Category Archives: Non-Profits

Have You Considered Adoption?

AdoptionAdoption has touched my life in so many ways.  I had the privilege of taking guardianship of a fun and silly young lady you may know as ‘Monkey’ some years back and she made our lives absolutely crazy in the best way possible (except those few days, but then she was a teenager haha).  I have also had the honor of knowing several adults who have adopted some fabulous kids.  They all have ‘gotcha’ days each year to celebrate the unification of their new families.  The one thing they all have in common is an incredible love and some amazingly fabulous families!  I love hearing their stories and even more being blessed to know them.  I can’t begin to tell you how great these kids are! I also have the blessing of a very loving and great woman in my life who was adopted.  Adoption touches so many lives!  If you have any, I would absolutely love to hear your stories of adoption!
November is National Adoption Month and I’m reaching out on behalf of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, AdoptUSKids, and the Ad Council to ask for your help in spreading the word about a new PSA campaign that encourages prospective parents to adopt older youth from foster care.

The theme for National Adoption Month is, “We Never Outgrow the Need for Family.” That’s because older children and youth still have many big milestones in their life they need a family for.

There are 415,000 children in the U.S. foster care system and 108,000 are waiting to be adopted. AdoptUSKids’ maintains a national photo listing service for children waiting to be adopted. Since the project launched in 2002, more than 25,000 children who were once photo listed on adoptuskids.org have been adopted and nearly 38,000 families have registered to adopt through the website.  Nevertheless, older youth are disproportionately represented – approximately 41 percent of children and youth photo listed on adoptuskids.org are between 15 and 18 years old, but only 17 percent of those adopted have been in this age group

Older youth and teens have lower adoption rates than younger children, and they often wait longer to be adopted. But no matter their age, all kids need a supportive, loving home and the teenage years are a critical period for growth. The new TV PSAs, which were created for the campaign pro-bono, portray a dad giving advice to his teenage daughter after her first breakup, and a mom giving her son a haircut at home. The humorous, lighthearted scenarios aim to overcome fears adoptive parents may have regarding their own imperfections. The PSAs end with the tagline, “You don’t have to be perfect to be a perfect parent,” reassuring prospective parents that even if they are not ‘perfect’, they have the ability to provide the stability and security that older youth in foster care need and deserve.

The PSAs direct audiences to visit adoptuskids.org or to call 1-888-200-4005 (English) or 1-877-236-7831 (Spanish) to receive the latest information about the foster care system and the adoption process.

Here’s how you can help:

  • Use #NAM15 and #perfectparent to share your experience or the new PSAs on social media.
  • Spread the word! Let us know if you know a blogger who might have a place in their hearts for the Adoption from Foster Care campaign.

For more information about adoption, or about becoming an adoptive parent to a child from foster care, please visit www.adoptuskids.org or visit the campaign’s communities on Facebook and Twitter.
Why Older Youth?

  • All of us – and that includes older youth in foster care who are waiting to be adopted – need and want families throughout life to support us and to share important life events. Learning to drive a car, applying for higher education, and birthday and holiday celebrations are just a few examples of the times in life we need and want to share with family.
  • Older youth are overrepresented in the foster care population, as they generally wait longer to be adopted, and have lower overall adoption rates.
  • On adoptuskids.org, roughly 41 percent of the children and youth actively photolisted are between the ages of 15 and 18 years old. About 58 percent are male. (Most recent stats as of May 31, 2015)
  • Families who adopt older youth, are providing them with the support and stability of a family during a critical period of normal adolescent concerns and additional self-identity issues.

Some of the Misperceptions about Adoption from Foster Care:

  • Adoption is expensive.  Unlike the private adoption of an infant or adopting internationally, there are virtually no costs associated with adoption from the US child welfare system. In addition, the vast majority of youth adopted from foster care are also eligible for monthly adoption assistance up to the level of the foster care rate.
  • You have to be married. You do not have to be married to adopt in most states. Many children have been very successfully adopted by single parents. Single-parent families accounted for 29 percent of all adoptions from foster care in 2014 (AFCARS).
  • You have to have a college degree. Having a high school diploma or college education is not required. What is important is that you are stable, flexible, and compassionate, and that you have a good sense of humor. Most importantly, you must have the support and commitment to raise a child and to be there for him throughout his life.
  • You have to own a home and each child has to have their own room. You can rent your home or live in an apartment or a mobile home so long as your living situation is a stable one.
  • You have to be of child-bearing age to adopt. Experienced parents and empty nesters are encouraged to adopt. In most instances, you’re eligible to adopt regardless of age, income, marital status or sexual orientation.
  • You can only adopt a child who is the same race and ethnicity as you. Federal law prohibits the delay or denial of an adoptive placement based on the race or ethnicity of a child in U.S. foster care and the prospective parent or parents who are seeking to adopt them. The only exception to this law is the adoption of Native American children where special considerations apply.
  • You can’t adopt if you’re in the military. Military families stationed overseas and within the U.S. are eligible to adopt children from the U.S. foster care system.

Originally posted 2015-11-25 21:47:09.

World Vision: Helping All Around the World

IMG_4771What if you truly could make a difference but the catch was you would never actually see the results?  Would you do it?  Would you step out in faith, obeying that call and overcoming your self doubt?  Often donating to charities are this way, you know what their cause is but you don’t ever see result in person.  I feel like that is exactly what we are called to do.  We are to step up and do the right thing, whether we can see a great difference or we will never truly know.  Sometimes, it’s not about anything we thought.

World Vision is a not for profit group that helps children and families to step closer to overcoming poverty in 100 countries, including the US.  There is a saying about teaching a man to fish so that he might be able to provide himself food forever.  I’m sure that you’ve all heard it, it seems to be everywhere!   Through World Vision, you can buy families farm animals, help them with wells, help pay for basic education, or even go literal with it and pay for a fishing kit for someone.  The skills they learn don’t just help them for a year or two, they help the local economies and help families turn desperate situations to journeys of hope.  You can donate any amount, no one will be upset if you can only donate a small amount, as every donation counts.

An amazing gift you can give someone who has everything is a donation in their honor.  You’ll get a little card about what you donated telling the story of how it will help or you can order from their gift catalog and get a free gift by donating to the maximum impact fund.  The gifts that are available are amazing and all are hand made!

We hope that you’ll take a moment this holiday season and donate to something a little more important than lining the pockets of corporations.  Make a purchase that will effect a lifetime, not be put in the back of the closet, lost, or broken.  A purchase that will change lives, perhaps even yours.

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Originally posted 2013-11-07 00:01:53.

Knowledge is Power: Know ALS #WhatWouldYouGive #EndALS

ALS is a disease that ends the way one lives, eventually completely ending life.  There has to be a way to cure it or at the very least treat the symptoms.  Medical companies make so much money and they seem absolutely greedy.  Part of me hates them for their greed. I understand that they need to pay for their research but I think that their profit margins outweigh what they should.  It is my opinion, and probably the opinion of the general public, that research should not be so expensive that companies just stop researching things if it seems that if it doesn’t make a profit or one large enough for their company.

When I heard about the ALS Institute I was curious about two things:

1 What exactly is ALS?

2. Is this a company who is profit-driven, truly care more about finding a cure and treatment for the disease or simply about the bottom dollar?

I understand that it costs money to do these things, I don’t feel that people should get rich off of doing what seems like it should be a common courtesy of their skillset. I hate that the world is so money driven people don’t even bother to do things unless it makes them money.  Medicines and treatments should be affordable and not hard to access.

According to Wikipedia ALS is

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as motor neurone disease (MND) and Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a specific disease that causes the death of neurons which control voluntary muscles.

About the Institute

(from their site)

The ALS Therapy Development Institute is our Cambridge, MA-based laboratory space, 100% dedicated to innovative ALS research. It is funded by our global community.

 

I personally have issues with muscle weakness (I have cataplexy) and I know exactly how debilitating it can be.  One who wants to be active can no longer do so when they want to do so.  When one loses complete control of the one thing we should be able to control (our body movement), it is absolutely devastating.  Since I know how this feels to an extent, it broke my heart to read about the disease.  I seriously wanted to curl up and cry.
I am posting this solely for educational purposes, for knowledge, because we all need to know about things and to be educated as the famous quote goes: knowledge is power I challenge you to not only research the disease but to share and help make awareness more common a health issue one cannot control should not dictate how they are treated in public by their families or anyone else I can say from experience but that is one of the worst parts of having a disease although people may be well-meaning they treat you different even though in your mind you are the same person you was were before the disease took over your life.  My experience of that very thing sent me into a deep depression.  It was terrible.  I can only imagine how those with ALS feel.  Let’s do all we can to help find a cure.

16 Reasons to Shop at Family Christian

16 Reasons To Shop at Family ChristianI have been going to fc stores for years.  One of the biggest things I love about them is that they are a not-for-profit business.  That means that everything over the cost of operation goes to charities.  There are various charities they support, listed below.  They are also a Christian store.  Whether you agree with Christianity or not, the good the company does for not only our society, but others around the world, makes a huge difference in many lives.

There are many great products both in the store and online.  This is gonna sound crazy, but my absolute favorite product that I’ve ever bought at Family Christian is a water bottle that pops open with the push of a button and locks so that it won’t pop open when you don’t want it to!  I went back for a long time trying to find them again and they didn’t have them in stock, but I’ve recently found them on their website so I ordered some extras.  Within two minutes I had the shipment guarantee and the notification that they had received my order.  The water bottles I ordered weren’t in their warehouse, so there was a little notification on the site (before I ordered) letting me know that it may take longer to receive.  I love that they had that easily seen!  They also sent me a guarantee within minutes of my order that covered a lot more than I ordered!

FCguarantee

Right now there is an awesome Summer Sale of Buy 1, Get 1 50% off on ALL books, movies, and music for the entire family both online and in store!  The sale will be going on until August 25, 2016.  Also, don’t forget to check out their clearance section.  It’s always got something and is typically fabulous!

16 Reasons to Shop at Family Christian

Since 2003:
122,249 Bibles have been donated to military members and their families

More than 400,000 copies—and counting—of Dios me Ama New Testament Bibles have been given away to children in Latin America.

120,440 Bibles were delivered to Scripture Union Ghana for high school students, a program endorsed by the former First Lady of Ghana.

In 2014 and 2015:
14,208 military audio Bibles were donated through Faith Comes by Hearing.

Since 2003:
Approximately 445 adoptions have taken place through funds donated to Lifesong for Orphans, Bethany Christian Services and Show Hope.

$199,000 in donations have been given to God’s Littlest Angels (GLA) in Haiti to support orphans

In 2012: Title DVD Commercial Co-Venture raised $103K to help build an orphanage in Haiti, Little Drummer Boy Commercial Co-Venture raised $38K for GLA.

In 2011 2011 Like Dandelion Dust promotion raised $16K for GLA

195 adoptions have been funded through their own nonprofit ministry

The past two winters, our employees raised enough funds to provide firewood for every Navajo widow in Pine Dale, New Mexico

More than 100 participants joined together to do quality life improvements at St. John’s Home and Wedgewood in the Grand Rapids area.

1,350 children have been fed each year through nutrition feeding programs

More than 6,000 pairs of shoes donated to orphans and widows by Payless Shoes’ employees during our mission trips and also shipped to other various international locations

In 2015:
70,000 Barnabas Bears were donated to ministries in the U.S. and around the world

$5,400 was raised for storm clean-up in South Carolina and donated to Convoy of Hope. Approximately 12,248 lives were touched by this support.

And there are tons more that I didn’t include!  Check them out!

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