, 2012

They Have Come. Now Let’s Build It.

The kids are in their second week of school.  While they are always most excited for the first day of school, I always look forward to the second week of school.  At this point, the party money has been turned in, the “Getting to Know Me” forms have been completed, the books are beginning to feel familiar, and we are starting to fall into a routine.

I have found myself waking up this past week feeling deeply aware of how blessed my children really are.  I have always known that our children are privileged to attend quality schools, complete with big libraries, smart boards, and computer labs.  This year, however, as I stand in the bus line with Trey, dressed in his new shoes with his new backpack, my gratitude has been multiplied.  I cannot help but think that had things gone slightly different in his story -  if he still lived on the street in Ethiopia - he would most likely not be going to school.  He would not be eating hot lunch.  He would not own a notebook or even a pencil.  My heart struggles between feeling blessed for my children and burdened for the many others who won’t be starting school this fall.

During this second week of school, I do feel especially grateful for organizations like Children’s HopeChest and for my friend Karen Wistrom.  I am thankful for their dedication to making education a reality for those children who are equally deserving, but would otherwise go without.  I am grateful for the Kind Hearts CarePoint in Ethiopia which provides for 150 orphaned and destitute children.  These are the faces that come to my mind throughout the day:

Back to School from Dave and Robyn Davidson on Vimeo.

150 more children are waiting.  There are plans to expand the school at Kind Hearts so that 150 more children can attend school, receive healthy meals, and clean water.  This is the point where things can go different in their story.  It’s not a matter of “If we build it, they will come.”  It’s a matter of “They have come. Now let’s build it!”

If your heart connects with this and you’d like to be a part of this project, here’s one simple way we can help:

Apryl, who blogs at Not Quite Done, is selling magazine-bead bracelets and earrings.  She is donating the proceeds to the building project at Kind Hearts.  I ordered some bracelets a few weeks ago and was really impressed with how wonderfully made they were.  I should have taken a picture to share, but I gave them to a friend as a thank-you gift.  I’ll definitely be ordering more.  While it’s only August, I think they would make really sweet Christmas gifts if you’re the type that likes to shop early.  I love this fundraiser.  The beads are purchased from a non-profit organization that helps support impoverished women in Uganda (www.beadforlife.org), the bracelets and earrings were made by teenage girls (I always want to support and encourage young people who are trying to make a difference), AND they will help to build a school for children in Ethiopia.  How great is that?

If you think you would like to know more about Kind Hearts, you can visit their page on the Children’s HopeChest website.  If you would like to know how you might become involved, I would love to talk to you, or you can e-mail my friend Karen at kjwistrom@yahoo.com