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How You Can Make A Difference on International Women’s Day



Posted by on Mar 8, 2018 | 3 comments

I’m sitting at my kitchen table where the sun is piercing filthy windowpanes, a thing I notice in the morning but forget by noon’s shadow. A ladybug sits on the sill, I’m assuming dead. Our home is a death spiral for pretty bugs dressed in red with black polka dots, and I wonder why that happens at the end of every winter.

It’s International Women’s Day and I wish I could say I knew that on my own, but it’s the internet that tells me so. I’m stung by awareness of my comforts, my plenty, and my relative wealth, and it brings a sort of shame. Those things have cost me nothing, but in some places in this world even lesser things cost everything you have to give.

I’m reminded of a woman I encountered almost nine years ago.



She was striking to me, uncommonly beautiful, obviously haunting. The sun on her shoulders. Her expression, somber yet intense. Her shoes matched her saree. She carried a bucket, soap, cane, and, most important, her dignity.

In my trip to Kolkata where I met dozens and dozens of people, hers is a face I always remember first. Whatever her age, she had lived a long, and undoubtedly difficult life, and yet she’s endured.

She is not victim. She is an unnamed international woman I celebrate.

She lived in a village where Compassion International had a Child Survival Center, a place where mothers and babies receive goods, education, training, and services that contribute to their survival.

Shortly after my trip with Compassion Bloggers to India, the child I sponsored left the program. Her mother remarried after the death of her father, and they moved to a location where Compassion didn’t have a local presence. Though I wasn’t able to continue helping her family financially, I’ve never stopped praying for Pinki; meeting her carved permanent residence in my heart.


I often wonder what she looks like now – nine years older – and how she’s doing…how all the beautiful children served by Compassion are doing in India.

You see, about a year ago Compassion had to shutter its sponsorship program in India; it was heartbreaking for those involved. After decades of ministry, Compassion could no longer send funds into the country due to Indian government restrictions (read more here).

We’ve also sponsored a daughter from the Dominican Republic; this year will be our tenth! She’ll turn 16 in May, and our sponsorship began right after she turned six. It never occurred to me until this moment how long we’ve been blessing one another, and make no mistake: Isaura blesses me with every letter she writes and ever prayer she offers for me and my family.

Compassion currently operates in 25 countries and has touched millions of lives since beginning its work in the ’50s. Everything I learn about Compassion only reinforces its impact and value to our broken world.

Today (regardless of when you read this), in celebration of International Women’s Day, I’m asking you to make a generous contribution to Compassion International. Get your credit card or checkbook out and start here.


You can make a one-time gift or change a child’s life – and his/her family’s lives – by committing to a monthly sponsorship. It’s up to you. 

I know our churches need our money, and our communities need our support, but today to celebrate International Women’s Day, I’m asking for global consideration for a gift to our world. I trust Compassion completely, and I’ve witnessed first hand their impact in local communities.

Look at these precious faces I had the incredible honor of meeting almost ten years ago. They’re my inspiration for today’s bold ask, but I bet there are significant women in your life worthy of celebration. I hope you’ll want to make a gift just because you can.

This old world needs those who have financial means to remember those who have financial need. It’s really as simple as that.





Thank you.

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When did I become a DRAGON SLAYER?! (Oh, yeah…and PLEASE HELP ME!!!!)



Posted by on May 14, 2012 | 2 comments

Dragon boat on Lake Lucerne, Switzerland

A Dragon on a boat, not to be confused with the Dragon Boats descending on Chattanooga on Saturday!

What would YOU do if you had only two months in your hometown before leaving the country?

I, for one, can tell you what I'm doing–cramming as much into 60 days as possible.

Take Saturday, for example.  

Saturday morning I'll be all "PADDLES UP, Y'ALL!" at Chattanooga's Dragon Boat races; I'm joining the BEST team of them all:  Chamber Ambassadors of Hope.

I've known about this event for years and cannot wait to be a part!  Not only is this a fun community tradition, it's a fundraiser for Children's Hospital; we've had many friends whose children have had reason to go to Children's through the years…and they've always been provided exceptional care and service.

Would you PLEASE consider a donation?  Our team's individual goal is $172/paddler; but I'm not satisfied with the minimum and I like round numbers so I raised it to $250.  The competitor in me would LOVE to be the single largest paddler fundraiser of them all, but since that's not likely unless a generous benefactor finds my page, I'll be happy just to reach my goal.  

Donations in any amount will bless my socks off, and you can choose to be anonymous if that's more your style.  Just click the thermometer below; the process is painless and you'll be doing a very good thing.    

One last note:  I really need my friends and readers OUTSIDE CHATTANOOGA to contribute, too!  Many locals are either participating themselves or are supporting other paddlers, and YOUR support of my little effort will mean a lot to me.  A VERY lot  ?.    

Click Here to Donate


(When I say "thank you," I really, really, REALLY mean it.  Thank you!)

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Around/About: The “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” edition
Week of February 5th



Posted by on Feb 12, 2011 | 1 comment

Extreme Makeover--Home Edition Chattanooga
Typically Around/About is a collection of links I love, sites I like, interesting reads or cool happenings nearby, but since Extreme Makeover:  Home Edition is in town (the family will learn who they are TOMORROW!!!) I thought it'd be fun to share how you can help support the build if you live in or near Chattanooga… or in some cases, even if you don't!

~ Make a difference for thousands of local familes:


Time2Save ~ Learn how you can save more to give more!

~ Attend a Special Event:


~ Wear your Extreme Pride.  Buy a tee shirt.

BigHeartsBuild tee shirt Tee shirts are available for $15 at First Tennesse Banks in the area.


 Wanna know anything else?  Check out the Big Hearts Wear Hardhats and builder Extreme Vision Homes website!

 Your turn:  Tell me something FUN happing in your neck of the woods or please share your favorite link from the past week (even if it's a post of your own!).

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Not that you’re giving to get, but you’ll get more than you give



Posted by on Feb 18, 2010 | 1 comment

If you're within driving distance of Nashville or Los Angeles next Saturday, February 27th, you're 12 shades of crazy to pass on this all-star lineup for a concert benefiting Haiti.  Nashville will see the likes of Big Kenny, Alison Krauss with Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas,
Jars of Clay, Mat Kearney, Matt Wertz, Brandon Heath, Dave Barnes, while West Coasters will be treated to Amy Grant, LeAnn Rimes, "Crazy Love" author Francis Chan, Rebecca St. James, NEEDTOBREATHE, and a yet-to-be-named and oh-so-mysterious "Special Guest Headliner".     ssss

Oh, and if you aren't within driving distance, this amazing, ground-breaking event will be livestreamed to a computer near you!  Don't miss it.  Lend your support.  Give generously.  And, please, tell others.

Help Haiti Live - Feb 27

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Our best selves squirt out when life squeezes hard



Posted by on Jan 22, 2010 | 8 comments

In the days since I last spoke in this space, it hasn't been quiet.  Inside, my body was attacked by an ugly Creature wreaking intestinal mischief and l was left by the proverbial roadside tired and "less than"……but not near as less than as it felt in the process of spewing and retching. 

 I'm of the opinion if you have to endure the pain and indignity of a stomach virus, you should at least benefit with Rapid Weight Loss thank-yew-very-much, and I'm indignant my scale begs to differ.

On the outside, the weather has been creative, bouncing from Winter to Spring and back again, teasing bulbs into budding and throwing hailish rocks at my window.  My son wanted to go outside in the midst of the storm to touch icy golfballs but my husband assured him he could open the refrigerator and reach into the ice bin for the same result (and stay dry in the process).

I've found it difficult to complain about most things since my trip to India last Spring, and impossible to complain about, well…anything…since the earth shook Haiti to pieces 10 days ago.

Please click NOW to support Haiti relief with your dollars & cents

Shaun Groves and a team of Super Heroes are doing something about Haiti relief.  Something BIG.  And he's going to tell us soon exactly what it is, and all I can do is sneak away from work every so often to refresh his page to see if he's spilled the goods and dropped any names yet.  I suggest you do the same…and let's celebrate HOPE and HELP together.  Soon.

Cause as my friend Shaun suggests, our best selves squirt out when life squeezes hard.

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We interrupt your work day…



Posted by on Jan 14, 2010 | 5 comments

When Shaun asks me to "jump", because I trust it's for good reason, I simply say, "How high?"  I can't help it…it's easy to follow a hero.

You alreaHaiti-earthquake relief from Compassion Internationaldy know about Haiti's devastation…loss of property…loss of life.  You've seen graphic, heart-shredding images.  You've intended to contribute support, but maybe you haven't gotten around to it yet.  

 I'm asking you to stop what you're doing RIGHT NOW, get out your credit card and give.  There are many reputable organizations to consider, but if you aren't already involved with one, I'm urging you to make a donation to Compassion International

I'm eager to explain why I speak with such strong conviction:

Financial Integrity:

  • They
    are suggesting donations only be made to organizations monitored
    and rated by and The American Institute of
    Philanthropy. Both organizations have given Compassion International
    their highest approval ranking. Compassion International is the only
    non-profit in it's category to receive eight consecutive years of four-star rating from
  • Need more?  Read about Compassion International's financial integrity here and here.

First responders

  • It is crucial first responders receive support
    quickly. Because Compassion International ministers through local
    churches to meet the needs of that church's neighbors, and because
    these church partners are respected aid workers in their communities,
    Compassion is uniquely positioned to assess and meet the needs of it's
    sponsored children quickly.
    This is an advantage of our church-based
    model in practice for more than 50 years.

In Jesus' name

  • Compassion International does not accept government funds which could
    at times restrict our ability to meet the physical and spiritual needs
    of children in Jesus' name. Because of this Compassion International's
    primary financial support comes from individual donors.

How donations will be used

  • All
    funds raised in response to the Haiti earthquake will be used
    immediately to provide for Compassion-assisted children and families
    affected by this crisis. Any funds raised in excess will be stewarded
    by Compassion for additional and future disaster relief efforts.

Please provide immediate relief today:

  • $35 helps provide a relief pack filled with enough food and water to sustain a family for one week.
  • $70 gift helps care for their needs for two weeks.
  • $105 helps provide relief packs filled with enough food and water to sustain two families for two weeks.
  • $210 gift helps care for two families' needs.
  • $525 helps provide relief packs filled with enough food and water to sustain 10 families for two weeks.
  • $1,050 gift helps care for 10 families' needs.
  • $1,500 helps rebuild a home.
  • $2,100 helps supply 20 families with the basics for three weeks.

Due to the high number of responses it may take longer than normal to process your transaction.

Click for updated information:

Updates from Twitter
Compassion blog
Compassion on Facebook
Crisis Update Page

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