Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween Outreach 2010

I can't tell you how fun it is to take a child's wish list..........
And make it happen!
To take a child, who could use a break from the reality of the mission for a day, from dreaming about what they would like to be.......
to making that dream come true, even if just for a day.
We showed up to the mission with the children already excited, and awaiting our arrival. They have been looking forward to this fun day since we were there over a week ago taking their pictures to find out what they would like to dress up as. As you can see above, one by one, they would walk up and patiently wait and gaze into the bag to see what I would pull out with their little name on it. Then you see their eyes fly open wide with excitement and their great big smiles light up their little faces.......and then ......

you have a little monkey :-).......

or a candy corn witch....
or a little spiderman and fairy with our adorable dressed up volunteers......
or an awesome iron man, who specifically asked me to take his picture because he knew he looked awesome :)
This little pea pod decided to try himself out for a taste....mmmmm, peas might not taste so bad after all :)

All the moms enjoyed everything as much as the kids.

I met some new friends from Ethiopia, who I was immediately drawn to. I couldn't wait to introduce her to my son.
Our adorable dressed up volunteers below drove all the way in from Chattanooga to be a part of our outreach and take notes. Yes, Chattanooga, there might be an Ordinary Hero heading your way very soon. We are super excited!!
Ashli, below, had fun with her angel for the day. She is an Ordinary Hero to the core. She showed up to help with this outreach and leaves in 5 days to head over to Ethiopia to live and serve.....for good! Amazing!!
My two teen boys with all their cutie teen friends.....

The kids always LOVE the pony rides.
I can't tell you what an awesome group of volunteers we had this year. It was amazing to pull up with two 15 passenger vans, two suburbans, and a truck full of moms and kids and there is a volunteer for each child and mom ready and waiting our arrival......SIMPLY AWESOME!!

Each volunteer walked around for the day with either a child, or a child and mom to offer help and fellowship. Wonderful new friends are always made at this event. Being a volunteer at this exact outreach has proven to be life changing on many different levels in years past. I will do a blog post about it soon. It's pretty unbelievable.
We had awesome volunteers show up from different churches, small groups, group of co workers, blog followers, friends, and friends of friends who all just wanted to show their support and make a difference in a child's life.

All the moms always appreciate and enjoy this opportunity to get away from the norm and have a day of fun with their children. You should have seen them all coming up to me afterwards and thanking me from the bottom of their sweet!

This mom and daughter below were in the doughnut eating contest together......Mom won!

I grabbed a pic of 3 cutie men in my life below, showing their support. Hubby drove a van and transported goods, and passed out costumes, and my kids helped stuff treat bags.

My sister, Kristi, who most of you know through the blog world, is always an OH #1 supporter.
She showed up with her two oldest girls and helped us get the kiddos ready at the mission as well as drove a car load, and helped take this little princess around for the day.

I love walking around and seeing all the kids having so much fun with their new friends.
Their big smiles say it all :)

These boys rode back with me in my car and couldn't have been sweeter. They all talked about how much they really liked their volunteer. The Superman on the end saw me at the festival and came up to me and just gave me a hug and then walked on about his way. It was so sweet....just his way of saying thank you and that he was having a great day :)

Just have to give a HUGE shout out and THANK YOU to the Sloop family and Americhoice in Nashville for their generous sponsorship, as well as my friend, Cricket's, sunday school class at Brentwood United Methodist, and the women's bible study group at Bethel World Outreach for their support and sponsorship of this outreach. I want to thank each of you Ordinary Heroes who have donated towards a costume and meal for this event. Each child received his or her very own costume and also each mom and child received $10 to spend on a meal and snacks, or whatever they want at the event. You should have seen the kids light up over that :) Also, want to put out a special thank you to Bethel World Outreach for hosting everyone at the fall festival.
And last but not least, a special thank you to our two volunteers, Paul and Jen, who drove in from Chattanooga to help out and show their support. They are in the process of adopting from Rwanda. I told them our picture would be a tshirt ad, Ha!

And I, personally, say a big Whoo! and Amen! as I thank God for another very smooth and blessed Halloween Outreach for 2010. Thank you all!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Day At The Shelter...Getting Ready For Halloween

We are preparing for our Halloween Outreach on Sat. Oct 30th. It is always so great to see the faces of the little ones light up when I go down to the shelter to ask them what they would like to dress up as for Halloween.
A few of us went down and met the kids and moms and had the pleasure of telling them that next week they get to dress up and go to a festival and have LOTS of fun :) Don't you remember how much fun Halloween was as a kid? For this to be a day that is typically known for Ghosts and Ghouls, it has turned into one of our best ways to reach the moms and kids who reside at the homeless shelter and show them the love of God in a practical way.
I always grab a friend or two and take a day and go down to meet with the kids and find out what they would like to dress up as. It gives them something to look forward to.
It is always humbling to meet these moms and kids and hear a little about their lives. It is a great opportunity for our volunteers at the festival to make new friends and offer hope by showing that they care. It is always good to have our kids eyes opened to the need that is right in front of us. And then it is always all the more humbling to meet up with the kids who know me from last year's Halloween outreach and I realize they are back again.

I can't wait to show up next Saturday with all the costumes in tow for these children and then take them to the festival. You should see them when I do. It's like Christmas :) I met with 26 children yesterday and there will be more to come in before the event. Many thanks to those who have volunteered for this event. It will be life changing for lots of kids.