The weekend before Mother's Day, we hosted a fundraiser High Tea at a local cafe. It was a fun morning, drinking tea in delicate tea cups and eating delicious goodies, while enjoying the setting of an old, historic house. Below are some photos from the event.
Thanks to everyone who attended this fun morning, and on the day we raised $421 towards surgery needs for a young child in Asia.
Yes; our February Challenge started with Cheese!
Also with a family, and a night out for dinner. Like most families with young children, Steve & Gillian occasionally eat takeaways, or go out for dinner as a family. At times, the children choose what the family will eat that night.
On one of their regular 'no-cook' nights, one of the children was given the option of what and where to eat. It was going to be a fun night for all the family; no cooking for mum or dad and a yummy meal - especially for the one who chose the venue. However there was a problem ... to hear their story & to find out more about how our February Challenge started, click on their photo.
Meet Kim, a supporter who has decided to take on her own Challenge for February by participating in the Stadium Stomp later this month.
What is Stadium Stomp?
It's a unique event held towards the end of February, where people participate in a stair climbing course at Eden Stadium ... climbing up, down and around the stairs with thousands of others. In total Kim will stomp her way through 5,000 stairs!
Kim has asked her family, friends and everyone she know to sponsor her with the goal of raising $500 for Orphans. If you'd like to sponsor her as well, click here and write 'Stomp' in the comments section.
Good luck Kim!
To find out more about Stadium Stomp click here.
We really wanted to participate in this February Challenge. The challenge for us was: what can we do or give up? It's for the children so we know it's a great cause, but what can we go without for one month to make a difference?
After much pondering we realized that with some changes to our eating habits, a decent amount could be saved. So this month we will sacrifice chocolate (Julie), wine (Paul), cheese and crackers (both) and takeaways. That's a total dollar value of around $100 that we spend on these non-necessary items (except for the chocolate of course ... very necessary!) each month.
And at the end of the month, I'm sure our waistlines will thank us for this break!
Do you feel challenged? Is it worth sacrificing a few non-essentials to help improve the life of an Orphan? We believe it is, and hopefully you will too. And we need your help, as our goal is to raise $2000 by the end of February.
We received and email from a friend yesterday, who mentioned that it's officially cold in northern China now. As I type; the temperature at 7am is 0 degrees in Beijing this morning.
This means days are getting colder and shorter. The state-controlled heating has not been activated yet, and won't be done so until later this month. People are wearing extra clothes, drinking lots of hot tea or water, and snuggling under piles of blankets in the evenings.
The colder weather also means more smog ... days where people don't just wear heavy padded jackets, but also face masks as they walk the streets.
As winter arrives fully, there will be days when schools are closed, and people won't feel safe to venture out due to the bad air quality.
And the snow will arrive soon too. The countryside will be blanketed in white and travelling around the city will be difficult.
The children will not be able to play outside, and will be confined to the playroom - especially those who have health issues.
So the knitwear we've posted over the past few weeks is arriving just in time. Pray that the children stay warm and healthy!
The past month here at James OCI we've seen a hive of activity with lots of comings and goings. So we thought we'd share with you what we've been up to.
Calls from some of our knitters meant a few quick trips to various parts of the city to collect knitted goodies. These pics are a sample of what we received ... there are more, but we couldn't fit them all in the shot!
We've also had a few more pre-loved items donated for us to sell on Trade-Me. Some have already been listed for sale (and sold), but we have more to list towards the end of November.
Packing & Posting
With all the knitting we've received we have enough to send 4 box-loads to the children. Two boxes have already been sent, and we are planning to send two more in the next couple of weeks. Just in time for their winter! Donations towards the cost of posting a box are always gratefully received.
We've also made some sales on Trade-Me from the donated goods ... it seems like we are now becoming firm friends with the Courier driver!
With Christmas not far off, a few supporter ladies decided to make items to sell at a local craft market. So a craft evening was organized to create Christmas Tree Ornaments and Peppermint Foot Soak. We think these will make lovely gifts, and have the added value of helping an orphan. Later this month there are plans to make candles and Reindeer Hot Chocolate drinks. Watch this space as we hope these will also be available for purchase on our website in time for Christmas.
Chinese Wire Ornaments
We fell in love with these handmade Chinese Christmas wire ornaments. Made by a lovely man who lives in the same village as the children, we felt these would make gorgeous decorations at Christmas time, and are a reminder of the children in need. Each ornament captures the words of either Grace, Hope, Love, Family, Faith or Blessing. The pic below is the ornament for Blessing. These will be available for purchase at the craft markets we attend, but if you are interested in purchasing one (or the set of 6) then email us direct.
Enrich Gifts is another gift-giving idea we have been working on the past month. The finer details are almost complete, and we hope to launch by the end of November so watch this space!
Having the opportunity to touch the lives of orphans is something that Paul & I feel incredibly blessed to be a part of. We have the privilege of cuddling, holding, playing with and praying destiny into the lives of these little ones. It's our heart's desire for the ones we meet to grow into their future and to live lives of destiny; not to be overshadowed by their present life situation.
For some children we meet this is very real. They receive life-changing surgery and go on to become a part of a family that will love and care for them for the rest of their lives. Their life stories are rewritten by people working tirelessly to ensure they are healed then adopted and brought up in a loving, family environment.
But for others this will never be their reality. Their lives are shaped by the institutes they live in; where they receive the basics of life - food, clothing and a roof over their heads. Some go to school and become educated, but some will never go to school. Due to their special needs, their lives will forever be in the walls and grounds of the orphanage. The Nannies in this environment genuinely care for the children, but mostly are limited by too many children to care for, with limited resources available to them.
As a reminder of why we love what we do; we want to share this Video with you. It's a few years ago now, but this is Will meeting his new parents for the very first time. Will is one of the children that we had the privilege of meeting and spending time with before he was adopted. This lovely couple decided there was room in their lives for an orphan and through their decision, Will's life story has been rewritten.
We can all play a part in helping to rewrite an Orphan's life story. We hope this video encourages you to consider how you can change the life story of a child in need. Whether by praying, donating, visiting or adopting; we can all do something to help change the life of an orphan.
It happens every time ... someone will drop off a bag of knitted jumpers, cardi's, hats, mittens and slippers; and my heart is full of gratitude. I feel so privileged to know such lovely ladies!
These ladies knit the most beautiful garments for children that live on the other side of the world. Children that they may never meet or get to know; who will not be able to say 'thank you' in person or give a grateful hug. Yet the knitting still comes - beautifully hand crafted, warm and cute items for these children to wear.
As a knitter myself, I know how much time and effort goes into making these garments. It's not just a case of picking up some needles and a garment is created. The ladies search for the right pattern to knit; select colours that will match and work well together; sew the individual pieces together; and finally ensure they have selected the buttons that perfectly compliment or decorate each garment.
So today we want to say a big THANK YOU to Alison, Lois, Carole, Kay, Pat and Janet - we truly appreciate all the effort you make to bring joy to these children that live on the other side of the world.
And if you don't know what happens when your beautiful pieces arrive, then click here ...
Recently we received more lovely knitted items - from one of our regular knitters, and then a lady in our church handed Paul a bag of beautifully knitted jumpers. We so appreciate all that these ladies do to help us brighten the lives of the childen. Their hard work is greatly valued.
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Paul & Julie Averes are passionate about helping Orphans. They travel yearly to visit orphans and to assist and encourage those who care for orphans.