Honoring A Friend

December 17th, 2013 by Terry Meeuwsen

I’m always impressed at the creative ways people can come up with for raising money to help those less fortunate.  Our Office Manager, Stacy had a best friend who passed from this life into heaven before her time. Jennifer Sortino was a teacher, wife and loving mother to three children. It had always been her dream to go to Africa, wrap her arms around the children there, and instill in them the love of reading books. Unfortunately, her dream was cancelled by breast cancer before it could become a reality.

One thing about our girl Stacy is, she’s organized, determined, hard-working and knows about helping children in need and raising money to do it. In addition to her two biological children, she and her husband have adopted two children from Mongolia. Every year, Stacy raises money through Facebook to buy warm clothing for the kids in Mongolia – she knows how to get it done!

Stacy came to me with her desire to honor her friend, Jen and her family, by helping to raise funds for a library in Kenya that Orphan’s Promise has been working toward. So, we hired a big boat and invited all of Jen’s friends and family plus a few others to come join us for a cruise around the harbor in Norfolk. We had dinner, a raffle and told everyone they had to bring at least one book to get on board. Thankfully, folks brought MANY books and those that couldn’t join us sent money. All in all, we raised $12,000 to go toward Jen’s Library of Hope in Kenya. photo 1

This library will not only serve 250 children by instilling in them a love of reading, but will also help adults learn to read as well. Plus, we all had fun doing it! That’s what I call a win/win situation.

Your dream may be an orphanage you’d like to build, or warm clothing you’d like to buy, or help with resources for teens ageing out of an orphanage and in need of a safe place to learn job and life skills. Perhaps you’re interested in helping poor Gypsy children get food to eat every day, or you’d like to help a single mom start a small business in order to support herself and her children. The needs are many and they need many hands to bring them to fruition. So, put on your thinking cap and see if you can find something that uses your gifts to help others.

Terry Meeuwsen

About Terry Meeuwsen

DIRECTOR OF ORPHAN'S PROMISE Terry Meeuwsen is the director of Orphan's Promise, an outreach to orphans and vulnerable children around the world. Terry has had a multifaceted background as a singer, broadcaster, Miss America, and working mother. She toured with the New Christy Minstrels for two years and later won the crown of Miss America in 1973. After studying in New York and Los Angeles, Terry hosted a daily talk show on the NBC affiliate in Milwaukee for 5 years. In 1993, she became a co-host of CBN’s The 700 Club. Terry is the mother of seven children, five of whom are adopted. Her latest book, The God Adventure, shares the story of her family's adoption of three sisters from Ukraine.