Saturday, November 26, 2011

Kids Get It!

Kraig Kirkpatrick buying art work from daughter, Keagan, and niece, Kali.
Some people never seem to get fully engaged in alleviating suffering in our world.  But you can always depend on the kids.  They get it! 

Our grandkids this weekend were awesome!  Braedon, our 11 year old, carefully read the HealthEd Connect Annual Report Thanksgiving morning  He was especially concerned about the statistics regarding the number of orphans in Zambia, women dying in child birth in Congo, and number of people living on less than $2 a day in Malawi.  He summarized the situation by saying, "It looks like Zambia needs more parents, Congo needs Drs. and nurses to deliver babies, and Malawi -- they need a raise!"  So with that vision in mind, Braedon, Brogan, Kali, and Keagan all got together and made crafts the rest of the day to sell to parents and grandparents.  They raised over $75 with major donations coming from their own allowances.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

A colleague at Graceland, Cathy Porter, shared these words of Thanksgiving wisdom recently that she learned from her grandfather.  When she was growing up he would frequently say, "Don't forget to sip from your saucer."  Finally one day Cathy asked him what he meant and he responded, "Your cup runneth over with blessings."

What a wonderful analogy!  As we contemplate the needs in the world and by contrast the abundance with which we have been blessed, we realize not just our cup but our saucer runneth over.

From all of us at HealthEd Connect, have a truly Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Some people climb the Himalayas for fun!

Sherri telling a story to the children in Kathmandu
Muna Malla, health worker supervisor in Nepal, just returned from visiting one of our outpost sites in the Himalayas.    Muna traveled to the little mountain village of Tupche "to supervise and for congregation to bless the new baby." She went on to say the "baby is boy around three kg. Advised for vacction BCG. polio, DPT. Our volunteers also are doing well, gave some medicine. It far remote mountain hill area to walk one way is arround two hours. I am now tired just come back." I had recently been able to send some needed medicines to Muna for the project so she took some with her on this trip. 

HealthEd Connect is registered as Hope for the Himalaya in Nepal.  The Nepalese government is very strict about NGOs and requires an arduous annual registration.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Never too many friends

Lew Shepherdson patiently explaining the world of social media to Sherri
Once again we owe a big THANK YOU to Lew Shepherdson for patiently taking us to the next step in our HealthEd Connect Social Media journey.  Lew's the one that set up the Blog for us many months ago.  Last week he came a day early for the Graceland board meeting so he could spend a time coaching and helping me out.  I'm so excited!  Together Jac and I have 8 email accounts!!  Insane, right?  Lew is helping us get down to one apiece.  Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, his name is Lew and he gives away huge quantities of techie-type knowledge! 

Now Lew is working with our other incredible techie friend, Dave Seagraves who also happens to be our awesome webmaster.  The two of them speak the same language so I just stay out of the way!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Truly Good News!

I received a letter in the mail this week from UNICEF, one of my favorite organizations.  They announced the encouraging news that the annual death toll for children who die every day from preventable causes has dropped yet again -- from 22,000 a day to 21,000.  As UNICEF says "So today, take a moment to congratulate yourself.  Then tomorrow, let's all get back to work.  Because 21,000 children are still dying each day and that is 21,000 too many."

When I first started working in Haiti in 1983, the estimated number of children dying every day was 32,000.  We've made great progress!  A lot of the credit goes to the tireless village health workers who have taught the mothers how to make oral rehydration solution out of sugar, salt, and water to save the lives of the babies suffering from diarrhea.  For those of you who might think saving children's lives leads to greater poverty and higher density population, research shows you wrong.  When parents have confidence their children will survive they have smaller families and everyone benefits.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Book Signing

UNICEF hosted a book signing this week in New York for authors Frank LaFasto and Carl Larson who wrote The Humanitarian Leader in Each of Us: 7 choices that Shape a Socially Responsible Life.  I (Sherri) feel deeply honored to be included among the 31 people interviewed for the book.   Amazing stories about people dedicated to changing the world.   It is especially heartwarming to see our Community Health Worker heroes recognized.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Lemonade Entrepreneurs

We have an amazing support group in California!  Some of the kids have become very successful entrepreneurs selling lemonade.  Thanks also to the thirsty golfers who generously supported their efforts.  Great team effort!   The kids in Africa will be thrilled when they see who is working for them.  Many thanks to the sales crew  Jaylene (10), Trysten (8), and Kevin (5).   

Monday, November 14, 2011

Passion is contagious!

Rebecca has recruited another friend to work with her to make friendship bracelets for the orphans and vulnerable children in Zambia.  They have 150 done and expect to have another 150 by the end of Dec. to send with the team going to Zambia in January.  Won't the kids in Zambia be thrilled to receive presents from their new friends in the U.S.!  Presents are few and far between for most of these kids.

We also had a group of children selling lemonade at Camp Buckhorn at a golf fund raiser last week end. They raised $82!  They must have found some very thirsty (or generous) golfers.  If everyone could catch the passion like these kids have, life would be very different for orphans and vulnerable children everywhere.  What a wonderful example they are setting for the rest of us!!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Meet Rebecca!

Rebecca selling earrings she made to raise money for the kids in Zambia.
Rebecca Cummings from Escondido, CA is a very special supporter of the schools in Zambia.  Her mother says she is determined "to make meaningful life connections and a difference in this world" and that helping HealthEd Connect "makes the world so tangible and more like a family."  Rebecca is constantly on the look out for new projects to make money for the kids in Zambia.  She recently earned $52 from selling earrings she made. She left it on a counter to be picked up and when she went to retrieve it the money was gone.  Fortunately, a group of caring adults at church pooled their money and came up with $52 so Rebecca could still make her donation.  She's now making Christmas cards and canvas prints to sell.  Go Rebecca!!!  Think of all the lives she's making brighter by her commitment and entrepreneurship!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Going strong at 87

Ken Savage
Still going strong at 87!  Ken Savage has made hundreds of wooden spoons to measure sugar and salt for the life-saving oral rehydration solution used for babies suffering from diarrhea.  A very accomplished wood worker, Ken has found great satisfaction in lovingly making these little spoons which are now highly valued by countless village women.  Many of the women have shared stories of watching their children die and feeling helpless to save them.  Then they found out about Oral Rehydration Solution that they could make themselves.  Even though they feel more confident making the exact measurements with Ken's spoons, they are also taught to use a three-finger pinch of salt and a palm full of sugar when spoons are not available.  Thank you Ken for saving lives on the other side of the world through your wood working hobby!
P.S.  Ken also thought the women should have personal gifts so he made wooden bookmarks decorated with colorful strings and beads.  Many of the bookmarks now hang proudly on the walls of humble little homes because the women have no books.

Friday, November 4, 2011

SIFE Team announced

Matt Wait with Jac on 2011 SIFE team to Zambia
The six SIFE team members have been named who will be traveling to Zambia in January.  What an awesome crew!! 

Three of the students, Matt Waite, Garrett Shank, and Laura Ferguson have been on previous trips to Zambia.  The other three, Ben Vinck, Sydney Brock, and Kylie Bassett bring new skills, enthusiasm and assets to the team.  Another Dream Team!!