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Friday, February 02, 2007

February Newsletter

Blessing Hands February 2007 Newsletter

China Trip: I am ready to leave for China tomorrow. It has been a whirlwind for the last week with many opportunities opening up. Li Xiao Long, Sophia Chen, Walson Li, and I have been working on a Chinese translation of our Blessing Hands PowerPoint and brochure.  I was still putting in larger pictures in the brochure late last night, so the printer in China could get clear pictures in the Chinese brochure.  It should be printed by the time I reach Nanning.  I have printed out some on my home printer to give away in Yangshuo.

A door has opened in Nanning for Blessing Hands to be mentioned to some important people there. I will be able to give the Chinese translation of our literature to a UN staff member that works with the Poverty Reduction Office of the United Nations Development Project. I have also been in contact with a World Vision staff member in Nanning. One Nanning person may go with us to take photo of our children and schools.

Tuition Ingatherings: Nina Ottinger of the Founding Family Charitable Foundation and I will be participating in Tuition Ingatherings in Yangshuo, Qinzhou, Wuming, and Pubei. In Yangshuo, we will have TV coverage and receive banners of thanks for helping the Blessing Hands students there.   I have been gathering small gifts to give to the students and am looking forward to meeting some of the 83 new students that we added in Yangshuo last fall.  

In Qinzhou, we will meet 180 students in our new program in Qinzhou County.  Anna Liu has ordered new shoes for them ($3 each) and coats for the 28 primary students in Wuming. Over 70 of them have been writing me e-mail, and I hope to see some of the teachers that I taught there in the summer English camp in 2004. There are 31 Blessing Hands students in the Pubei area where we will have another public presentation of tuitions.  In Nanning, I will get to see some of the visiting scholars that have been at Morehead State University and other old friends.

Family Founding Charitable Foundation: Nina Ottinger from the Founding Family Charitable Foundation will be inspecting the two bath buildings that FFCF funded in two primary schools. She will also be making arrangements for an eyeglass clinic for our students in Qinzhou this coming summer and perhaps service projects in Yangshuo in cooperation with a Sister Cities group of American high school students. It will be a pleasure to have her help in giving out the tuitions.  FFCF gave us a $25,000 grant to start the Qinzhou fall program.

Book Drive: We sent 24 boxes of books today through charitable arrangements with UPS. They went to three different administrators that will disperse them in our 85 schools. Some of them will be there for us to give out at the Ingatherings.  We will also continue to encourage schools, churches, Girl Scout Troops, youth groups, clubs, and individuals to send books through M-bags at the US Post Office for $1 a pound up to 60 pounds.  

Volunteers: We are looking for enthusiastic volunteers to process the new pictures and files I will bring back from China this trip.  Adding 263 new students means that there are many pen pals and sponsors to match and lots of computer files to create.  I thank Ryan Newberry and Suzy Sun for all the hours they put in last semester working on files. We are coming up with a naming system for the pictures that will help us standardize information.

Pen Pal and Sponsor Opportunities: A blessing hands representative has been invited to speak at the McBrayer Elementary PTA in March, and we hope to get open doors for other contacts to develop our pen pal and sponsor matches. If you would like to write a Blessing Hands student or choose one to support, we have many pictures posted now at http://picasaweb.google.com/bdcutts?pli=1.  Just pick one out and e-mail us at blessinghands@gmail.com for their address. Just this week I matched four students at Zhanghuang Middle School with a young pen pal in Fleming County Kentucky. She is going to encourage four more of her friends to write our students also.  She wants to send $10 a month from her allowance to support one high school student’s tuition.  E-mail letters help our students develop their English writing skills and motivate them to learn how to use computers while learning about the USA.  American pen pals learn about life in rural China and have the pleasure of giving of themselves to others.

Betty Cutts for Blessing Hands’ students