Archives For giving

Screen Shot 2014-03-03 at 10.20.26 PMWe are blessed.

There’s been much talk in my Facebook newsfeed lately about the over-use of the word ‘blessed’. In essence, one particular article states that one should not suggest or equate material possessions with being blessed, as the ‘prosperity gospel’ has propagated. For example, if I’m really doing what the Lord wants me to, He will reign down material & monetary gifts to reward us. No. Just no. That ‘gospel’ doesn’t preach in third-world countries, where some of my friends live.

Let me say it plainly: God is NOT our Sugar-Daddy in the Sky. He owes us nothing. He’s already given us more than we deserve. His Son. Relationship. One’s depth of spirituality & acceptance from God has nothing to do with…

…how big one’s house is.

…how financially secure one is.

…how obedient one’s children are. (thank God Almighty!)

…how successful you are (according to society’s standard)

So don’t let somebody convince you they are closer to God or more ‘blessed’ because the cash is flowing, or things just seem to turn to gold when they touch them. Don’t.

But at the same time, when I read topics such as the over-use of the word ‘blessed’, I think we are on fear-based dangerous ground, because what if we look like ‘those’ people that count their blessings by the size of their closet? 

Please, don’t stop praising God & thanking Him for how blessed you are! Yes, you are blessed. You are adored. The King above all Kings is smitten with you and cares for every single detail of your life – and He longs for you to bring Him into every one of those details.

Maybe we just need a reminder of what blessed really means.

*We are blessed when our transgressions are forgiven; knowing full well we don’t deserve it.

*We are blessed when we don’t walk in the counsel of the ungodly, or stand in the path of sinners, or sit in the seat of the scornful. {For the record, I think standing in the path of sinners can simple mean we don’t become a stumbling block for those who want to know Jesus, because we’re too busy judging & criticizing their sin. Word.}

*We are blessed when we mourn & grieve, BECAUSE we will be comforted with His presence & tender mercies.

*We are blessed when we don’t fire back insults, but respond with grace under pressure, BECAUSE the meek will inherit the earth.

*We are blessed when we believe in God’s passionate love for us, evidenced in Jesus death & resurrection, BECAUSE we will have eternal life.

*We are blessed when we put our hope in God, who has proven Himself over & over & over again. He goes before us & sees us through the darkest despair.

*We are blessed when we suffer for righteousness sake (not for being an arrogant dork) BECAUSE we live for more than earthly gain, prestige & power.

*We are blessed when we endeavor to give ourselves fully to knowing Him; abiding in Him as if He was our very breath. When we DON’T allow ourselves to forget alllllll His benefits, we are blessed. When we effectively DO what He’s asked BECAUSE He draws near to us when we draw near to Him, we are blessed.

*We are blessed when we GIVE!

And this, these truths, can be preached to EVERY corner of the world, in every home, on every street corner. Blessed because we are forgiven & wooed by a God who longs to walk with us through the good times & the hard times. Blessed because THERE IS HOPE beyond this life.  

I challenge you to go beyond building your personal kingdom this week and find someone with whom you can share God’s Kingdom in a tangible way. Pay It Forward. Give It Forward. Bless It Forward. 

Count your blessings by what you give away, not what you keep. 

Let’s focus on Thy Kingdom Come: building God’s Kingdom, bringing heaven to earth not just for ourselves & our household but for others who can never return the favor. Should we find ourselves with riches (nearly all of us in North America), we are literally given the provisions in order to share with those in need ~  so they may too know God’s provision in a tangible way. Be blessed in sharing what God has given you, no matter how big or how small.

So, yes I suppose that having more than enough does make us blessed because it is more blessed to give than to receive, right?

Shine On!




What Do I Know?

August 27, 2013 — 6 Comments

Screen Shot 2013-08-27 at 9.04.33 PMI’m sorry.

I don’t know.

Its almost embarrassing how often I have to say these two phrases. But whatever, because I’m highly aware of how much I still have to learn about life. That list could go on & on & on

and on.

This list of what I know is much shorter, so here it goes!

I know:

1. First of all, I know I don’t know much. Most of what I have learned though, has been learned in the valleys, not on the mountaintops. Embrace the valleys.

2. God isn’t just great because of the BIG things He does. His most majestic greatness is revealed in the fact that He cares for every single detail of our lives. His Love is Endless & Reckless. Whatever it takes.

3. There’s a whole lot of stuff to be thankful for and having a lot of ‘stuff’ isn’t one of them. 

4. Money, like Love, is meant to be given away. Show me someone who freely gives both money & Love at the expensive of their own comforts, and I’ll show you a compassionate, joy-filled being. Michael Oh nails it in this video clip about Missions & Money. A generation is rising that is so in love with Jesus, their own entertainment & comforts are but an afterthought. The Gospel must be preached in all the world. And this generation is gonna take their resources of time, love and yes, money to make it happen.

5. Godly men are hard to come by. If you’ve got one, keep him even if you’d like to kick him in the pants once in a while. Focus on his strengths and maybe he will too. Okay, still learning.

6. There’s no pit deep & dark enough that God’s loving arm can’t reach. Trust me, I’ve been to the bottom of several. Remember valleys & whatever it takes.

7. Kids are a gift from God… even when they drive a momma to the edge of Ca-razeee Town. Some answers to your prayers are wrapped up in these precious gifts, just waiting to be opened for the right time. As Mark Batterson says, our prayers never die. They live on through our children & grandchildren.

8. God wants R.E.A.L (Relationships Exhibiting Actual Love), and so do people. Western Christianity has somehow turned a relationship with God into a formal affair, made complete by donning a fancy outfit & attending a posh venue every weekend just to say you were there. It gets old, fast. Or imagine inviting your family over for a steak dinner, except when they arrive you give each of them a detailed, step-by-step recipes of how to make a juicy T-bone steak, creamy mashed potatoes, and even a mouth-watering baked from scratch apple pie, complete with illustrations! They’ll be quickly disappointed and probably get out of there as fast as they can! PEOPLE ARE HUNGRY FOR REAL FOOD not recipes about food!!! And God wants REAL HUNGRY people at His table! Know a group of Christians who, instead of forming a committee to contemplate potentially voting on serving the needs of their community, are actually serving up real food in the real world? Go. Seriously. Go. That my friends, is church! 

So that’s all I know. Today. Tomorrow I may even forget some of these (especially 5 & 7).

So tell me, what do you KNOW? Today. Share a comment or drop me an email I’d like to share some of your life lessons in future posts. Together, we might just realize we know way more than we thought.

Shine On!


Bongiwe, whose name means ‘acceptance’ and ‘gratitude’ is a young Swazi teen who attends Bheveni Carepoint in Swaziland, Africa. I met her on our last trip there in September 2011. She is a bright, articulate young lady living with one of our Bheveni bomake. She never knew her father & her mother died several years ago, but her spirit & resolve are strong, in spite of the many obstacles she has had to overcome.

Beautiful Bongiwe

When I met her, Bongiwe had a large growth inside her cheek (later found out it was in her sinuses) that was affecting not only her ability to eat properly, but also her vision. Upon a closer look, it was obvious she was in pain and ashamed of how she looked. We were able to give her some antibiotics while we were in Swazi, but the local missionaries have really taken time to get to know her, and to get her the care she has needed in the last 9 months. {Shout out to Mrs. Amy McAdams!!!}

I want to update you on how Bongiwe is doing now! As you read this, please allow yourself to see how God works through your prayers and financial resources. You’ve allowed a young lady’s life to be FOREVER CHANGED – to know she is cared for & loved – because you gave & continue to care!

More than a dozen of you gave towards her medical treatment a few months back. Thank you! She is doing well right now, but has been thru a LOT!

The growth that was removed from her face/sinuses in February had grown back and was causing her teeth to be pushed out of alignment (and sometimes OUT) by the swelling or whatever it is. In early May, the ENT in Mbabane took a biopsy of the growth, hoping for some more clarity for how to proceed. This was a really painful experience, as you can imagine!

She did really well. The biopsy showed only “nonspecific” swelling and some infection. She will be on Prednisone indefinitely to try to reduce the swelling, but TB and cancer were ruled out. Hallelujah!

Another bit of good news: A recent missionary team member has taken Bongiwe’s lab reports back to the US, to her husband who is an ENT! He will be able to look at them and give an educated 2nd opinion, to make sure she’s getting the best treatment possible. I love how God is working valiantly on Bongiwe’s behalf!

And MORE good news: While Bongiwe is not ‘out of the woods’ so to speak in regards to the growth on her face, her trust in God has not wavered.  She is doing incredibly well in school, now that she can attend regularly!

{Side NOTE: All the Bheveni kids’ school fees for the year have been provided through several online events held this winter through Children’s HopeChest and our Bheveni supporters across the United States! Thank you!}

IN fact, missionary Amy McAdams (who’s been with Bongiwe every step of the way) says, “Bongiwe was recently chosen as the ONE person to represent her school in an “accounting and business” competition. I have no idea what that is, but she is very proud. And nervous. Will be competing against kids in upper grades and from “big” schools…. So proud of her. She is doing very well in school it seems.”

Bongiwe's Letter of Faith

When we visited her in September, Bongiwe wrote this letter to her future sponsor (she’s now sponsored!). While the picture is a little fuzzy, Bongiwe’s handwriting & articulation is beautiful. In one part she states, “when you read Proverbs 15 verse 3 where the Bible tells us that the eyes of God are in every place, watching the good ones and the bad ones, that gives me a clear picture that there is nothing impossible with our living God, all things are possible.”

Her faith is humbling, is it not? And see what God has done with her faith? He had moved on the hearts of people across the world to advocate, pray, and change her life! And who knows whose lives SHE will touch (besides mine!) as a result. Each of you will have ‘stake’ in the harvest her life will bring! Remember, with God all things are possible to him who believes!!!

What are YOU believing God for?

Shine On!


A huge thank you to everyone who participated in Love4Lunch in some fashion or another! As of right now, $12,415 has been given.  I say ‘as of right now’ because just today another donation was made! People are still feelin’ the love!

{Update: by the end of February, over $14,500 was given!!!}

Once all the funds are in from the local events, they will be wired to Swaziland and the Bheveni children will be told that they can return to school for the entire year, without worry of being turned away!

I know many of you, like me, wish that you could be there to see the looks on kids’ faces when they are given the great news! Remember the hysteria created a few years ago when Oprah surprised her entire studio audience with a new car? “You get a car! You get a car! You get a car!”

Yeah. It’ll be that, but x160!!

“YOU get an education! YOU get an education!

YOUUUUU get an education!”

The children will be shouting and spontaneous singing will break out! I can hear them singing now, “I just want to say, Niyabonga, Jesu” (Thank You, Jesus!) And of course, Make Maksohazane will immediately begin doing her African Praise Dance, with one hand in the hand and a war cry like you’ve never heard!

Let me remind you, Giver –

You did NOT go without lunch for nothing.

You did NOT plan a local Love4Lunch event in vain.

You did NOT just throw your money to the wind.

Your money is going to REAL kids in REAL need of a REAL opportunity!

Your prayers, your dollars, your efforts combined with the hard work of the natives & staff in Swaziland will bring change and opportunity the children wouldn’t have had otherwise.

I’m so proud of my Jesus & my community! You did not turn a blind eye or say, “Those kids half way around the world are NOT my problem!” You served them as Jesus in Disguise! I’m so humbled & grateful that you let His Love flow through you this Valentine’s Day! Guaranteed it was the best lunch money you’ve ever spent!

On behalf of the children, their caretakers, and Children’s HopeChest, I say a big fat thank you!!! Keep praying, keep giving, keep loving!

Shine On!






Love Day!

February 13, 2012 — Leave a comment

Happy Valentine’s Day! 

I pray today you are surprised by someone who goes out of their way to show their love for YOU! Of course, no amount of human love can compare with how captivated & adored you are by your Creator. What I find amazing about His love is that it can not be earned and it can not be stolen! His Love is perfectly eternal and ever-present.

Romans 8:37-39  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I want to remind you about Love4Lunch that is happening TODAY! What better day to spread the love of God all the way across the world!

Skip your lunch today and instead give those few bucks so that our Bheveni Carepoint children can return to school for the year. Children’s HopeChest has made online giving even easier than before. Just follow this link – NO CODE is needed at this link!

Love4Lunch QuickGive Page

(no code necessary here)

Thank you my lovely friends & readers!

Shine On!



Nothing says Jesus Loves You like a can of beanee weenees!

After learning & reading more in depth about Mary, the mother of Jesus last week and getting so much encouragement from her joyful trust in God’s promises, I decided to keep reading further in the Book of Luke. As you would expect, there’s more great examples of how we are to live our lives for the Lord.

This week I find myself thinking a lot about John the Baptist, Jesus’ cousin. Luke 3 gives the account of when John became ‘John the Baptist’.
“… the word of the Lord came to John, the son of Zacharias, in the wilderness. And he went into all the region around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sin.”
There is so much we can learn from the life & message of John.
♥ All people need to hear the message of Christ – include those who think they know it all already
♥ At our very core we exist to worship & proclaim Christ; compared with Him nothing else really matters – not the clothes on our back, the comfort of a bed, or our next meal. Yet often that’s where spend our time and resources, am I right?
♥ When Christ is preached, it draws repentance and persecution that may cost us everything.
Like John the Baptist, Christians are called to prepare the way of the Lord. I don’t think it’s necessary that we eat locusts & honey or live in the desert, however his life exemplifies one that is sold out and dedicated to telling people about the Savior. Is yours?

John the Baptist gave up his comforts and called Jews and Gentiles to do the same. He said to those coming to be baptized “repent from your wicked ways… bear fruit that is worthy of repentance.”

They asked, “What shall we do then?”
Allow me to interrupt myself to say that John’s answer was an AHA moment for me, which of course stands for All Holy Answers!
♥ Did John tell this brood that in order to bear fruit they must put on their best fashions and get their butts to the pews on Sunday morning?
♥ Did he tell them to spend all their time indulging their children’s every whim?
♥ Did he say you are a child of the King of Kings, you are entitled to the best life has to offer!?
♥ Did he ask them to hoard their wealth, so that they could live comfortable lives while waiting for the Savior’s coming?
Get this – John the Baptist told them to GIVE. G.I.V.E. GIVE!

John answered, “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.”

Even tax collectors came to be baptized. “Teacher,” they asked, “what should we do?”

“Don’t collect any more than you are required to,” he told them.

Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?”

He replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely—be content with your pay.”

John told them to give up (turn from their wicked ways) and give away (share to the point of sacrifice)
♥Can I say something without offending you?
No. I’m pretty sure this is going to offend you.♥
We American Christians seem to have this view that if we give a can of Beanee Weenees at the door of the Christian concert that costs $40 a ticket, that we’re dutiful Christians. For real?
Not that I think weenees are sinful (well, sometimes), but my point is it’s NOT enough! That can of beanee weenees did not set you back, now did it? Nope.

I think John’s message was give sacrificially, give til it actually costs you something, give til it hurts! Then, THEN you will have compassion, then you will bear fruit that is worth noticing and will bring others to repentance before Christ also ‘that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven’

Perhaps I’m preaching to the choir – I realize that many of you do live in a way that bears fruit. I’m often humbled by how generous you are to the needs we present for the kids in Swaziland, Africa.

I also realize that nearly all of us live on tight budgets. A few years ago, hubby and I decided to live below our means. A long story that I’ll spare you all the details of. Basically it started with us selling our big, beautiful home and over a year later buying a small home that was less than half our previous mortgage costs. The process felt so liberating that not too long after we traded in two large vehicles for a sedan! In gasoline alone, we saved some serious money.

Looking back, I thank God – we really didn’t know what we were doing to be honest – but I’m thankful the Lord knew the ups & downs that were ahead of us. Had we continued to try to live the American Dream (that says bigger is better) we would’ve found ourselves high & dry. But even now with incomes that are significantly less, we are able to give a larger percentage of our time & resources to people & causes that we believe are close to the Father’s heart. Not that I would mind having more resources again, but I hope we would continue to increase sacrificial giving that furthers God’s kingdom instead of our own.

So my AHA moment was the fact that John’s central message of repentance revolved around giving things up and giving yourself away so that others may live & glorify God.

I can attest to the fact that sacrificial giving hasn’t been easy, but it has created in us a greater dependency on the Lord for our provision. We have been drawn closer to His people and to His heart. Even now, we are trusting God for specific needs for our family, that only God can fulfill. In reality, there’s no where else I’d rather be, even if it hurts in the moment.

Like John the Baptist, we the Church are called to prepare the way of the Lord, to be His Voice, His Heart, and His Hands! I ask that today you reflect on what that means in your own life.  Go ahead, give your Beanee Weenees at the door and feel good about it! But can you bear a greater reflection of your Savior by being more generous with the poor & needy locally and across the world? Are there comforts and indulgences you can give up in order that godly fruit may grow?

Shine On! 
This post is not meant to be a call for another fundraising project, but I can’t talk about giving without sharing an opportunity to do so. If you follow this link, you can hear about Change Their Story – a project through Children’s HopeChest that seeks to provide food, clean water, and education to orphans and at-risk children across the globe. Thank you!

B-Team Prayer T-3 Days!!!

September 14, 2010 — 1 Comment

It’s crunch time, Y’all!

It's Crunch Time, Y'all!!!!

Our B-Team is busy, busy – finding, filling & crunching suitcases to make all the supplies fit! We have been so blessed by our generous family & friends that are sending provisions for the Beveni kids!

And not only are there provisions of clothing, toys, bandanas, candy, crafts, backpacks, and school supplies, and more, but we’ve had so many monetary donations as well!

Notice the Give-O-Meter ‘s total is OVER $5,000! In fact, I had to raise the goal to $7200, just so you could see how far over our goal of $5,000 we actually are. Extraordinary!

Please pray for the following:

  • Ask the Lord to help us finalize the details of the trip, as the B-Team are making final arrangements for departure.
  • Pray for continued health & healing for everyone on the B-Team. There are several of us who are fighting sickness.
  • Pray that God would continue to prepare the hearts of the 131 (and growing!) children who are cared for at the Beveni Carepoint, that He would keep them strong & healthy that they may participate in all the fun we have planned for them!
  • Pray that we spend the money wisely & put it towards what the kids & the Carepoint need the most to provide long term sustainment.

In His Service,

Danielle & The B-Team!

I confess. Tonight I Googled, “How to get people to give to online charity”

I’m ashamed.  I really was trying to avoid resorting to guilt & pressure (as you’ll read below). And that’s why I did it.


I genuinely DO want to see people open their hearts & pocket books –

Wait back this blog train up – did I just say pocket books? I must have suddenly warped to 1953 when women called purses pocket books. Let me start that thought again!

I genuinely DO want to see people open their hearts and purses so that our 132 Beveni kids in Swaziland can have basic medicines, first aid supplies, clothes & paper for school! In fact, it’s been nearly all I can think about since last Tuesday. How can we get the kids the items they have need of?

God opened the doors through connecting us with Kids Against Hunger who is sending a shipment of food to Swaziland very soon. One of our sponsors is working diligently on our behalf to also ship medicines & other supplies to our Beveni kids, on that same container. It should arrive just before we do, in mid-September.

Then God sparked the idea for Beveni Outpouring 72. $7200 in 72 hours for Beveni kids’ supplies. And the needs are being fulfilled! Our Beveni Team (you’re on the team, too) is raising the money to buy the supplies….

Just not as fast as I’d hoped.
At some point today I got worried… (just before I googled) What if we don’t get enough money to send the supplies? And I began to formulate all kinds of cockamamie ideas (can I say that on a Christian blog?) anyhow…

  • Maybe God said 1072 – $1072 in ONE THOUSAND  SEVENTY-TWO hours.
  • All my friends clicked “HIDE” when they saw I was doing an online fundraising campaign.
  • And the worst – It can’t be done. Who can raise $7200 online in 72 hours? I asked God, “What am I missing?”

  • God Googles, right?

    So what did Google say?

    I found out that people give for several reasons.

    • Guilt – not gonna go there.
    • Pressure – here either.
    • Happiness – happy people give more. It’s a fact. Trust me. I don’t know what site I read it on, but a study was conducted sighting that happy people are 40% more likely to give than those who aren’t happy. Duh.
    If you feel guilt-ed or pressured into giving to the Beveni Outpouring 72, don’t do it. Did you read that right? Yep. Don’t give if you feel a measure of guilt or pressure.

    I know, I can’t believe I said it either. I may regret it later.

    Give Because
    • It’s there is a need that you can fill – money goes FAR in Africa!
    • You have a happy heart!
    • You want to spread that joy to others!
    If you haven’t read the specifics of the Outpouring 72, please do so Beveni Outpouring 72 Announcement Post

    Otherwise, if you want to GIVE from your happy heart, GIVE HERE! THANK YOU! That’s the link to Children’s HopeChest Ministry’s online giving form.  In the notes section, be sure to write BEVENI SUPPLIES. Then drop me an email & tell me how much you gave, so I can add it to the grand total.

    The truth is I believe (now that I got through the worry) we will hit the mark of $7200 by 8a.m. Monday morning. But even if we don’t, God will use the money that has been given and multiply it in the lives of the givers & the Beveni kids. I know that for certain…

    …without Google’s help!

    Shine On Sisters!

    Ps. I hope this doesn’t take away from those who have given during our first 48 hours of the Beveni Outpouring 72. I’m so thankful that you stepped up to the plate! I just had a few discouraged hours and decided to blog about how God got me through it! 🙂

    Beveni Outpouring 72

    July 22, 2010 — 2 Comments

    $7200 in 72 hours for Beveni

    Finally! I can announce what I’ve been so excited about! I teased on a Facebook post two days ago that my excitement was almost palpable & I still have people waiting to hear!

    As of tomorrow morning we begin Beveni Outpouring 72.

    But first… I have to tell some quick background for those who aren’t yet familiar with Beveni.

    What’s a Beveni, you ask?

    I’m the sponsorship coordinator for the Beveni Carepoint in Swaziland, where we have sponsored a young lady for over a year now. In fact, at the Beveni Carepoint 132 children receive care including food, education, emotional support, and medical attention if necessary.

    There are over 20 carepoints like Beveni in Swaziland – all begun by Children’s HopeChest Ministry. The Carepoints are funded through churches & people desiring to see these kids find hope & safety & love where they live. Beveni is the only Carepoint that is not funded by a specific church, but simply through a group of online, like-minded individuals who have taken up the cause to help the kids find love & hope.

    Most of the 132 kids are orphaned due the AIDS pandemic, but all are vulnerable & deal with issues children should never have to deal with. In fact, the life expectancy in Swaziland is only 32 years old.

    A 15 year old is considered middle-aged.

    ~~~~~     ~~~~~     ~~~~~     ~~~~~     ~~~~~

    Beveni Outpouring 72 is simple 72 hours set aside to raise $7200 for Beveni kids!

    We are part of a team who is going to serve at the Beveni Carepoint in Swaziland September 18th-29th. We have a huge opportunity to get the kid & the caregivers some much needed suppliesthings you & I take for granted.

    ° Basic medical supplies – Tylenol, cold, allergy meds, first aid needs

    ° School supplies – pencils, crayons, paper, rulers, mathematical drawing sets, flashcards, music cd’s & a carepoint boom box, etc.

    ° Personal items – soaps, deodorants, toothbrushes/paste, shirts, socks, shoes

    ° Fun! – soccer balls, jump ropes, dolls, card games, candy

    There is a potential for us to ship the medicines & first aid supplies through a great humanitarian organization. The shipment leaves the US very soon. Thus the need for a 72-hour campaign. For the rest of the supplies, we will buy them in Swaziland and hand-deliver them to the kids & the Carepoint leaders! This will also help the local businesses & economy.

    So Friday morning (this morning!) the Beveni Outpouring 72 begins. And by Monday 8a.m. Monday morning, I expect that we will have EXCEEDED our goal!

    We WILL raise $7200 in 72 hours for the Beveni Carepoint. Do you want to help create hope? Of course you do! Give what you can, but give from your heart!

    It’s simple. Here’s how…


    1. CLICK on this link to HopeChest.


    2. Indicate the $$$ you wish to give  Your gift will be tax deductible.

    3. **VERY Important** in the NOTES section write: BEVENI SUPPLIES

    4. SHARE this information on Facebook, Twitter, your blog, with your church, your friends, and your kids…  ALL WEEKEND LONG!

    5. PRAY that God blesses this event of outpouring. Pray that He also provides an outpouring of hope to our kids at Beveni, their families & all those involved in serving the kids in Swaziland. And pray that He blesses those that give!

    HopeChest won’t have the totals processed until mid-next week. So do me solid & email me at to let me know how much you were able to give towards Beveni Outpouring 72. Names will not be shared, only dollar amounts.

    I will keep a running total on Moms4Change Facebook Page as well as my personal FB page. So stay tuned, cuz we’re about to be a part of something BIGGER THAN YOU & I!!!!

    Shine On Sisters!

    Danielle Brower

    ps. Shout out to ZekeDesigns for the graphics & logos! Holla! You can find them on facebook HERE!


    5 Reasons Your Local Food Shelf Needs Your Time!

    1. Get OUT of your comfort zone – Some of us are extroverts (Holla!) and some aren’t. That being said, the food shelf is a place of service and anyone can serve, even if you are uncomfortable around strangers. They won’t be strangers for long if you get in there and give it your all. Plus, it’s good for ALL of us to be out of our comfort zones on a regular basis!

    Over 2800 items were donated by KIDS in ONE MONTH!

    2. Get an honest perspective on your local community’s needs – Your local food shelf is on the front line in fighting hunger & poverty in your community. It separates the gap between ‘us & them’. You realize there is no ‘us & them’ at all. Everyone’s been lying to you.

    Truth: there are literally people living in your community who are going hungry. People that need support at the Food Shelf are not free loaders. Oh sure you get the occasional guy sneaking three snacks instead of the standard two, but that is rare.

    They are genuine people who are down on their luck. Many are well-spoken & hard workers. And as you may have guessed in today’s economy there are many who are down on their luck that may have been living the American Dream just a few short years ago.

    Imagine yourself in that predicament.

    3. Giving your time can make a difference – Want to brighten someone’s day? You can. Some days when I go into the Food Shelf I can see the shame on people’s faces as they sit in the waiting area. I imagine what they are thinking, “This is so humiliating. I shouldn’t have come.”

    A volunteer can be the difference by simply smiling at them and genuinely honoring them by serving. I even try to throw in a few jokes every once in a while to tear down any barriers of shame. Most of the time it works, even if the jokes are lame. Yeah I may look a little foolish, but I don’t mind so much.

    4. You’ll be an example to your kids – Not all food shelves allow it, but on occasion I’ve had to bring my six-year-old in with me. Even his time has made a difference in the life of those needing food. He has helped bag the groceries & then replenish the shelves as well. When he comes, it’s been so fun to watch the joy on my little man’s face that he’s helping!

    Some of the hard working Student Govt. girls at the Food Shelf delivering what was collected!

    5. It’s not about YOU, and that’s why it’s so rewarding!!! – Volunteering is one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself. No, I don’t recommend volunteering at the food shelf just so you can feel good. But it does get you ‘outside’ yourself for a bit. Our world is so focused on our own entertainment.

    Volunteering is sacrificial & yet so rewarding. Yeah, there are days that I think, man I could/should really be doing my laundry (which is usually last on my list!) or studying how to have a kick-butt blog or sitting at B&N drinking a vanilla latte. But never once have I regretted sticking to my commitment of serving.

    It has been one of the most rewarding things I’ve done.

    Don’t know where to begin? Here’s a few links that will help you find your local Food Shelf or Food Pantry.

    Hunger Solutions, MN

    Food Pantries Across America

    In my little town of 600 people our Food Shelf serves appx. 30-40 families monthly, but this also includes several other small towns around us. There is a need.

    I dare you to step up.

    I double dog dare you.

    (Now you just have to, right?)

    Keep Lovin’ Moms!