Friday, February 19, 2010

Helping Haiti: Growing Empathy & Teaching our Children

With the whole earthquake that shook Haiti weeks ago, it also shook up our family in a much needed way. Living in America, we are pretty sheltered from the realities of life and the hurting around the world. Add to that, we don't have any cable or satellite tv, so we're not as aware of the news without purposing to find out. While we're not going to sign up for satellite now, we ARE praying for a purposeful awareness of the hurting around the world. These are human beings, with husbands and wives, babies, brothers and sisters, just like us, experiencing awful circumstances like extreme poverty, starvation, & death, while we are here literally stuffing our faces, & complaining about the weather. God, help us.

Not that we think we should ban ourselves from enjoying the pleasures God's given us. He's created these things for us to enjoy. But not to hoard. We're given much. Much is expected from us. God's given us so that we can give to others in Jesus' name. None of this is meant as a guilt trip or looking down at anyone. Just want to share our heart- what God's burdened us with, ideas He's given us to help, and maybe even for others to join with us in asking God to grow our empathy & teach our children to love much.

So, here are a few things we're doing that we'd love for you to take part in. Right now, directly to help Haiti, but we hope to keep doing things to help many others who are hurting. Please share your ideas, things you're doing, etc. that we may want to join in too!

1. "Chain of Love"- Bekah's crocheted chain necklaces & bracelets, & my mom crocheted hearts that we attached to hair clips, and we're selling them for $1 at Home Matters. All the money will go to Samaritan's Purse. Bekah's goal was $250 by the end of February. Right now, she's raised $205. This project came out of spending time during school learning about Haiti, asking questions to get her to think about if that happened here, and how we can help. She just learned how to crochet a chain & wanted to make them to sell in our store. How could Daddy say no? :)

2. Help for Haiti raffle tickets- buy a raffle ticket at Home Matters for a chance to win a $50 gift card to Home Matters. They're $1 per ticket, or 6 for $5. Wanting to use the business as a "platform" to help. All the money will go to Samaritan's Purse designated to Haiti.

3. After talking a lot about how little we can actually "DO" to help Haiti, we do not want to become discouraged in helping how we can. Praying about how to teach our kids the realities of the world in hunger issues and the realization that we have way more than most people in the world. That we even have an option of what food we might want for dinner is more than they have. Also aware of the very real financial pressures of lots of us, many do not have much "extra" to give. This is one way we can sacrifice in another area to help provide money to give towards helping Haiti. So, for the WEEK of March 1st-March 8th, our family will be eating oatmeal (or maybe you'll do cereal or pb&j) for dinner, to help us remember how many eat the same things over & over and are grateful just to have something to eat. Then, with the money we would usually have spent on our groceries for dinner, we will be giving to Samaritan's Purse to help Haiti. The time we save in not having to prep & make dinner, we'll use to look up more on Haiti and pray.

4. There is little we can physically do to help....but every little bit counts! If you can sew, you can help sew cloth diapers, dresses, & aprons for an orphanage in Haiti. So, get to sewing! Check out this link for more info on what they need & where to send it. We may even try to do a ladies night to get together to do this.

These are a few things God's given our family to be a small part of helping the hurting in Haiti, growing our empathy for those who are hurting, and teaching our children to be a part of relieving the hurting-in HIS name. Please join us- and share with us!