Sunday, November 24, 2013


YOU our donors, are at the top of our list of Thanksgiving Blessings.  Without your compassion and generosity none of the programs at HealthEd Connect would exist.  You are making days brighter and lives more purposeful for innumerable people you will never meet.

They -- and we--- are wishing you a Blessed holiday!

                                                                      Sherri, Jac and the whole HealthEd Connect Team

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Kid Power

 The Woods Chapel, Lee's Summit, MO congregation adopted HealthEd Connect as their Christmas focus charity for the second year in a row.  Last year the kids took little shamba hut banks home and scavengered their  homes for luxury items.  Upon finding a 'luxury' item that they thought children in Zambia would not have, they made a donation into the shamba hut.  In addition, they continued to collect money in a jar each Sunday for the rest of the year.

This year when we gathered to kick off another similar project, the kids were excited and had begun to feel they knew the Zambian kids.  When I asked the children to guess how much they thought they collected last year, one little boy said rather hopefully, "Twenty dollars??"  I assured him that was a lot of money but they had collected even more than that.  There was an audible little gasp from the children (and spontaneous applause from the congregation) when we flashed the total of $1683.78 on the screen!!  That's enough to pay 2 teacher's salaries for a whole year with money left over to buy school lunches and books.  Now that's real Kid Power!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

And the Winners are..

New Registered Nurses 

We are thrilled to announce the PNA Nursing Scholarship winners for 2014!  The awardees are exceptional young people who will undoubtedly make incredible contributions to society through health care.

In case you're wondering, yes, the outstanding young lady we talked about in our Blog last week was selected!  Her name is Karina Hernandez and she lives in Maine.   Karina personifies the applicant qualities PNA seeks.  We're thrilled to support her as she attends Hussar University.

We are equally pleased to announce that Caleb Calder was awarded a 2nd year scholarship to apply toward his program at University of Massachusetts.  Caleb is already an RN pursuing his BSN degree.  A third award was given to Jennifer Kramer, also a 2nd year scholarship recipient, who is enrolled in a program at Graceland University.   Other applicants this year were from Zambia, India, and the United States.  Hopefully contributions will help the Scholarship Endowment fund grow so that more young people can be supported in their pursuit of nursing in the future.

Since 2000, over $25,000 has been awarded to nursing students from a variety of countries including India, Nepal, Kenya and the United States.  We are proud to support these committed young people.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

How can that be??

Sherri with kids in Topeka.  That's Sophie, the competent and efficient hostess, looking up.
We met with a lively group of church kiddos during a Focus Moment in Topeka, KS  last Sunday.   We only managed to capture a few of them in the picture since the little ones were on the move every second!  The best part was when I asked "How many of you go to school?"  The older ones politely raised their hands in answer.  When I asked "How many of you ever plan to go to school?" the little ones came alive, jumped up and down, waved their hands and smiled all over.  Lots of enthusiasm and anticipation for going to school.  When I explained that many children in other countries do not ever get to go to school they looked really perplexed obviously thinking How can that be?  I totally agree:  How can that be?

The kids all wanted to do something to help so they are now busy following scavenger hunts in their homes to discover "luxuries" they have that the kids in Zambia do not have.  They are then planning to "tax" themselves and send the donation to HealthEd Connect to help kids go to school.  Many thanks to Beth Marolf for the invitation to share with the kids.  We loved it.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Amazing Donor!

Pencils are easier to provide than classrooms!!
One of our generous donors attempted to make a gift of $800 on line last week.  Since she had just made a donation to another charitable group, her credit card company denied the transaction.  She subsequently wrote us a check for -- $900!  The day after we received her check for $900, the credit card company released the hold on her $800 donation and we received that one also.  I immediately contacted her to see how she wanted me to return one of the donations and this is what she wrote to me:

"Please keep both donations. I have learned something about how credit cards work sometimes. But I have learned that these hurdles are there for a reason. SOMEONE allows them to happen at the right time so somebody can be helped or something can happen that is needed. I have learned to follow the little push of SOMEONE at this time in your program of education and help. So please accept both donations."

This comes at an especially helpful time.  We desperately need additional classrooms and it is a big challenge to raise funds fast enough to pay operating costs of our growing schools while at the same time making additional money for facilities.  It's much easier to buy pencils than classrooms.  We are so very very grateful for this double donation!! 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Tough Decisions

Martha Malla (Nepal) one of last year's scholarship recipients
 It will be very difficult to choose among the many worthy candidates who applied for the HealthEd Connect PNA Nursing Scholarship this year.  One reference letter provided the following details about an applicant:

Her father was deported to Mexico about six years ago and her mother to Honduras 4 years ago. Since that time, she and her sister  have lived with a local school teacher’s aide that has provided for them within her own limited means.  She receives little to no assistance from her parents, as they are now divorced and times are hard.  She nor her sister receive any State aid.  They are on their own.
She studied very hard in high school to have the grades required to attend the nursing program. In my mind, she is beating the odds for a young Latina in our local communities.  She applied and was accepted to a nursing program. She has arranged for her college funding and is now in her third year with very good grades. 
She worked nearly fulltime this summer as a CNA at a local Nursing Home, and while others complain about such things as boredom and bedpans, she talks about the “interesting people” – or the “sweet patients” she cares for.  She never sees them as a room number, but always as someone who just needs a little extra help.  She also awoke very early to take extra shifts at the fish packing plant, to earn that extra money for life’s little necessities.
If we only had money to fund ALL of the applicants!!  We also have worthy applicants from Africa, India and the U.S.  Our scholarship endowment is $50,000 with funding available for only 2 or 3 candidates a year.  If this is your passion, log onto our website and make a donation to the scholarship endowment fund.  If you send me an email I'll make sure every penny goes toward nursing scholarships.
P.S.  If you're interested in finding out whether the candidate described above is selected, watch for updates.  The awardees will be announced in a couple of weeks.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Team Zambia 2014

The most critical to-pack items!!
Nervous Graceland University students waited for the results last week as applications were read and selections made for the Graceland ENACTUS team members chosen to travel to Zambia in January 2014.  The results were announced a couple of days ago --and what a blue-ribbon group!!  Becca Ferguson, Karl Bradford, Lynley Closson, and Paige Robino.   Jac and I traveled to Lamoni, Iowa on Tuesday to meet the team, celebrate their being chosen, share information about those pesky required immunization yellow cards (ugh!) talk about the upcoming trip and begin making serious preparations.  This will, for sure, be a banner year!  Between the four students there is major expertise and interest in soccer, agriculture, graphics, health care, children's activities and on and on.  We can hardly wait!  The school children in Zambia will be thrilled to have four new BFF!!


Friday, November 1, 2013

CFC Combined Federal Campaign

We've been named to the prestigious Best Children's Charities List!!  This is information posted widely for government employees.  We received a number of donations from this site last year and hope to expand this following even more this year. 
  If you go to the CFC Combined Federal Campaign website  you will find us listed among some impressive peers.

Children's Charities in your state of MO

  • Boys Hope Girls Hope - Bridgeton
  • Camp Fire - Kansas City
  • Children's Hope International Foundation - St. Louis
  • HealthEd Connect - Independence
  • Optimist International Foundation - St. Louis
How about that!!  Kudos to you, the donors, who have made this possible.