Thursday, June 14, 2012

Celebrating A Great Year

Yesterday we celebrated our last day of Kids With A Vision for the year!

I cannot express what a blessing it is for us to get to do this KWAV's thing.  Sure, it is a lot of work.  Sure, there are times where I think, "Is this worth it?"

Here are some random shots of our last day together, and every one of them speaks very loudly that THIS IS WORTH IT!

our kindergarten kiddos on their weekly pilgrimage to KWAV's

... The Jump Over The River Trophies being admired ...

... One of our Junior Counselors leading the kids in "warm up exercises" for the final Jump Over The River contest ...

... Our JOTR Champ, Ryan McManigal!  I cannot believe how far these kids can jump.  The trophy may look like a baseball trophy from 1983.  Just ignore that.  (and, thank you to our wonderful neighbors who donated their old trophies to the cause!) ...

other JOTR champs: Lisi Sanders (top upper grade girl), Kaleb Annett (top lower grade boy), Indy Johnson (top lower grade girl)

 ... The kids hearing from Margo Day - an amazing woman headed to Africa to work for World Vision ...

And then, this year, we started a new tradition.  We gave our "Character Awards" to all of our KWAV's kiddos.  We brought each child up and gave them a certificate and shared the character quality we were honoring them with and why (friendliness, gentleness, courage, respectfulness, responsibility, etc.).

These are just a few photos that captured the moment with some of the kids.  They were so proud of themselves and so proud of each other.  It was MY FAVORITE MOMENT of all of our KWAV's gatherings.  

We are so thankful for the opportunity to partner with these families and to invest in these kids.  Truly.

I know we have quite a few people who have found this blog via pinterest or some other link to our famous "blessing bags" post.  I would encourage anyone who is wondering if they should try to do this in their neighborhood to go ahead and take the plunge.  Grab some kids and moms and start your own version of Kids With A Vision.  You will be so thankful you did.

Water Recap

Last week we had the privilege of hearing from Angela Mason, our special guest.  I think it is safe to say that we all had a crush on this amazing woman!  She had the children completely spell bound by her stories and the way she shares the information about the need for clean water in Africa and other extremely arid, extremely poor areas of the world.

Our kids were left with the challenge to do two things:

1. Conserve.  Angela pointed out that water is a finite resource.  I think it is difficult for the kids to get this concept because they think of water filling the pools, stretching to infinity at the beach just 5 miles away, and flowing out of the tap every time they turn it on.  You turn on the sink and it gushes out and it doesn't show any sign of letting up or turning to a drip.  Angela really helped them see how much water we all use that doesn't need to be used.  She had them take a pledge that they would turn off the tap while they brush their teeth and that while brushing they will say a prayer for the children across the world who are in need.  Love it!

2.  Partner in fundraising.  Angela is an advocate for World Vision's water projects in Africa and she helped the kids understand that $1 per week would pay for a child to have water for a week.  We sent the kids out with the mission of raising money to donate towards this fund.

Here are some ideas we have given the kids:
-collect water bottles, gatorade bottles and other recyclables to take to a recycling center and then donate that money towards clean water.  Its a double whammy of blessing - helping the earth and helping people on the earth!

-lemonade stand for good.  There is something about summer and lemonade stands.  Why not donate the profits to a great cause!

-water your neighbors' plants (sparingly - be mindful of how much water you use) and donate your earnings to a great cause.

Angela Mason shared with the kids that there is this little worm that lives in much of the water in africa that is called the guinea worm.  It is microscopic and cannot be seen so people drink water that they think is clean and then become infected.  These worms grow very long - multiple feet!  They make the children sick and are just nasty.

Over the past week my son has asked me multiple times before drinking the water I have handed him if it has guinea worms in it.

Me: "No honey."

My son:  "Oh good.  But, does the water in Africa still have worms in it?"

Me: "Yes."

My son:  "That's bad.  We need to make the water clean."

It's that simple.  I love how children see things so black and white.  I think there is a reason that Jesus talks about the kingdom of heaven belonging to children and his encouragement to us to be like children.  Kids' hearts are close to God's heart - they dream bigger.  They want everyone to have a home.  They want all the kids to have clean water and they don't think about the impractical roadblocks that stand in the way of that like how massive the issue is and how much money it would take to make it happen.

So, we are dreaming bigger.  We have set our goal for our KWAV's kids to raise $4000 to donate to World Vision and their water initiatives.  The beautiful thing is we get to partner with our community in this.  We have 2 swim teams in our neighborhood and they are going to join us in raising money too.

If you are cruising the streets and you see a lemonade stand, ask if it is for "good in the hood".  We are going to make an impact, one drop at a time.

If you are interested in donating towards our KWAV's water project, feel free to mail a check to:
World Vision
Women of Vision, MS 110
PO Box 9716
Federal Way, WA 98063-9969

just mark in the memo:  "for water project with OC WOV"


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

This week - a special guest!

This week we will have a special guest - Angela Mason, a British broadcaster now working for World Vision.  She has done MANY trips to feature human suffering in various countries around our world.  Her passion is women and children, clean water and adequate food.  She will be showing the children the water issue the children in arid lands are experiencing.  She will show with visuals and demonstration.  She’ll also be highlighting the lack of adequate nutrition as well. 
Her presence itself is a statement as you will see.  

She is marvelous and passionate about the work of World Vision.  She is so delighted that our children are being taught about need locally and in our world.

One of the Orange County Women of Vision projects is a marvelous water project in Kenya.  Donna Phebus, our resident KWAV's story teller and grandma to all, will be sharing about the Kenya Water Project that she got to visit.

It is such a great opportunity for the kids to see how blessed they are, and how they can play a role in helping out on a local (conservation) and global scale (we are dreaming big to partner in providing a well across the world!).

There is an open invitation for parents to attend and hear from our amazing guest too!