Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A debt of goodness...

Below is a wonderful story shared by great Friend, Sharon Li, who recently celebrated her child's 9th birthday and instead of asking for gifts, they came up with the idea to ask their friends to support our mission. 

My child's name is Skyler Li. He is just 9 years old. I have been taking him to volunteer since he was 5. We volunteer for Hidaya, packing shipping containers with clothing, toys and housewares that are distrubuted to the poor in Pakistan. We also volunteer with a Buddhist organization visiting the elderly, and I have organized a small group of 3 children to visit another group home for the elderly where the children sing songs and play their violins. 

When I was 6 years old I used to write letters to Father Wasson. I was a child, so of course I wrote only brief, silly things about my day. Father Wasson must have been very busy himself with more important things, but he ALWAYS replied to me and reminded me to remember the poor. I did. I donated my toys. After writing for several years, I grew older and stopped writing. But I never forgot the poor and have volunteered myself since high school. 

Later, as a young mother, I remembered Father Wasson and wrote again to thank him for shaping my young life and inspiring me to give and have compassion. Our lives are always changing. In times when I was in need myself, I have received the grace, mercy and compasssion of others. I cannot pay back those who extended kindess to me, but I can give kindness to others who are in need. I believe that every kindness shown to me creates a debt of goodness that I need to pass on to others. 

Now, as a woman in my 50's with another young child, I still remember the poor and to always give back and create good karmic connections. What Father Wasson did some 50 years may have seemed very small and insignificant at tthe time; afterall, what can writing a letter to a 6-year-old do? It planted a seed that has been passed on to countless others for so many, many years. I believe that everything we do creates a cause and effect. Karmic affinities that are built will have their good result. 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Eau Claire Triathlon in the Upper Midwest Region coming up!


On June 10, 2012 Eau Claire will host its third annual sprint distance triathlon. Since our first race two years ago, beginners and veteran triathletes alike have used our race as a great way to get their summers started with a bang! Competitors have the opportunity to compete individually or as part of a team. The race course includes a swim in Halfmoon Lake, a bike ride through the rolling hills of western Wisconsin countryside, and a run through historic Carson Park.

Race Director Andy Ottum has done a lot for NPH over the last 3 years. Andy said, “When we dreamed of bringing a triathlon to Eau Claire, we wanted to create a first class event, that inspired people to become physically active, and most importantly, raised money to support Friends of the Orphans, a non-profit organization whose mission we strongly believe in.”

Everything you need to know to register for the Eau Claire Triathlon is located at You will also find descriptions for the available event competition categories and all forms and waivers you are required to complete and submit when you pick up your race packet.

Not interested in racing? We need your help on race day in order to create the best race experience possible. All volunteers will receive a volunteer t-shirt, free food and drinks at the post race party, and $15 off a race entry in 2013. We are looking for volunteers in the following positions:
• Packet Pickup
o Saturday PM
o Sunday AM
• Set up
o Transition Area
o Bike Course
o Finish Area
o Stage/Sound System
• Aid Stations Support
• Swim Course Lifeguards
• Body Marking
• Medical Professionals
• Transition Area Support
• Finish Line Support
• Cleanup

E-mail if you have any questions about volunteering.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

At all of our NPH homes, even though many of our children come to us because their biological mothers can no longer take care of them, our pequeños are not motherless by any means. They have many "mothers" in their lives, and a strong and supportive family that lets them know they are truly loved.

"To them, I was a mother figure (yes, some of my girls called me “Ma” and “Mommy”), a sister, an aunt, a friend, a teacher and a mentor. What they were to me was an inspiration. Each day, I was encouraged by their ability to overcome any and all obstacles. They made my time at NPH fulfilling, and I was able to fill a void in their lives." -Kelly Hettic, volunteer at NPH Mexico 

"When the sun sets and the moon comes up, our mothers don't tire; they continue their work. As Charly, a Tía from Casa Santa Maria Reina, says, "there isn't a day to say everything that we as mothers have done, because every day is something special for a mother." Every day is Mother's Day; however, on this day we open up and remember all the help, encouragement, and love that each mother has brought into the lives of all the children here at NPH and in Honduras." -Benjamin Katz, Home Correspondent at NPH Honduras

"In their service, the mother figures live out and offer the very core values that NPH works to instill in its children: love, security, sharing, work and responsibility. Their presence of positive motherhood is vital for the healthy growth of our children, many of whom have experienced loss and abandonment by loved ones. Learning by their example, we hope that our pequeños will know the gifts of service, love and responsible motherhood in their own futures." -Hailey Rademacher, Communications Officer at NPH Honduras

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Holy Family Surgery Center Medical Brigade at NPH Honduras

Doctors, nurses, medical students, along with various people from many other walks of life traveled to NPH Honduras from April 12-19th to drastically change the lives of hundreds of people by providing necessary medical support for both the children on the Ranch and the outside community that otherwise would be left neglected. The Holy Family Surgery Center is a godsend for the poorest of the poor in Honduras because they are not only provided with access to healthcare, but they are also treated with the dignity that they, as humans, deserve. Stepping inside Hospital Escuela, the public hospital in Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras, gives a sense of how desperately this is needed. The chaotic, dangerous, and underfunded hospital cannot provide efficient or even effective support to those most in need. If someone needed any type of surgery—after arriving at Hospital Escuela, they would first be required to go across the street and purchase the proper equipment. To those struggling, this is an extra burden and often impossibility. 

Kate Clitheroe, the coordinator for the Holy Family Surgery Center that volunteers at NPH Honduras wrote the following, “During the April Medical Brigade, a group of more than 40 medical professionals came here to the NPH home in Honduras. These specialists (orthopedics, gynecology, ENT, and general surgery) gave consults to over 700 patients and preformed 94 surgeries. Many of these consults were for members of the NPH family and at least 10 surgeries were performed on NPH children and employees. The community members here, our neighbors, give thanks to the physicians, the Daly Family, and everyone who helped during this medical brigade.” 

Here is a brief interview with one woman’s whose life and family were drastically impacted by this wonderful work.

This experience not only impacts the lives of those in Honduras, but it also touches those who participate. Below are reflections from two of the participants from the April Brigade: 

I think this was my 6th or 7th brigade to the Holy Family Surgery Center at the NPH site in Honduras. Each trip brings its own unique challenges and rewards. It’s amazing how far we’ve come from those first brigades when only a few surgical cases were performed. On our latest brigade we performed nearly 100 surgeries and saw 800 patients in clinic, truly staggering numbers. It’s remarkable to witness how people come together over the course of the week to become an effective, efficient team. Folks with no medical background pitch in to become valuable team members, students contribute their youth and enthusiasm, and the long-term volunteers inspire us all with their dedication. Importantly, all this surgical/medical activity is set against the backdrop of the “Ranch:” 300+ children at once smiling, crying, laughing, failing, and succeeding. Each child has their own story to share and inspire us in turn. It’s these children that continue to motivate me to be better, try harder, and return time after time. 

-Michael Forseth, MD 

The Blue Flame 
Traveling the world as a missionary evangelist, my partner was a gifted minister & very successful businessman. We always kept an eye out for people, causes, & missions to support that could qualify as "blue flamers" - called such because that’s the cleanest, most efficient part of a gas fueled flame. Ministries that qualify are surprisingly hard to find. 

So to experience NPH Honduras - the ranch, and surgery center - was a revelation. A self-sufficient ranch, using resources wisely, a home for orphans that is their family rather than a holding tank for adoption. 

Children receiving an academic education as well as being offered not just the spoken word of God, but His love in action. 

A surgery center that is doing more than healing individuals, it is building community. 

Biggest blue flame I've ever seen! 

I went as a volunteer, came home a supporter.

XO, Randy Cleary

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Valentina and Anita at NPH Dominican Republic

Read this wonderful post by awesome Friends, Sadie and Suraya Whitley!

My daughter and I planned on visiting the DR soon after our first trip to the NPH home in Honduras (July 2011) but, little did we know at that time, that we would have the honor to meet and spend time with Valentina and Anita. A couple of months before our trip, I had asked my friends that signed up to sponsor a child at the Seattle gala in October 2011, if anyone had sponsored a child in the DR so that we could visit their godchild on their behalf. Lucky for us, one of my friends signed up to sponsor Valentina, and now our trip was filled with excitement and joy to be meeting Valentina and her sister. Thanks to Laura Useche who took the time to contact the NPH organizer for the February Trip, I was immediately contacted by Catherine letting me know that she had informed Valentina and Anita that I would be coming on the trip, and she included a current photo of the girls in the email, showing me how excited they were to meet me. So, I signed up for Godparent celebration day with excitement. 

I met Anita while she was visiting with her godparents from Italy. She turned around and asked me what my name was, and as soon as I said my name and made introductions, she asked me if I was there to meet Valentina. I don’t know how she knew it was me, but she obviously did and this turned out to be thanks to the staff at NPH (Catherine) for informing the girls that they would have a visitor. 

Valentina and I spent as much time together as we could during my visit, and Anita was not far behind us. Anita is a happy young girl who loves to dance. She is quite the hostess as well, as she made sure that my daughter and I were introduced to anyone and everyone we walked by; she always had a smile on her face and was extremely polite. Anita made sure that my daughter Suraya was introduced to all her friends, and at one point, they all disappeared to go play together. 

Getting to know Valentina was a sweet surprise. She is a young girl that is happy with hopes and dreams for her future. She is quite the artist and loves to draw Mickey Mouse all the time. Valentina wants to study in college to help kids in her country that have been abandoned by their parents. She said that being a counselor is a gift to help others, and since she has had great mentors at NPH, she wants to be able to help other kids as well. Valentina and I spent a lot of time drawing and coloring together and chatting about girl stuff. I told her all about her godparent, Kathy H. and how much Kathy would have loved to come on this trip to meet her. Valentina was very excited to have received a letter from Kathy and a photo album that I helped put together with photos of the family. She was extremely grateful and thumbed through the album several times with a smile. She said that she was very grateful to have Kathy as her godparent and very grateful that she got to meet my daughter and I. 

Valentina became my dance teacher along with her sister Anita. We practiced until I got all the steps correctly and then, Anita gave me her blessing and said I could now dance on my own. Then it was my turn to teach Valentina to roller blade. We laughed, we sang, we danced and we shared our dreams together. I promised Valentina that I would continue to write to her and that god willing, I will return to the DR to visit with her and Anita again. 

Once again, I was blown away with my experience at my second NPH home. The work and care they take with all the kids is truly amazing. The environment the kids are growing up in is positive, clean and filled with unconditional love. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Papa Noel

Here are some pictures from great Friend, Doug DeBen from his recent trip to NPH Peru. You can also read his full story on our website, here, and view his Facebook album of pictures from NPH here!