Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Angel Tree Success!!!

As I'm sure you all know, I found my daughter through an organization called Reece's Rainbow.  They have a huge event every year at Christmas called Angel Tree.  I was VERY hesitant to participate.  I've always been more for supporting adopting families than waiting children.  It just makes more sense to me to pour the resources into children that have families coming than ones that are still waiting.  (That could be a whole blog post in and of itself but it's just my opinion.) 

I decided I would only participate if I could have Lene as my child.  By the time I got around to signing up, Lene was no longer available.  So, I picked Kimberley.  She's about the same age and in the same country.  I didn't feel as passionately about her but I had already come up with some good ideas for fundraising so I decided to try it.

While working to raise funds and awareness for her, I have now fallen in love with her.  I want nothing more than for her to find a family and to grow and thrive the way Sara has.  My students also worked hard to raise money for her.  At least one of them asks me almost daily if she has found her family yet.  (Someone is going to have to adopt her before they drive me crazy or their little hearts break!)  

How could I not be in love with her?  

I've decided that I will continue to raise money for her until her grant reaches $5,000!  That will put her on a different page on the Reece's Rainbow site and get her some more visibility.  Hopefully, that money will also get her a family of her very own!  I will most likely not be holding any more big fundraisers for her but I will continue to donate 50% of each item purchased from my knitting page to her grant.

With the help of a lot of different people, I was able to raise $2,084.43 for Kimberley during the months of November and December!!!  That's insane.  I was worried I wouldn't be able to get all the way to the $1,000 goal but my friends, family, and students came through in a big way.

Please don't check my math.  It won't be perfect but here are the fundraisers I had and the approximate amounts they raised:  

*Scarves and Skirts for Sara raised almost $300 for Kimberley.  Because she was over her goal, I was able to give some of the money to other children and families.

*I had a Cards for a Cause fundraiser through Usborne Books that raised over $200.

*The students in my program raised over $1,300 in a coin drive competition.

*The auction for Kimberley raised over $400.  Because she was over her AT goal at that point, some of her money was donated to Lene and Chance.

*I hosted a Paparazzi Jewelry party with my friend Emily.  We were each able to raise $50 for our girls from the actual party and about $20 went to her girl Lanie from the online party.

*The rest of the money came from online donations and ornament purchases.

I love the idea of giving back at Christmas time instead of just focusing on shopping and parties and food.  I'm glad I chose to participate and am once again blessed by the generosity of those around me.

Now, who wants a to adopt this darling little girl?  Don't you all want a "Sara" of your very own?  


  1. Natalie, I have been following your blog for a while now - since before you got Sara home. I am Lene's Angel Tree Warrior. I wish I could have raised more for her, we had a pretty bad 2013, and I wasn't able to put as much time into fundraising as I did in 2012. Anyway, I was wondering if you knew what happened to the babies in South America once they age out of the baby houses. Everyone always hears the horrific stories about Eastern Europe mental institutions, but I have never heard what happens in other countries. Thank you for your time :) Angie angiejolley@yahoo.com

    1. I asked that question when I was in country. They don't really seem to age out of baby houses like they do in Eastern Europe. There are orphanages for kids with special needs in Sara's country. (She was in one for a while.) When they turned 18 or so, they would be transferred to large mental institutions with others with disabilities and others with mental health issues.

      Thanks for loving Lene! I'm hoping that both of the girls have families very soon!

  2. Thank you BOTH for loving Lene, she has captured my heart, also. We are working on raising funds for this special angel over at www.moremudpiesandtutus.blogspot.com
    I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to be her forever family, but we're just not "there" yet. Thankfully God can still work if He has that in the plan for us.