Okay, actually I don't think I've ever done this.
There are a lot of people who use their blogs to make money or fundraise or advocate for their favorite charity but I'm not usually one of them.
I don't have a problem with anyone doing any of the above. If I could make money off this blog, I wouldn't complain. I run ads, but have never seen a penny from them. I can't see asking any of you for money personally, but maybe I've just never needed it enough. And I have charities that I give money to, but mostly it goes to church and I figure you all give to your own churches. :)
I also don't usually give money when people request it on their blogs. Not because I don't think they deserve it or because I think they will misuse it. Generally people are asking for money to fundraise an adoption - I'm generally "pro" adoption. But for a number of reasons it just never feels quite "right" for me to give. I believe I made one exception and it wasn't for an adoption. It was for someone who needed a fresh start, a way out of a bad situation, and I felt compelled enough to help them out.
But right now I'm about to ask you all to part with some of your money.
I am pretty uncomfortable about it. But I feel strongly enough that it needs to be done, so I'm going to step out and do it.
I have followed the New Day Foster Home blog for sometime now. They are a organization in China that cares for critically ill orphans as well as funding a few other life saving programs. In their own words:
With a heart to touch the lives of orphans with medical needs, New Day Foster Home began modestly. We built relationships with nearby orphanages in Beijing and Tianjin, and in 2000, we began caring for six orphans who needed minor cleft lip and palate surgical repairs. We cared for them in a couple of apartments, and then built our 21-bed facility now known as New Day Foster Home soon after.I'm not even sure why I started following their blog - I have no special connection or affection for China or Chinese adoptions. (I mean, it make much more sense if I was talking about an Ethiopian agency right?) But I somehow stumbled upon them ages ago and every time I weed out my Google Reader, they make the cut!
In 2003, we began taking on more serious cases. Our first critical case was Jon, a little boy in need of heart surgery. When we first met Jon, we did not yet have the funds to pay for his surgery. With a firm belief in the power of prayer, we stepped out in faith and brought him to New Day for treatment. His surgery was a success and we moved forward to reach out to more children in desperate need. Since that time, all of our surgeries happen because of generous donations from supporters and through doctors and hospitals who offer their services either at a reduced rate or free of charge.
A little boy named Jacob inspired us to begin the Formula Project in 2006. Jacob also came to us with a severe heart condition. Severe malnourishment—his orphanage did not have the funds to feed him milk formula, so they fed him sugar water instead—exasperated his medical condition, causing a long, expensive recovery. Because of Jacob’s story, we began supplying milk formula to several orphanages throughout China to give each child under the age of one year a healthy start.
As our reputation spread to more orphanages throughout China, we received more requests for children to come to our facility. To better meet the needs, we expanded our Beijing facility in two ways: First, we began placing our children with caring Foster Families in our local village. And in early 2008, we launched our Healing Home to give life-changing surgeries and recovery care to more orphans.
Their children are charming and its sweet to see the way they celebrate each child. Its also amazing to see the differences they are making in some of their most critically ill children's lives. Sometimes they show pictures of how the children looked coming into the Foster Home and how they've progressed in just a few short months - it is truly amazing!
All of their children's surgeries are performed by doctors who offer greatly reduced fees or donate their time completely - how cool is that? The rest of their care is paid for by donations and grants - they've helped hundreds of children in the past 10 years!
Well, times are tough everywhere it seems and the New Day Foster Home has not been unaffected. Two days ago they posted this post, where they disclosed that they had to turn down two very sick babies. Not just put on a waiting list - but actually turn down - because their funds are so depleted and they already have so many babies whose surgeries are not being done because the funds are not available.
Let me repeat that:
Two critically ill little girls, in need of heart surgery, had to be turned away.
How devastating for those children. How devastating for their parents. How devastating for the staff. I can imagine how difficult it must be - to have to say "no" when you are the ones who are supposed to say "yes"!
So, they did something that I have never seen on their blog.
They asked for help. For donations. For money.
Even though they rely on people giving money to fund their children's care, I've never seen them ask for it on their blog before. That is when I knew it must be a truly desperate situation. I understand why they felt compelled to try something new - desperation.
And I was similarly convicted.
I have no connection to these people or these babies. They are no more adorable than the many families who have pleaded for help on their blogs in the past. They are no more desperate than other adoptive families trying to get to the children who are sick or have special medical needs in orphanages halfway around the world. They are no more worthy of my notice, prayers or money.
But something about them spoke to my heart.
And so I am putting it out there in case it speaks to yours as well.
Right now, the New Day Foster Home has set a goal to raise the money for just one child's surgery.
Her name is Kiah.
She needs heart surgery.
Heart surgery that costs about 8,000 - think she's worth it?
Here's what you can do:
- Give to New Day's surgery fund. Designate Kiah's name if you want it to go towards this 'lil collaborative effort.
- Visit their surgeries needed page and take a look at the other children who need operations. Maybe someone else will jump out at you; perhaps your church, school, business, or community organization will want to 'adopt' a child's surgery.
- Post about this on your blog. Twitter about it. Share it with your facebook friends. Tell your MOPs group. Invite others to join you in meeting this challenge.
- Have an idea of a way to spread the word or raise funds for this cause? Send your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am not a megablogger. But my "followers" widget and Google Analytics say that about 100 of you read every post I write. (WEIRD!) If each of you were moved to even give $10 - that would be an 1/8 of the total amount of Kiah's surgery! Even if only one of you did - I'd still be thrilled. And maybe this calling was only for me - only God knows. :)
But just in case I'm not the only one...
This Chipin widget will be on my blog until the fundraiser ends - right in the place where my brother's countdown out of Iraq widget used to tick away.
Watching that widget used to make me feel so desperate - and completely helpless.
I am hoping that this widget conveys some desperation too - but this time I don't feel helpless!
I'll keep you all updated on how it is going!