Eighth Day of Christmas: Bread for the World

Bread for the World

Over the years Bread for the World has been one of my “go to” organizations. At home and around the world Bread for the World, in action, reminds me that at Baptism the community interceded for us so that we would receive grace in order to have “the courage to will and to persevere.” Challenged to feed the world, members of Bread for the World will themselves to action and persevere in their advocacy. I agree with their heartfelt conviction: “God is up to something and is calling us to share in this new creation.” It is humbling to be part of this effort.   ~dan

Quote . . .Bread for the World is a collective Christian voice urging our nation’s decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad.

God’s grace in Jesus Christ moves us to help our neighbors, whether they live in the next house, the next state, or the next continent.

Confronting the problem of hunger can seem overwhelming.

What can one person do? Plenty.

Bread for the World members write personal letters and emails and meet with our members of Congress.

Working through our churches, campuses, and other organizations, we engage more people in advocacy.

Each year, Bread for the World invites churches across the country to take up a nationwide Offering of Letters to Congress on an issue that is important to hungry and poor people. (“What we do” on the Bread for the World website)

Bread for the World What we do | Bread for the World Home Page

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About hunger

In 2005, the latest year for which data are available, 1.4 billion people in developing countries lived in extreme poverty—on less than $1.25 a day—down from 1.9 billion in 1981.

In the United States, 14.6 percent of households struggle to put food on the table. Nearly one in four children is at risk of hunger.

We can end hunger in our time. Everyone, including government, must do their part.

By making our voices heard in Congress, we make our laws more fair and compassionate to people in need.

Source: About hunger on the Bread for the World website

Seventh Day of Christmas: EWC and AWE and girls’ rights

Episcopal Women’s Caucus (EWC) and
Anglican Women’s Empowerment (AWE)

For centuries Mary, the Mother of God, has been remembered, celebrated, and adored. In art and music, prayers and meditations, Mary has become the model of faith. Within the glow of Christmas let us pause and recall that Mary’s journey began as an unwed, pregnant, teenager. Her story could easily have ended in destitution, estrangement, abuse, violence, and desperation. Her child, if born at all, would likely have died in infancy; Mary herself may have died in childbirth. Not the Christmas picture we want to contemplate.

Our scripture tells us, and we have come to trust its testimony, that Mary was delivered from this grim future by God’s grace, mediated by God’s angels, including Joseph and Elizabeth. How many young girls today, some of them pregnant and unwed, could use an angel (like you perhaps) to initiate a different, a better, future?

Within the Episcopal Church members (both male and female) of EWC and AWE find inspiration and direction for their work in the story of Mary, in the teaching and ministry of her son, Jesus, and in the grace of the Holy Spirit within community. Today, God’s angels look a lot like you and me.   ~dan rondeau

Quote . . .The Episcopal Women’s Caucus (EWC) is a justice organization dedicated to Gospel values of equality and liberation and committed to the incarnation of God’s unconditional love. (EWC Mission Statement)

Anglican Women’s Empowerment (AWE) is a membership movement of Episcopal/Anglican women and girls with a broad diversity of backgrounds, interests and skills.We work for gender equity and social justice around the world. (AWE Mission Statement)

About EWC | Home Page

About AWE | History

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Working Group on Girls Empowering the Women of Tomorrow!

by Beth Adamson

AWE has consistently held a seat at the Working Group on Girls. Board member Beth Adamson, is co-convener of WGG.

Put yourself in the shoes of Linea, a young girl whose mother has HIV/ AIDS, a disease she contracted from your father before it took his life. Because you are the oldest daughter, you are the person expected to care for your two older brothers (when they show up) and your three younger siblings. National laws have given no property rights to women, so you live day to day in fear that your father’s family will take your house and your goat, the only source of income. You have never been to school because even when your parents were well, you took the long walk to the river to procure fresh water and wash clothes for the family. You are not even registered in a national registry.

These are the issues that face girls across the globe, and the purview of the Working Group on Girls, a coalition of over 80 NGO’s who are deeply interested in the fate of the girl child. Like AWE, which has a seat at the table, these NGO’s are aware that the empowered girls of today are the empowered women of tomorrow – but it takes vigilance to bring this empowerment to life.

Thus, WGG is committed to assuring that policies are in place via the legislative bodies and working entities of the United Nations. We follow each session of the General Assembly as well as several commissions from the Status of Women to Social Development to A World Fit for Children. Whenever possible, we provide Parallel Events sponsored by 2 or more of our member organizations and develop Fact Sheets on girl-specific topics such as: the Right to Health, Protection from Trafficking, or the Right to Education. WGG sponsors a strong Advocacy Committee that makes a point to visit Missions of member states of the Commission on the Status of Women, providing specific talking points on the Priority & Review Themes of the CSW.

Beyond that, the WGG is privileged to have 80+ NGO’s that are “on the ground” in many countries around the globe, giving an opportunity to support governments and civil society in enacting the UN policies on site. A Missionary in Malawi might use guidelines on Education for Girls to support her cause on creating a private restroom for girls, thus allowing a better chance that they can attend schools. Or an international representative in Brazil can use Fact Sheets from the WGG web-site to advocate on behalf of young women and girls who are the victims of human trafficking.

But the Working Group on Girls also makes every effort to work alongside girls by providing opportunities for girls (age 14 and above) to be involved as delegates in events at the UN that pertain to them. Girl Advocates are involved in our general meetings and as well as Mission Visits. We rely on our coalition of NGO’s to bring girls to Commissions

For instance, AWE’s own Caroline Christie, granddaughter of Marge, was a Girl Delegate in 2007 and 2011, has been on various mission visits, and was the presenter of the Girls Statement to CSW 55 in March, 2011. She continues to serve as an active WGG Girl Advocate.Please view our website www.girlsrights.org and look at our quarterly Newsletter “Action for Girls”!

Source: AWE Journal Nov 2011

MORE? Read the story of Lungowe Mufungulwa a young girl from Zambia who was a girl delegate to the UN Commission on the Status of Women meeting in 2011

Acronyms and links for more information

AWE – Anglican Women’s Empowerment

CSW – United Nations Commission on the Status of Women

EWC – Episcopal Women’s Caucus

NGO – Non Governmental Organization. NGO Global Network: “This site is the home page for our global NGO community (Non-governmental organizations associated with the United Nations). Its aim is to help promote collaborations between NGOs throughout the world, so that together we can more effectively partner with the United Nations and each other to create a more peaceful, just, equitable and sustainable world for this and future generations.”

WGGWorking Group on Girls an NGO Committee working at the United Nations

Sixth Day of Christmas: VFW National Home For Children

VFW National Home For Children

Until this week I had never heard of this National Home. What an amazing resource for all our veterans and their families. ~dan rondeau

About the VFW National Home For Children

The VFW National Home for Children serves as a living memorial to America’s veterans by helping our nation’s veteran and military families.

 Since its founding in 1925, the VFW National Home for Children has grown from an old frame farm house to a sprawling campus with playgrounds, park areas, and multiple buildings, including single-family homes, a community center and gymnasium, child care center, guest lodge, chapel and administrative offices.

The National Home’s services have also evolved to meet the changing needs of America’s military and veterans’ families. Through our Helpline and our on-campus programs, we are able to help families and children through times of crisis, both here on our beautiful campus and in their own communities nationwide.

About Us: VFW National Home For Children

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In their own words – a short (8 min) overview 

National Home Helpline
800-313-4200 |
help@vfwnationalhome.org

The National Home Helpline is the gateway to help for military and veterans’ families. Whether you need help connecting with supportive services and resources in your own community or you are seeking a referral to one of our on-campus programs, you can take comfort in knowing that your call will be answered by a caring professional who understands the unique challenges faced by today’s military and veterans’ families.

The VFW National Home for Children has more than 85 years of experience helping military and veterans’ families by providing counsel, support and connections with resources nationwide. The National Home Helpline is staffed by a dedicated team of caring, listening professionals who work directly with callers to help them find solutions to their pressing issues and concerns. Our resources go beyond community connections and traditional supportive services to include VFW Posts, Departments and Veterans Service Officers across the country.

The Helpline is answered Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern Time.

Source: How we help on the VFW National Home For Children website

Logo: VFW National Home For Children

Fifth Day of Christmas: Feed My Starving Children

Feed My Starving Children

In the first week of Christmas I have highlighted organizations helping children. In my research I found Feed My Starving Children. I am impressed with their efforts. Though no one I know has used this organization, it has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator (highlighted in the Advent Calendar on Day 21. The Feed My Starving Children MobilePack events seem to be a wonderful opportunity for community building and for changing the world. ~dan rondeau

Who we are

Feed My Starving Children is a non-profit Christian organization committed to feeding God’s children hungry in body and spirit. The approach is simple: children and adults hand-pack meals specifically formulated for malnourished children, and we ship the meals to nearly 70 countries around the world.

Feed My Starving Children Home Page

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A community event that feeds people across the world

Feed My Starving Children MobilePackTM events allow people across the United States to pack life-giving meals. In 2010, more than 150,000 MobilePack volunteers packed over 32 million meals. In 2011, our MobilePack events are set to produce more than 34.5 million meals.


Logo: Feed My Starving Children website

Fourth Day of Christmas: Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center

Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center

By now you may have picked up a theme in this week after Christmas: children. With the joyful images and music of Christmas we celebrate the birth of the Christ child; now seems a good time to shine that Christ-light on the needs of children here and around the world.

Today (12/28) the Church commemorates the Feast of the Holy Innocents. We tell the story of the violent death of children in 1st century Palestine at the command of a tyrant, see Matthew 2:13-18. Sadly, centuries later, children in our own Coachella Valley still need to seek safety and healing from violence and abuse despite our efforts to live the kind of love that Jesus lived. The staff and volunteers (some of them members of St Margaret’s) are at the Barbara Sinatra Center to bring healing and hope to these children.  ~dan rondeau

The Children Come First

Founded in 1986 by Barbara and Frank Sinatra, the nonprofit Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center at Eisenhower provides counseling for victims of physical, sexual and emotional child abuse.

Our mission is to break the generational cycle of abuse by focusing on prevention and education.

Approximately 90% of our budget comes from the generosity of a caring, worldwide community, fundraising events and charitable organizations. This heartfelt support ensures that children are counseled regardless of a family’s inability to pay.

Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center Home Page

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Dick Van Dyke narrates a short (11 min) video about the Center

Logo: Barbara Sinatra Children's Center

Third Day of Christmas: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

In 2007 Natalie Tanner, only 5 months old, was diagnosed with a medulloblastoma (a cancerous tumor in her brain). Baptised at Loma Linda Children’s Hospital on the day of a surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible, Natalie was given very little chance to survive. Kristen and Andrew Tanner, her parents and members of St. Margaret’s, were put in contact with St. Jude’s Hospital and Natalie was accepted as a patient, intercessory prayers ascended from St. Margaret’s while chemotherapy was begun at St. Jude. After initial successes and wonderful care the cancer returned, Natalie was placed on hospice care and I planned her Memorial Service with her parents. Intercessory prayers continued and a miracle of health and wholeness blossomed. By the end of summer 2008 the cancer had diminished and active care was resumed. Today Natalie continues to thrive.  ~dan rondeau

Natalie was the Patient of the Month in September 2008

Mission Statement

The mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is to advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. Consistent with the vision of our founder Danny Thomas, no child is denied treatment based on race, religion or a family’s ability to pay.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Mission Statement

St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital Home Page

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Vision Statement

Our vision is to be the world leader in advancing the treatment and prevention of catastrophic diseases in children. This vision will be pursued by providing outstanding patient care; by conducting basic, translational and clinical research designed to elucidate biological mechanisms, understand disease pathogenesis, improve diagnosis, enhance treatment outcome, prevent diseases and minimize adverse consequences of treatment; and by educating health care and scientific research professionals. Through these efforts we seek to cure and enhance the quality of life for an increasing proportion of children who come to us for treatment, and by expanding and sharing knowledge, to advance treatment of children with catastrophic diseases worldwide, while developing strategies to prevent catastrophic diseases in children.

Values Statement

Our foremost responsibilities are to the children with catastrophic diseases, their families, and to the donors that have committed their personal resources toward our Mission. To fully meet these responsibilities, we are committed to an explicit set of values. These values are the standards of behavior that we use to guide our daily actions and decisions. We will ensure that these standards of behavior are adhered to through ongoing training of all personnel working at St. Jude, and by annually evaluating the executive leadership, faculty and staff in their adherence to these values.

Our values of ethical behavior are an important part of who we are, and their incorporation into the fabric of the institution directly impacts our ability to make progress toward achieving our Mission, while simultaneously strengthening our reputation.

  • A commitment to provide our patients with the highest quality of medical and supportive care, and their families with the level of information and support necessary for them to make informed decisions and to become active participants in the care of their children.
  • A commitment to respect the ethnic, cultural, religious and lifestyle differences of patients, their families, our colleagues and our supporters.
  • A commitment to our donors that every dollar donated will be wisely spent toward achieving our Mission of advancing cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic disease through research and treatment.
  • A commitment to a culture of excellence, innovation and creativity, not only in our research, but in everything we do.
  • A drive and a sense of urgency to succeed.
  • Honesty, integrity, and accountability in our actions and decisions.
  • A culture of trust and teamwork.
  • Respect for the employees under our supervision.
  • A commitment to the continual development of our employees.
  • A commitment to diversity.
  • A commitment to social responsibility and institutional citizenship on a local, state, national and global level.

To effectively live up to these ideals, institutional leaders and all employees must maintain a culture that promotes adherence to these values in all that we do.

Source: Mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Logo: St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Second Day of Christmas: Dorcas House

Dorcas House

This vital ministry of compassion and hope is supported by the time, talent, and money of folks like you and me, members of the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego. It is not “too far” to go to be Good News. Here is a summary of the needs in Tijuana:

6,000 children live on the street

 80,000 do not attend school

 400 used to live with their parents in prison

 Dorcas House is changing that, one child at a time.

(About Dorcas House web page)

Mission Statement

A ministry of the Episcopal Church to serve and support children in Tijuana. (July 2011 Newsletter)

Dorcas House Home Page

Dorcas House Photo Gallery

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What’s with the funny name?

Dorcas is in the Bible—you can look it up. She was known for her kindness to people in need. Plus, it’s a name people remember. [See Acts 9:36-42]

 How many children live at Dorcas House?

We’re raising 40+ kids on $11,000 a month. Mexican businesses supply food, milk, and occasional building materials. American contributions cover the children’s school fees, uniforms, school supplies, and staff salaries.

 Why are they in foster care?

At least one parent is incarcerated. Until 2002, children of prisoners simply lived in the prison with their parents. The prison system was reformed in 2002 but Dorcas House remains the only foster home that will accept children of prisoners.

 Sounds like a rough place.

You’d be surprised. Our children bear scars from the past, but have hope for a better future. Six girls are in college preparatory classes, and two are in university and doing very well. We also have children with severe needs who are treated by a volunteer medical team and an on-staff psychologist.

 Why should I care about Mexico when there are problems here?

Where else can you do international outreach in your own back yard? The world is getting smaller every day, and the child you save today may be your neighbor tomorrow.

 What can I do?

To sign up for a trip PLEASE CONTACT Suzanne Warren: sharp.healthcare@sbcglobal.net

To join the medical team, contact Nanette Jiminez: njimenez413@yahoo.com

To make a donation, contact Chris Harris: harrisc@stpaulcathedral.org

Source: About Dorcas House