Welcome to our Blessing Hands Blog

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

Monday, March 31, 2008

Pick Me! is a Success

“Pick Me!”
We had an exciting day today at Adron Doran University Center with our “Pick Me!” display. Linda Barker and I had to beat the rain to set up the 10 posters that illustrate our Blessing Hands story. The sorority sisters of Chi Omega were fantastic help. They knew people by name and got a lot of people to stop at our table during the lunch hour. Chrissy Miller was there the first shift with her bright smile and willing spirit. Danielle Caudill and Caryn Hendy, the service chairs for the sorority, had all the girl’s times scheduled and helped at the table themselves. I will speak about our kids at their meeting next Monday.

We all enjoyed talking about the kids and seeing people respond to their needs. I think the visiting scholars enjoyed their hours the most. Penny Ye and Hongyu Mai, English teachers from Guangxi University, knew how to pronounce the kids names.

The “Giving Tree” swayed a little under all the cards, but it held up. We signed up over 30 people to our newsletter and about the same number as pen pals. Four primary students got sponsors, and two lovely girls from different sororities said they would ask their sorority about supporting a college student at $500 a year. You sure couldn’t go to school at Morehead State University for $250 tuition a semester.

Several people asked if we would be there again so they could sign up later when they had money. We have five more days that folks can drop by and pick a student from our “Giving Tree”. We recruited some prospective volunteers too. Thanks also goes to Abby Oney, who filled in at the last moment for a person who was too sick to fulfill her scheduled time.

We have a new Google Checkout button on our blog at http://blessinghands.blogspot.com/. Google is giving nonprofits free service for the year. No service charge will come out of your donation if you use Google Checkout during 2008. Pay pal is also available if you prefer it.

You can pick a student to support too. The students who don’t have sponsors are pictured at the addresses below. You can e-mail me the name of the child that you select at Blessinghands@gmail.com, and I will sign you up as their sponsor. You can then write to them if you like.

Yangshuo High School Students without sponsors: http://picasaweb.google.com/blessinghands/YangshuoHighSchoolStudentsWithoutSponsors


Middle School Students without Sponsors: http://picasaweb.google.com/blessinghands/LowerMiddleSchoolStudentsWithoutSponsors


Primary Students without sponsors: http://picasaweb.google.com/blessinghands/PimaryStudentsWithoutSponsorsSpring2008



I cannot resist showing some of them here.

Mo Chunfeng - $80 High School one semester


HuangYuli - $25 middle school one semester








Wu Jingwang Primary - $10 a semester





Liao Fuzhan College Student - $250 a semester Major- Computer Science

Saturday, March 29, 2008

"Pick Me!" Sponsor Poster

Since our internet friends cannot come to the exhibit in Morehead, we are sending out reports to them about the events. This is the content of the sponsor poster.

Sponsors

We match sponsors with our students, hoping to open a window on the world for both of them. Some sponsors e-mail or visit their sponsored students. Chen’s sponsor supports her in high school and even sent her a special gift, a Louisville, Kentucky baseball team shirt.

Li’s sponsor pays $80 a semester for his tuition in high school and sent him Chinese New Year gifts. His grandfather came an hour with him on a bus to meet us at the school.


Anita Wherry visited her two students.

What a dream come true to finally meet my special students, May and Lily. They enthusiastically greeted me by name. We exchanged gifts, but their thank you letters written in English are my greatest treasure. I left that day determined to be a better pen pal and financial supporter.–Anita Wherry

Mo’s sponsor sent her a new backpack and prays for her every day. Mo is in the blue trimmed jacket. The standing girl is still without a special sponsor.

Nina Ottinger got to visit with her two sponsored students while she was in Yangshuo, China.



Mo Bao, an orphan, is one of 7 students supported by churches.Here he is holding his new school clothes.
Your church can support a child too.


Pick a student to sponsor.
Hang is in Middle School. Her support is $25 a semester.

Cheng is a primary child and needs $20 a year.







Li is in high school. She gets no government help because she is over 15 years old. She needs $80 a semester.

Feng is studying to be a women and children's doctor in college. She needs $250 a semester.


Dogwood "Giving Tree"


Today I went in pursuit of a dogwood tree to use for our "Giving Tree" next week when we will have a table and display about our kids at Adron Doran University Center in Morehead. I've had my eye on a wild one that is growing on the mountain in my backyard. A friend suggested that I spare the live tree and go in search of a donated dogwood tree. I had already thought of that and looked at one at Wal -mart, but the limbs were not big enough to hold all the blooming faces of children that we plan to put on our "Giving Tree".



However, I decided to check out Lowes just in case a good tree might be found. There was a good selection of small dogwood trees just right to carry in my car. So I ventured an "Ask" and was met by a smiling manager. Embarrassingly I only had a brochure in Chinese and forgot about my name card in my wallet. He seemed to believe me, however, and offered a tree for $5. I was glad for the savings of both money and my backyard tree. I took it right home to try out the cards with student's pictures.


The tree groaned with the load, but once I strengthened it with a wooden rod, the children bloomed wonderfully. For good measure I added a few silk pink dogwood flowers, since the tree was not naturally in bloom. Our "Giving Tree is now ready for sponsors to "Pick" a student to support.

ADUC has decided to only allow the exhibit on the days that our table will be displayed rather than leaving the posters up continually for two weeks as originally planned, so don't come looking for the display except Monday - Wednesday.


The "Pick Me!" theme has been a lot of fun to illustrate. Each artist has shown their own special style while using similar colors and themes. I want to thank Linda Brewer, Meg Glancy, Carolyn Boyd, and Nancy Sartor for the posters that they have created. Come see them Monday - Wednesday next week and the 2nd week of April at ADUC. I also thank Dorothy Juran and Abby Lou for helping with the cards to go on the tree. The four visiting Chinese scholars from Guangxi University have volunteered to woman the table the 10 o'clock hour this next week. They can answer many questions about China.

Already two promises of $250 college scholarships have come in from the newsletter announcement. I sent the invitation to our students in China was well. Even though I knew they could not come, I wanted to let them know what was happening and motivate them to translate the English. Their eager response to be involved has made me realize that I need to share this event on the Internet as well as in Morehead. Sponsors can respond there as well. So here begins our first Internet "Giving Tree."


One friend suggested that they enjoyed a conversational blog more than my fancy professional newsletter. So I am considering wedding the two and putting my blog postings about the " Pick Me!" exhibit on line during the two weeks that the display will be in Morehead. You might be getting more mail from me for these coming two weeks as I share the kids' pictures and needs and allow you distant friends to "pick "one too.

We are featuring primary ($10 a semester), middle school ($25 a semestser), high school ($80 a semester), and college students ($250 a semestser). We are also encouraging people to sign up to be pen pals and receive our newsletter. There is a donate button if you want to "Pick" a student now.


When the two weeks are over, I plan to take the display on the road. Two churches have already scheduled us. If your group would like to have the display and "Giving Tree" and do your own "picking," we have about 300 students that presently don't have sponsors. These are real kids that you can write and interact with. What a difference it will make in their lives and yours.


Springtime Blessings,

Betty Cutts

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

James is a Blessing Hand During Spring Break













































How are you now. I am James. I hope you everything well. Now in Chengdu City the weather is very warm. A lot of flowers come out in spring.




Also during the winter holiday I went to Wen Chuang City to be a volunteer. It is a great experience for me. Though it I learn so many things I cannot learn form books.When help others, the feeling is so good and your heart become simple happy.



James



I wasn't able to see one of our college scholarship students in China, because he was teaching poor students in a remote area of China during his Chinese New Year holiday. I encourages me when I see one of our students putting into practice what Blessing Hands stands for. We ask our scholarship students to do a few hours of volunteer work each semester. James has gone beyond that to spend several weeks helping others.




I read recently that a scientific study had been published that showed that pleasure centers in the brain are more active when giving then getting. I guess it has finally been proven scientifically that it is better to give than to receive. Lets hope that the children he taught learned to be blessing hands also.



Saturday, March 08, 2008

Pick Me!


Blessing Hands is planning a display at Adrian Doran University Center at Morehead State University the first two weeks in April. We plan to display foam board posters showing our students and pictures from our activities. The university wants to encourage diversity on campus and let their students volunteer with local nonprofits.

We plan a exhibit to showcase our students from college to primary levels. A "Giving Tree" will display student pictures in the center of dogwood blooms with the theme "Pick Me!" We hope folks will pick students from the tree to sponsor or write. Chi Omega Sorority will be sitting at a Blessing Hands information table on the second floor near the cafeteria from Monday through Wednesday (10-2 p.m.) starting March 31st.

Several local artists are volunteering to do foam board displays that will be placed on easels on the first and second floors. If you want to join the fun, we have a place for you, or just come on by and see pictures of Qinzhou and Yangshuo, China's wonderful students.

Water Projects

We asked to see schools this trip that needed pure drinking water. Our first school was Dali Primary School where one of my favorite teachers from summer camp teaches. Harry, as we named him, brought his little daughter with him everyday to summer English camp and wanted to learn English so much. She was quiet as a mouse.

His school only has water for a few hours a day before the hand dug wells go dry. I say wells because there are two of them. The bucket is for when the electric pump doesn't work.

The water is pumped to a holding tank until faucets are turned on. The bright red characters warn not to drink the water. I fear they drink it anyway. We have some proposals under consideration that will allow schools to have filtered and boiled water from deep drilled wells. Perhaps you would like to drill a well for a school. Just think of the difference that would make in the children's health and the outlook of the whole school.

The first school we hope to help has a well that is contaminated by an uphill school toilet and the cultivation of nearby fields with pesticides and other chemicals. We hope to raise money for this project to begin this spring.

You might be interested to see how they flush the rural toilets with a water drip system that fills a bucket that finally tips to pour through the concrete out house. Eastern squat toilets are strange to us, but they are much more sanitary than sitting.





Boiled water is precious. At Puyi Primary School each child had their own cup stored on the wall with the boiled water container nearby. Bottled water is expensive, but they always offer it to us when we visit the schools, especially in the summer.

A Vist to He Jinhua's Home

While I was in Yangshuo recently a teacher arranged for me to visit the home of one of our students, He Jinhua. She has been a Blessing Hands student since the fall of 2005 when we first began supporting the students of Anding Primary School. One of the teachers who attended our summer English camp taught there and submitted a list of students in the school who could not afford their tuitions.

In the summer 2006, our summer group held an eyeglass clinic, and He Jinhua was there for her well child physcial and eyeglass exam. The group also visited her school and found it badly in need of repairs and needing a water system. Nina Ottinger of Founding Family Charitable Foundation was with us that trip and took it as her foundation's project to repair the school and help them finish the water system. The winter of 2007, Nina and I returned to the school to see the repairs and greet the students.

I always noticed Jinhua because she had such distinctive eyes, so I was delighted to be invited to her home. Her father was home for Chinese New Year, but his boss had refused to pay him for cutting wood. Many migrant workers are cheated this way. Jinhua lives with her elderly grandmother, since her mother left when she was very small. Her uncle went out of the village to work ten years ago and has never been heard from again.

Jinhua has now graduated to lower middle school at Gaotian National School. A national school is usually for minorities, and there are many Zhaung people in her area. It took us a long time to get to her home from her school. That is why she probably is a boarding student. Her home was the first house by the ancient village gate, so her family has lived there a long time I was told.

We were invited to sit on small stools by a wood fire, the only heat in the home. They had electricity that supplied light from bulbs when evening came. Neighbors came by to visit, and Mr. He invited us to stay for supper and spend the New Year holiday with them.

Jinhua, whose name means golden flower, was delighted to have us visiting. She eagerly showed me their kitchen and her bedroom. She had decorated her bedroom with lovely folded paper birds and streamers. A light bulb hung from the ceiling along with a yellow curled fish. Mosquito netting and bars on the window protected her bed. Just she and her grandmother live in the big old house.

The lean to kitchen has a wooden cutting board and fire pit. Food is bought fresh each day so there is no need for cold storage. They sit on low stools while cooking. In a nearby window was all they needed to start the day including tooth brushes and paste, incense sticks, and other unknown creams or medicines.

We felt very warm and welcomed in their home, although we could not spare the time to stay for a meal or overnight. They understood that I had relatives at home waiting for me too.