Project Day!!

Wow, project day came and went so fast.  After months of planning, forming an amazing team, sending out support letters and securing donations of supplies, everyone gathered together on October 5th at 8am, to begin working on our widow's home.  She has asked us not to use her name online so we refer to her as our widow.  Between all the people that came and went throughout the day and those who helped watching kids at my house, we had close to 50 volunteers.  Wow!  We weeded beds, created walkways with stones, filled in a pool, built a tea house, raked the lawn, cut up and hauled piles and piles and piles of bamboo, planted trees and stained her house.  It is truly amazing what can happen when a team of people work together.  We had an amazing film crew that volunteered their time as well to create a video that will be going out soon to help us raise funds for our adoption.  Here are some pictures from project day.   

The Before...

In August, we went to our widow's home and assessed what projects we could do.  We determined there was an old pool that needed to be removed, siding to be stained, weeding beds, planting trees, stone for the driveway, and her dream to have a new tea house in the back yard.  She had a tea house years ago that was destroyed in storms.  Here are some pictures of the before.  Click on the picture to see additional pictures.

Our Widow...

Once we decided to move forward with the project, we had to determine who our widow would be and what projects we could accomplish.  We have a woman who lives two doors down whose husband had passed away two years ago.  We did not know her personally but we reached out to her son, who visits regularly to help care for the lawn, if he would be interested in this project.  After talking it over with his mom, they were excited to be a part of the project.  This was very exciting to us because we loved the idea of making this a neighborhood project since we will be serving a widow in our neighborhood in order to bring home a little girl in this neighborhood.  We see this as a win / win for all.  Our widow is the sweetest woman and we instantly loved her when we met her.  

Why Both Hands??

The idea of starting a Both Hands project started back in July.  We wanted to somehow raise awareness for the plight of orphans, as well as our adoption, all while fundraising to help pay for the adoption.  While on the Life Song for Orphans page, I stumbled upon Both Hands and instantly fell in the love with the concept.  Why not a service project to help raise funds?  What better way to raise awareness for our adoption than serving a widow.  

Essentially, Both Hands is a foundation that assists us in raising funds to help pay for our adoption while we work on a widow's home.  The first step is to gather a team of people together who will send out support letters to friends and family asking them to support them in the day of work on a widows home.  All the money raised through their support, pays our adoption expenses.  Both Hands is a 501c3 corporation so all donations are tax deductible.  Both Hands does not take a cut of the donations.  Every dollar submitted is used for our adoption expenses.  We then go out to local businesses and ask for donations of supplies.  Then we all come together and fix up a widows home for a day.  

We love that we have the opportunity to live out James 1:27 by serving a widow to help bring home an orphan.  We knew that if we wanted to do something like this, we would need a good foreman to help us manage the project and design.  Jody Williams was the perfect man for the job.  Jody is our good friend and as Russ calls him, his 'brother from another mother'.  Once Jody understood the idea, he was excited to help lead our team.