Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Letter from Tomasa in Mexico (Paola's Sister)

Do you remember the updated photo of Paola? She had her shirt backwards and inside out, and it looked like she hadn't been groomed. Well, here is Tomasa, looking exactly the same. What is really going on here? Were they sound asleep, and pulled out of bed in the darkness of night?
Here is the letter Tomasa sent to her sponsor Alice:
"Dear Alice,
Hello, I hope you are fine. I am going to tell you about Tomasa. She liked a lot the correspondence, she is very happy to know more about you and of the good will that you have towards her.
Her family thanks you for the details that you sent them with your friend. She liked them a lot and she also hopes to be able to meet you someday. Thank you for the correspondence.
Elizabeth Perez" ( CI field rep)

Playathon to raise money for Haiti's orphans 2/27/10

The playathon took place yesterday. It was a big deal getting everything ready- making space in the house, preparing the games (who knew they would all have to be put together), and helping the girls request donations for SOS.

I will start with the disappointing part... There were 31 children signed up to attend last month. I thought I would maybe be able to get even more children than that before the event was going to take place. Unfortunately, it was the opposite. One family who had planned to come was hit with planning a last minute wedding, so their kids couldn't attend. Another family has been battling a stomach virus, so they had to back out. Then, others that had planned to come and never said any different just didn't show up! Pretty disappointing, especially considering all of the time I put into it.

We went from having 31 children scheduled to attend to having only 7 show up (including MY 2!). My mother came, and 2 mothers of the other children. Most of the adults played the games right along with the children to help entertain them. Don't get me wrong, the games were fun, and the kids enjoyed each other's company... However, I felt bad that there weren't as many people as we had planned, and not much in way of donations. I guess I had set my expectations too high.

Jaden & Morgan raised a total of $47.50. They sent "thank you" e-mails out to their sponsors: Alice, Barbara, Chrystal, & Tamara. Thank you, ladies! Two people are still sending their donations in. Once I get the donations for those 2 people, I will send a check out to SOS. The money will be added in with the money that other playathons raise nationwide to purchase temporary shelters for the orphans in Haiti.

Diego's Aura's House Fundraiser

I received an update from Diego and his aunt regarding the items that are still needed on their list. We have already provided Diego with all of his essentials (bed, tuition, clothes, nutritional supplements, etc). The only things left on their list are for his aunt's business. Of course, that is important, especially since his aunt is getting older. It would make things easier for her if she wasn't working just to pay off the debt of her loan. The things that are left are:

Debt relief- $600

Refrigerator- $400

Capital to buy food- $250

At any rate, Diego's aunt expressed that the most important thing right now is the refrigerator. She needs it to keep the food from spoiling. $344 has already been raised toward this purchase, and CI will purchase it for her as soon as the additional $56 is raised.

There is still a raffle attached to this fundraiser- a gift card for $125!!! I will be drawing the name once his fundraiser is complete. It is one ticket for every $10 donated. To enter, and help his grandmother get the refrigerator she needs, here is the link TIA!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

And the winner for the Dr. Suess books is...

Chrystal! She is the winner of the raffle for 3 Dr. Suess books in Spanish!
Dee gave numbers in order of who donated first on the 12th of Feb.

Heather & Holly --1, 2, & 3 then
Heather M. -- 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, then
Chrystal -- 9-28 then
Heather M. -- 29, 30, 31, 32, (I rounded up to make it 4)
Lisa -- 33, 34, 35, 36, 37
Lisa --- 38, 39, 40, 41, 42
Chrystal -- 43-234

The random number chosen was 62 Chrystal

Chrystal, please let myself or Dee know where you would like the books to be shipped. Thank you all who helped fund this project!! The family will be one of the fortunate ones in the Dominican Republic to have a "job" or regular income. They will have their own business!

Raffle for the $25 gift card has been extended!

You may recall that there was a raffle attached to this fundraiser as well. Since we were focused on the other 2 fundraisers mostly, this fundraiser only received an additional $20. Since the raffle is for $25, Holly is extending the deadline to enter. The new deadline is March 5th at 9PM EST. If you would like to enter the raffle, you get 1 raffle ticket for every $1 donated. You can make your donation here

*Special note: the winner for the raffle for the Spanish Dr. Suess books will be posted later today.

Fundraiser #21 is COMPLETE!!!

Michelle's family will now be able to repair their home before the hurricane season hits!! How awesome is that!? I am sure the family will feel comforted living in a sturdier home during times of bad weather. Thank you to all who helped make this possible! You all ROCK!!!

Friday, February 26, 2010

And the winner for Michelle's raffle is...

Steve! Steve requested that the $20 go to Michelle, so Heather G put the money right into the fundraiser. Thank you to all that helped with Michelle's fundraiser! Now, she only needs $10 to complete the project all together!!

Michelle's Raffle

Time is ticking away on the raffle for a $20 gift card. We are in the final hours, BUT there is still time! To enter the raffle make your donation here. For every $1 you donate, you will received 1 raffle ticket! And, Michelle's fundraiser only needs $92 more in order to complete it!
The lucky winner's name will be drawn at 10PM EST tonight!

Paola will turn 5 on Sunday!

'Dear B.Rogers

Paola wants to thank you for all the gifts that you sent for her. The singing heart, bracelet, candies, bag, Dora lunch box, clothes, pictures, birthday card and everything else.

Paola likes it a lot when you send photos, she likes to know more about you, your friends and family. She also hopes that you like the photos of her which CI takes. Paola likes the paper crown a lot! She coloured the drawing on this letter with lots of affection. Paola sends you lots of kisses and hugs and again would like you to know that she loves you a lot.

The additional comments were. 'Paola and her family were very happy for the gifts the sponsor sent for them.'

Maria seems to be the happiest!

Here is the actual list of contents sent for Paola's birthday.

- 1 two piece jeans & pink/white/navy top.
- Lavendar coloured top with purple hearts
- 2 piece white blouse and pink/orage checked pinafore dress
- Multi-coloured hearts/stars tank top
- Turquoise and pale blue jacket and pleated skirt
- 1 pair of white socks and 1 pairs of dark fairy socks.
- 1 - striped underwear
- 'Just Like Home' toy cooking set.
- 1 Singing Heart
- Dora purse
- little bracelet for Maria
- Dora lunch box
- My little pony book colour book and glitter stickers

And out of all of the above gifts what did Paola like best? - the paper crown from a Xmas cracker!! Aren't kids funny?

Last Chance to Sponsor Jaden

The playathon is tomorrow! Time sure flies by! Wow! This will be a big event for the kids in the group. Kids helping kids- it doesn't get any more exciting than that. Jaden wants to fly to Haiti to help them, and doesn't understand why everything that she dreams up in her head can't be a reality. For example:

Why can't we build a house for everyone who lost their home?

Why can't we make them all better?

Why can't we give them all food and water?

It is all so simple in her eyes. You may remember her coins that she was collecting to buy our 4 children with medical conditions a bed. Well, they all have beds now. She still has her coin jar. Now she says she is saving so that she can take a plane to help them. Every few days, as she adds more coins, she asks me, "Is this enough to go to Haiti now?"

Tomorrow she will be doing a small act- playing games to earn money to purchase a temporary shelter for the orphans in Haiti that are part of SOS Children's Villages. She is going to try to play games for the whole 2 hours, and I am sure she will be able to do it since she will have her cousin there with her. Of course, Morgan will be playing, too. I am just doing a combined family pledge since collecting for Morgan and Jaden would mean hitting up the same people. That means that when you sponsor Jaden, you are, also, sponsoring Morgan.

You can either make a flat donation or pledge an amount per quarter hour (there will be 8 quarters, so multiply that by 8 to get the max amount you would be pledging).

Alice has decided to sponsor Jaden, and this is what she posted:

I am Alice and am a sponsor like your mommy. I will sponsor you for $2 for 15 minute intervals. I wish I could be there but I live in Arizona and I have to work on Saturday. I hope you have a lot of fun at your play-a-thon.

Also I challenge all the other sponsors to get in the fun and help out Jaden to help all the children that were affected by the earthquake. I will give $.50 per sponsor that joins the fun and helps out Jaden. So PLEASE come join in and lets have fun raising money!!"

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Update on Hellen

Hellen is still in the hospital and will remain there for a time as she recovers. She is conscious now, and ate her lunch on her own. She is in need of lots of rest!

If you would like to send her a get well card or any other items that you think she could use or help keep her mind on recovery, you can mail them to her at:

Hellen Owani

P O Box 32187

Kampala, Uganda

She will probably be out of the hospital by the time the cards arrive (fingers crossed and prayers answered), but any well-wishes are welcomed. On the off chance that she is still in the hospital when cards arrive, her brother or sister can bring them to her in hospital.

Thank you to all who are keeping her in your prayers and thoughts!!

Fundraiser #18 is Complete!!!

Thank you, thank you, thank you, everyone!!! Yamileisy & Jose Manuel will now get to set up their parents' business!!! This was our last $500 fundraiser, so it was very difficult to get through (like all of the $500 ones were). However, thanks to every one who donated over the past two months & a generous completing donation made by Chrystal today, we have made this family's dream of a brighter future come true!!!

There are still two more fundraisers going on, so look at the post right before this one. There are about 5 fundraisers upcoming whose sponsors have not donated anything. Even a few dollars hear and there helps. Most of you have close to $100 to donate before your fundraisers start. If you have decided not to do your fundraiser, please contact me. If you still wish to do your fundraiser, now is the time to make the effort to help others. I know I sound like a broken record, but I seem to be talking to myself because nothing has changed. I am going to post the list of fundraisers on March 1st. If you have not donated your share by February 28th, your fundraiser will be put at the end of the list. It isn't fair to the others who have been constantly supporting the others that they have to wait longer than the ones who are not contributing. I understand that you may not be able to donate all of it by the 28th. If you have put forth an effort, I can keep you in your fundraiser spot. However, you will still need to donate the rest of the amount by March 15th. Otherwise, you will be bumped to the end of the list. Please keep in mind that people are more likely to support your fundraiser if they see that you have supported theirs.

Package to Haiti

Jaden's items that she is sending to her sponsor child Mikerange (above & below)

My items to Francelyn (above) & items to Rood-Djevlo (below)
My items to Jodesson (below)

Jaden is sending her first package to Mikerange. She is excited especially to send her candy (inside the game) and the baby doll!

I am sending my 3 boys their 2nd packages. Each one of them is getting a book in French and enough games filled with candy for every child in their home. That means, Rood-Djevlo, who has 7 brothers and sisters with receive 8 games. Francelyn has a small family of only a brother and a sister, so he gets 3. Jodesson doesn't have such a big family. He only has 3 brothers and sisters, but his family is taking care of 2 additional children that are not their own. I am sending him 6 games.

If you would like to send a package to your child in Haiti, their is still time. Tomorrow is the deadline to order:

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Raffle Deadline Fast Approaching

Don't forget that there are 3 raffles currently going on! The deadline to enter is tomorrow 2/26/10, so hurry if you want to win! Of course, I don't mind winning :o) I won't be doing the raffles this time because my name is in each one.

Yamileisy & Jose Manuel's fundraiser has a raffle for 3 Dr. Suess books in Spanish

Michelle's fundraiser has a raffle for a $20 gift card

Maria's fundraiser has a raffle for a $25 gift card

The Package Held Hostage in Guayaquil

I want to start this post by saying that it feels really strange adding regular happy posts knowing that Hellen is unconscious in the hospital. Please continue to keep Hellen in your prayers!!
You may remember that Mack sent a package to Ecuador at the same time customs started collecting taxes on packages. Kevin's & Katherine's items were in the same box, and were being taxed at a rate of $110!!! You may, also, remember that we did a fundraiser raffle to raise some of the funds to get the package out of customs. The package was finally released, and Kevin received his portion on January 13th. Here is the letter Kevin wrote:

Hi, Mack and Heather!
Thank you for the gifts you have sent me like the t-shirt, the pair of shorts. the Christmas tree decorations, the book, the toys. Thanks for the color pencils and crayons because I love to draw. I had a great Christmas along with my family. I hope God blesses you always for your good heart because I am doing better with your help. I love you a lot. I thank you deeply for being a wonderful sponsor. I say good bye with a big hug!

We Need Your Prayers!!!

For those of you who have not been following the MIC site closely, you may be unaware that our Ugandan counterpart, Hellen, has been ill. She was diagnosed with malaria about a month ago. She received the malaria treatment, but her body did not respond to the medicine. She was given a second dose, and then a third, in hopes of wiping out the malaria. She has been extremely weak.

The doctor decided that she would need to be on bed rest, but she need to go in today to see him to make sure she wasn't anemic. She sent me an e-mail updating her status this morning.

At 1:00 PM Kampala, Uganda time, she had collapsed in town! She was rushed to the hospital unconscious! She is now under a doctor's supervision and remains hospitalized.

Please pray that the doctor's will know what to do to help her, and that Hellen will regain consciousness. I will keep you updated as more news comes in.

Thank you in advance for your prayers and support of Hellen!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Letter from Diego in Colombia

Dear Mrs. McLaughlin,
I am greeting you with lots of affection and hope you are well in union with your family. I am havng a good time and so is my aunt, but I am very worried and am praying to God so you get your job. Let me tell you that I do not have a CD player (I asked if he had one, so that I could send him CDs). I would like to have one someday. Thank for the lyrics you sent. They are very nice. I wish our dreams can come true and we can meet each other in person. I wish you a merry Christmas and a prosperous new year!

Updated Photos of Chrystal's Children

A note from Chrystal:

"I have two new photos from my CI Kids. Luz from Guatemala Age 9 and sponsored her since April 2009. She is wearing the shirt that was purchased with the special needs gifts I sent her for a trip to see her grandparents and items needed. And, Brenda from Guatemala Age 12 sponsored her since July 2008. Brenda was the girl we raised funds for an IGP selling juice. Brenda will graduate from the 6th grade this year and I will look into what I can do to help her further her education. So far, she has done well in all her classes.

Paola's Annual Update

A lot has happened for Paola in less than a year's time! This child, who has 13 sponsors, or is it 14, has had her whole life change before her eyes! Mack & Steve both visited her last year. The family has received many special needs donations (that we will soon have pictures of, by the way), and Paola should be able to attend school this coming school year!

Her mother Rosa makes bricks for a living. Just a few months ago, her income was $95. Now, it has jumped to $291! This is very promising, as she will now be able to afford more of their necessities.

I don't know about you, but I have seen a BIG change in Paola. This picture doesn't show her pretty smile, but all you have to do is look at any one of the pictures where she received a direct package from one of her sponsors to see her excitement & happiness!

Monday, February 22, 2010

A Post from Jaden

Jaden & Morgan checking out one of the games for Saturday's Playathon

Hi, everybody. This is Jaden. How are you today? I want to say that, are you doing fine? I just want to make sure. I want you guys, if you are feeling good, then I want you to come with me and help me get the money for the kids. They lost their mommy and daddy from the earthquake. Lots of buildings fell down on their mommy and daddy, so their kids can't get in.

On Saturday we are going to see how much money, and this is Jaden speaking, and I want to say that everyone is coming to our house. If you live far away, you don't have to come, you know. My mommy and daddy are here with me. My mommy is writing what I am saying. We are going to play games for 2 whole hours. My friends and cousins are going to come to my house. And my two friends my twins Sarah and Abigail, 5 and 6 and 5.

I want to say and this is still Jaden so, I don't know what else to say, but I guess you can hear me. There are some people coming on Saturday to our house. We are going to have snacks and we're going to have a party and everyone's coming. Lots of people are coming.

I want to ask you guys, will you sponsor me, please? So that you can give me money for the kids who lost their mommy and daddy when the building fell down on them. That's all I want to say. Bye, Jaden

**This is Heather now. If you would like to sponsor Jaden in the Playathon, you can pledge by the 15 minute intervals. For example, $2 per 15 minutes. If she plays for the whole 2 hours, you would donate $16. Or you can do a flat donation of whatever amount. To sponsor her, you can mail checks made out to "SOS Children's Villages" to:

Jaden McLaughlin

P O Box 847

Anna, TX 75409

Just let me know if you have sent a check, so that I know to look ot for it. If you want to make a paypal donation, you can do that as well. I will convert paypal donations into checks made out to SOS Children's Villages.

Stay tuned- The playathon is being held this Saturday February 27th from 1:00 to 3:00 PM.

Will the real Brayan please stand up?

You remember the story of Brayan E, Lisa's sponsor child, right? The picture on top, is the real picture of Brayan. As you can see, the two boys look nothing alike! But they are both cute as can be, aren't they?!

A Letter from Jonathan in Ecuador

Hi, Mrs McLaughlin,
I great you from a distance. I hope you are doing well together with all of your loved ones. This letter is to thank you for your kindness in sending me the stickers. I am going to stick them on my work folders in order to show them to my classmates. I congratulate you for your beautiful family that I can see in the card that you sent me. I also wish you a happy year and may God fill you with joy and blessings. I deeply thank you for being a wonderful sponsor. I say goodbye with a big hug.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Fundraiser Help & Fun for the Kids!

In an effort to help these slow moving fundraisers, these items have been donated to the group. Mack has donated the cute animal pens above. They are really cool. My girls both want one, so I will be purchasing at least 2 of them myself. They write smoothly. AND, you can squeeze their head/body to make their eyes pop out! $2 will be donated to the fundraisers for every pen purchased!

The video handheld games a fun & delicious! My girls each got one during the last round. There are still 10 left of the ones that Mack donated, BUT I donated an additional 400 plus candy! All 410 games are the white freeze tag games and are filled with Willy Wonka's Runts candy. I took a video of Morgan playing the game. Both of my girls think they are the coolest games ever, and they take theirs on our long car rides. $4 will be donated to the fundraisers for every game purchased!

There should still be some of these items available come time for the Christmas packages, but that is a while away. These items are available now to be shipped anywhere in the US. There are, also, shipping rates for Uganda and Haiti. You will notice that it is set up differently than before. There is the amount paid for the item which goes to the fundraisers and then a seperate cost for shipping.

If you have children in the CUS or HH4H programs, you will need to order by 2/25/10. I will be shipping out the packages to Haiti & Uganda at the end of this week.

You can order them here. Enjoy your pens and games!

Angel, Caselyn & her baby get a donation!

Recently, Chrystal lost her sponsor child, Caselyn, as she was removed from the program. Caselyn could no longer be in the sponsorship program because she became pregnant. Chrystal was not willing to let the relationship end there, so she came up with an ingenious solution: start sponsoring Caselyn's younger sister Angel!

After adding Angel as her sponsor child, she sent a monetary donation for Caselyn, Angel, and the new baby. The picture above show the items they received. This is what they received:

1 Baby's dress

1 Hygiene items for baby (cologne, cotton, alcohol)

36 Diapers

1 Dress for Christian

1 Blouse and skirt for Angel

1 Baby's milk

1 Assorted grocery items

1 Meals and transportation expense

What were the child’s/family’s comments when the gifts were delivered?
¿Qué comentaron el niño o la familia cuando se le entregaron los regalos?
Caselyn, Angel and their mother were very grateful for the special gifts they just received. According to Caselyn, she is so thankful because her sponsor extended his help to her baby. Angel said "our sponsor is so nice", while the mother uttered "God bless our sponsor."

How will the gifts benefit the child and/or family?
¿Cómo beneficiarán los regalos al niño y/o a la familia?
The infant's clothing and basic needs like milk, alcohol, cologne, powder and the like are really appreciated by Caselyn, her 2-weeks old baby needed all these stuff. The new clothing for Caselyn and Angel completed their Christmas. The groceries will be shared by the family this Holiday season.

This is what Caselyn wrote in her letter to Chrystal:

Dear Sponsor,
A blessed and joyful day to you! I want to say thank you very much for the gifts you sent me. I was very grateful and fortunate because you really care for me in spite of my situation. I am really happy for your gifts for my baby. I bought her clothing, diapers, and milk. I also bought my new blouse and a pair of dresses for my younger siblings like Angel. Plus groceries for our daily meal. Once again, thank you for sharing your blessings with us. God bless you always!