Archives for the month of: November, 2011

I’ve been a dreamer for as long as I can remember.  My first dream = I wanted to be a nurse.  My parents instilled in me that I could be anything I wanted to be, do anything I wanted to do, accomplish anything I wanted to accomplish.  The world was my playground.  It was up to me regarding how high and where I would climb.

This imagination, this belief that we all can be astronauts if we really want to, is not universal.  Dreamers are the privileged.  Those affected by poverty don’t have this luxury.  When surviving becomes your focus, there are no room for dreams.  I’ve seen this in many places in the States and countries around the world.

As some of you may remember from my Holy Ground post, in May of 2010 I had the opportunity to go to El Salvador with Compassion International.  I was moderately skeptical at first because the task of combatting poverty seemed too great to accomplish.  Over the course of that week, I was able to meet hundreds of Compassion children who were learning how to dream again.  They had hope and the resources to achieve their dreams now.

Poverty is as much of a mindset as it is a physical obstacle.  Through Compassions child centered programs, there is no room for the mindset of poverty.  They are filled with spiritual truth, holistic care, and practical skills that offer them the hope for a different world.

Meet my Compassion-daughter, Hazel.  We communicate with letters and pictures and she sends me her latest pieces of artwork.  Through her Compassion project, she is given a safe environment to play in, the medical attention she needs, healthy meals, holistic child development, an education, knowledge of Scripture, and the ability to dream.

This Christmas Season I can think of no greater gift than giving a child the hope of dreaming and the resources to break the cycle of poverty.

Will you consider giving this gift of Compassion Child Sponsorship this Christmas?  

For more information: Click here.

Give the Gift of Compassion this Christmas Season with these gift ideas over $100

Many pregnant women in poverty must give birth at home, alone or with the help of a relative or neighbor.  Your gift will ensure that a pregnant mom will be assisted by a certified skilled birth attendant during the delivery of her child.  The provision of a trained birth attendant promises greater survival for the mother and the newborn.

A cow can greatly improve a rural family’s survival and meet food needs, but the cost of such an animal can be far out of reach. Your gift will help provide this source of income and food, while the family members also learn to generate income through activities like breeding and caring for animals.

Many mothers in the developing world have a burden on their shoulders.  Often, due to death, abandonment, or loss of family support, they are left alone to raise their children. Many need a helping hand to acquire the skills, knowledge and resources to care for their families.  Your gift will help provide information on the best income-generating options – from tailoring to animal husbandry- along with necessary training and support needed to run a small business.

Computer skills are vital for children’s education and their future, but computers can be hard to come by, especially in San Benito, Nicaragua.  Your gift will help equip three child development centers with 10 computers each, air conditioners, furniture and teacher’s salary.  Compassion-assisted adolescents will meet for classes once a week, three hours each session, for a period of eight months.

The family is where fundamental values, core beliefs, and attitudes are formed among children.  Sadly, many boys grow up without fathers and face unforeseen challenges on their path toward adulthood.  A 10-weeks biblical program was developed to vie direction, hope, and stamina to young men, ensuring their ability to be godly, successful fathers, and community leaders.  Your gift will help equip 180 Kenyan Leadership Development Program students who are eager to be true men of God, enabling them to create strong families as they step out on their own in society.

Click here or on price tags above to order.  

Step One: Select Gifts

Step Two: Give your gift “in honor” of a friend or family member.

Step Three: Select the design and number of greeting cards to be sent to your honorees.

Gift Ideas Under $25, Under $50, Under $75

Tomorrow’s post, The Greatest Gift of All

Give the Gift of Compassion this Christmas Season with these gift ideas Under $75.

The frequency and cost of childhood immunizations are unthinkable for impoverished parents.  Often they must instead make the choice to buy food with their limited funds.  But going without these needed immunizations can put a child’s health and future at risk.  Your gift will provide one child with all the recommended immunizations through his or her 5h birthday.

Every day over 4,000 children die of water-related diseases such as cholera and typhoid that are easily preventable.  Compassion’s Water of Life treatment system and education can change that for an entire lifetime.  Your gift will provide a safe water system for a child and his or her family.  Each system, which is based on kidney dialysis technology, can provide over 1 million gallons of safe water.

Children can e vulnerable even in their own homes.  Children with severely ill parents, children who must serve as the head of the household, or children who are at risk of abuse or exploitation need extra attention and protection.  Your Gift will help Compassion provide a safe place to live, legal care, and/or foster care for a child who is living in an unsafe environment.

Forty percent of infant deaths occur in the first 28 days.  You can stand in the gap.  The importance of immediate newborn care can never be stressed enough. Your gift will provide a newborn with special care during the first 28 days after birth, including postpartum and pediatrician visits, vaccines, food, and clean water.

For children living in poverty who  need eye glasses, poor vision can cause unnecessary problems and disadvantages, including falling behind in school, headaches, and more.  When children receive glasses, they are so happy to be able to see clearly that they won’t take the glasses off.  Your gift will help provide a child with the gift of sight and new confidence.

When school is out of session, most Compassion-assisted children are left alone all day while their parents are working.  Without proper attention, children are exposed to negative peer influence.  Your gift of Vacation Camp will offer opportunities to have fun, learn and socialize in a supervised setting.  Remove a child from the daily grind of poverty, and send a kid to camp!

One small piglet can enrich a family living in poverty.  Families will learn how best to breed their new piglet, making it more than a simple farm animal.  Because the average sow can give birth to up to 16 piglets a year, your gift could mean a lifetime of income and food for a family.

Click here or on price tags above to order.  

Step One: Select Gifts

Step Two: Give your gift “in honor” of a friend or family member.

Step Three: Select the design and number of greeting cards to be sent to your honorees.

Gifts Under $25, Gifts Under $50

Tomorrow’s post, Gifts Over $100

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Give the Gift of Compassion this Christmas Season with these gift ideas under $50. 

Children are better equipped to learn in a safe environment.  In Uganda, 80 percent of the children in Compassion’s child development centers are under the age of 10.  Your gift will do more than help establish a safe area to play by facilitating social interaction as the children play together.  This, in turn, affects their self-worth and physical health.

Common problems can prevent a child from being healthy or from even growing up at all.  Simple things can make a difference, like vaccinations against diseases.  Almost 8 million children die each year before the age of 5, some from something as easily prevented as measles.  Your gift will help vaccinate children, keeping them healthy and giving them a chance to grow up.

When a child lacks access to a toilet or sink, life-threatening illnesses can spread.  Your gift will help build safe and sanitary bathrooms and sinks, protecting Compassion-assisted children through minimizing the risk of infections or urinary diseases.

For those born into poverty, access to medical care is beyond their reach – a luxury.  But regular medical exams can detect common illnesses, monitor and treat existing conditions, and prevent or reduce the likelihood of certain diseases through behavior and hygiene training.  Your gift will help provide medical checkups, surgeries, and other special treatments as needed so that children can grow into mature, healthy, young adults.

Around the world, 104 million primary school-aged children don’t go to school.  Your gift will help provide children with what they need to get a proper education – school fees, uniforms, books, and other resources.

Do you remember your first visit to the dentist?  You likely didn’t want to go but now you’re glad you did.  Compassion-assisted children receive toothbrushes and toothpaste, and by your gift a child will also receive a dental exam and cleaning, along with professional instruction on proper teeth brushing.

Sadly, malnutrition is common in many countries where Compassion serves.  Families rarely have enough to eat, and what they do eat is often lacking in proper nutrition.  Your gift will provide a mother and her child with additional food and nutritional supplements for one month, ensuring adequate weight and better health.

Children have endless energy, and we can show them how to create healthy habits that also help them escape poverty’s grip.  Your gift will help build volleyball courts, providing not only volleyball equipment – balls, nets, and sad or cement – but also equipping children with social skills and teamwork habits that will last a lifetime.

For many rural families who experience great need, a goat is greatly appreciated.  Goats can be bred to provide a source of milk, meat, and household income.  Your gift will help families generate income by providing training and other resources to help them successfully raise and care for their animals.

Click here or on price tags above to order.  

Step One: Select Gifts

Step Two: Give your gift “in honor” of a friend or family member.

Step Three: Select the design and number of greeting cards to be sent to your honorees.

Gifts Under $25

Tomorrow’s post, Gifts Under $75.

Give the Gift of Compassion this Christmas Season with these gift ideas under $25.  

In America, we don’t often think about the joy that comes from holding a new Bible that is in our own language.  But for Compassion – assisted children in 26 countries around the world, a brand – new Bible that they are able to read is a treasure.  your gift will provide a child or caregiver with their very own, new Bible in their native language.

Even when families in rural areas have land around their homes, lack of resources prevents them from being able to fully utilize it.  A vegetable garden provides food for the family, and abundance can be sold for income.  Your gift will help give a family all they need to start their own kitchen garden: vegetable seeds and fertilizer, along with training and any necessary equipment.

Malaria, which kills nearly 1 million people every year, is transmitted exclusively by mosquitos.  your gift will help give children and their families countless nights of mosquito-free sleep with an insecticide-treated bed net.  They will also receive education about ways to prevent the breeding areas where mosquitos thrive.

Children around the world love to play, and even in the most difficult of circumstances they find creative ways to play, even using hand – sewn soccer balls on dirt roads.  Your gift will help provide resources like soccer balls and sports camps, giving children the chance to have fun, develop skills, and learn teamwork.

Right now, in northeastern Africa, an estimated 12 million people are suffering from a serious drought, causing malnutrition in almost 40 percent of children under age 5.  Compassion’s long-term programs have helped families in hard-hit areas of Uganda to weather droughts by teaching them to grow their own food.  your gift can e part of the continuing success story by helping the caregivers of Compassion-assisted children in African countries get similar training so that their families can face escalating food prices, as well as weather future droughts.

In the wake of disasters, simple shelter and protection from the elements is a priority.  Your gift will help provide families with items needed for emergency housing, such as tents, cots, tarps and blankets.  The gift of a blanket is ultimately a gift of warmth and hope.

After surviving a disaster, families of Compassion-assisted children just need to get back on their feet.  Special kits are tailored to specific needs and provide short term help in the wake of disaster.  Your gift will provide a kit to a family, with much needed items.  Kits may include kitchen supplies and personal items such as soap, toothpaste, washcloths, cups, clothing and jackets.

A Chicken is much more than a meal for a family living in poverty – one chicken can provide a source of income, manure for vegetable gardens, and a steady supply of eggs.  Your gift will help put food on the family’s  table and provide earnings for the future.  They will also receive education to help them care for their new chicks.

Play areas in Compassion centers are crowded with happy children.  Often these children have no other safe place to play.  Today in Rwanda six play areas stand in disrepair.  your gift will help provide what’s needed for the dads to pitch in and build new play facilities – from saws to hammers and nails.

Due to their own health conditions and diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, many new mothers are unable or are advised not to breast-feed their newborns.  Sadly, other mothers trapped in poverty do not survive in childbirth and leave behind an orphaned infant.  Your gift provides one of these precious babies with formula for a month.

Your gift will develop a child’s God-given talent and help them achieve their dreams.  The Inabamba talent search in Kenya will identify and nurture talent in Compassion – assisted youth ages 12-22.  More than 600 young people will showcase their musical and artistic abilities.  Judges will select two qualifiers in every category as an entry to the national level.  At the national level, participants will meet with experts for a mentoring opportunity or “talent academy.”

Click on price tags above for link to order.  

Step One: Select Gifts

Step Two: Give your gift “in honor” of a friend or family member.

Step Three: Select the design and number of greeting cards to be sent to your honorees.

Tomorrow’s post, Gifts Under $50.

This Christmas season I have gathered some gift ideas that will not only shower people with joy, but encourage them to live healthy lives.  These gifts tell them that they are worth loving, that they are not forgotten, and that they are free to hope of a life beyond poverty.  If you are like me, I often find more joy in giving than in receiving.  These gifts will fill your joy cup to overflowing!

There are 5 days to this series.  

$25.00 and under

$50.00 and under

$75.00 and under

Over $100

& The Most Compassionate Gift of All

We will start with the gifts tomorrow, but today I wanted to give you some background on WHY to give gifts of Compassion.

About Compassion:

Children in poverty learn not to have any hopes and dreams.  The message that permeates their hearts is that they are worth nothing.  Because they were born into poverty they often see no options.  Compassion’s mission to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name is about reversing this lack of opportunity and also the total lack of hope.  Our sponsors and donors help us accomplish this.  With your support, local churches in developing nations are empowered to focus on individual children, providing them with opportunities to develop their full potential – spiritually, economically, socially, and physically.  This holistic approach ministers to the whole child, sending a new message to their hearts: that they are beloved by God and their future can be free from poverty. 

How Gifts of Compassion Works:

You will pick an individual or several gifts from the lists that I will share with you these next 5 days.  You can choose to give the gift yourself, in honor of someone else, or let them choose the gift they would most like you to give in their honor.  Once you decide on the gift, you can choose the number of greeting cards to be sent to your honorees.  By shopping online, you will have access to other options for greeting card designs and be able to print them from home, or email them to your honoree.

If at any time you would like a printed catalog of this series, leave me a comment with your email address and I’ll get in touch with you to send it your way!

I hope all of you enjoyed your Thanksgiving.  I’ll see you tomorrow!!

Alright Creativies!  Starting Friday I’ll be starting a new series:  

 Ever feel like you are always giving the same gifts, just rotating the recipients?

There will be dozens of gift ideas for all budgets!

Until then, Enjoy your loved ones this Thanksgiving and I’ll see you back here on Black Friday!

If you came to Artsy Chicks this past Saturday, you probably chased down a paper flower, or helped me clean up after the wind blew tables over, etc.  The wind was relentless.  My husband and my father committed themselves to being my anchors for the day.

They took up post in the corners of the tent and joked about being for sale alongside my paintings.  I don’t know what I would have done without them that day.

I don’t know what I would do without them everyday.

They are my anchors in every way.

When life gets windy, their instinct is to hold me and assure my safety.  I love them dearly and am glad to spend this Thanksgiving season with them.

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

Who are your Anchors?

Thanks to everyone who came out to the Artsy Chicks show yesterday!  The day started off with a giant wind gust that near took my tent and paintings several counties over.  A fellow artsy chick, Kim Smith, and myself held on for dear life!  I felt like a momma trying to save her babies.  Oh the tears that would have followed if I lost all of those paintings!  Others soon arrived with reinforcements and we managed to not blow away.

Needless to say, I felt defeated at the start of the day.  Then I met 9 year old, Michaela.  She loved the paper flowers and when I told her that she and her sister could color a picture in my Creative Spillage book, she was beyond excited!  After she left I looked to see what she had drawn and near found myself in tears.

The picture is of a hibiscus flower that is standing tall above the other flowers in it’s field.  It lives in a diamond who sparkles with light.  It reads: Think Good Thoughts and You’ll Stand Tall  

Click on image for close up

Thank you Michaela; your wisdom is beyond your years.

I’ve decided to sell these paper flowers at the Artsy Chicks show this weekend, along with some new paintings that I’ll be debuting soon!  You can buy flowers individually, or you can buy them as a bouquet in a Mason Jar!

I only have a limited quantity available for the Artsy Chicks Semi Annual Show this Saturday, but I always accept special orders!

Stay tuned because I am going to have a paper flower making workshop in the new Studio space when it opens!