Saturday, December 27, 2014

OH December Team Headed to Ethiopia

We have a great group headed out today to Ethiopia! Check out our blog this week to see how this group is used in some amazing ways to bring hope and share God's love! 
A group of 15 headed over from Tennessee. 
The Archie Family is taking their adopted son back to visit his birth family for the first time since he was adopted three years ago. They are all entertained nicely with their gadgets, haha! 
We met up with the rest of our group this morning at the gate. We have Sarah from Georgia and Shannon from Virginia. Morgan and McKenzie from TN. 
We have Zack and Bailee from Utah and Rachel from Idaho who came with her mom. Savannah from TN. 
Kelly B, our sponsorship coordinator, is traveling with us and will be meeting her soon to be adopted son for the first time! :-) Erica, another adoptive momma, is also joining us. They are both from TN. 

Allison, Richard and Hope from TN. 
The Lamb family from North Carolina. 
Jasmine from TN 
Me (Kelly), and my daughter Morgan from TN. 
Michelle traveling with her daughter from Idaho. 

What a great group we have from all over! LOTS of 20 yr olds, teens, and  families on this team! Stay tuned for an exciting week! We appreciate your prayers for our team this week and for God to use us in some amazing ways. Over the hills and across the ocean we go!! 







Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Emergency Grant Giveaway Starts Today! Families In Korah Need Our Help. Everyone Welcome to participate


We are saddened by the recent devastation and number of displaced families in Korah. These families are in desperate need of your help. As you may have seen on social media, many homes have been leveled, leaving over 200 families homeless. The photos show it was a very scary and emotional day. Tesfaye and Bissy and others are trying to help these families find new housing and get necessities. We want to help as many families as we can. The quicker we get money for rent and supplies to Ethiopia, the quicker we get these families settled into new homes.

 We know that if we all work together, we can help these families whose lives have been turned upside down. Here's what we are asking....

HOW CAN YOU HELP??? First, CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP AS AN AFFILIATE. As you get the word out and send people to the store, they make their purchase and you tell them to click your name at checkout. You receive 40% of that purchase into your account. The top selling affiliate by the end of the day on Sunday (minimum of $500) will receive a $500 grant! You can have that grant applied to a future OH trip, sent to another organization, or used for an adoption. 
PLUS
We will MATCH that grant and give $500 to the Korah Relief Fund. 
We have also listed Korah Relief Fund as an affiliate to receive the extra 40% if that name is clicked at checkout. 

 CLICK HERE to see items we have added to the store that these families are in desperate need of (blankets, mattresses, etc). We welcome you to make a purchase. If you are wanting to become an affiliate then we are asking you to get the word out that we need help to provide these families with the basic necessities that we all take for granted! Send emails, post on Facebook, instagram, twitter, etc. Remind them to select your name at checkout, but ask your friends and family to please consider buying an item or two for these families! We are sending money over every few days, so your donations will be in the hands of these people within the week!! 

DETAILS OF THE GRANT GIVEAWAY: The grant giveaway will run from TODAY, Wednesday, Dec 17th  through Sunday, Dec. 21. We know this is short notice, but the need is immediate and critical! The top selling affiliate will receive a $500 grant (if they reach $500 in sales), and Ordinary Hero will also match that grant and send $500 to Ethiopia to be spent on these families.

WHAT IF I'M NO LONGER FUNDRAISING?? - That is no problem! You can still sign up as an affiliate and participate in the grant giveaway! We will hold it for you and you can put it toward a future trip with us OR, you could always DONATE your grant to the Korah relief fund, as well!!

With each purchase you will receive an email with this picture attached that can be printed as a Christmas card and given to show that you have given this Christmas on a loved one's behalf. 


Be sure you're following OH fundraising on Facebook, and you can just hit 'share' on the posts during the grant giveaway. We will post multiple times a day, highlighting different items these families need.

We look forward to seeing what a force for good our Ordinary Heroes can be over the next few days!! This is an excellent way to fundraise for TWO important causes! 
 Email any questions to Beverly@ordinaryhero.org


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Korah Needs Our Immediate Help


LOOKING FOR A WAY TO BLESS SOMEONE IN DESPERATE NEED THIS CHRISTMAS? 
HERE IS YOUR OPPORTUNITY. 

 Korah is a community in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia that has won the hearts of many Ordinary Hero team members who have visited and many of you who have sponsored children and families from this community. These people live within the city dump. They are the poorest of the poor. Their survival comes from the dump because they have no where else to go. Now, in a matter of a day, their homes that they built themselves out of things they found from the dump, are no more. Their homes have been destroyed in an effort to clear the dump and hundreds of people, men, women, and children, are left completely homeless with nowhere for their children to lay their head. It is very sad!


 The parents bear the weight of their children who are trying to figure out what is going on.


 Many are left to sleep with no covering at all.



 Homes that were once there are now left in piles of rubble while the families struggle to figure out what to do next.





 Ordinary Hero has partnered with Pastor Tesfaye and his church for the past year and a half to help find family sponsors within that community. Our goal is to help them become completely self sustained through a trade within 3-4 years. Pastor Tesfaye has expressed to us the immediate, urgent, emergency relief need in the Korah community due to the homes being destroyed.



Ordinary Hero's Ethiopian Representative and Guest House Manager, Bisrat, has also been helping Pastor Tesfaye asses the needs of the people. Both Tesfaye and Bissy are from the Korah community and their hearts for the people there are huge and they have been working tirelessly each day to help give the families hope during this overwhelming time of need. 




Pastor Tesfaye has opened his office compound and church to over 90 of the displaced people. They have come to him looking for help. He is doing the best he can to provide them some immediate assistance but he has admitted that the need is overwhelming. 

 SO HOW CAN YOU HELP? 


There are several ways you can help...

If you would like to make a donation toward emergency relief, which will provide the families with temporary housing in order for them to leave Tesfaye's compound and have a roof over their head, you may donate HERE.   http://org.grouprev.com/korahrelieffund


If you would like to purchase specific items to provide immediate relief, CLICK HERE. Tesfaye said their greatest immediate needs are mattresses, sheets and blankets for housing. You may purchase those in our online store and the funds will be sent for immediate purchase. This is a great way to provide the exact needed items for their emergency relief. 
ALSO, We will be launching an OH Grant Giveaway for all of our affiliates starting TOMORROW, WEDNESDAY, DEC 17 through SUNDAY, DEC 21. The affiliate that sells the most donation items with a minimum of $500 will receive a $500 grant giveaway and we will MATCH that and give Korah relief fund a $500 grant as well. Remember that all affiliates receive 40% of sales toward your fundraising. We will also have KORAH RELIEF listed as an affiliate in the drop down menu as an added help to the Korah community. For more info on becoming an Ordinary Hero fundraising affiliate, CLICK HERE. 


Finally, if you would like to sponsor one of these families in need within the Korah community, CLICK HERE. For $50 per month you can provide a family with ongoing support of rent, food, and healthcare, with the goal to have them earn a trade and be self sufficient within 3-4 years. You will receive pictures and updates at least twice per year. If you choose to travel to Ethiopia on one of our teams then you will have the opportunity to meet your sponsored family. Please contact kblevins@ordinaryhero.org with any questions.

Thank you for your support of these families during this very difficult time! We are believing that through this, awareness will be raised, and in the end they will be better off than before. Unless you have  personally seen the circumstances that these families live in, it is very difficult to explain in words. You can ask any one of our team members and they will tell you first hand what it is like. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Blessing Bag Christmas Challenge!


Looking for a way to give back this Christmas? 
WE GOT IT!

Our goal is to get 3,000 blessing bags donated over the holiday season. Yes, you read that right three thousand! This may sound out of reach, but Ordinary Hero has so many supporters across the United States, that we would like to challenge 30 team captains to get 100 blessing bags donated for just $30/pc. Each group will then gather and stuff blessing bags and distribute them to the needy in your area or they can be sent to Africa with our teams. OUR NASHVILLE GROUP WILL MEET SUNDAY, DECEMBER 21ST AT 4PM (Location TBD). Blessing Bags will be distributed to children and families in need residing at the Nashville Rescue Mission as well as select Nashville Inner City Schools. 

Blessing bags are a neatly compacted package that allows ordinary heroes all over the world to distribute desperately needed items to those in need. Blessing bags for children include shirt, pants, socks, underwear, a personal care item, and a small toy. Blessing Bags for adults include personal care items like miniature shampoo, soap, chapstick, laundry pods, chapstick, socks, gloves, toothpaste, toothbrush, etc. Personalized notes of encouragement are also great to include and something that the kids have fun making. 

Each blessing bag will be "purchased" through Ordinary Hero and then team captains will organize their packing party through an Ordinary Hero representative. Blessing Bag Packing Parties can be a great way to get the kids and family involved in giving back this holiday season. 

If you are interested in being a team leader, CLICK HERE to set up your team page. You will then send folks to that page to make their Blessing Bag $30 donation. Each team leader's goal is to get 100 Blessing Bags donated through your team page. You can assign 10 people under your team to get 10 Blessing Bags donated each, etc, or divide the goal among your group however you see fit. 
This is a great project for offices, small groups, etc.

If you would simply like to purchase a Blessing Bag for $30 to help us reach our goal of helping 3000 children in need this holiday season, CLICK HERE

THAT'S NOT ALL!!


The team leader or group that meets the goal of 100 Blessing Bag donations through their page will recieve a $1500 GRANT to be given to the nonprofit, adoptive family, or OH Ethiopia Trip member of your choice. 

Thank you so much for getting involved, TAKING THE BLESSING BAG CHALLENGE, and helping us reach our goal of giving away 3000 Blessing Bags this Christmas season! 
DEADLINE IS DECEMBER 15 (two weeks, people! We can do this! ) :-) 


Friday, November 7, 2014

Purpose Driven Life - Medical Missions From Afar

When I was a very young child, I knew I wanted to be a pediatric nurse. There was rarely a doubt in my mind; except for the time I thought I could be a rock star or a well published author, but truly God had given me the desire to help people medically at a very early age. So like any Type A personality would do, I planned out my life down to the days. I had a job before I graduated from nursing school, worked for a few years, set out as a traveling nurse, and then...got extremely burned out. Yes, life happened! Nursing was beginning to wear me down. The long nights, working holidays, and the death of children (I was an ICU nurse in various Children's Hospitals) were too much for me. I began to question God as to why He would put this desire in my heart for me to have burn out after just 8 years.

Life continued, work went on, I got married and we started a family. I then became a stay at home mom...my new dream! It was perfect for me and I was enjoying that time until life happened again and I was diagnosed with a cancer. I began to see why God allowed nursing to be a career of mine. It allayed a lot of my fears as I knew what was going to be happening, and I could easily explain it to my family members. This was such a blessing!



However, after that was said and done, I had no idea how God would continue to use my knowledge and skill in healthcare...until a year later when I met a little girl in Ethiopia on my first trip with Ordinary Hero.

Her name is Mekedse, she is 11 years old and has a fatal heart condition if not treated. She was born with this and quite honestly it is a miracle that she is still alive today. However, it is beginning to take its toll on her little body and she is feeling the effects of it more and more with each passing day.
I was alerted to her condition by her father when he said she had a "tired heart" on her sponsorship form." Immediately I knew. I remembered her not wanting to run around and play, saying she was tired. When I saw her again, 9 months later, I assessed her and listened to her with my stethoscope and knew she had two holes in her heart. I knew right then that God was asking me to do something. To use the talents He had given me for His glory. To work hard and advocate for this little girl as she was going to be used by Him as well to further His kingdom. So with the help of the Ordinary Hero staff in Ethiopia, Gift of Life International, and Heart Trust, I was able to announce last week that Mek is going to be given the gift of life through heart surgery in the United States! God heard our prayers and answered. It was a long process with many tears shed and prayers cried out, but it was all worth it as God has already used Mek's story to soften the hearts of so many people!



And now - well, there is another little girl named Amarech. Friends, this precious little girl was brought to my attention several weeks ago and she is in desperate need of a heart surgery as well. I mean extreme need! After speaking with her sponsor about her condition, we sent her to clinic for an ECHO and it was determined that she has Chronic Rheumatic Heart Failure. Basically, her heart is failing due to an untreated strep throat. Something so easily treatable here in America went untreated there due to lack of resources and it has ruined her heart and it will eventually cause her to die. The two main valves in her heart are severely damaged and she has already developed pulmonary hypertension, meaning the pressure in her lungs is too high. She is on 7 different medications for these issues but none of them are helping as her lips are blue as are her hands. She is not oxygenating well. She is fatigued to wear she can't walk far and has to rest frequently.
BUT GOD... I pause here because I had written out something different five days ago here but her story has changed now. The day we received confirmation for Mekedse's heart surgery, I also got an email from another organization saying they couldn't help Mek but were sending her records to a physician in another country who probably could. I took a deep breath and emailed back letting them know that Mek had been selected for surgery but that I had another little girl who was in desperate need and asked if we could submit her instead. The answer was a resounding "yes." And now we wait with high hopes for this child as well.



I am not just telling you these things to share my stories and how God is using my nursing abilities across the ocean. I share for two reasons. Number one, is because I hope you can see just how big our God is and how He truly does work all things together for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). I used to hear that verse and think "yeah, well that's nice but..." Friends, He really does do just what that verse says! He works ALL things out for our good and His glory!!! It may not look how we want or expect it to look, and there may be pain, tears, and doubt in the process. However, if we are walking in accordance with His will, then it will always be for our good and His glory.

The second reason I share is because you can become part of stories like these. Yes you! We need monthly medical sponsors for Entoto Mountain and Korah. Clinic visits, tests, medications, and hospital stays begin to add up and we are unable to fund them all. We also cannot just expect the children's sponsors to be able to fund these extra costs as they arise. So we are searching for people who would like to be a medical sponsor for either Entoto Mountain or Korah. If you sign up for this, I commit to sending you monthly updates on who the medical fund has benefitted that month and what their issue/s were. If possible, I will also send you a photo of the person whom I am referring to so that you know who I am referencing. If this is something that you are interested in or would like to learn more about, please email me at KBlevins@ordinaryhero.org
I would love to have you join me in this "medical mission from afar"!!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Our Annual Halloween Outreach Is Approaching! Come Join Us!

 Join us, October 25 from 1-3pm,  for our 8th Annual Halloween Outreach with the children residing at the Nashville Rescue Mission! We are hosting a Trunk Or Treat at the Family Life Center Women's Mission. This is a wonderful outreach to bring the family and show some love to the mothers and children who call the Nashville Rescue Mission home. 

What do we need? 
Decorated cars to open your trunk for some little ones to come by and find some treats and a warm smile!



We need costumes for these little ones. You may donate a new or slightly used costume or you may donate $30 for the purchase of a costume. 




Volunteers! 





We need some hands to help get the little ones fitted for their costumes. 
We need some hands to help with the event. 
We would also love for you to just come down and interact and get to know some of these families. It is a great way to get outside your own neighborhood and be a friend to someone who could use one. 

Do you have a talent or a game? Can you make balloons, face paint, etc.? We would love to have you join us and use your talent to bless some of these little ones. Hit us up with your ideas!

Contact info@ordinaryhero.org with any questions and inquiries of helping us out.





 Enjoy this video to give you an idea of how this outreach has been a blessing in all our years past.