Wow, I can hardly believe we have been at this for eleven whole months! We set out last August to average one service project per week for a whole year. So far, we’ve completed 46 projects. Wow. When we started, I really didn’t think we’d get to this point! Of course, 46 projects is a little behind the curve if we want to finish 52 projects by the end of our “year.” (Our first project was on August 6, 2011, so I guess we have about 5 weeks left to do 6 more projects to meet our goal. We better get busy!)
June started off fantastic for us on a personal level. We spent nine days in Hawaii. It had absolutely nothing to do with service, but man, it was the trip of a lifetime. First, we spent two nights on Oahu, hanging out on Waikiki beach, taking a surfing lesson, and hiking up Diamond Head, among other things. Then we spent six nights on the Big Island. Best. Vacation. Ever. If you haven’t been to the Big Island, it should definitely be on your bucket list! We night snorkeled with the manta rays (beyond cool), went to Volcanos National Park (AWESOME!!!) where Rob and I hiked down into the caldera (double AWESOME!), took a helicopter tour of the island, went sea kayaking, snorkeled, went to a luau, and drank plenty of fruity drinks. I’m not sure this vacation can ever be topped. Here’s a quick shot of Rob and I down in the volcano caldera…
The Big Island is covered in lava. It’s unlike any place I have ever seen. So cool and very highly recommended.
Okay, okay, back to service….
After we got back from our trip, it took a while to get in the groove this month. However, we did manage to squeeze in three projects between our trip and the end of the month.
First, Abby had a lemonade and cookie stand at our house to raise money for Team World Vision. She really enjoyed making cookies and the entire process. I publicized the stand on Facebook, but for the first 45 minutes, no customers arrived. I was really worried the stand would be a total bust! But, thankfully, several dear friends and my mom ended up coming to the rescue and saving the day by buying treats and lemonade. Abby raised $42 that day. Several more friends contributed online or gave her cash to bring her total to $106. Pretty impressive for a four-year old!
The highlight of the lemonade stand experience was when an envelope arrived in the mail a few days later for Abby. It was from my old band director at Texas Tech – Keith Bearden – and his wife. I haven’t seen him since I graduated in 2001, but we are Facebook friends. He read about the lemonade stand and sent Abby the sweetest letter along with some cash. You never know who you are going to touch with these types of projects!
For our next project, Abby and I bought baby formula, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and antibiotic ointment for some friends to take on a mission trip to visit orphans in Rwanda and Uganda. (Prayers for safe travels and a wonderful experience, Emily and Sarah! They leave this week!)
Our last project of the month was to create a care kit for a homeless person. We bought a variety of hygiene products and socks. They are now in a ziploc baggie in the center console of my car. The next time we come across a homeless person, we will be ready to help!
Also this month I was contacted by a minister in Kenya and asked to help meet the needs of 300 children at his school. He initially asked for toothbrushes and toothpaste for the children, so we are currently collecting those. (You can give me toothbrushes and toothpaste through July 20 if you’d like to donate. See that post here.) After I asked what other needs they have, he said they desperately need school supplies and would love if we could provide shoes by December. (I am also collecting used shoes. Check that out here.) I hope to have a long relationship with this school in Kenya and provide for as many of their needs as possible in the future.