Category Archives: Donate or Volunteer

Cleaning For A Reason

If you know any woman currently undergoing chemotherapy, please pass the word to her that there is a cleaning service that provides FREE housecleaning – once per month for 4 months while she is in treatment. All she has to do is sign up and have her doctor fax a note confirming the treatment. Cleaning for a Reason will have a participating maid service in her zip code area arrange for the service. This organization serves the entire USA and currently has 547 partners to help these women. It’s our job to pass the word and let them know that there are people out there that care. Be a blessing to someone and pass this information along.

Cleaning For a Reason

You can also make donations if you so choose. 🙂

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No Kid Hungry

Many children in our country are facing another day without food on the table. You can help. By signing a pledge to help end child hunger you can help to eliminate child hunger by the year 2015.  Please go to No Kid Hungry to sign the pledge.

To learn more about the horrible lifelong consequences that childhood hunger caused please visit Share Our Strength.

This next video is a bit lengthy but it is so important that you watch this.

If you can donate please do. This is such an important cause. Together we can wipe out childhood hunger. 

Families of Spinal Muscular Atrophy

This weeks charity is one that is near and dear to my heart. While working with families that have children who are diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) it breaks my heart to see what they are going through. Until I started the job that I have now I had never heard of Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Let me explain what it is.

http://www.fsma.org/Home/

This is a direct quote from their site.

The motor neurons affect the voluntary muscles that are used for activities such as crawling, walking, head and neck control, and swallowing. It is a relatively common “rare disorder”: approximately 1 in 6000 babies born are affected, and about 1 in 40 people are genetic carriers.

SMA affects muscles throughout the body, although the proximal muscles (those closest to the trunk of one’s body – i.e. shoulders, hips, and back) are often most severely affected. Weakness in the legs is generally greater than in the arms. Sometimes feeding and swallowing can be affected. Involvement of respiratory muscles (muscles involved in breathing and coughing) can lead to an increased tendency for pneumonia and other lung problems. Sensation and the ability to feel are not affected. Intellectual activity is normal and it is often observed that patients with SMA are unusually bright and sociable. Patients are generally grouped into one of four categories, based on certain key motor function milestones.

This medical condition is most usually very tragic depending on what form of SMA that you are diagnosed with. I have only known three babies who were diagnosed with this condition and they all died before their first birthday. Towards the end of their lives the muscles around their lungs had atrophied to the point that they could no longer breathe on their own.They were dependent on a ventilator for every breath.

If you feel led to help them find a cure for this tragic condition please go to the link below.

http://www.fsma.org/Fundraising/WaysToGive/

This is a wonderful organization and they help so many who are suffering.

Casa Shalom

Last week I allowed my daughter, Samantha to host the place to donate to and she did a wonderful job. This week I am allowing her best friend Jessica to host. Jessica and her husband, Josh are the directors of an orphanage in Guatemala and are doing an amazing job there. They have been there for the last three years and love what they do. Below she will share stories of the children in the orphanage and pictures.

One thing that she didn’t mention that I would like to is that you can sponsor a child by making a monthly donation of $30 per month. In return you will receive a picture of your child and letters. I know that you see these type of programs on TV and wonder how much of the money actually goes to the child. I can honestly say that in this program 100% of this is spent on the child. It provides, food, clothing, medication, immunizations and education. From this point on the words are from Jessica.

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Guatemala is a beautiful country known for its amazing coffee, Mayan archaeological ruins, and majestic volcanoes.  But Guatemala has a long and painful past filled with violence and abuse, which have left approximately 37,000 children orphaned and alone (insert unicef link – http://www.orphanoutreach.org/countries/index.asp)  Many of these children are orphans of the Guatemalan civil war, which lasted 36 years.  Out of this bloody conflict was born the Casa Shalom Orphanage, which is located in the mountainous highland region of San Lucas SacatepĂ©quez.  In 1986, two American missionaries and social aid workers took in a family of three siblings that had been orphaned during the war, and continued to take in children who needed a safe place where they could grow, receive an education, heal from their physical and psychological wounds, and escape the violence that was so prevalent in their country.

Casa Shalom, which means “House of Peace” in Spanish, has grown since then to house over 50 children of all ages, from infants to young adults, who come from all over Guatemala to find refuge.  Many Casa Shalom children are true orphans, and have no living family members to care for them.  Others come to the orphanage after suffering physical, sexual or mental abuse at the hands of friends or family members, and some are removed from their homes due to a parent’s drug addiction or other dangerous behavior.  The sad fact is that several children at the orphanage were simply abandoned by their mothers, left to fend for themselves.  This is true in the case of baby Mynor, who at 9-months-old is Casa Shalom’s youngest child.  In January of 2010, Mynor was found in a ditch in Guatemala City.  He was a newborn, still covered in afterbirth and with the umbilical cord attached.  His mother had had him in the ditch, got up, and walked away, leaving Mynor to die where he lay.  Miraculously, a group of firemen found baby Mynor before any harm could come to him, and brought him to the orphanage, where he is now a happy, healthy, chubby little boy.

The goal of Casa Shalom is to provide holistic, integral care for all children who enter the orphanage’s gates.  First, their physical needs are met by providing quality clothing, food, and a clean and safe place to live.  Second, their educational needs are met by teaching them to read and write, and enrolling them in the appropriate level of school, where they learn basic subjects like history and math, and study additional classes like computer and English.  Third, their psychological, spiritual and mental needs are met by a staff of caring, trained individuals (including a licensed therapist) who seek to build the children’s self-esteem and help them heal from the psychological wounds inflicted on them by abandonment or abuse. 

The orphanage also provides many hands-on learning opportunities for the teenagers of the orphanage, so that they may be prepared to earn a living when they leave as young adults.  The orphanage has a chicken farm, vegetable garden, and professional bakery which are all run by the teens of the orphanage, giving them valuable life skills!  Many of Casa Shalom’s young adults continue on to higher education, which is paid for by the orphanage.  Once a child turns 18, he or she is given the chance to choose their field of study, and trade school or university, and Casa Shalom pays for their tuition.  They continue to live at the orphanage as they earn their degree, apprenticing with professionals in their field so help them learn their trade.  Right now, 6 young adults over the age of 18 are still living at Casa Shalom, and pursuing degrees in subjects like mechanical engineering, accounting, and business and marketing.   

The orphanage has been very blessed since its inception in the 1980’s, but there are always many needs that need to be met.  How can you help?  You can send a tax-deductible donation to the orphanage via Paypal at the following link: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=UFQ8X8CU65Z8Q

100% of donations are used to meet the needs of the Casa Shalom kids.  For more information on Casa Shalom, you can visit the orphanage’s Facebook page at: http://www.Facebook.com/CasaShalom, our blog at http://www.TheHansonsinGuatemala.blogspot.com, or email us at TheHansonsinGuatemala@gmail.com

Charity: Water

charity:water

Hello. A few months ago I allowed my daughter to guest post for the blog with a wonderful new recipe. Well this post is from her again. Last week and she had her husband went to a conference for youth pastors in Georgia and she came home on fire for doing for others and spreading the love of Christ.

One of the things that she was so passionate about was the charity that is being discussed today. She was so excited on the phone while telling me about it and asking if I would tell my readers about it that I asked her to just write the post to put it into her own words.

After reading what she had to share and watching the video below I can see why she is so in awe of this wonderful charity. From this point my daughter, Samantha will be the author.

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Right now, almost a billion people on the planet don’t have access to clean, safe drinking water. That’s one in eight of us.

charity:water is a non-profit organization bringing clean, safe drinking water to people in developing nations. They use 100% of public donations to directly fund sustainable water solutions in areas of greatest need.

Why Water?

Health: Unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation cause 80% of diseases and kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war. The UN predicts that 1/10th of the global disease burden can be prevented simply by improving water supply and sanitation.

Gender Equality: In Africa alone, people (usually women and children) spend 40 billion hours every year just walking for water. Sometimes they can walk miles to a water source that isn’t even clean enough for drinking. Along their walk they are at a greater risk for harassment and assault.

Independence: Many people in developing nations don’t have access to enough water for the irrigation necessary for growing food. Clean water makes people self-sufficient and allows them to grow their own food. Self-sufficient households are less likely to be affected by external conflict, famine, and inadequate government services.

Alleviate Poverty: In Africa alone the economic loss due to unsafe water is $28billion. This burden rests largely on the poorest households who can spend up to 11% of their income on water that is most likely contaminated due to poor collection processes.

More about why water here. 

 What happens when a village gets a well?

– The walk for water that used to take 3 hours now takes 15 minutes and the water is now safe to drink.

– A hygiene worker teaches the village about the importance of sanitation. The community builds latrines and sets up hand washing stations.

– A Water Committee is formed and women are allowed to participate. For most this is their first local leadership position.

– The clean water and extra time allow for the creation of successful gardens, which feed families and bring in a profit at the market.

– Children can now go to school instead of walking for water. With an education, there is hope for their future.

– Neighboring villages learn how water can transform a community. They petition for a well in their village and the cycle starts again.

 How You Can Help:

Donate Your Birthday:

We have enough stuff for our birthdays. This year, ask people to donate to your very own charity:water fundraising project. My 27th birthday is in June and I plan on asking everyone to donate $27 each to charity:water. You can do this, too! Sign up here to commit your birthday this year to giving others clean water and then tell us in the comments below that you did. Then, when your birthday comes around we can all help donate to your project!

 Donate to Someone Else’s Birthday:

My friend’s birthday was yesterday, but you can still donate today. He turned 27 and would like to raise $5,000 for a well that will sustain a community of 250 people. Let’s make that dream come true! 

100% of public donations go to the projects – all operating costs are provided by private donors. They even provide you with a GPS coordinate that allows you to track your very own building project with Google Maps and photos of the completed project. This way you can see for yourself the impact your donation has on a community.

 These are not the only ways to get involved. Please check out their website and learn more about how you can partner with charity:water to save lives and change futures around the world.

Meals On Wheels

Meals on Wheels is a wonderful organization. Before my grandmother had to move in with my aunt and uncle she would get her lunch delivered to each day from this organization. She was able to remain independent for a bit longer by having these wonderful people checking up on her and bringing her wonderful nutritious meals.

The following quote is from their website.

The Meals On Wheels Association of America is the oldest and largest national organization composed of and representing local, community-based Senior Nutrition Programs in all 50 U.S. states, as well as the U.S. Territories. These local programs are our MOWAA Members.

 

All told, there are some 5,000 local Senior Nutrition Programs in the United States. These programs provide well over one million meals to seniors who need them each day. Some programs serve meals at congregate locations like senior centers, some programs deliver meals directly to the homes of seniors whose mobility is limited, and many programs provide both services.

 

While remarkable, the one million meals per day figure underestimates the size and shape of our network and its reach and influence in communities across America. In addition to the hundreds of thousands of seniors who receive meals, there are many thousands of professionals employed at the various local Senior Nutrition Programs across the U.S. More notable than that is the virtual army of volunteers who also “work” for these programs. It is said that this group, numbering between 800,000 and 1.2 million individuals, is the largest volunteer army in the nation.

You can learn more about this much needed service by checking out their website here.

http://www.mowaa.org/page.aspx?pid=212

Special Olympics

I love love love this organization. I can’t speak highly enough of this wonderful organization. I volunteered with this group many years ago and once my daughter got into high school she volunteered with them too. Check out their website.

http://www.specialolympics.org/

This organization could not exist without the many volunteers across the United States that lovingly give their time and money to keep them in action. I wish that I could explain the love and excitement of actually being there and cheering for these wonderful athletes while they are participating in their races. It is so overwhelming that I almost cried. The excitement is so contagious. I volunteered expecting to help a child have the experience of a lifetime and ended up having one of my own. For more information on volunteering please check this site out. If you volunteer you won’t regret it.

http://www.specialolympics.org/volunteers.aspx