Oh how I miss my lifeguards! Sweet Lenora is to my right!
In the beginning of December I received a totally unexpected email from a sweet girl, Lenora, that use to lifeguard for me at Doe River Gorge Camp (a little slice of heaven, where Joshua and I were on staff in TN before moving to TX). At the time (this is almost 5 years ago), Lenora was just 17 years old and clearly already had a heart of gold, volunteering her summer days to love on campers and take them tubing down the Doe River. The two of us unintentionally lost touch over the years, Joshua and I moved to TX, Lenora was in college & the sweet 17 year old "Lenora" I see in my head is actually now engaged to be married (wahoo!)... life happened. However, I will say that we've remained "friends" on FB... but let's just admit it, that's not saying much, since I have over 400 friends on there, of which I'm only close with maybe 20! So when I say it was a surprise to hear from her, I really mean it! I opened my email to find this...
Lenora all grown up with her fiance!
Hope all is well your way. Your family is precious! I just wanted to let you know I follow you on FB and look for your updates on the adoption process often. I feel like God has called me to help you with your adoption process...."
She goes on to say that she was given $1000 from her dad's trust fund and that he told her the parameters were to use it "For the Glory of God"... and that she wanted to use it to help bring our Isa home! Her dad also had the simple request, that she find a way to have it be a tax deductible gift, completely understandable! I finished reading her email with happy tears streaming down my face, once again floored at how God is writing this story in ways I would have never have imagined!
I quickly set out on a mission, to find a tax deductible way she could donate this generous $1000 towards our adoption. It didn't take long for Lifesong for Orphans to be highly recommended from other adopting families as the route to go with! We had actually looked into applying for Lifesong's, Both Hands Grant, in the beginning of our adoption process, so we were already familiar with them as a reputable organization. So after re-evaluating the different grants that Lifesong offered, we decided to go ahead and apply for the Matching Grant option along with checking a box indicating that we'd love to use them as a tax deductible route for us to receive donations . I mailed off all our grant paperwork and application on December 20th and they said to expect 6-8 weeks before hearing back. Well, I HEARD BACK TODAY(well with half the news at least)!!!
I got a phone call today from the sweetest lady ever from Lifesong letting me know that she was looking over my application (to which I quickly assumed she was probably calling because I must have filled something out wrong!). Instead of informing me that I had missed a critical question on the application that now null and voided my entire grant request, she was incredibly encouraging about how our application looked and how impressed she was with how much money we had already raised! And to an approval seeking gal like me, this meant the world! (But let's be honest, God gets all the credit for every penny raised so far!). Anyway, she went on to say that they should know here shortly (as early as next week even) if our Matching Grant application is approved. She mentioned that grants are given out dependent on available funds and things are kind of tight right now, so we'll just have to wait and see. BUT in the mean time, she went ahead and approved us to fund raise through them! Meaning, they are going to provide a tax-deductible route for friends, family, heck even strangers, to donate towards our adoption! So if you've ever wanted to give towards our adoption but couldn't or didn't because it wasn't tax deductible, well now you can! From NOW until MARCH 31, 2011 donations can be made in our name to Lifesong, 100% of the donation will go towards our adoption costs, and you will receive the beautiful tax deductible receipt!
You can make a donation one of two ways.
1. Mail check: (made payable to Lifesong for Orphans) indicating our last name in the memo section (preference Helms #1772 adoption).
Lifesong for Orphans
PO Box 40 / 202 N. Ford St.
Gridley, IL 61744
2. Online Donation: Can be made through PayPal by clicking HERE. (Just FYI PayPal takes a 2-3% directly from the donation.)
Isn't this just awesome?! So a HUGE thank you to Lenora for your amazing generosity and for unknowingly opening up this awesome avenue (through Lifesong) for God to provide in yet more amazing ways! AND who knows, maybe we'll get approved for the Matching Grant (praying!) and all donations received will be matched up to a certain amount! I'll keep you posted when I hear!
(Just FYI... I still have not heard back yet from Show Hope (they said we'd hear something by March 1st) or Room for One More Child regarding our grant applications with them- but I'll be sure to keep you posted!)