Tuesday, November 24, 2015

#GivingTuesday - Give the Gift of Christmas

On Tuesday, December 1, 2015, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: 

to celebrate and encourage giving.

#GivingTuesday is a day to donate toward your favorite cause and make a statement that you're choosing to GIVE this holiday season. You don’t have to be a world leader or a billionaire to give back. #GivingTuesday is about ordinary people coming together to do extraordinary things.

In 2014, approx. $9.1 billion was spent on Black Friday.
A few days later, 45.6 million was given to non-profits on #GivingTuesday.
Join us in flipping those statistics and showing the world that it's better to give than to receive.

This year, Ordinary Hero is excited to join in on the #GivingTuesday movement, and we want you to experience the joy of giving with us! We are inviting our OH family to give the Gift of Christmas this #GivingTuesday. 

The donations given this #GivingTuesday will allow us to bless our ministries with a Christmas to remember. Christmas in Ethiopia is a beautiful time of celebration. As a historically Christian country, Ethiopians honor the birth of Christ and celebrate with family, feasts, music, and time spent at church. This Christmas we would love to make sure every family and child within our programs have the opportunity to enjoy a special Christmas meal. 

So what we're saying is... 

Our goal is to provide almost 1,100 people in Ethiopia with a special Christmas meal! 

On December 2nd we will announce the amount we were able to raise and, of course, post pictures and video of the Christmas feasts we were able to create. But don't forget, Ethiopia celebrates Christmas on January 7th :)

To help us promote our #GivingTuesday campaign, share our posts leading up to #Giving Tuesday on Dec. 1st, and make your own! Take a selfie, hashtag #Unselfie and #GivingTuesday, and tell the story of why you plan on giving to Ordinary Hero on December 1st. Don't forget to tag us, and we'll share your post!

Not one for posting selfies? We understand. Right click and download this cute little guy, share, and let the world know why you're supporting us next week. 

We love you all and can't wait to see all the good that this day brings! If you would like to give before December 1st, NO PROBLEM! Follow the link below to give: 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Pennsylvania 5K Race, Saving Lives

Leave it to the next generation to change the world! Below is the story of three high schoolers and their brilliant plan to support the medical needs of our sponsored families in Ethiopia through a school project. 

Lack of resources for simple medical care prove to be life threatening for families living in third-world poverty. The money raised through this 5K will, without a doubt, save and improve countless lives as it is applied to the medical needs of our sponsored families. 

If you are in the Pennsylvania area, consider joining this amazing cause. All details are below. If you're not in the area, consider what you can do to change the world for one, right where you are... 
"Our names are Lauren Gronbeck, Madison Graner, and Jenna Snavely, and we are seniors at Eden Christian Academy. 
At Eden, every senior is required to do a "Senior Project." These projects can include everything from broomball tournaments to shoe drives. Since we all run on Eden's cross-country team, we thought a 5K would be the perfect project for us. At the onset, we had no idea of the incredible amount of work that goes into one of these races! However, we are determined to "go big or go home," and the fact that you are reading this right now means that we are halfway to accomplishing our goal! 
We decided to raise money for an organization called Ordinary Hero. Ordinary Hero is an advocacy organization that partners with impoverished communities, advocates for the vulnerable, and empowers ordinary people to change the life of a child.  Last year, Madison served on a mission trip with this organization and saw first-hand how Ordinary Hero is making a tangible difference in Ethiopia.  
The branch of Ordinary Hero that we are supporting provides medical care to Ethiopians in their sponsorship programs. This is a big undertaking, and any donations help. You don't have to be a superhero to be a hero in the life of a child!"  
Saturday, November 21st, 2015

North Park Boathouse
10301 Pearce Mill Road
Allison Park, PA 15101

Race Starts at 10AM 

If you would like to register for the race, click here: https://runsignup.com/Race/Register/?raceId=25977

If you are not able to attend but would like to donate toward this cause, click here: http://ordinaryhero.donorpages.com/DonatetoOrdinaryHeroFoundation/Hero5K/

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Orphan Sunday

Statistics show that there are over 153 million orphans in the world. To put that in perspective, the population of Tennessee, Kentucky, and Georgia combined make up ONLY about 21 million people.

But the reality is, majority of Americans, the most resourced people in the world, are either unaware or unequipped to act.

In honor of #OrphanSunday and #OrphanAwarenessMonth, we want to tell you a story that hopefully inspires you to change the world for one. Stories must be told in order to turn statistics into people. Below is the story of a 19-year-old girl from one of our partner ministries in Ethiopia. This ministry rescues street children and orphans, shares the love of Jesus with them, and houses them amongst three Centers. Lemlem, a friend of many, gives us a rare perspective into what it’s like to spend your life growing up in an orphanage. Lemlem told us that we could share her story with anyone, so that people may be inspired. So… Be inspired.
“My name is Lemlem. I am 19 years old. I am from Ethiopia, which is in Africa. My mom passed away when I was 4 years old. This was a hard time for me even though I was a kid, because there was no one who could take care of me at that time. I didn’t have any relatives. Just me, 4 years old, by myself. I still don’t know who my father is, but I heard that when my mom was pregnant with me he left her. He was a car driver and passed away in a car accident. That is all I know about my father. 
But after my parents passed, there was a woman that told my mom’s neighbor about an orphanage that has kids who lost their parents. After that they put me in the orphanage, and I began a new life. 
I was a happy girl. I accepted Jesus Christ as my savior and started a relationship with Jesus. I began a new life with others orphans. Everybody had his or her own story to tell. We loved each other and we were like brothers and sisters. It felt like home. But still, it was a hard life without parents. I was very jealous when I saw children with their parents. I asked God so many times why he took my family away from me. 
I felt more pain about losing my parents once I grew up and understood things better. The different things people would say about orphans made me really mad and I became ashamed of being an orphan. Since most orphans in Ethiopia had bad behavior, people thought that if you were an orphan you were bad. They gave you less expectation. I was just getting tired of being an orphan. I started complaining about my life and arguing with God every day. Sometimes I would get depressed. Sitting on my bed and seeing my mom’s picture, I would cry. 
Then I started to hear about adoption and stuff like that a lot around me and some kids from my orphanage started getting taken to the USA. My mind started thinking about that every single day. One day before I went to bed I asked God one thing, just one thing, to give me a family. To give me another family who can take care of me, love and care about me, and tell me what is good or bad. That was it. I was crying when I asked him that question. I was very hopeless. After that day I just kept asking God to give me a family day after day.  
But God didn’t answer my question for one whole year.  
After I finished sophomore year, during the summer I heard that I had a family who wanted to bring me to the US. That was the best day of my life!! I went to my room and prayed to God for forgiveness for going away from him, for complaining about my life, and I thanked Him for giving me a family. I saw my life change in about 1 year or less. I started my process and got my passport in one month. It was like a dream come true for me. God is good all the time. He wipes away every tear. My favorite verse is John 14:18, “I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you.” He did not leave me as an orphan, He came to me and changed my future. 
I learned through all of this that God has His own perfect timing and His timing is better than mine. I also learned to not only thank him when things are good, but also when things go wrong. Thank Him through everything. When we do that, blessing comes to our life and we make God happy. 
I am very thankful to God for not letting me down! I now have my family, friends, and people around me who love and care about me. Now I am attending school in America and it is such a blessing for me. I am in 12th grade and I am going to graduate this year from High School. 
I have many plans for the future. I want to be a photojournalist and a missionary, and the reason why is because I want to help orphans, street children, and teenagers. My heart hurts when I see those kids. I want to see a smile on their face and tell them the gospel. I believe that God put a passion in everyone’s heart and I believe mine is to help others. I have had a passion to do that from a very young age… Open an orphanage and give hope to the hopeless… a smile to a sad face. My dream is to help these kids by gaining photography skills, taking pictures of them, telling their stories through magazines, and creating fundraising opportunities. I believe that I can do it with God’s help.”

Lemlem’s story is not unlike many others. She is one of many who have found hope and a purpose through the love of a family. This is the very reason we exist!

If you have adopted or are in the process of adopting, today we honor you and believe the step of faith you have taken truly has ‘changed the world for one’… or two. Or ten!

If your heart is beating to do more, below are some ways you can get involved. There is a next step for everyone to take.

How to Get Involved: 

Sponsorship: We believe sponsoring a family living in extreme poverty is the first step in reducing the number of orphans. Many times children living in orphanages actually do have relatives or a parent still alive, but they are too poor to take care of their child. Sponsorship for $50.00/month provides basic necessities for families trying their best to survive, and ultimately keeps families together. To sponsor a child, email kblevins@ordinaryhero.org.

Become a Change Partner: Partner with us and our mission. Our heartbeat is to see children thrive whether that be through adoption or in their own community. We would love for you to partner with us financially as an honorary Change Partner, and you will receive a monthly update from the field on the change your monthly donation is making possible, one life at a time. To become a Change Partner, follow the link: https://interland3.donorperfect.net/weblink/weblink.aspx?name=E247624&id=12

Take a Trip: “Orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They are easier to ignore before you see their faces, it’s easier to pretend they are not real before you hold them in your arms. But once you do, everything changes” – David Platt

If you truly have a heart to make a difference in the life of a child in need, come and see the need for yourself. It will change your life! We take teams to Ethiopia all throughout the year, and we would love for you to join us. Follow the link below for trip dates. http://www.ordinaryhero.org/action/ethiopia.php

Pray about Adopting: Do you feel like God is calling you to adopt? There are many agencies that make international adoption possible for the country of your choice, and we recommend researching those options.  For domestic adoptions, consider looking for more information at 

Advocate: Maybe you’re in college with no money in your pocket, but a heart full of dreams to help those in need. Become an advocate. Share this post and future posts. There is power in awareness, and who knows, your share could inspire another to adopt or sponsor, resulting in changed lives.

We are honored to play our part in orphan awareness. Thank you for standing with us! #ChangetheWorldForOne