Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Tiny Hope for Haiti

Dear Friends,

Confession, this is not a typical I'm Julia's Mom: brag, boast, rant or rave. In all honesty I'm stealing this platform today to share with you another part of my heart.

Some of you may already know this about me, but for those who don't, I have fallen head over heels in love with a ministry in Haiti called Footprints of the Son. I can't even remember how I first encountered them, but once I heard about the amazing work they are doing for kids with special needs in Haiti, I was hooked!!!

Toto learning sign language from his awesome teacher!
Their founder, Heather (who has become one of my heroes) and her husband Papito, run a school for children with special needs.

In Haiti kids with special needs are often turned away from local schools and have nowhere to go.

Footprints of the Son provides a place where these precious kids are wanted and valued.
A place where they belong! Where they are cared for, and fed, and get to learn!!!!

The school is also a form of respite, which is another part of Footprints of the Son's ministry, the kids go to school to get loved on and the parents get the opportunity to rest or go to work in order to continue caring for their family - it's such a beautiful and needed partnership.

Footprints comes along side these precious families who would otherwise not be getting any type of support.

In addition to school and respite, Footprints of the Son also provides outreach support to families in the community. With the outreach program they help with things like food, medical needs, and medical supplies.

The work they are doing is astonishingly beautiful. Beautiful and miraculous and important and inspiring - and you can probably understand why I fell in love!

Papito conducting an intake for a new child in the outreach program!

So in the past few months I've had this idea running in the back of my mind that I might start a non-profit here in Colorado in order to offer more support to Footprints of the Son. I've been mulling over the options, reading articles about starting a non-profit and trying to think of the best way to roll this idea out - at some point, down the road, in the future, when the timing feels right...

But, all that changed last week when I spoke to Heather and she informed me that as of January, Footprints is losing a significant portion of their monthly operating budget previously funded by another organization. One third of their monthly operating budget - gone. And they have two months to prepare.

Suddenly all of my thoughts and worries about how to perfectly roll out my idea for a new non-profit became really unimportant, because there is no longer any time for that - they need our help now!! This budget loss could impact their ability to keep serving the kids and families who need them so much.

So, here is my big roll out friends: I'm starting a non-profit called the Tiny Hope Foundation and we are going to try to help Footprints of the Son with the immediate budget deficit they are facing.

We aren't set up yet, we are just getting our thoughts organized, we don't even have email (and by we, I mean me, it's just me at this point) - but the need is now, so despite not being organized, we (me) are asking for your help!!!!

If you have a heart for Haiti, or kids with special needs, or missions work, or are looking for a worthy cause to support this holiday season.. If anything in all of my rambling has tugged on your heart, here is what you can do to help:

1. Donate to the Tiny Hope for Haiti Gofundme Campaign
(Please note: We are using Gofundme because we are not yet set up as a non-profit and do not have tax exempt status, so this is the best, immediate option.)
Please help us raise at least $6,000 before the end of the year to create a three month budget cushion so that Footprints can cover their monthly costs come January without disruption to the care they are providing. This will also allow for some time while we all work together to get additional longer term funding plans in place.

2. Share - please share this post or the Tiny Hope for Hait GoFundMe link with your friends and family. Maybe this isn't exactly your thing but you know of other people who would eat this up - please share with them. Footprints of the Son is a very tiny ministry and I am just one person with a tiny blog - but I know with your help and the power of the internet we can spread the word and grow their support!

3. Pray- of course please pray, always pray! Heather is so much better about this than I am, she would have this at the top of the list and I have it third... So in addition to praying for the kids and the funding needs to be met, maybe you can also pray that I become a little more like Heather!

4. Follow Tiny Hope and Footprints of the Son on Facebook. This will allow you to stay updated and connected with us regarding this campaign and also to learn more about other ideas for fundraising and support we are working on!!!  I'll be sharing more information about several additional ways you can help in the coming weeks and months! (Sponsoring individual kids, giving food blessings, sewing dresses, sewing bibs, donating clothes and medical supplies, attending fun fundraisers, visiting Haiti...) Super exciting stuff!

Thank you so much my dear friends for reading this and for considering it a blessing to be able to help!  My heart is just bursting with anticipation over the beauty and blessings that will come from this great need!

With so much love and gratitude,

Tiny Hope for Haiti

#tinyhopeforhaiti #tinyhopefoundation #footprintsoftheson

I met Heather earlier this year! We did a quick wheelchair hand off during her layover.  I'm the one who looks starstruck!