Thursday, October 29, 2009

Making a House a HOME for Gold Child

[These are the children of Gold Child Orphanage Home.]

Yesterday I told you about the dinner and silent auction that will be held on November 6th, but I want to give you more information about what the proceeds will be used for. All of the proceeds from the night are going to be used to make a house a HOME for the children living at Gold Child Orphanage Home in Liberia.

[They are currently living in the downstairs, right corner of this building.]
The orphanage home is currently squatting in a bombed out, two-story building located in an internally displaced persons (IDP) camp. There is no electricity, running water or proper bathroom facilities. The children living here are vulnerable, abandoned, orphaned. Imagine living with such uncertainty--you don't know if or when you'll be kicked out. The children need our help!

[This is the new dormitory! The construction is nearly complete!]
Orphan Relief and Rescue has been building a new dormitory for Gold Child, and it is almost complete. But in order to get the children moved into their very own HOME, there are still alot of things to do. All of those small things, the things that make a house a HOME, still need to be taken care of. The HOME is still in need of latrines, showers, a fence, plaster and paint, bunk beds, mattresses, linens, mosquito nets, dishes, pots, pans and more.
All of the proceeds from the dinner and silent auction will be used to minister to the children who call Gold Child their HOME. Just think about the joy on the children's faces when they can crawl into bed at night, knowing that they have a permanent home...a home that's safe, clean and comfortable. And, imagine the relief that this will bring for the director--she won't have to worry about being evicted any longer and she can focus on loving her children! Will you help make their house a HOME?
If you will not be at the dinner, but would like to donate towards the Gold Child project, please make a secure online donation here, and designate that the donation is for Gold Child.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Footsteps For The Orphan

You're invited to join me for dinner on Friday, November 6th at 6:00pm. A pasta dinner will be the kickoff for the "Footsteps for the Orphan" weekend at New Hope Baptist Church in Fayetteville, Georgia. There will be both silent and live auctions, as well as plenty of cash and carry items. There are some pretty cool things on the auction block--vacations, flight simulator hours, sports memorabilia, artwork, and handicrafts from Liberia and other countries. I will also be sharing more about Orphan Relief and Rescue's ministry in Liberia. All of the proceeds from the dinner and auction will support Orphan Relief and Rescue's efforts to make a house a home for Gold Child Orphanage Home in Liberia! Tickets are $8 or you can sponsor a table for $100. This will be a fun, family-friendly event! Please contact me or leave a comment if you'd like to purchase tickets or sponsor a table! (You will want to come to the dinner just to see what the final live auction item is...and then you won't be able to stop yourself from bidding!)

On Saturday, November 7th, New Hope will host its 9th annual Harvest Classic 5K Run/Walk, "Footsteps for the Orphan" and a Kids Fun Run. Proceeds from the 5K will be used to move an orphanage in Haiti to a safer place and provide immediate needs in HeartCry's orphan, foster care and adoption channels of ministry. You can find a registration form on New Hope's website.
And, if you're not in the area, or you just can't make it, please keep the night in your prayers. Pray for God's provision and that people will be moved to help 33 orphans living in Liberia--they desperately need our help!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I Love Fall...minus this cold stuff!

I've been waiting for fall to come! I haven't experienced fall for two years, and I love it when the leaves are falling off the trees, but you can still crunch around on them in your flip-flops and long-sleeves. Fall has arrived in Georgia, but I don't think this Liberian girl will be able to handle it. And I know I'm going to be pretty miserable come winter.

This past weekend, my family and some of our friends went on our annual trip to North Georgia. This trip always includes visits to: the apple orchard, pumpkin patch, Amicalola Falls, and the corn maze. It was a great time with my family and friends, and there was plenty of good food and outdoor activities to be had....but, DANG it was cold! As we sat and had our picnic at Amicalola Falls in the 44 degree weather, I was miserable. I ate quickly and then got in the car and cranked up the heat! Everyone else had gathered around the fire in the grill, left by our picnicking neighbors, to warm their hands, haha. I really didn't think I'd be able to last much longer, but the hike down the falls warmed me up. And somehow, miraculously, I was semi-warm (relative term, here) at the corn maze for alittle bit. I'd have to say that the day's highlights included: spending time with my family and friends, being in God's creation...even if it's freezing, warm apple fritters and racing through the corn maze at night!

And, for entertainment purposes, here's what I was wearing (and still freezing!): one tank top, one thick long sleeve shirt, one sweatshirt-like hoodie, one fleece hoodie, another sweatshirt-like hoodie, my winter coat, 3 pairs of socks (my feet are always cold when I'm in America), a scarf, gloves, and all three of the hoodie hoods on! Yes, I felt like a fat kid all bundled up in a snowsuit, or a fat marshmallow, but I'm not convinced on the whole layer thing actually working anymore!

Anyway, here are some pictures from the day.

[Group shot, minus my dad--the photographer--and John Ryan who was guarding his pumpkin.]

[The Hardy kiddos]

[View from the top and view from the bottom]

[John Ryan documented my 'Ode to Cold Dance', in fat marshmallow style. Pretty good job, eh?]

Happy Fall!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Global Handwashing Day

October 15th has been designated as Global Handwashing Day by UNICEF. The day focuses on teaching children to wash their hands properly with soap and clean water. Every year, 1.5 million children under the age of five die from diarrhea-related diseases that are easily preventable by proper handwashing. Orphan Relief and Rescue has seen the need for handwashing education in Liberia, and we continue to emphasize to the children and caretakers the importance of preventing sickness, not just treating it. Through regular workshops and in-home instruction, children have learned that the single most important thing that they can do to stay healthy is to wash their hands.

To demonstrate to the children where germs like to hide and how to properly wash your hands, the children cover their hands with bright green germs (paint), like Evelyn demonstrates above. They get to practice washing with soap and water and see how much of the "germs" they can wash off. Orphan Relief and Rescue's handwashing program is fun for the children and beneficial to their long-term health. To see programs like this continue, go to and donate using our new, simplified PayPal system.

Happy Handwashing!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Wanted:Silent Auction Donations

My church is hosting a pasta dinner and silent auction for Orphan Relief and Rescue on November 6th. All proceeds from the night will be used to "Make a house a home" for one of our orphanages in Liberia. We are still looking for auction items. If you have things like: sports memorabilia, vacation homes, products or services, hobby related items, handmade crafts, art/photography,etc. and would be willing to donate them for the silent auction, please contact me. Also, I will be selling "cash and carry items" that night. Most of the things I'm selling are from Liberia, but I'm also selling some items that people have made (purses, tote bags, Christmas ornaments) if you're a crafty person and would either donate items or allow me to add on to your selling price (so that ORR would get some proceeds), then contact me as well. This is a big event...350 tickets are being sold. It's a great opportunity if you're in business for advertise and get your products/services out there. Anyway, if you're interested, leave a comment with an email address or shoot me an email, ashley [at] orphanreliefandrescue [dot] org.


P.S. I'll post the info. for the auction and dinner later that you can all come! There will be food, fun, stuff to bid on, live auctions (the night's BIG item is something handmade by a young Liberian me, I want this for myself!), and you'll get to hear more about Orphan Relief and Rescue's ministry in Liberia!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Liberian Dinner

I'm still recovering from a super ORR in Atlanta weekend! Andrew and Tim came out to Atlanta and we ran non-stop doing speaking and fundraising events. My favorite event was hosting a Liberian dinner at my house. I had a vision in my head, as far as food, decorations, atmosphere, etc....and the vision came alive with the help of some great people (super huge thank you's to: my mom, Juju, my dad, Leslie, Andrew and Tim)! I wasn't too much of a stress ball, and the food was tasty! I spent the day preparing the Liberian menu--collard green soup, pumpkin soup, rice, pineapple--along with some fabulous desserts--chocolate cupcakes, a fruit tart and a yummy strawberry cake. The yard looked awesome and I loved the decor, but the best part was that I was able to share a taste of Liberia with people, along with having a family room full of people to thank who have supported me throughout this journey! It was a great night!
Thank you to everyone who helped me keep my sanity, my mom who helped me a tons with all of the cooking, those that lent helping hands, others who donated supplies (framed photos! tables and chairs!) and especially those who came out to hear more about Orphan Relief and Rescue's work in Liberia. You are all awesome, and you're all apart of this crazy journey. You enable me to be Christ's hands and feet to Liberia's orphans, and I cannot do it without you! Here are a few pictures from the night (thanks Juju for snapping a never crossed my mind).