Monday, November 26, 2012

November Grant Giveaway Recipients!




First place, with a $1,000 grant is Precious Greico!

Precious is joining one of our Ethiopia trips in the summer of 2013. Her family adopted a 2 year old girl from Ethiopia in August and she has wanted to visit her new sister's homeland. After following the OH blog and seeing all the past trips, Precious decided she wanted to travel with Ordinary Hero. In just 10 days she has almost $1,400 towards her trip to Ethiopia! She is WELL on her way to raising the money needed for her trip. Congratulations Precious!!

Second place with a $500 grant is Shay Potter!

Shay and her husband Adam live in South Carolina with their 4 children. They are adopting a 4 year old little boy from Uganda who was on their agency's waiting child list. They are hoping to travel in April/May to bring their son home and are busy raising money for their adoption while they wait. You can read more about their journey at their blog. Now, Shay and Adam are $816.32 CLOSER to bringing their son home thanks to all their efforts and all of their supporters during this grant giveaway. Congratulations Potter family!

Third place recipient is Candi Galbreath, who will receive a $200 grant in addition to her earnings from sales, bringing her 10 day total to $436.82

Candi is fundraising for a mission trip with 147 Million Orphans to Honduras. She was able to take her daughter with her last year to Honduras and has wanted to go back since. She will be returning for the third time in April of next year with a medical team! Congratulations Candi!

WOOHOO!! Thank you to everyone who helped our fundraising affiliates out this grant giveaway by purchasing from the Ordinary Hero store. Remember, every affiliate receives 40% of everything they sell in the store, ALL THE TIME, so your purchase truly does change the world for one. To find out more about our OH Fundraising program click here.

Next grant giveaway happening December 7-15!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thankfulness! An Ordinary Hero Spotlight

Our mission at Ordinary Hero is to inspire and empower ordinary people to make an extraordinary difference in the life of a child in need. We LOVE hearing stories from YOU, Ordinary Heroes, who have been inspired by what you've heard or read through OH. We wanted to share this story with you from Sara Williams in Florida. She emailed us about a month ago and asked what first aid supplies were needed in Korah, Ethiopia, the trash dump community our teams visit and serve in. After a quick email to Project 61 who has a working clinic there, we sent her a list and she ran with it! Here are her words:


My name is Sara Williams and I am blessed to be married to the most wonderfully strong, Christian man that one could only dream about. I have my dream job working at the Children's Dream Fund- a non-profit wish granting organization that provides dreams to seriously ill children in Florida. I have always had a heart for orphans and plan on adopting one day.
Sara and her husband Matt.
About a year ago, my rare, life-long skin disease was finally diagnosed and we were told that we may not be able to have healthy children. We love kids and want to provide a safe, loving, Christ-centered home for children. Even though I have a heart for foster children and orphans in the United States, my heart beats stronger for orphans in third world countries who don't have even the most basic necessities of life. Earlier this year, God drew my heart to Ethiopia as I desperately wanted to go on one of the mission trips through Ordinary Hero. Sadly, it wasn't God's timing for me this year and my heart was broken. I became so burdened for Ethiopia and began praying for God to use me in any way that He could. 

A few months later, I began feeling an overwhelming sense of thankfulness. At that time, my husband and I had been married for about a year, we had just bought our first home, we both had wonderful jobs that we loved and we had been blessed to be able to give more away that year than ever before. God continued to provide for our needs above and beyond what we could have ever asked, dreamed or imagined. Then one day God gave me the idea of having a ThanksGIVING party where women could come together for fellowship and praise God for what they were thankful for. Then, I thought I could tie in some sort of giving feature to the party. I still wasn't sure if this was what God wanted me to do since we had a lot going on at the time.

One morning I was walking on the treadmill and Joyce Meyer came on the TV. She was talking about being thankful and brought up the point that after many victories in the Old Testament, God would call the people to have a party in thanks of Him. She even specifically mentioned the book of Esther where God called the people to have a feast and give gifts to the poor. Esther 9:20-22. I knew then that God was calling me to have this party.

The party turned out great and we were able to collect a lot of much needed first aid items for the children in Korah, thanks to all my wonderful friends and family. I can't wait to see the smiles on those precious faces when the OH December team gives them these items so many of us take for granted. I look forward to one day visiting Ethiopia with Ordinary Hero and possibly adopting a precious child from Ethiopia. Thanks be to God for His unfailing love!

Here are some more of her photos from the event. Thank you Sara for stepping up and making a difference for MANY children in need in Ethiopia!


We at Ordinary Hero want to wish all of you a HAPPY THANKSGIVING. We are so thankful for each and every one of you!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Team Ordinary Hero ~ Charlotte Thunder Road Marathon

 THEY DID IT!! 
Special thanks to all our Charlotte Thunder Road Team Ordinary Hero runners! 
Yesterday Team Ordinary Hero participated in Charlotte Thunder Road!
Our Team OH joined together to RUN 4 ONE to bring awareness to the orphan crisis and children in need. Special thanks to The Collins Family, The Jackson Family, The Thompson Family and The Garrett Family for joining us in this race!
Big shout out to our girl, Colleen, for traveling from Nashville, running a mad race in the half marathon, and being our Team OH spokesperson! 
Together all of you raised $1595 for OH to help orphans and children in need!! AWESOME!
THANK YOU ALL WHO PARTICIPATED AND WHO GAVE TO OUR CAUSE! 
You are all Ordinary Heroes!! 
If you would like to RUN 4 ONE with Ordinary Hero in the Nashville Country Music Marathon, please email Colleen@ordinaryhero.org. We will see you in April to RUN 4 ONE!! 

Friday, November 16, 2012

November Grant Giveaway


We're giving away the BIG one!!!
Beginning TODAY through November 25, 11:59 CST, you could earn one of the THREE grants we are giving away. 
Top fundraising affiliate with highest total sales receives $1,000!
2nd top fundraising affiliate receives $500
3rd top fundraising affiliate receives $200,
PLUS every affiliate always receives 40% of sales when their name is selected from the drop down affiliate menu at checkout.



New product has been added and will continue be added throughout the day today, so make sure to check the OH Store often!

If you are not already signed up as an affiliate, click here to get signed up and start earning money for your adoption or missions trip TODAY!

Meet our new fundraising coach, Beverly (pictured with her husband on one of our OH trips to Ethiopia last summer).


Affiliates, please email beverly@ordinaryhero.org if you are NOT receiving our affiliate emails and remember to check out our OH Fundraising page on Facebook to get great fundraising tips from our coach.

READY, SET, GOOOOOO!




Monday, November 12, 2012

Haiti, Day Four

Thursday @ Respire Haiti...


We began the morning with the sun and the roosters who never seem to know exactly when they are supposed to crow. School begins at 8am and everyone walks to school, some from quite a ways away. The children don't like to be late so you will see them power walking up the mountain to make sure they get to school in time for the bell, prayer and a song which marks the beginning of the school day. Because the majority of these 500 students are restaveks (child slaves- click here to read more) school is only from 8am-12pm to allow the children to go back to their houses to work. It's incredible that they have worked out an arrangement within this community that these families would even let the children go to school at all! The students work hard at school from 8-12 and breakfast is cooked on site and provided to all the children.

The team worked in the kindergarten classes doing a special craft with them. Becky from Georgia brought these sponge balls for the boys to make and Amy from Utah brought no sew dolls for the girls to make. The children loved it, but I think we loved it even more. :) (Pictures below courtesy of one of our team members, Renee @ Renascent Photography)









After school we headed back for lunch then joined another one of the interns, Janice, to help with choir practice. Janice is a music teacher who is working with Respire and started a children's choir with children from the community. She had over 160 kids the first day (Tuesday) and over one hundred were there again on Thursday!

Two of our team members from Utah, Amy and Courtney are classically trained in music so they helped teach the class. The children have beautiful pitch, it is quite magnificent when you hear them sing together. That is one of the neat things to see on these trips. To see how God uses the talents, skills, experiences and education of our team members to help serve the people and workers wherever we go. (Pictures below courtesy of one of our team members, Renee @ Renascent Photography)





While half the group was at choir practice the other half visited several families' homes in the community delivering blessing bags. These blessing bags were made and donated from people all over the United States for the children in Haiti. Thank you for donating these to our team members who were able to distribute them to children in need in Haiti.

Last day at Respire coming tomorrow. To see more remarkable photographs of our trip, check out one of our team member's photography blog. Thanks Renee!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Haiti Day Three

****We've been without reliable internet/electricity the past few days, so we are sitting in Fort Lauderdale, FL airport catching up on the blog.

Wednesday, on our way out of Port Au Prince, we stopped in to visit two different ministries Heartline runs. (Heartline was the wonderful guest house we stayed at in Port Au Prince. I highly recommend them!) One is called Haitian Creations. They teach women in the community skills to make a living like sewing, cooking and jewelry making. The women who join the program make handbags, aprons, beautiful necklaces, bracelets and earrings as well as metal wall art. The beads are made from scraps of fabric, glue and shellack. They sell their work in the guesthouse store and online. The women earn a percentage of the sale of the item and have a skill they can use to start their own business and continue to support themselves. We are hoping to partner with them to get their products in the OH store! Stay tuned...



Next, we visited the women's center where 40 women from the community are enrolled in the program and receive prenatal care and education.  They also receive birthing classes and postpartum education and support. Nurses from the United States come and help deliver about 4-10 babies a month. Women come to this clinic and receive this education free and can also deliver their babies here free of charge.

One of our team members, LeAnne, was able to leave a whole suitcase full of shoes for the women who come to these centers, in honor of Mrs. Lester.
After our Heartline tour, the team boarded a school bus and headed out to Respire in Gressier, Haiti. The drive to Respire truly was indescribable. We drove through the roughest part of town, Cite Soleil which has been called the poorest area of town in Haiti and violence is rampant. The day before, there had been a lot of gunfire and fighting in that area. People told us police won't even go to that area of town because the violence is so awful and the gangs pretty much control the area. By the time we drove through, the UN troops were stationed there to help keep the peace. The traffic is horrible in that area of town so it gives you even more time to see the devastating poverty. Everyone on our team who have traveled different places all over the world agreed this was the worst poverty they had seen. The marketplace was crowded with thousands of people selling fruit, vegetables and other goods on top of huge piles of garbage. Mixed with the garbage are huge puddles of muddy water. It was total filth. It actually reminded me of the verse in Psalm 40:2, "He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand."



We also passed the dump where they were burning trash, plastic and all, which had a horrific smell. It's so hard to imagine that people live and struggle to make a living here everyday. Such devastation everywhere you turn. Yet in the devastation there is hope. There ARE people here making a difference, one life at a time.

After a heartbreaking, two hour drive (half of which was sitting in traffic and not driving at all), we arrived at one of these beacons of hope, Respire Haiti. This is the organization we learned about earlier this year. Kelly and a small team came out to meet Megan and see all that Respire is accomplishing back in May.  Megan, the director, was in the states fundraising, so one of her awesome interns, Jessi, took great care of us. They were having an English class later that afternoon up at the school so after settling in, we made the trek up the mountain. When I say trek, it is quite the understatement. It's a steep, dirt mountain road with hot and humid weather. So before we even started climbing the mountain we were soaking with sweat. 

However, once you make it to the top and stop and turn around, the view is stunning! You see the beauty among the ashes. 
We got to see the tree where Pastor Benito and his wife (who are Haitian and have partnered with Megan) prayed for 12 years that God would send someone to come and help the community. We saw all the beautiful design that went into every intricate detail of that school from Kyle the builder. Not only are the buildings and scenery beautiful, but the children and all that is happening on that mountain and in that community are beautiful!

Lots more to come...stay tuned!

Friday, November 9, 2012

YOU ARE INVITED TO AN ORDINARY HERO WHITE CHRISTMAS EVENT!


  SAVE THE DATE!

JOIN US FOR A MAGICAL NIGHT!
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2012
6:30 PM
@ THE FACTORY IN FRANKLIN, TN

CLICK HERE for more information and to find out how YOUR child can join our 
ADOPTEE CHILDREN'S CHOIR for this event! 



Thursday, November 8, 2012

Beth's Story



Beth Venable lost her life on this earth on August 24, 2012, not even three months ago. 
We have seen miracles take place through the legacy she has left behind. 
Her life and her love for the Lord lives on through the Beth Venable Memorial Fund and her husband taking the time to travel to Africa with Ordinary Hero to carry out her wishes and life dreams of helping orphans and children in need. Many lives are changed forever because of Beth's beautiful life she lived on earth and now in heaven. Here is their story! (Grab your tissues)
If you would like to contribute to the Beth Venable Memorial Fund, click here
Thank you to all who have donated on her behalf. It is life changing!