A first grade class at Frankfort Christian Academy in Frankfort, Kentucky has been working hard all year to raise money for our children. The class was so excited to help out our children and they have raised about $300. We are so grateful to the staff and kids at Frankfort Christian Academy for choosing to partner with us and invest in our children’s lives.
Recently, Brookdale Presbyterian Church in St. Joseph, MO put on a Christmas Bazaar to support Hope For Tomorrow Children’s Home. We asked Janeen, one of the leaders of their Hope For Tomorrow partnership team to share about what they did and the impact it will have on orphaned children in Guatemala.
Over Labor Day weekend Kenneth came through St. Joseph, Mo on his whirlwind tour of several churches in various states. He spent a few evenings at dinner with groups of folks from Brookdale Church, in partnership with Hope for Tomorrow through Children’s HopeChest over the past year. A young woman, Erin Lippincott, caught a vision as she listened to Kenneth tell stories of the children there.
A few days later Erin approached the Women’s Ministry Team, sharing with them an idea that caught on and spread like a wild fire through our church community – to hold Brookdale’s first-ever Christmas Bazaar in the Student Ministry Center’s gym early in December as a benefit for the children’s home in Guatemala. The idea was given a huge stamp of approval and Erin went to work organizing a task force and spreading the word through the local newspaper, a talk radio show and “Live at Five,” a daily TV program promoting community events.
Thirty-five vendors, purchased individual spaces for booths, donated items for a raffle during the event and showed up very early Saturday morning, December 1, to set up shop. The Men’s Ministry guys got on board to help unload cars and haul things for vendors. Brookdale women had prepared a very inexpensive, delicious lunch for vendors and shoppers.
Then, at nine that morning, as the doors opened to the community, a steady stream of folks thronged through the aisles, shopping for and finding all kinds of unique items, including several one-of a-kind hand crafted treasures, Holiday food items and gift ideas galore.
Not only did the event raise money for Hope for Tomorrow, it also drew the attention of the community at large to the great needs in countries like Guatemala, where there are so many orphans. Then on Sunday, December 2, the Brookdale congregation applauded Erin and all who worked so hard to make the bazaar such a great success.
Recently Jane, a friend of our ministry and adoptive mother, contacted us regarding her daughter who was turning 16 years old. Usually, the family doesn’t do big birthday celebrations but this year was going to be differente because her daughter Jaqueline wanted to have a party and instead of asking for gifts for herself, wanted everyone to bring a donation for our children. Here’s the letter she sent out to friends and family:
Dear Family and Friends,
I hope that you will join us in celebrating my 16th birthday. I am thankful to be celebrating with you here in the United States. I am blessed to have such a great family and friends that have accepted me when I joined the family through adoption.
There really isn’t anything I want or need for my birthday. I am thankful for what I already have. So, in honor of my birthday, I would like to help other children that were not as fortunate as me. There are many children that were left behind in Guatemala without a family to call their own. In addition there are many that are starving, have no shoes, clothes, or shelter.
I will be traveling to Guatemala on January 18th… While I am in Guatemala, I will have the opportunity to help other children in need. I plan to spend time at Hope For Tomorrow orphanage. My plan is to buy things the kids need and take them out for a day of fun. Hopefully we can have a pizza party for them, go bowling, or anything else that we can arrange.
So, instead of a birthday present for me, I hope that you might consider contributing to my cause to that together, we can help those who were left behind.
What an amazing story of self sacrifice and willingness to serve others. In the words of her mother, “I am SO PROUD of her for wanting to do this. She could get a lot of gifts/money at her party but she is willing to forgo that all for other children in Guatemala.”
Fast forward a few weeks and Jaqueline, her sister Karly, and her mother Jane were down in Guatemala celebrating with our children. Through her birthday party she raised more than $1000 and with that money bought our children school supplies, clothes, and some wonderful gifts for Miguel’s 14th birthday (like an iPod nano!!). But by far the best part of it all was taking all the children out with the family. On a Saturday morning we packed the kids in the van and went bowling! This is one activity we had never done before and the children were really excited. After bowling and some pizza, we were all still excited and full of adrenaline so before heading home we took a detour to the park and spent some time there just hanging out and playing. The entire day was incredible and the children had a blast.
We are all so thankful to people like Jaqueline who have put the children of our Home before their own personal wants or desires. Being able to witness these incredible acts of kindess and grace is encouraging, not to mention the wonderful examples they are for our own children. We pray that they will learn from people like Jaqueline what it means to “love your neighbor”. Thank you Jaqueline for your passion, your sacrifice, and the example you are.
Here are some pictures from our bowling adventure.
We are always looking for unique ways for people to support our ministry and with the help of a few friends (Susie, Christy, and Mary Louise), we have come up with the best yet: our Online Gift Catalog. If you are looking for a unique way to give a gift to a friend or loved one, look no further than our gift catalog. Our gift catalog has multiple gifts at different prices that all benefit the children of Hope For Tomorrow. It’s a perfect way to give a gift that will not only bring a genuine smile to the recipient’s face but also impacts the lives of orphaned children in Guatemala. Not to mention it saves you the time and trouble of searching for something he or she probably already has. It’s a win win!
After choosing your gift, you also have the option of personalizing a card that explains the impact their gift has on our ministry. It’s easy to email or print and is the perfect complement to the gift you have given.
One final idea is to combine a Hope Birthday with our Online Gift Catalog. The next time you have a birthday or anniversary party, instead of requesting gifts, point people to our online gift catalog and have them purchase their gifts for you there. A Hope Birthday and our Online Gift Catalog is a match made in heaven!
After driving more than 3000 miles over two weeks, I am back, and what an incredible trip. Over the entirety of my travels I saw the Lord answering the prayer requests I had asked people to be lifting up. I had wonderful travels to and from the States and even as I drove from State to State, I saw God’d protection. Each visit with the churches and small groups that had been lined up went off wonderfully and it was a pleasure to share with them about our ministry and children. Honestly, things couldn’t have gone better. And despite the long trip, the late nights and early mornings, and being away from my beautiful wife for an extended time, I returned from the US refreshed and rested. Thank you all for your prayers and support during this trip. Thank you for helping to set up the numerous meetings and speaking engagements. Thank you to all the host families that allowed me to stay the night in their homes. Finally, thank you to all the churches that gave me time to share about our ministry. God bless you all!
Most people don’t look very forward to their 50th birthday. I was certainly one of those people. However, my 50th birthday turned out to be a red letter day for me. Co-Founder of Hope for Tomorrow, Brenda Riddle worked with my family and friends to throw me a surprise party that I will long remember. Around 50 of my family, friends, and co-workers surprised me at the Alumni House at the University of Kentucky on April 28th. We had wonderful hors devours, birthday cake, and a special slide show developed by my “longest” friend, Rita Rector. The biggest surprise of the evening was a special performance by my second family; the children of Hope for Tomorrow. They sang “Happy Birthday” to me in both Spanish and English. The children prepared a choreographed dance for me and each child introduced him or herself to my friends in Lexington. I felt so blessed to share this important day with my entire family. In honor of the occasion, Brenda asked that attendees make a donation to Hope for Tomorrow in lieu of birthday gifts. I am excited to report that my HOPE Birthday party raised nearly $2,000 for the children’s home.
This was not the first HOPE Birthday party in my family. When our son Kendall turned 11, he decided to forego gifts and asks friends to make a donation in his honor to Hope for Tomorrow. With the help of party-planner and steering committee member Diane Haynes, we had a carnival at my sister’s farm and invited his entire 5th grade class. The children played “roulette”, corn hole, and other carnival games. In return for their success at the games, children earned tickets that they could “cash in” at the store we set up. There they could “buy” candy, toys, and trinkets with their tickets. At Kendall’s party, $400 was raised.
If you are looking for a creative way to celebrate someone’s special birthday, consider a Hope Birthday Party. It is a wonderful way to honor someone’s commitment to children in a way they will never forget. Please contact any of us on the steering committee if you need ideas!
The 3rd annual Southern Illinois fundraiser for special donors to Hope for Tomorrow was held June 18 at the home of Marty and Deb McMorrow hosted by board member Lori Kubes and Deb. Music by Blue Afternoon entertained the guests. Each year in attendance we have several families who had adopted children from Guatemala or other countries and understand the need to support children in orphanages. Deb was able to share photos and stories from her visit to Hope for Tomorrow in February with founders Brenda Riddle and Jennifer Grisham Brown. “In order to support the remarkable commitment of these two women and the beautiful bright children served by Hope for Tomorrow, we need to continue our fundraising efforts. Having some hand in helping to preserve a child’s future is a priceless gift,” said Deb. Guests at the fundraiser were impressed by the great staff, home environment and the “family” ties that each child has with one another. This was especially timely to be able to talk about now the 2 new children welcomed into the family.
Another fundraiser is in the planning for the fall in Southern Illinois to be held at one of the many local wineries.