Welcome to our Blessing Hands Blog

Thanks for visiting our website and learning about our charity that helps children in China stay in school.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Middle School Children Need Extra for Food at Boarding School

Give a Gift to our Kids at Christmas


Bless a Middle School Child with
Daily Rice this Christmas.


While I was in Yangshuo, I met with the Educational Department representatives to consider their request that we pay more for the support of our middle school kids. I began to realize that our kids in middle school really needed an increase in their support.

We have been asking sponsors to give $25 a semester to help our lower middle school students with food and extra needs that the government does not pay. Our students are boarding at this age and don't go home but maybe twice a month. Children under 15 get free tuition, some free books, and don't have to pay for their rooms, but they do have to pay for food.


The administrator told me that the children's food cost $55 a semester or $110 a year. When I heard that, I could see why $25 a semester was not enough to sponsor our kids. We have 85 middle school students. At least 36 for them don' t have sponsors. I told the school representative that I would present this information to the board, and we would try to increase the support of the middle school kids starting in the second semester.

However, in this economy, the board of Blessing Hands hesitated to suddenly ask sponsors to double their support of our middle school kids. The board also knew that we had already agreed to ask for more money for primary and high school students, since the drop in the dollar had cut into the buying power of our funds. In January ,we will start asking sponsors for $15 for primary children and $80 for high school kids.

The board finally decided to raise the support for a middle school child to $35 for each semester. Of course sponsors can pay the full $55 if they desire. Where will we get the rest of the $55 so our kids would have regular meals each day?

We decided to do a special appeal at Christmas/ Chinese New Year for a food fund for our middle school kids. That is a good time to give to a child, especially when it is food they need, not a toy. $4,675 will feed all 85 kids for a semester. We have already budgeted $25 per child or $2,125. That leaves us needing $2,550 more next semester just for food for our middle school kids.

Will you feed a child?



You can select a middle school student to support at this link. We have placed their pictures online for you to pick. Send mail to tell us your choice at this link.


You can give any amount with the Google check out button on this page and Google will not charge us anything to process it until December 31st.

If you are buying Christmas presents online, remember that Goodshop will give a donation to Blessing Hands, if you buy through this
web site. You can get things from Amazon and other major retailers and give a contribution to Blessing Hands at the same time. Be sure and enter Blessing Hands into the box provided for selection of your charity.

Thanks for caring about our kids,


Betty Cutts








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Lexington Gallery Hop Display of Blessing Hands

Blessing Hands


On November 21, I had a great experience displaying the Chinese auction art at the Sisohpromatem Art Foundation Gallery in Lexington during the Gallery Hop.

A gallery hop means several art galleries all join together to be open on a certain night to feature special artists. Since guests go from gallery to gallery, it was a great opportunity to feature the art we will have for sale in our charity auction on January 24, 2009.  We even sold one of the Yangshuo Primary School paintings.

I owe this opportunity to Mike Rayburn, a board member of the foundation who recommended Blessing Hands to Kenneth and Sonya Brooks, who founded the art foundation that serves children in the schools of Lexington, Kentucky. In case you are wondering Sisohpromatern is metamorphosis spelled backwards. That might give you a clue to how creative Kenneth and Sonya are.



$500 College Scholarship Given to Blessing Hands

Mike Rayburn, who has taught English in China, urged Kenneth Brooks and Sonya to fund a scholarship for one of our college students. Mike knows how important a college education is in China. They choose a student who is studying education in Guilin, Zhou Pingping.

Sisophromatem also invited us to put up our art and Blessing Hands display during the Gallery Hop. We got a whole page full of newsletter contacts, three new sponsors, and sold one painting. We have been invited back to be a special featured guest in February.  It is great to be in Lexington meeting wonderful people and representing Blessing Hands.


Pictures of the Gallery Hop
Necia Desiree Harkless




I was delighted to meet some very interesting people at the Hop. Necia Desiree Harkless signed one of her books and donated it to the charity auction. Dr. Harkless' book is about the Kings of Nubia.  I discovered that she is an artist, musician, poetess, and scholar. She has traveled all over the world. We share an interest in early childhood education.
Harkless Website

Mike Rayburn




Mike has volunteered to
help us at the charity auction and will bring some of his photos to sell on behalf of Blessing Hands. He may even frame the photo that
is sold at the auction. He
will make a display of his photos and invite the
winning bidder to select one.
He has also offered to give us some material to mat the Yangshuo children's pictures.

Gallery Guests




So many of the guests were artists themselves or worked at UK. I hope to see them again at the Chinese New Year auction. We do need volunteers for that night if you would like to help. Three organizations are all meeting there on the same night, so there will be a crowd.  Rodney Hayes, a stone sculptor and Louie Magda from Morehead also exhibited.

James Archambeault

James Archambeault is a famous Kentucky photographer, who has published many books on Kentucky themes. I always buy them for my family Christmas gifts. He has been to China, but most of his famous photos are of  the Bluegrass horse country. He was recently in Morehead for a book signing, so I got to ask him for a print for our auction.  He graciously consented.


We would love to have more items donated. If you have a valuable item you can give, we would be glad to have it. You can even get a year end tax deduction for the donation.

Be sure and come to the auction if you are in Kentucky.  There is not a charge for the New Year's program, and you should have a great time.

We also welcome volunteers to help us during the silent auction. Just drop me a line at this address link.
.
Happy Thanksgiving,

 
Betty Cutts
Blessing Hands
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Thanksgiving Thanks
Dear All,

Thank you Blessing Hands students and friends for your letters and Thanksgiving greetings. It is I who want to thank you. It is a pleasure to have you all in our big Blessing Hands family. Some of you are reporting the volunteer services you have done for others and some are just being thankful for your blessings from helping others.

I went to visit my 97 year old father at Thanksgiving. He had his birthday while we were there. We got to take a photo of four generations. Josiah, my new grandson, my older son and his wife, myself, and my father. Many cousins from both sides of the family came to eat at three big meals. We had a lot of help in the kitchen from everyone and it was relaxing for us all.

Dad is still driving, cleaning his own house, and mowing his yard. He is a little unsteady on his feet sometimes, but his spirit is still strong and ready for action.

You can see our Thanksgiving pictures at this link. I have included several here for your information. You can tell that Josiah was the center of attention.

Blessings to you all during the coming holiday season. Family is wonderful. Thanks for being my Family.


















Blessings,

Betty Cutts
Thanksgiving is something we can all do. Thank that person in your life that has helped you or stood with you through hard times.

Thanksgiving Pumpkins

Friday, November 07, 2008

Yangshuo Service Area



Missy Meets Her Special Student

The last places we visited in China were the Yangshuo and Guilin areas. Missy Peace was really excited on our first day visiting schools. She sponsors a child at Jinbao Middle School, and she came all the way from the USA to see her student, Wan Luoyu. I don't know which one was the most excited. 

Missy told Luoyu that people had helped her go to school, and now she was passing that blessing on to Luoyu. We have a movie of their first meeting on Youtube at this link. We gave out tuitions and school aid for two days in Yangshuo as we visited various schools.

It was an unforgettable time. I got to see students an
d match them to their letters and pictures. We gave them small gifts, and they showered us with folded cranes and stars and other homemade gifts and drawings.

They will never forget Missy's blond hair or learning to sing the "Hokey Poky". I also got to tell a story at several schools. Being a English speaker, I chose the story of the foreign Samaritan  who blessed the man who fell among thieves.



A
lvin Luk graciously volunteered to translate for us as we went from school to school. He works for another American charity that gives support to children in Yangshuo schools, so he visited some of his charges also to give shoes and backpacks. It would be impossible to tell about all the schools we visited, but you can see the pictures at the links below named by schools.



Library Books Given to Primary Schools


One of our sponsors sent $25 to buy library books for the primary school where her sponsored child attends. Malan Cai and Missy had the fun of buying the Chinese children's books for the school. It was amazing how many books $25 bought in China. 

Putao Elementary School will soon get $350 worth of books from the PTA of their Sister School, McBrayer Elementary School. If you want to send money for books to be bought in China, it is very economical. As you can see from the picture, our administrator in Yangshuo, Gloria Wei, was pleased to get them.



Scholarship Students are Reporting from College

Our students who have gone to college are writing about their experiences. Mo Chunyan sent a letter about her volunteer activities. Charmaine is her English name.  We ask them to do three hours of volunteer time a semester, but she has gone far beyond that at being a blessing hand to the children at Xi An Children's Village.

 She is one of the students who only received $250 from sponsors and still needs another $250 to complete her $500 scholarship. If you would like to help her, you can used the Google Checkout Link on this blog.

Dear all,

How is everything? I am Chunyan, and you can call me Charmaine too. I am a college student who has graduated from Qinzhou No.1 Middle School. I’d like to share my college life with you now.

I went to Xi An Children’s Village last Saturday. We had a two hour trip starting at 7:00 a.m. When we arrived it is 9:00 a.m. As soon as we came into the small garden of the village, I was amazed by the children.

Before we set out on the trip, I knew that all the children's parents are criminals. Some children's parents committed a capital crime and were executed. I thought they must be very pessimistic, I felt sad when I heard the news. But, as I reached the village, I found I was wrong! Every child gave us a big smile! That made us feel very warm.

 I was happy to see that the children lived happy lives there. We bought many candies and other little things for them. After visiting the  places around, we handed out our gifts to them. They told us that they were taken good care of by their"loving mothers”. Their smiling faces showed that they were happy. I was moved by them, and I was moved by  the kind teachers."Good bye Sisters!" They said, "Goodbye my sisters and brothers! “Goodbye!" I said in my heart with tears on my face.

I blessed every one of them. I am sure they will live more happy lives in the future.

Thank you!
Sincerely,
Charmaine

Scholarship Still Needed


Another student, Lois Li, did not get any scholarship sponsor, but she has enrolled anyway and still needs money to pay the school. She has written again requesting help.  She wanted to major in the medical field, but she has had to major in elecronics and computer studies. That was what the school offered.         

Her tuition is higher than other colleges ($1027), but that often happens when students can't get into the state universities. Please help her with a $500 scholarship.  

Now my father have not a jab to earn money, so I need your hand to help me go through the diffcuty. My mother is hurting heart trouble and my grandfather cannot do anything. What is more, my grand-grandmother is 90. I am studying in Guilin University of Teachnolege. My tuition is so high that we have not enough money  to go to school. If a person can help me ?

I hope that someone will help Lois. If you can only give part of the scholarship, that will still make a big difference to her. You can give by credit card with the Google Checkout button, or send a check to us at  Blessing Hands, 106 Timber Lane, Morehead, KY 40351


Blessings,

Betty Cutts

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Kentucky Chinese American Association Gives to the Zhang Family



Visit to the Zhang Family

While I was in Yangshuo, China recently, I visited the home of Zhang Lufei and personally gave her family the $300 donated by the Kentucky Chinese American Association to comfort them in the death of Lufei.

They were still grieving over her death in the flood last spring. Her grandmother told me how Lufei went to buy pencils near the creek. Lufei loved school and was a very good student her grandmother said. She was excited about going to school the next day and needed pencils.


Friends were with her when she slipped on the bank of the creek and fell. The frightened girls immediately ran for help, but it was too late by the time she was pulled from the swollen creek.




Her father and grandmother live with Lufei's uncle. Lufei's mother left home when she was an infant, so her grandmother raised her and was very close to her. She cried through almost our entire visit.



Her father was able to meet us also, and I gave them gifts. The best gift was the $547 donated by KYCAA and our donors. The family really appreciated the gift and seemed to need it. They gave us some delicious tangerines that the hotel made into juice for our breakfast.

We are planning a Chinese New Year fund raising auction for our Lufei's Children's Fund. Many other children will be able to go to school with the proceeds from the silent auction in her name. Since she loved school so much, I think she would be pleased with that.

Join Our Charity Auction on Line and in Person

The Lufei Children's Fund Charity Auction will be during a Chinese New Year event sponsored by KYCAA on January 24, 2009 in Lexington, Kentucky. KYCAA has arranged for Chinese dancers to perform at the Singletary Center on the campus of the University of Kentucky. Our silent auction will be in the Singletary lobby at the same time.

There are 39 professional paintings and calligraphy scrolls donated by artists in Yangshuo and Pubei, China that are for sale.  School children in Yangshuo have also sent many paintings for the sale. American artists have also given paintings for the auction. 

The children's painting were so wonderful that we have made post cards that you can purchase for $1, and a children's book of them will also be for sale. 

On-Line Bidding - Bid on our Blog by Clicking the Side Show Pictures to the Right.

Bid on the paintings online by clicking on the pictures in the three slide shows at the right top of this blog.  You will be redirected to the picture you clicked. Next scroll down to the bottom of the picture's page to the comment box. You can enter your bid there by putting your name, bid, and e-mail address. Then click the post comment button, and presto your bid is recorded, and we are alerted that you have made a bid. 

For example: Betty Cutts, $25 bid, bdcutts@gmail.com, is entered in the comment box for the professional painting shown here. If you add your own higher bid, you will outbid me on the same painting online. You can check your bid from time to time by going again to the link and checking the comment box to see if another bid has been placed. We will also alert you when you have been outbid.


We will close the online bidding on January 23th and open the live bidding at the event the next day. If no one outbids your bid, which will be marked on the painting auction form as the starting auction bid, the art is yours for your bid price + shipping. If someone bids higher at the evening silent auction, you have lost out and should have made a higher bid.














We are accepting Auction Items

You can also send items to the auction for us to sell. We will also be selling things like jewelry, items donated by merchants, and gift cards to events and restaurants.

You can contact us at blessinghands@gmail.com. We will accept new items and valuable used items like antiques, jewelry, or paintings. Please don't give yard sale type items for this particular sale. You will get a tax receipt for the value of the donation. 

Of course we also invite you to come to the program and celebrate the New Year of the Ox with the Chinese community of Lexington.  January 24, 2009 is the date to put on your calendar. We will open the auction at 6:00 p.m before the 7:30 program begins. 

Thanks,
Betty Cutts for the Blessing Hands Kids




Saturday, October 18, 2008

China Trip Report






Fantastic China Trip 
We give thanks for the Harvest
22 New Scholarships
 
We give thanks for all you sponsors who have given scholarships. We got four more new scholarships recently, which makes over 22 new students receiving $500 college scholarships this fall. There are 11 new scholarships in the Yangshuo area and 11 hopefully in Qinzhou. (Two there are pledges).  More students only got small amounts.
 
We had 21 scholarship students from last year return, so totally there are 43 of our students in school on $500  scholarships.  I was so pleased and proud to meet the scholarship students in three cities and share meals with them. They are an impressive group with much promise.
 
You great sponsors made this all possible. We had no  money to give new college scholarships this year. When sponsors stepped up to pick students to support, miracles began to happen. You can still pick a new student to support at this link. The first 15 students pictured still need scholarships.
 
After our travels in China, I feel like someone who has eaten a big Thanksgiving dinner and has to digest it all for awhile before they can do anything more. I am still uploading photos and trying to get information recorded from new students and sponsors. Thank you all for your support that makes so many families and students secure and happy.

I give thanks that Missy Peace and I got to see so many students and friends this China trip. They are going to college, excited about learning, being creative, and growing like flowers. 
 
Qinzhou Area Schools Came to Our Tuition Gathering 
                                                                 
 
Anna Liu and Gavin Qin did a wonderful job of the tuition gathering in Qinzhou. Gavin is a  volunteer who helps Anna with  the details of our program there.  Their school, Qinzhou No. 1 Middle School, recently moved to a new million dollar  campus, so they have really had a lot to do this September. 
logo
 
The students loved Missy and treated her like a movie star. 


 We took pictures of all the school groups. The students will want to see their pictures so the links to the schools are below.
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Yangshuo Artists
 Gave 27 Paintings for the Auction
                                                  
Yangshuo's Mayor Li is a famous artist and calligrapher. A professional video has been done of his work. The hills of Yangshuo draw many artists because of the beautiful scenery there. These artists  have given 27 juried painting to our Chinese New Year Auction. They invited us to a dinner the first night we were in Yangshuo. You can see the paintings and some of the aritsts at this link.   
   
 

   
                                                                                               
 Here is an example of one of the paintings of the beautiful hillls of Yangshuo. These 27 painting will be on sale in January. You can see them now on line at this link. The artists only asked that we print an auction catalog of their paintings.
 
There are also many professional paintings given from Pubei for the auction
  
Student Paintings
Yangshuo Children Also Gave Paintings 

The students of Yangshuo are wonderful painters too as you can see from these pictures.
They wanted to send paintings for the auction. Students  of all ages contributed. I had to buy another suitcase to hold them. 
Yangshuo Experimental Middle School of Foreign Languages sent a lot of impressionist paintings in a free western style.


This painting is one of the children's painting given from Yangshuo. 

Elaine Yeh
Paintings for Sale for Benefit of Our Kids

Elaine has sent pictures of two paintings that she is willing to sell for the benefit of Blessing Hands students. Elaine will have a one-man show in Radford, Virginia where she is a graduate studentin art.  If you would like to buy any  of these paintings contact Elaine at this e-mail address.
 

 Jeff Fannin's Prayer Altars
    A local minister has found a good way to help families and charities. He is selling  solid wood, handmade prayer altars. He has a web site at this 

Craftsmen make them in colonial, Shaker, and mission styles in just about any hard wood. Someone ordered one for a wedding and then gave the altar to the new family. 

Jeff has been with me to Yangshuo and wants to help our Blessing Hands kids. He has adopted Chinese twin girls.  If you put Blessing Hands or BH on your order, he will give the profit of that altar to Blessing Hands. 

They would be good for Christmas gifts. The different styles cost from $99 to $179 depending on the wood used. Shipping is extra.

 
Please Help Our Kids
   Lots of people want to help. A family in Hong Kong is planning to sell things in a street market and send the support to our kids in China.  Perhaps you want to send an item for the January auction. Jewelry would be a good item to sell then.

 If you want to donate any amount to the students, you can use the Google Checkout button on our web page or on this blog

  I am thankful for your heart for Chinese students.
   
Blessings,
Betty Cutts
 
Checks can be sent to :
Blessing Hands
106 Timber Lane
Morehead, KY 40351