Friday, November 20, 2009

Some Great Ideas From Some of You

I just have to take a minute to say that I have some amazing readers with some really big hearts.....and some great ideas. I love hearing from you and I just LOVE that you all are getting inspired to reach out and help others in need. I have to say a quick THANK YOU to those of you who so quickly step up to help in all of our projects. We can all bless this world and those that need us in it by working together.

I wanted to share some emails I have gotten with some great ideas in it. These emails show just how easy it is to bless others and also inspire us to do the same. I am also looking forward to getting some pics from some of you who are stepping out to help. Can't wait to throw them on this blog.

I have been following your blog for several months and have been so
encouraged by all that this organization is doing. Thank you for
allowing your blog readers to see God working and the things He has
done through Ordinary Heroes.

I am emailing you to see if you have any ideas of a service project
that would benefit Ordinary Heroes and the people you all minister to.
In the next couple of weeks, my daughter wants to host a few of her
fellow 2nd grade classmates at our house for a pizza party. While they
are here, I want to have them collaborate on a service project that
could build their vision for the world outside their bubble. I am
starting to realize how much this age group really enjoys projects
that involve sorting, assembling, decorating, etc. and that I need to
capitalize on this!

We would love to something that helps any of the people that you all
are presently helping.... the girls at the TBCH, the moms and children
at the homeless shelter or even the troops serving our country
oversees. I don't know what the needs around the Christmas holiday
will be but we could definitely do something for this holiday.

I look forward to meeting you in person someday. Until then, I will
pray for you and those that help you with this ministry.


(my response with some ideas for you)

" As far as the kids and moms at the shelter, your kids could make them something. Maybe have them write the moms a note and then they could make sock puppets for the kids to have around the holidays. Kids always get a kick out of those and I have never seen them around the shelter.

As far as the TBCH teen girls, they really loved making those bags for the homeless kids and they loved having their pictures to keep. One thing I know they would love, being teens and all, would be to have your girls decorate a photo frame for each girl. I think the key in whatever they decided to do is to include a picture of each girl holding her finished product. That way the person receiving it will have a better connection with who gave it. I know my TBCH girls would love to see who made it for them. They would love the photo frames as well. I saw those at the dollar store.

As far as the troops, one thing he mentioned was Christmas decorations. Your girls could make them all kinds of decorations to put around their offices to make them feel like home around the holidays. They could cut out snowflakes and even long rings of snowflake streamer type things and decorate christmas balls and even put in the box a mini Christmas tree that they could then decorate."

(more great ideas from some of you)
"Several weeks ago, our church did a cleanup project down at tent city. I had bought some apples ,oranges and cookies the day before and got my girls and a one of their friends to help me with a project. We put one of each in a brown bag and I had them write the verse..." Taste and See that the Lord is good. " on the bag. The enthusiasm these girls had over this project was amazing. They loved their "jobs" and wanted to keep going even when we had run out of everything. I thought that night that I really need to keep this going on a regular basis and search for ideas of ways to get them involved because they LOVED it ,and it builds vision. SO, you may be hearing from me again in the New year for another idea!!"

"I am hoping that my husband’s family can work on this together next week when we are together for Thanksgiving. "

"I am a Kindergarten teacher and would love to collect a package of goodies to send to the troops. I made a list of items from your blog but if you have any other ideas, please let me know. The families in my class this year are very thoughtful and generous so I can't wait to get this going. I am collecting items the week after Thanksgiving, making baked goods with the kids in my class on Thursday and hopefully having it ready to send on Friday, Nov 4 in hopes they get it before Christmas."

"We are in a small group together at church, and I was thinking that our group could provide a package to one of the soldiers. Or if not as a group, my family would be honored to. Please let me know how we can help.
On another note, my husband and I are prayerfully moving forward and looking into adoption - most likely domestic:)
Thanks for all you do, please let me know any way I can help Ordinary Hero - I love the blog."

"Thank you so much for the information. I am happy to write that we are now sponsoring Hawa. I hope that this helps, and gives her some peace to know that someone else out there cares for her.... I will pray for her well being and safety. If you have any additional information about her, we would love to know how she is doing.

Thank you so much this site and all you are doing. My husband and I will begin the adoption process again early next year. We have 3 children now, 2 homegrown and 1 angel baby from Vietnam. We have decided on Ethiopia and are very happy. I will be sure to pass this site around with the hopes that all these children will be sponsored.."

Keep the ideas coming.....Love all of the Ordinary Heroes in this world :0)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

New Tshirts Are In !!

Dark Heather T-shirt Sizes

White T-shirt Sizes

Many thanks to my sister, Kristi, for displaying our new 'Change The World For One' tshirts on her blog. You can go to the top of this blog post and order yours. We are currently out of Women's small's but you can order one on back order. We plan to get more in. All proceeds from the shirt benefit Ordinary Hero Foundation. We strive to make a difference in the life of a child in need.......pretty much any way we can :) I have seen over and over the amazing difference that many Ordinary Heroes make in a child's life. You literally are Changing The little life at a time, and especially the world of that little one. It becomes a brighter place.

Order your tshirt today. Thanks for all of your support of our foundation.

If you have any questions about the shirts, email . Oh, and my sister is wearing a long sleeve shirt under the tshirt. The t's are short sleeve. Thanks.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sign to Free the Kids in Sierra Leone

Calling everyone to sign this petition. We have an opportunity to show the HIGH officials in SL just how determined and hopeful we are here in the States to free the children of SL that have been caught in the middle of such horrible instances that we saw first hand at the orphanage called The Network.

Please take 1 minute of your time and sign this petition which will then go before the President of Sierra Leone to show him how concerned we are for the children.

Follow this link and let your voice be heard.

Thank you.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Here is a recap video of my amazing, adventurous, sad, and unbelievable trip to Sierra Leone. We are still believing for the rescue of the children. No, it hasn't happened yet....but by God's grace it will. After you see their precious faces you will agree that no one can give up on these kids. You can just look in their eyes and see destiny. God has a future and a hope waiting for them. We will stand together and pray until they are released. We still have people on the ground there working on it.

To go straight to the link CLICK HERE.....or watch below but you will have to silence my music at the bottom.

Also..... a quick little update.....I am so thrilled to announce that Lori, who so amazingly connected with Sam on the trip, has since decided, with the blessing and excitement of her family, to adopt Sam and his two siblings, Betty and Fala once things clear up in that country. They get to skype one another and keep in touch that way and the whole family has really bonded with these three kiddos. It is such an amazing story if you followed it on my blog to see how Sam ran away from that awful place and came and found us, asking for Lori. He was running to his mother and he didn't even know it at the time. Wow!! God is good. You can see pictures of them in this video. Also to visit their new blog CLICK HERE.

Freetown Compilation from The Raining Season on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

We can Bless the Heroes of our Nation

(Not actual picture of the person mentioned)
I am so excited to announce that we will be starting some projects over the next month or so to bless those serving abroad in our military and giving their all to make sure that we remain a blessed, free nation. The first thing I would like to present is the opportunity for you, the Ordinary Hero, to bless our men and women, the ultimate heroes, serving abroad. So many times we take our military for granted as we live our comfortable lives here in the States. I think it is important to take a moment, today on Veteran's Day especially, and thank our brave men and women who give their all for us. I have recently connected with one of my facebook friends who is serving tirelessy right now in Afghanistan. He is from my Hometown. I asked him about the people he is serving with and what would be some things we could bless them with. Here is his response:

"Most of our folks love home baked stuff and most things not really good for us (LOL). One request, of all things, that was made today was pumpkin pie; if there is a way (LOL) to add this to their shopping lists, that would be great (two of our folks asked specifically for home baked). Funny how things like this get missed when we are away from home. Other stuff like peanut butter and crackers, slim jims, etc. are always crowd pleasers. We got a box the other day with some halloween decorations and some of our young ladies almost fought one another trying to decorate our offices (just an idea for the upcoming holiday season). Honestly, it is the little things and the simplest gestures that bring smiles to faces. The guys that are here from Fort Campbell are in another region of the country and I have little interaction with them. We provide support to Soldiers out of Fort Lewis, Washington and Fort Bragg, NC. The task force to which I am presently assigned is out of Heidelberg, Germany. Otherwise, most of the people I work with are coalition partners (24 nations to be precise) from around the globe. Together we are trying to provide some element of stability and control throughout the southern region of Afghanistan. Our road is long and cumbersome; hopefully, worth our efforts in the end. To give you an idea, I follow some of your traffic you post. I am a logistics officer for a medical command operating throughout southern Afghanistan. We see some of the worst of this mission. Most of our "clients" are local nationals that get caught in the cross fire of decades of heavy fighting among tribes mostly; recall, we were not the first country to assume control of Afghanistan (not that this is our mission, but among the multitude of nations involved in this fight, it sure seems like it most days). The guys that work with/for me are healthcare logistics professionals. We ensure our hospitals, surgical teams, and a variety of other types and designs of healthcare agencies receive adequate supply to continue their mission of caring for the wounded and ill. We STAY busy. Please know that this means US Army. We have a joint forces headquarters in which we work. We have US Navy and Army working among our ranks. We have one Air Force sergeant, but he will have returned to another base by the time this happens. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I could tell you more, but don't want to bore you too much. Each soldier, sailor, airman, and marine has a story and a home town, so any taste of home is truly appreciated. I really do appreciate your efforts and thank you for your support. From the types of postings I am seeing of you, you have a rather noble mission in life. Thanks for everything you do to make the world a brighter place. Thanks so much. JV "

He gave me the names of 10 men and women who serve with him, including himself, that he could get our packages to. I would love to show our love and support to these noble men and women by sending over packages to bless them. If your family, church group, bible study, school, etc would like to take part in blessing these brave men and women please comment on this blog post or email me at for more info. Let's show our love from America and say a great big THANK YOU.

On a side note, just after I had this idea the other day, my son asked if he could invite over a new friend from school. This little boy was brought over by his mother. I immediately noticed his nice manners as he greeted me with "MaM". He and my son ran off to play together as I stood and got to know his mother. When I asked about his family and how long they had lived in the area, she proceeded to tell me that her husband, the man she married at the age of 17, her high school sweetheart, and the father to her two boys, died two years ago in the Iraq war. She told me the details of his death with lots of strength of character while I could see she was still holding back tears. Yet she went on to talk of her faith and strength she finds in God and that is what has helped her move on. I have not heard from someone one on one like that who has been so directly affected by this war that continues to take place. Yet there are thousands of people just like her, who have had a family member pay the ultimate price. She told me that "people just don't get it. They walk right by the tv, hearing of another casualty and don't think a thing about it. That was someone's dad, husband, mom, daughter or son. " You know....she is right. We need to bring more awareness. I thought how odd that I meet her just when this is all in the forefront of my mind. God must be up to something :)

I hope to get more stories from her and from those I am in contact with who serve abroad to help remind us how real this is and to keep us from taking it for granted.

Also have some ideas bouncing around to bless the kids and families who will be without their moms and dads this holiday season as their loved ones serve abroad. More to come....

Monday, November 9, 2009

Halloween~Shelter Outreach 2009

I wanted to share some pics from our Halloween~Shelter Outreach 2009. Many, many thanks go out to all of you who helped make this day possible for these children. We had some wonderful donations come in, in the form of $$, costumes, grab bag stuff for the moms, etc. I also have to throw out special thanks to all of the volunteers who showed up to help. You all were awesome with the kids. I can't believe that this was the fourth year in a row that we have had this outreach. It was another successful event. The moms and kids were so, so blessed to be able to get away for a day and have some fun with their kids. I wish I would have had a video camera when I walked up. First, I was dressed like spiderwoman which I thought would add to the excitement. I will suggest everyone who shows up to help next year dress up in costume. The kids just love getting special attention much more by spider girl, I think. But, when we walked up carrying all of their costumes they started jumping up and down with excitement and had the biggest grins on their faces. As we were passing out the costumes to each child, one mom said it seemed like Christmas. That was the atmosphere that we created for them which was so exciting.

They turned out sooooo cute in their costumes....their big grins say it all :)

We also passed out goody bags to the moms which they loved (Thanks, Robin for the great Clinique makeup donations and Carol D for the houseshoes and goodies)
The moms love seeing their little ones all dressed up in their favorite costume.
Some awesome volunteers helping one sweet little angel.
Have you ever seen a cuter Dora??
You might remember these two cuties from our backpack outreach. Well, they made one cute princess and one adorable spiderman.
She is modeling her new bag that was made for her by the sweet girls from the TN Baptist Children's home (see post below).

Lots of little princesses. It's so much fun to dress up.

More awesome volunteers. I couldn't have pulled it all off without them.
We've got Hannah Montana and cute:)

Time to go.....

More volunteers met us at the festival, ready to help with all the little kiddos.
This mom enjoyed showing off her precious little lady bug.
Melissa met back up with her kiddos that she bonded with at last year's event. She ended up being a blessing to them at Christmas last year as well and has become friends with their mother, who she keeps in touch with.
This big smile makes it all worth the effort to pull all this off for these kids.

This mom was so thankful for the help that this volunteer gave her while helping with her children at the festival.

Spiderman is getting a lift from his new friend.

This volunteer brought her daughter and was able to help this mom who had a little girl about her daughter's age. They played together for the day and had so much fun. This event is all about opening our own children's eyes to those less fortunate and showing them that they are no different than them, only with different circumstances in life.

New friendships were formed all day by these little ones and all the special helpers.

This volunteer had a little one for each of her own kiddos to hang out with for the day. Yes, she juggled all four of them and did an amazing job.
There is a whole book in the story of the little one below. I will get into that at another time but God is an awesome God. He has had this child in the palm of his hand right from the beginning while still in her mother's womb when I first met her mother as a resident of the shelter at the 2006 outreach. She is pictured below with her soon to be, new adopted Dad. She and her birthfamily and all the amazing families who have stepped up to help this little one and all her siblings are such inspirations.

This little one loved her new friend.

Yes, for some, they even had their first pony ride.

Ok, check out our new OH tee's. The back is pictured above,and the front is pictured below. It has our slogan, "Change the World for One." As soon as I get on the ball I will put them on the site for purchase.

None of us can change the whole world....but we can change the world for one.

My little Nathan found his Injera at the Ethiopian food stand at the festival.
He had not had Injera since he lived in Ethiopia and I didn't even know if he would want it, or remember it, but as soon as he saw it he lit up with excitement and tore into it.

The best part about the whole day was that all three of the raffle drawings went to 3 of the moms at the shelter. There were only 3 drawings for two ipods and a laptop. How good is God that all three of these random drawings went to bless these moms. They were brought to tears. One mom just cried and said how the Lord knew her situation and how much this would bless her family to win the laptop.

This mom won an ipod and immediately handed it to her daughter and said "Happy Birthday". It had just been her daughter's birthday and she hadn't had anything to give to her. Tell me that God didn't hear this momma's prayers :)
This mom gave all glory to God and the new Ipod to her son.

All the kiddos were pooped by the end of the day. One big long day of fun.

This little one below was so sweet. He ran up to one of our pastor's and wrapped his arms around him right before we boarded the buses to head back to let him know how much fun he had.

Yes, my picture, courtesy of Batman.....I am the proud church bus driver.
What an awesome day it was for all these children that reside at the Family Life Center. It seems like such a small thing to do, to just bring some kids costumes and get them to a fall festival. But it creates such life long, happy memories for them at one of their greatest times of need.
That is how to be an Ordinary a child in need.