Friday, May 30, 2008

Cui Cui Says Thank You

Dear uncles and aunties of LWB,

I am a lucky girl who was sponsored by LWB, I am Cui Cui. I am studying in KunMing University in YunNan province, my major is accounting.

First of all I‘d like to say “Thank you VERY MUCH”on behalf of my parents, thank you for all the help you have done for me. I am a lucky and unlucky girl. Unluckily I have a cleft lip and palate and my family is poor; luckily I met you in 2005. You arranged a surgery for me free of charge; you sponsored me going to university. With your help and sponsorship and concern I feel I am the luckiest girl in the world. Now I began my brand new life. I am very glad to see now my parents don’t worry about my tuition anymore. With your sponsorship I can enter the university and have a brand new life.

I am doing vey well in the university. My teachers and my classmates are very nice to me and I have made some good friends as well. In the last semester my schoolwork ranks No.1 in my class. I will continue studying hard and won’t disappoint you. Among all the subjects I like accounting; English; computer science and Chinese. Comparing to last semester there are more subjects this semester. I also joined my university’s the Association of Young Volunteers. I am always moved by what you have done for me. I can feel from you that Love is So Great! I am always eager to help others like you and bring happiniess and joy to others. I am very happy I am a volunteer now and I can do something I like.

I believe I will finish my studying in my university smoothly with your help and sponsorship. I really appreciate you! Finally I wish LWB better and better! I wish you happy every day!

A girl who was sponsored by you,
Cui Cui
April 2008

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sports Day

The teachers and manager of Believe in Me Huainan, Anhui held a
“Sports Day” for the children of the program. At our daughters’ schools it would be similar to “Field Day”.

All of the children from the preschool classes, kindergarten-prep class, and the tutoring class participated and, from the pictures and video, everyone had great fun! Here is what our manager reports:

"The sport meeting this afternoon was very successful. The children were doing well and very active under teachers’ instruction. The classroom was filled with laughter. We all felt that since the school was set up, every child has changed a lot and made big progress everyday. These special-need children need more love and patient care. Teachers and aids have devoted so much to our kids. The achievement achieved is the result of the teachers’ persistent hard work. It is a great relief to see these brilliant faces of the children in the photos.

This sports meeting gave a great opportunity for them to learn to be part of a team. Both tug-of-war and parallel walking (three legged race) require close cooperation between kids. We taught the kids “Friendship First, Competition Second”. It is important for them to participate, and in the end every student got the prizes. We taught them to face victory and defeat with a calm mind, and believe that perseverance makes success!"



















Apparently the children enjoyed the tug-of-war activities the best and many also enjoyed jump rope. All of the children were given books and treats for participating. What a fun day for children anyway around the world!

video

Sandy Hartman, Karin Cooper, & Wendy Thacker
Believe in Me Huainan, Anhui Team

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Help for JD

Occasionally LWB learns of families who are living in such difficult circumstances that they are barely getting by. Recently we were asked if there was any way that we could help a little boy living in the Hunan province. JD was born with cleft lip and had lived 10 years without it being repaired. Many years ago, he was picked up in the street by a warm-hearted man who had special needs himself (he had only one hand and leg.) He took JD home with him and raised him as his son. This man had also taken in an older girl who had been orphaned as well, and together they formed a loving family through adoption.




Sadly, four years ago, this man passed away and so now the two children are living with his elderly mother. So many people have suggested to the grandmother that she should send JD away to another home, but she cannot even think of doing that because she feels he is truly her grandson. A middle school teacher in their town heard about JD and asked LWB if there was any way we could provide free surgery for him so that he could face the world with a new smile. In partnership with the new Operation Smile hospital in Hangzhou, we were able to arrange for this surgery to be done.



Our hearts were so touched by the love of this family that we wanted to learn more about their situation. We learned that this family is under tremendous financial strain. JD’s elder sister, who is just 16, is now the sole financial provider of the family. Grandmother, who is in her eighties, is doing her best to grow rice for the family to live on, but it is not enough. JD is small for his age most likely because they are often only eating 2 meals of rice a day. He is also not doing very well academically due to the long distance he must walk to school each day (over 3 km) and the lack of funds for sufficient nutrition and school supplies.

LWB has committed to helping this family formed and surviving through adoption! A total of $600 per year will supply all that JD and his family need to provide opportunities for academic success. Two sponsors are needed to donate $25 per month to provide:
· School Supplies
· Clothing,
· Nutritional Support
· Tutors

These items and services will strengthen JD’s opportunity to become a strong and independent member of his community when he reaches adulthood. We believe this is truly an opportunity for two sponsors to completely change the life of a child.

JD’s sponsors will receive photos and updates of his health and academic progress quarterly. Sponsors will also be able to write short notes of encouragement to JD and his family.

To learn how to help JD please go to http://www.lovewithoutboundaries.com/SponsorEducationChild.cfm

Monday, May 26, 2008

It Only Takes a Spark to Get a Fire Glowing

Back in my summer camp days, I used to sing a song that began, “It only takes a spark, to get a fire glowing…” Usually, it was one of the first songs sung around a campfire and the words to those lyrics never fail to remind me of those feelings of friendship and community.

I was thinking of those words after
Love Without Boundaries Education recently accepted a check for over $9,800.
It all began with a spark.

Some time ago, a young college woman worked as a nanny for a family that had adopted a daughter from China. In the course of her relationship with this family, she learned about Love Without Boundaries and the work that LWB does. The young woman went on to graduate and become involved in professional life. As part of her professional life, the woman became an advisor to college students in the US based National Association of College and University Residence Halls, NACURH, Inc.

In the Fall of 2007, NACURH was looking for a charity to focus its philanthropic efforts upon. An advisor and former nanny suggested Love Without Boundaries as a possibility. And, the rest, as they say, is history.

NACURH did indeed select LWB as its focus for charity. Member campuses around the USA were challenged to host fundraisers to benefit LWB Education – specifically to raise funds for music teachers in our Believe In Me School programs. NACURH members responded in enthusiastic and creative ways sponsoring “Battle of the Bands” contests, auctions, charity softball games and more.

The spark that began within a family to adopt from China has affected so many lives. These funds will be used for music teachers and instruments in our Believe In Me schools, and will also help to sponsor one young woman in our Mama’s Wish program to attend college. She will be majoring in Tibetan Music! Funds will also go toward education for victims of the recent earthquake in China.

Thank you. Such small words to express the gratitude we hold for all the students that will make music and learning possible for so many children and students in China that could not experience it any other way. Thank you NACURH from the bottom of our hearts for what you have made possible.

Those interested in learning more about LWB Education programs and students in immediate need of assistance can go to: http://www.lovewithoutboundaries.com/education.cfm


Linda Mitchell
Associate Director of Education


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Britt's Quilts for China

A few months ago Britt found out that she was going to get a new cousin. This is not so unusual until you hear the story of her Aunt and Uncle and their family. You see they already have a big family. George, DJ, Sarah, Luke, Carrie, Mark, Christy and Mom and Dad. The story starts almost two years ago when Sarah was invited on a trip to China with a family who was going to adopt a young girl.

As she was preparing for this trip Sarah’s mom Suzanne began thinking about children. She could take on another child and raise her. Maybe she could even take two. When she approached her husband Darrell he was a little taken back. They decided that this was the path they should take. The ball was in their court and Suzanne ran with it. After a lot of work and prayers they were given notice that Li Wan was waiting for them in China. Eight year old Christy (Li Wan) became an adopted member of their family in August of 2006.



When the news came that their second child was ready to be adopted, Britt was asked if she would like to send a few quilts to the orphanage where her new cousin was coming from. Britt responded with this project. She presented her ideas to her church youth group and they wanted to help also. So on a Wednesday night in November of 2007 , ten girls and eight leaders came to the church gym armed with fabric, batting, sewing machines, and chocolate.






During this one evening 30 quilts were made for children who were residing at 3 different orphanages in China. The quilts were then quilted by another Aunt. Rocky Mountain Quilters, a local quilt guild also lovingly made and donated another 20 quilts.






All of these quilts were sent to Suzanne who packed them into airtight bags and put them into boxes for mailing to two of the orphanages and in her luggage for their adopted daughter‘s orphanage. Suzanne, Darrell and Christy left for China with Britt’s quilts and came back with a nine year old girl named Gracie. Along this journey many lives have been changed for the better.


The world is truly a wonderful place when people work together to help others!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Mama's Wish Students Help Earthquake Victims


When the earthquake struck last week our Mama's Wish students wanted to do whatever they could to help, so they organized a donation drive at the TongRen School. While the loose change collected did not total a very high amount, the generosity and concern shown by these students, who have so little, is immeasurable. Today our China Associate Director of Education (who was born in Chengdu and whose family still lives there) received the following email from our students:

Dear Sister,

We saw the earthquake in Sichuan on TV. We feel very sad and we all know that you are from Sichuan. You must feel so sad. We hope you are feeling not too sad. Please take good care of yourself. Today our school has a donation event for this tragedy. All of Mama's Wish teachers and
students have participated. We will gather together and pray for the dead, hope they will have peace. We will pray for the survivors and hope they will be safe.

Wish you good health.
Mama's Wish


Over and over these students have shown what loving hearts they have - from teaching rural children in their villages during winter breaks to repairing the roof of an elderly person's home to collecting donations from their own impoverished community to help earthquake victims - and we are all so proud of them. The students tell us that they learned to do good things for other people from their sponsors, who have shown them that an act of love and support is best when paid forward, not back. Our students have so little, and yet they give so much.

Angela Taylor
Associate Director of Education

Monday, May 19, 2008

Earthquake Update

One week ago today a 7.9 magnitude earthquake devastated Sichuan Province and surrounding areas. Since then the reports have been grim. The death toll has climbed to 32,476 people nationwide, 220,109 people have been injured. Aftershocks have been estimated in the thousands with one on Sunday as big as 6.1. Landslides have hindered rescue efforts and flooding remains a constant fear.



A tragedy of huge proportions to be sure. But, within this great devastation are stories of great compassion and heroism. There are stories of people loading food, clothing, tents and water into their cars and driving to the affected areas to help; taxi drivers lined up for hours to take the injured to the hospital; people waiting in line for hours to donate blood and offers to adopt children orphaned by this earthquake. It seems the worst in Mother Nature brings out the best in Human Nature.


We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from our donors. We are posting updates on our website as soon as we receive news from our staff in China http://www.lovewithoutboundaries.com/earthquake.cfm.



We have also set up an “Earthquake Relief Fund” where 100% of donations received will go to help children affected by this tragedy. We will focus our efforts on orphanages and orphaned children needing assistance. We are unable to get assistance immediately to the orphanages affected as many roads are blocked. However, we have spoken to Chinese government officials and have pledged that we will assist wherever we can once the long-term implications of the quake are known. Additionally, an LWB Board member will be meeting with the CCAA next week about how we can best help children and orphanages affected by this disaster.



Unfortunately, we have been told to expect many more children to be orphaned due to this tragedy. Because of this, orphanages will need assistance with basic supplies and medical care to help meet the needs of these children. We may also be able to help with building repairs so the children can be safely moved back into the orphanages. Funds may also be used to help children who are not orphaned. We thank you for your generosity in helping us to help children of China.

https://www.lovewithoutboundaries.com/donate.cfm?category=147&child_id=0


Our heartfelt condolences are sent for lives lost and damage incurred as a result of this disaster.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Erik



I have a new update about Erik, a little 5 year-old blind boy, that I’d like to share regarding his future enrollment at a School for the Blind. He had previously traveled to another city to be seen at a School for the Blind.




School teachers recently traveled to his town and his foster family's home and evaluated Erik and taught his foster mother some things. Erik is too reliant on her for enrollment at this time, so he needs more training in his ability to be independent. Teachers should come and train him more in the future. Since his file has also been submitted for adoption, we are not sure yet which road this sweet little boy will be on in a year.

We hope he will be provided a forever family of his own soon.


We are grateful for those who help us with Love Without Boundaries' Foster Care program as we try to touch the lives of these children.










You can read more about our Foster Care program at: http://www.lovewithoutboundaries.com/foster.cfm

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Turning a Checkup into a Java Event!

It was her turn to go see the doctor… it was inevitable… but how do you turn a potentially traumatic day into a fun-filled event? Starbucks of course!

I know that when you think of a typical toddler you don’t always think of Starbucks. But, when you see these photos you will see that she seemed to be having fun getting a lot of extra attention. It appears she even received her own “age appropriate” snack.







Niu was treated like a very treasured little girl by Heartbridge staff. It reminded me of how any one of us might take our child out for a special treat after going to see the doctor. One of the many benefits of Heartbridge is that the children receive more individualized attention and have a familiar hand to hold during the scary and confusing moments of life.

Heartbridge provides care to children who are either preparing for or recovering from surgery. Some kids were underweight, had chronic infections or needed a higher level of care than could be provided at their orphanage homes. Through a partnership with New Hope Foundation in Beijing, an 18 bed unit for pre- and post-operative children was
created to help children build strength and facilitate healing.







To read more about Heartbridge visit us at:
http://www.lovewithoutboundaries.com/projects_heartbridge.cfm


Wendy Petersen RN
Heartbridge Coordinator

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Earthquake in China

On Monday, May 12, 2008 a 7.9 magnitude earthquake hit Sichuan Province shortly before 2:30 PM local time. The earthquake was reported to have rumbled for 3 minutes toppling buildings, schools, hospitals and a chemical plant. Estimates of the number of fatalities have already reached 12,000 and continue to rise.


The earthquake epicenter was Wenchuan, 60 miles northwest of Chengdu—the provincial capital, but was felt as far away as Beijing (930 miles). There have been 313 confirmed aftershocks.


Much of the area is without power and water, telephone lines are down and internet connection is intermittent. Gas lines have been turned off due to the aftershocks. Heavy rains in the area have created landslides and left the roads impassable in many areas.


Our heartfelt condolences are sent for lives lost and damage incurred as a result of this disaster. LWB has been in contact with our staff in China and they are trying to assess the situation as it relates to the children in LWB programs and those orphanages impacted. The devastation has been tremendous making communication very difficult and it will be some time before we know the full extent of this tragedy.


We have set up a page on our website dedicated to ‘Earthquake News & Relief’. We will post updated information at http://www.lovewithoutboundaries.com/earthquake.cfm.



We have also set up an Earthquake Relief Fund to provide immediate assistance to those in need. If you are interested in contributing to this fund please go to https://www.lovewithoutboundaries.com/donate.cfm and select “Earthquake Relief” as the category.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Art Collections


One day my daughter was fingering her collection of key chains dangling from her backpack and asked me, “Mom, what do you collect”?

I had to slow down and think about that because what first came to mind was flippant—dust, books and newspapers next to my bedside table, grocery store receipts in my pocketbook! Generally, I purposely avoid collecting “stuff”. I dislike clutter.

However, I dug deep and was able to answer honestly that I collect my children’s artwork.


The walls of our family’s garage are completely plastered with my kid’s artwork from school. On Labor Day weekend, we hold an informal art show, save a few keepsakes and enjoy our “ripping party” as we clear the walls for next year.

That answer satisfied my daughter and made me think of all the kids in our Believe In Me School programs that create art as part of their school experience….who is collecting and cherishing their artwork?

Today, I offer you a small and unique collection of art produced by the wonderful students in our Believe In Me School at Jingzhou in Hubei Province. These children are absolutely alive with the delight of having a chance to draw and color and create with purpose—to delight their teachers, to share with a friend and have photographed by our school’s manager for their sponsor.

Take a couple of moments and enjoy these beautiful pieces of art!

To learn more about our Believe In Me School please go to our website at http://www.lovewithoutboundaries.com/education_believe_in_me.cfm



Linda Mitchell
Believe In Me Jingzhou Coordinator

Friday, May 09, 2008

We Love You Nana!




No trip back to my beloved Loudi Foster Care program would ever be complete without a sit down in "Nana's" home. This wonderful woman who has nurtured so many foster children is no longer a foster parent, but time is always made for that welcome visit. This time I had another LWB volunteer with me, Melissa our Loudi PT coordinator, who was on pins and needles with excitement to meet our legendary foster mom--a woman with fun, laughing eyes and so much love for the children. I had a special book to show her:




a copy of LWB's "Love's Journey 2: The Red Thread" was tucked into my bag so that I could convince this wonderful lady of how the world now knows of her gentle, selfless nurture.

She quickly brought out a small table and laid it with biscuits for us, clicked on the kettle for tea, and then, with such warmth in her eyes, looked over the book She, I think, was finding it unbelievable that she should appear in this glossy, beautiful book. I hugged that woman yet again and thanked her for being her. I sent her the love of the children now adopted to their great and super Nana!








You can read Nana's story on page 83 of the book and are sure to love all the other wonderful photos and stories on the over 250 pages in this book as well. If you don't yet have a copy, ordering information can be found at http://store01.prostores.com/servlet/lwbshop/Detail?no=47 . All proceeds go to help the children in China in LWB's programs.

Julie Flynn Coleman
Loudi Foster Care Coordinator

Monday, May 05, 2008

Auction Thank You!

The results are in, and our 2008 “Born in my Heart” art auction raised over $35,000! That is enough to provide emergency surgery to SEVEN children who we otherwise would not be able to help. We cannot thank you enough, as the worth of those seven lives is simply immeasurable!

This year’s donations were the most beautiful yet, and we thank everyone who used their time, talents and resources to provide “gifts of the heart” for this annual fundraiser. And of course we thank all of our supporters for bidding generously and making these surgeries possible. We also thank our amazing group of auction volunteers who have been working behind the scenes for months. This has truly been a group effort, and LWB feels incredibly blessed by all of you!


Immediately after last year’s auction, we were able to send adorable little Chen (above) to have heart surgery. She’d had such a difficult time, and we had a very narrow window of opportunity for providing her operation. We were able to arrange her surgery on very short notice, and later were able to have her club feet casted and straightened. Chen has now been chosen for adoption, and we can’t wait to hear soon that she will be home in the arms of her new family!

Please watch our website for news of next year’s auction. We should begin posting details some time in the fall.

Once again, we sincerely thank you for being a part of our story of HOPE!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Goodbye Charlie

One of the hazards of volunteering for LWB is that it is hard not to become attached to the children in our programs as we read about them every month and watch them blossom and grow. Of course there is nothing better than the news that a child has been chosen off a list and will soon have a forever family. From what we have been told, next month we will also have to say goodbye to another child in our program. His name is Charlie and you may recognize him as he is one of the kids whose photo appears on the homepage when the pictures randomly change. I always looked forward to reading his reports and seeing a photo of his deep brown eyes.



Charlie is a typical 4 year-old little boy full of fun and mischief. He is in our Anhui foster care program. Charlie is also a LWB Medical Child. I met Charlie in Hefei in October 2006 when he came for an evaluation by the cleft team. My “office” was in the same room where they did the pediatric screening for cleft surgery. I would always wander over to the examination table every couple of minutes to lend a hand…aka a good excuse not do my own computer work because it was more fun to hang out with the kids. I remember Charlie very well because he was quite social and older than the other babies who came for surgery. He was such a good little boy when Dr. Melloy was examining him. She was moving his legs all around, bending his knees, moving his hips one way then the other to get his range of motion. Charlie didn’t fuss at all. He just had this look on his face, “wake me when this is over lady.” He had been diagnosed as having CP but on examination Dr. Melloy felt his physical limitations were the result of polio. This diagnosis has not stopped Charlie and on his foster care reports it says and he can run fast, although one leg does trail behind.



I am so happy to report that next month Charlie will soon be with a forever family and will be living in sunny Spain! What lucky parents to have such a treasure in a son. Charlie's adoptive parents sent a gift to him and when LWB Foster Care volunteers visited his program last month they were able to deliver it to him. It was awesome to read about Charlie as they reported the excited look on his face as he opened his treasures. I am sorry for the loss the foster family will feel as they have done an outstanding job raising Charlie.





Goodbye Charlie, we will miss you. We wish for you a wonderful life.







Heidi Reitz
Foster Care Director