Sunday, December 7, 2014

Joyful Noise Giveaway: Zeke & Charlie's Angel Tree

While brainstorming the other night Kaitlyn, and I decided that we wanted to throw an 'Old School' giveaway.  Now some of you may be thinking..."Giveaways aren't old school...?" which you're correct, so let me explain. :)

When Kaitlyn and I very first began advocating, and fundraising the only thing we knew how to do were giveaways.  We spent hours messaging small business (and even got banned from posting to Facebook for a little bit.) to ask if they would donate items for our fundraisers.  We always have very great outcomes, because the shop owners were (and still are!) so very generous, and support Kaitlyn and I with our fundraising! :)  But as we advanced in our fundraising we figured out different ways to raise funds, and kinda fell away from giveaways...but don't worry!  We're back! :)

So join the fun, and enter the 'Joyful Noise Giveaway' that will benefit sweet Zeke, and darling Charlie.  We are hoping to raise some of the remaining funds needed for Angel Tree.  Kaitlyn still needs $700 for Zeke, and I still need $768.23 for Charlie.  Yes, we are *very* aware that those numbers are big, but our faith in God is bigger.  :) 

How this giveaway will work: 

There are items listed below that you can enter to win.  

In order to enter the giveaway you need to purchase entries using the Youcaring located on the right hand side of the blog labeled "Joyful Noise": 
| 2 Entries - $5 | 5 Entries - $10 | 15 Entries - $20 | 

The more entries you buy the better chance you have at winning one or more of these items!  We will do separate drawings for each item.  The entries you bought will enter you into all drawings for all items.   This giveaway will run for 10 days, ending on the 19th.  We will draw the winners once the giveaway ends, and email the winners! :) 

**NOTE: When you donate to the Youcaring DO NOT put your name or email anonymous.  If you put your name and email anonymous we will NOT be able to draw you as a winner. We need your name and email to contact you.**  

Items you can enter to win!! 

The Glitter Corner, so generously donated this adorable bottle cap bow.  

Rocking Horse Designs, personally created this darling set of fabric numbers specifically for this giveaway!

LostMy.Name donated a gift certificate for a free book!  Be sure to jump over to their Facebook page and look through their children's books.  They are seriously so cute! 

Hennings Jewelry In Candles donated a gift card for a tart, and necklace of your choice! :)

These are the only items we have at the moment.  We are waiting on some pictures of other items that have been donated, so please come back soon and see the items we'll add once we get those pictures! :) 

Happy donating!! :) 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Transferred: Abner

I could start this post off with a touching picture of what it would look like to have Abner in your family, or what his life would have looked like if he were born into a family in the U.S. but though I may have time for that...Abner doesn't.  Abner is 5, and today we were told that he has been transferred to a mental institution.  

This means that Abner is running out of time.  Every day that passes is another day where he will become more malnourished, and his needs will not be met.  Abner, needs out, and he needs out now.  He has no more time, he has run out, and a mental institution is not where a baby belongs.  

You may not be in the position to adopt Abner, you may not be able to financially give, but sharing Abner, sharing his need, his picture, cost nothing.  Abner's life is priceless, and he deserves much more than he has been given.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

I Am An Orphan Advocate

I am an orphan advocate.

I've said that sentence so many times, to people who are curious about my "hobbies" and want to know about "Alyssa". I tell them that I advocate, that I blog, all for children who have no hope, children that I love immensely. The response I normally get is somewhere along the lines of "Oh how cool!" and that's typically where the conversation ends.  Every time, after one of those short conversations, I'm left feeling sad because to me advocacy is so much more than just "cool".

I mean, I don't expect someone to have input on advocacy when they nothing about it, but I do wish people would ask more questions.  To me advocacy is currently my life.  I spend all of my time fundraising, sharing, blogging, donating, brainstorming, and praying over these kids.  I strive daily to know more about the orphanages, the living conditions, the needs, the outlets that I can use to help the urgent situations.

I started when I was 13 and I have been dedicated ever since.  My best friend Kaitlyn, and I have raised thousands of dollars for adopting families, and waiting children over the past 5 years.  We have gained no money, no publicity, no "higher rank", we have done this purely for the children and their families.  We fight, daily for these lives, because they matter and we see their potential.

Advocacy isn't easy, you can ask any advocate.  It's hard because sometimes you fight tirelessly for a child and they wait year, after year and sometimes their family never comes.  It's heartbreaking, and tiresome, to fight for a child and then to see them age out... Advocacy is not for the faint of heart.  Being an advocate means having your heart broken, picking up the pieces, and loving the next child.

There are joyful moments too.  Those joyful moments, when your child has a family, or when you get updated pictures and know your kiddo is doing 'alright', or when your kiddo finally makes it home after months of praying their family through the adoption process.  Those joyful moments make all of it worth it.  Because, you see, watching a child go from malnourished and broken, to restored, chosen and LOVED does something extraordinary to your heart, and makes you want to do it all over again.

Being an orphan/adoption advocate changes you.  It gives you a different perspective on life, and is a constant reminder of just how lucky we all are.  I know that for me, I am always cautious of the best way to use my money.   "Do I need this $12 shirt? No, this money can go to a child/family/urgent need."  I have literally had that conversation with my self hundreds of times, and I'm thankful for the heart, and mindset that God has blessed me with.

Advocacy has changed me, and I am grateful for that.  I am a proud orphan advocate, and I wish everyone could experience having a love, so strong for a child that you have never met, never held, never spoken too, never kissed, or loved on, but yet you fight, every day, for that life.  Because these children, they matter.