Successful Party

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Thanks so much to everyone who came to our Dresses and Desserts party in Britt on Thursday! It was fun catching up with some women I knew when I was growing up in and meeting some new ones.

I had a great time sharing about Mission to Haiti and 500 Dresses and eating too many sweets. (You all didn’t eat enough Hershey’s Kisses though. I finished them off the next day. – I didn’t even share them with my boys ūüėČ )

I hope you went home with more knowledge about the poorest country in the world and a desire to obey in the areas where God calls you to serve, at home or abroad.

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Mom and I appreciate the donations. We’ve got quite a pile of cute fabric to work with. Anybody feel like sewing?

Color and Contemplate – Haitian Population

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Approximately 10 million people live in the nation of Haiti. With an 80% poverty rate, that means about 8 million Haitians are living below the poverty line. That’s a lot of need.

I love that Mission to Haiti is providing kids with the message of the gospel and a quality education. It’s one thing to donate a bunch of clothes or even food. It’s a much bigger thing to give the gift of hope and of education. An education can be the difference between abject poverty and the ability to put food on the table. And the hope found in Jesus makes an everlasting difference.

Dresses and Desserts Party Reminder

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Just a reminder to those of you in the north-central Iowa area, Desserts and Dresses is next week! Please come join us if you can. We’ve never done this before, so ¬†we’re kind of flying by the seat of our pants ;), but I promise it will be fun. Plus you will have the chance to win one of ¬†TWO prizes!

1. Get your name in an American Girl Doll dress drawing by bringing a donation.

2. The only thing I’m gonna tell you about this one is to freshen up on your Haiti trivia.

Hope to see you on the 25th!!

Color and Contemplate: Got a Job?

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Once again, you can color the dress above and contemplate the stat below.

The unemployment rate in the United States is approximately 8.2 percent. The official unemployment rate I found for Haiti was 40.6 percent, but I’ve read some news articles that place that number at 70 percent or higher. Yowzers!

I think of the sweet women who washed clothes all day long while Corey and I were in Haiti in April. They were paid very little by our standards, but they were employed and happily doing a job I can’t think of one person in America enjoying. Plus, they got my whites so brilliantly white that I was amazed. In fact, chances are if I have talked to you about my trip, I have probably mentioned the wash ladies. My washing machine has nothing on them.

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Every time I think about the hardships in Haiti, I have a new appreciation for my blessed live in the Midwest.

US statistics from 2012 cia.gov. Haitian statistics from 2010 cia.gov.

Dress Donation Deadline

Donated Formal Dresses

Donated Formal Dresses

DEADLINE – August 15

Any items received after that date will be saved for the spring shipment.

After visiting Dorcas Ministry Shop (the name of the business receiving the formal dresses), spending time with the tailor Brunel, and working with three women who were hired part-time by the shop, I’m excited to send some items specific to their needs. Every formal dress you donate becomes potential income to these Haitian workers. Your small donation can become a great blessing.

Thanks so much to those of you who have donated formal dresses already and to those of you who have committed to donating a dress. I’d love to be able to send a box full of formal gowns along with our box of sundresses and shorts.

And if you take a look at our tally, you will see that we only need 125 items to reach the 1000 mark. We’ve got 74 items ready to go, so only 51 more and 500 Dresses will have shipped 1000 items ūüôā

Color and Contemplate: Could You Live On $60 a Month?

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Color. You know you want to. Go ahead, dig out your crayons.

Contemplate. ¬†Albert Einstein said, “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.” ¬†So read on and live dangerously.

The average annual household income in Haiti is $700. That is $58.33 per month. We spend about that much money per month on milk at our house!

At $50,700, the average annual household income in the US is 7242 times more than that of an average Haitian family.

There are days I open my pantry door and think, “there’s nothing to eat,” when in reality we always have more than enough. It is not uncommon for Haitians to wake up with a choice.¬†Will I eat today, or will I go to school?¬†All schools, even the public schools charge a fee for attendance. I’m thankful that I have been so blessed my family has never had to make that choice.

If you’re coloring and contemplating leads to a desire to help a ¬†Haitian child go to school and eat, click on the Mission to Haiti link in the right column. You will find lots of sweet boys and girls who are longing for enough food to eat and the opportunity to go to school.

Haiti info from UNICEF 2011 statistics. US info from cia.gov.

Encouragement Cafe with Luann Prater and Suzie Eller

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I recently had an awesome opportunity to speak with Luann Prater and Suzie Eller  on their weekly syndicated Encouragement Cafe radio show. My tummy did somersaults as I waited for the phone to ring that Tuesday in May.  But they called, we talked and I survived. In fact, I somehow managed to have a rather lovely conversation while my heart was ricocheting off the walls of my chest cavity.

Since that phone call I’ve been concerned about two insignificant things.

1. Did I say anything ridiculous?

2. Did my voice sound dorky? (Am I the only one who is weirded out by the sound of their own recorded voice? I don’t even like to hear myself on voicemail.)

Speaking and writing are two very different animals and I much prefer putting words to paper than letting them spill unedited out of my mouth.

Well, the show aired this weekend on a number of radio stations in the southeast US and became available to listen to online on Friday. It couldn’t get myself to listen to it until last night; a couple days after Corey assured me that I did not sound like a rambling fool.

Regardless of my insecurities, it was such an honor to have the opportunity to share what God is doing in my life through 500 Dresses and to promote Mission to Haiti.

Take a listen if you’d like. And if you have some time to spare, check out some of their other interviews. They have talked to some pretty cool people.

P.S. If you think my voice sounds weird, keep it to yourself. ūüėČ