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.
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,
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 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.
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 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,
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.
Thanksgiving is something we can all do. Thank that person in your life that has helped you or stood with you through hard times.
I am a mother and housewife that loves China and children. The two interests
have come together in serving the children of China who need help with
educational needs. I started as a teacher in an English summer camp and got to
know the teachers first. When I toured their schools and met their precious
students, I could see many needs and decided to try to help. I first started a
fund to assist children with tuition, but it has expanded into a 501(c)(3)public
charity granting money for textbooks and school supplies for primary school and
lower middle school students and tuition for older students.