Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What's your Halloween/Harvest Budget?

Kendi, 3 years ago. Lost all of her hair and much of her body fat from lack of food. 13 pounds at 18 months old.

Bright, 5 years ago. Almost lost his life due to starvation--marasmus and kwashiorkor. 8 pounds at 12 months old.

Samren, 8 years ago. Malnourished due to a disease that robbed his body of the ability to digest proteines. 14 pounds at 15 months old.

Three of my 4 children KNOW hunger. They know what it is like to lie awake at night and try to sleep, with their stomach shriveled up and empty. They know what it it is like to watch people eat around them while they continue to go hungry. As a family, we know what hunger does to a child's mind, heart, and body. Even though the hunger lasted less than 2 years for each of my children, they have issues that we believe will haunt them throughout their lives. My 10 year old obsesses about when the next meal will come, what it will be, and if he can sneak "extra" when nobody is around. My 6 year old gorges on and steals sweet foods any chance he gets, to the point of making himself sick. My 4 and 6 years old both experience great anxiety when food is being prepared, even though they may not eat it when it's served. All of them have some sort of learning/behavioral issue that we can probably attribute to the malnutrition they experienced as babies. All three of them have been traumatized by HUNGER.

There is a photo going around on facebook right now--a starving child and then a plea to consider donating as much to a charity this Halloween/Harvest as you will spend on candy and costumes for your kids. What a good and simple idea. I hope that you'll take this idea to heart. I figured, instead of posting that picture of a random "starving child" I might show you my 3 previously starving children instead. That random starving child that you see on the internet...that child is someone's baby! It's not a "cause" to that child's mom/dad to feed their child. It's a great failure to them that they aren't able to help their child eat. It's personal.

I'm not saying not to buy candy or costumes for your kids. It's fun. I'm going to. But I think we will also start a tradition of donating funds that will help a child out of (possible or actual) starvation.

I know you're busy, so I'll make it super duper extra easy for you!! =-)

Click HERE to donate to projects hosted by Adoption Advocates International. Specifically, you can make a one time or recurring donation to purchase food for a vulnerable family (Ghana--Food Sponsorship), provide education (and therefore LUNCH!) to a child through sponsorship (Ghana or Ethiopia, child sponsorship), or simply mark your donation for FOOD (and specify country)! I make a solemn promise to you that every penny you donate will go directly to its intended purpose.

Click HERE to donate to Feeding the Orphans. This organization has a simple mission--to feed orphans. You can do this through a one time donation or an ongoing sponsorship. I can attest to this organization's character.

Click HERE to donate to HardtHaven Children's Home--a home specializing in the care of HIV/AIDS affected children. Our family sponsors a child through HardtHaven. I've visited the home personally and can promise that your donated funds are used to assist children who would otherwise go without.

Click HERE to donate to Feed My Starving Children, and organization dedicated to feeding children worldwide. Our family has given to this org for a few years, and we've always been so pleased. Even though they seem "big," they have always been very personal in their thanks for our donation. You can feed a child for a whole year for $88, but they will gladly accept any donation!

Finally, click HERE to donate to Compassionate Journeys. Yesterday Christ Outreach Orphanage in Kasoa, Ghana was devastated by flooding that occurred in the Central Region of Ghana. I have been to this orphanage and know that these children are in true need all the time, let alone at this time. They lost many of their possessions. I can only imagine that the food in the storeroom would have been washed away along with clothing, school supplies, and everything else. Compassionate Journeys will be taking donations to help the home recover.

Thanks for keeping perspective during this fun (but sometimes excessive) time of year!




Amy 9:37 PM  

Beautiful post... We're praying for Christ Outreach Orphanage.


mary grace 8:54 PM  

Thank you for posting this, friend. My little Oli knows hunger, too. Normally, this is where I'd list all of the things the locusts have eaten through that terrible, terrible time in his life. But you know it well, so ... I'll just say ((hugs)) to your precious children, and may they never again have reason to fear that they will find themselves hungry.