Our prayers go out to Houston and the victims of the flooding.
Many have asked if we are collecting for the efforts and the answer is no, we do not work in the USA however if you are having trouble deciding who to give to please do your research.
Here are some tips from #huffingtonpost:
1. The IRS Nonprofit Charities Database has a tool called “The Exempt Organizations Select Check Tool”. This tool allows you to enter the name of an organization and see if the organization is exempt or not. It is important to verify that an organization that claims to have a 501(c)(3) tax exemption is actually exempt. If the organization is not exempt, your donation will not be tax-deductible.
2. Charity Navigator rates charities based on their financial health, accountability, and transparency to help donors make informed decisions about their contributions. #CharityNavigator has evaluated over 8,000 tax-exempt charities. If your chosen organization is not included, you should be sure to find out why.
3. #GuideStar maintains information on 501(c)(3) nonprofits. Financial documents, such as the 990, help you evaluate the legitimacy of an organization. The 990 discloses where and how an organization’s donations are spent, including the earnings of top officers. All nonprofits are required to have up-to-date 990’s available to the public. If an organization does not have this info readily available or is not forthcoming if you request it from them, you may want to reconsider your donation.
Also please Pray:
For the safety of those in the path of #HurricaneHarvey.
For the many people, churches, and families affected by this hurricane as they face an unknown future.
Some organizations that I feel you should look and decide for yourself are:
The Greater Houston Community Foundation @greaterhoucf https://ghcf.org/
EFCA ReachGlobal Crisis Response @TheEFCA https://go.efca.org/
Star of Hope Mission (unaffiliated with star of hope us) @StarOfHope www.sohmission.org
Good Church Houston https://www.goodchurch.us/
WHY GIVE SOMETHING UP
Why start a paragraph with the topic of resentment, well it is one thing that will happen if you're asked to give something up, even to help another person. Some say it is also a defense mechanism or even a fear. This chatter is found all over the internet, yes even a US congressman suggested recently that some of the less affluent members of society should give up their telephones. That thought was met with vigorous speech both for and against his opinion. It is so easy for all to think "this or that and post a comment" then boom, it's out there, all this chatter positive, negative, and all in between. You can imagine, the poor with phones were against giving them up and resented the congressman's statement.
Another example of this right now in the United States is Healthcare. Health care is a multifaceted problem with multifaceted solutions from hundreds of thousands of people who at most think this and that about the magical solution, most of those solutions involve some element of people being asked to give something up. Nobody likes to give anything up, especially when it comes to their health or their families health care. I believe, not very many people will be happily on board to give something up, to help the common good. Yes, there is an opposite element but not proportionately large.
Let's go over the top. Let's talk about giving a pint of blood. What would it take for you to give up a pint of blood? A blood drive, a friend, or would it take something like a critically wounded person lying bleeding on your lawn or in your living room and the emergency personnel screaming we need a pint of blood to save this person. I wonder who would give sooner, or later, or neither.
I guess the same argument and a similar visualization could be used for food and education.
We don't have a good visual for a child who never went to school. Sometimes we need a stronger message, we need someone to paint the image of the child. For children who missed an education, I say, that might of been the person to cure cancer or the one to invent clean energy. Sometimes I think that one might have brought democracy and freedom or better yet the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
Then, I have often wondered why it's so much easier for a child to give something up than for an adult. My name is Mark Presson, I am the CEO for Star of Hope I can write and say this because I have traveled and met people and seen the reactions.
I've been talking to groups, youth, adult, children, and families and I see and experience that children give easier than adults. I never take any donation from a child unless of course their parents are there and want to do a lesson of the giving, yet you would be amazed at how many children would give up the $2 in their pocket that they were going to use for candy or ice cream and give it to me after I have shared with them about how little children have it in some of the poorest places on our planet.
The children I am speaking of have no resentment whatsoever; these children are full of emotion with joy and want to give from their heart. Were we all like that once?
Yes, we have grown used to hearing the critic's voice, it is easy for the critic to be heard, (thank you internet), some say, “shall I give to these non-profits with super inflated salaries" or we hear “let me tell you I am broke and I take care of mine only" and then some just say "...good for you Star of Hope and Good luck" but we are not giving now.
People who give, specifically adults, who give by choice are usually happier people than most. I did not say more affluent, more important or simply richer; no, they are just happier. It is proven that those who give of their time, talent or treasure are happier, fact.
From blood to coffee: a study done last year showed that the average America spends close to $1,000 on coffee per year per person. That is an incredible amount of money and I don't know if I believe that number, but it’s one we can work with and think about if we or you could perhaps go without a coffee.
I wonder, can we give up a few coffee drinks under a short specified time and do something fantastic with that money. Yes!, I used the money word! Just like a small amount of blood can save the one who needs blood and also the same thing could be said about the small amount of cash from foregone snacks, candy, chips, coca-cola, an entertainment expense. Yes, we probably all spend a lot more than we think we do.
I feel the huge "elephant in the room" in the USA with money is of course retirement and we are not talking about that, however, a close second with all people is trying to get an iron grip on the amount of their discretionary spending. Generally speaking, we're not very careful with our personal discretionary spending and that is the money I want to talk to you about right now as it is often 2, 3, or 5 times more than we "feel" it was or is, but of course, if and when we look at the credit card or check statement we just shake our heads and say hmm or worse.
I want your help with the allocation of a small amount of your discretionary spending, specifically the part that comes from you "giving something up in partnership with no resentment". I do not want your 10% tithe, I don't want your paycheck, I do not want your boat or that old hot rod or other gifts and there is a reason why.
A small portion of your discretionary (think voluntary) spending can change a life, It can educate, heal, build, share, care and more. All the small amounts when put together make a huge force of change.
There are people who need your help and you can help them very simply by giving up an indulgence, a movie, or dinner out. It will make you stronger too. This inner strength comes from a project that will support you. It is called (Skip it to Give it) or #skipittogiveit. “Skip it to Give it” happens for two weeks in October and you can do it individually, in your family, or a group.
I am asking you the question, will you let a coffee or a snack take the role of "life changing for a child in need?" Please then take a look at the campaign page, see who and what your coffee, candy, snack, dinner cash will do and then ask yourself when you're finished looking at the page and the video that explained all things about the campaign “why not, why can't my family give something up for 2 weeks and help somebody? Pretend they are bleeding in your living room and then ask "will I help"?
Join "Skip it to Give it" here.
Thank you and Rich Blessings to you and yours!
Get the package here!
Mark Presson CEO
Did you hear how easy it is to Skip it?
We are doing this!
Did you know, it is simple to be a part of "Skip it to Give it".
It takes place over a 2-week period. October 16-29 is suggested but any 2-week period is fine.
People are encouraged to give up a daily item for 2 weeks and instead put the money they saved into the provided envelope.
People are encouraged to increase prayer for the people of Haiti for the 2 weeks.
Envelopes are collected and returned to Star of Hope.
You then receive updates from Star of Hope about how your money was used to help the Haitians.
Do not delay sign up your group now, it is going to be great!
We have developed a new campaign for integration into the Church and community... we call it ”Skip it to Give it”. We will be talking a lot about this in the next few months because we want you to get your groups involved and #skipittogiveit.
The campaign helps develop Christian characteristics in our youth while also helping to give a hand up to our brothers and sisters in Haiti, the poorest country in this hemisphere. Visiting Haiti is quite difficult for me on a personal level and I cannot seem to get away from the thought that it is in the western hemisphere, so close to the USA, it should not be like this. In Haiti, due to repeating disasters; I have seen people who have lost everything they own several times over! Restarting their lives is a normal part of their life. I believe we need to help them with a hand up not a hand out. We need to help them there in their community and home. We can be that hand up, it’s so easy.
The “Skip it to Give it” campaign can literally change the lives of people in Haiti, just by applying a few simple steps to your everyday living. Imagine thinking about others before buying that Starbucks coffee, or that half dozen Dunkin Donuts, and taking those few dollars and giving them to help feed the hungry in Haiti?
As far as how this will spiritually grow you and your church, just visit the campaign page www.starofhope.us/skip and look at the “how it works” video. This campaign is one way to help the lights of the needy to not be extinguished and help our lives honor God and shine light a little brighter in a dark world.
As far as how this will help Haiti, share this mail with your church, people of leadership in your community and share it with your own family. The possible groups to participate is endless...the NHS at your local high school, your business office, Boy/Girl Scouts, 4-H, community service groups, or motorcycle club. A movement can begin with one person sharing about this campaign and thus catalyzing others to respond to the need. Just imagine a whole community of people remembering the need before they spend the green and being a living example of “Skip it to Give it” to others! Wow!
Our friend Pastor Jonathan explains it so well in this video,
Join us, help change a life, be the change, go here: www.starofhope.us/skip
Star of Hope's own Maria Presson visiting the work in Romania, here in a small town named Murgeni, some of the local kids welcome visitors.
Ulrika Kallin, Lennart Eriksson, and Maria Presson with friends.
Here it is.
Murgeni, is inland and needless to say very depresses economically, but things are happening that give positive signals. Of course, Star of Hope's presence has addressed certain real needs. Children with disabilities now have access to, first class help and not only that, church plantings are done and more are on the way. Murgeni is a town that has been changed by grace and love and an environment for greater change has been created.
Maria at one of our development centers.
The visitors were serendipitously just in time to attend a fundraiser in Iasi Romania. Iasi Romania is 2hours north of Murgeni. The fundraising event was called, "the Vivaldi Spring Fling". Star of Hope Romania's Director Aurora Vatamaniuc and the local chamber of commerce, together with other friends, enjoyed the Spring Fling-Vivaldi Edition and at the same time informed the local businesspeople about the work.
Maria, Aurora, Lennart, and Ulrika representing Star of Hope from 4 countries.
Maria says she was impressed by the turnout of businessmen and happy that representatives from Iasi and also from Sweden, Norway and the USA attended.
Star of Hope Romania was keen on thanking the chamber of commerce as they and their members chose to be with us and our children and their parents at this event. Aurora thanked local students, dancers and faculty of Iasi academy and the College of Art. "It was a magical night," says Aurora.
Maria Presson meets with the Mayor of Iasi Mr. Mihai Chirica
Maria told us, "this is a blessing to be here and see the community involvement and dedication to Star of Hope's work in Romania, this is the fruit."
Maria Presson - foto Samuel Andersson/Star of Hope
Maria Presson and Ulrika Kallin representing Star of Hope USA and Star of Hope Sweden are in Iasi Romania visiting children in a Star of Hope center; here children with disabilities and their parents get the help and education they need to move forward. Inbetween meetings is playtime!
Maria Presson told us "I'm so impressed with the work at the Star of Hope center for children with disabilities. I have been blessed with the opportunity to see the children develop over the years. The children have become more than anyone ever thought they could, be is a wonderful experience."
The Star of Hope Romania Foundation is a Romania nongovernmental organization, apolitical, established in 1998, having the headquarters in Iasi. The mission of the foundation is to improve the quality of the life of children in need, especially those with disabilities. Since 2011, the foundation operates 12 centers for children with disabilities and of course for the families too. "Star of Hope reaches over 500 children each month and nearly 2000 people total every month!" reports Maria Presson.
Star of Hope is also working actively to change the attitudes of health professionals and political leaders. The sight of these children with special needs has long been characterized by the notion that people with special needs cannot contribute to society and that therefore they are inferior. Instead, they have been placed in institutions, where they had to endure both physical and psychological abuse. They never get out of bed, do not learn to walk, talk, feed themselves, dress themselves or do without a diaper. There was simply no time to give every child adequate care. The children were under-stimulated and forced to a life without the possibility to develop as human beings and live full lives.
In 2007, Star of Hope Romania began projects in neighboring Moldova, with the goal to improve the lives of children with special needs and socially excluded children.
We need your support to change lives is expensive working one on one and this situation demands one on one teaching.
www.starofhope.us/give Don't wait!
Just tags below
#DisaBodyPosi #TheBarriersWeFace #WheelchairLife #ActuallyAutistic #abuse #asd #autism #empathy #mentalhealth