#GivingTuesday

Black Friday’s been around for 56 years; Cyber Monday for 12. Only 5 years ago, another day joined the others, a day with a very different purpose, Giving Tuesday. Last year, on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, through worldwide efforts to promote giving to help others, $177,000,000 was raised on that day alone!

Since the start of The Sparrow Fund in 2011, we’ve never done Giving Tuesday. But, 2017 is different, because 2018 is going to be different. We want to care for caregivers in deeper ways, bigger ways, world-changing ways. So, this year, we’re doing it; we’re joining the Giving Tuesday movement. Because we know that in order for us to give generously, we need others to give generously.

We’ve looked long and hard at where we are headed and long and hard at our projected and actual budget. All that has led us to the Giving Tuesday goal of raising $5,000 on Tuesday alone and $8,000 over the week following. Of every dollar that comes in, 2/3 will go directly to our new grant program for adoptive families and 1/3 will go to training.

We want to give too. After all, we’re about caring for caregivers. And, all of you who give are kinda our caregivers too.

So, we’ve put together what very well may be our special-est gift ever that we will be sending out to every donor who gives $50 or more.

For every donation of $50 or more, we will send you the gift of this notecard set . Each one of the 6 designs professionally printed on linen patterned cards (size 4.25″x5.5″) features artwork from a child at one of the orphanages in China where we serve. On the back of each card is a photo of the artist with a little information about him or her.

You may fall so in love with them that you want to keep them for yourself rather than give them away.

Don’t worry. Just in case you can’t part with the notecards, we put this together.

For every donation of $100 or more, the donor will receive the notecard set above as well as an exclusive invitation to join artists and Christian entrepreneurs Cassie and PJ Upton of Blush Design Co. in an online lesson in integrating prayer and art, specifically to create a gift like no other perfect to give to a child, spouse, or loved one this Christmas.

Every single donor, regardless of amount donated, will also be entered into a giveaway, just for fun because we like fun. We’ve got the Seeds of Christmas cd, Seeds of Christmas DVD, Seeds of Christmas worship guide, Seeds of Christmas Bible memory cards, Seeds Christmas tee, a personal note from Seeds Family worship, Unwrapping the Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp, 2 signed copies of 25 Days of Thriving Through Christmas: An Advent Devotional for Adoptive and Foster and Parents, a 2018 calendar from Rachel Kick at MiniPress, a one-of-a-kind sea green geode necklace from Guangzhou, China, and two nativity paper cuttings handmade in Beijing by a Christian artist–a giveaway worth well over $160!

Go ahead. Let’s start giving. Together. And, let’s make Giving Tuesday 2017 and our year of giving in 2018 more than we ever imagined.

Donate online by clicking the cute little yellow button below. It’ll take you right to our PayPal where you can decide how much you want to give via credit card and simply click to make it happen.




Wanna go all old-school on us and give via check? Make it payable to The Sparrow Fund and mail it to:

The Sparrow Fund
124 3rd Ave
Phoenixville, PA 19460

The Sparrow Fund is a 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit organization. What that means is that all gifts to The Sparrow Fund are tax-deductible as allowed by law. If you would like a copy of our 501(c)(3) ruling letter from the IRS, please contact us; we will be happy to provide you a copy.

If you are interested in donating stock, property, or other gifts in kind, please email us to discuss all the how-tos. The bottom line is that we’re all for it.

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Recharging

The trees are full of color, and the air is crisp. It’s the perfect day to start recharging. Tonight, about 25 guys will be gathering around a campfire. Whether they are sitting on these benches enjoying the warmth of the fire, taking a walk around camp thinking about the message they just heard about knowing and experiencing God’s love for them, simply enjoying some rare quiet moments, sharing stories and laughing with new friends about whatever it is guys talk about, or roasting marshmallows (one never outgrows s’mores), we trust that every single one of those men will be blessed and recharged to be the man, husband, and father God wants them to be.

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Together Called 2018 Registration Now Open!

You may be all maple and pumpkin lattes right now; we are too. But, we’re already got a vision for March because we’ve got big plans for the weekend of March 23rd-March 25th.

We’ll be at the beautiful Bear Creek Mountain Resort with about 110+ other married couples for the 6th annual Together Called. That’s a little under 150 days from now…not that we’re counting.

Katherine and Jeffrey Reed, director of Lifeway Kids, are joining the Together Called leadership team for the first time as our keynote speakers. We’ll also be joined by singer/songwriters Philip and Jessica Morlan of Seeds Family Worship; Jeff Nitz, Chief Operating Officer of Patrick Henry Services, and his wife Cheryl Nitz, Director of the Attachment & Bonding Center of Pennsylvania…just to name a few.

Registration for TC2018 opened last night, and we’re currently at about 70% capacity which means there’s still time for you to jump in and join us. And, we’d seriously love that.

What you get:

Friday night refreshments; Saturday breakfast, lunch, and dinner for two; Sunday breakfast for two; Friday and Saturday night stay at Bear Creek Resort; and all retreat programming and fun. {$489 per couple}

For those couples who simply cannot leave their children for two nights, we offer an abbreviated registration which includes Friday night refreshments; Saturday breakfast, lunch, and dinner for two; Friday night stay only. {$349 per couple}

We offer a limited number of day-only spots which include only Friday night refreshments; Saturday lunch and dinner for two; and retreat programming…with a little less fun. But, hey, you’re still a part of it, and that’s a good thing. {$179 per couple}

Thought you could make it but turns out you can’t? We will refund your registration cost minus $50 up until March 7th, 2018.

So, what’s stopping you? Click HERE and register now!

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My niece’s neighbor is ready to come home {Advocating}

It’s hard to understand why some children get matched right away while others wait and wait and wait. There’s no sense in it really.

Three years ago, in a little room full of babies in the middle of China, a boy captured my heart. He captured all our hearts actually.

We noticed him right away. He looked like a typical 6-month old baby, lying in a crib, sucking his fingers, intently watching the happenings in the room, particularly these strange women with big noses who were smiling real big and laughing with his caregivers. His eyes lit up and his smile was as big as ours when we’d simply turn and talk directly to him. His whole body got excited when he was picked up, which made all of us and his caregivers giggle back.

His “next door neighbor” was a sweet baby girl doing much of the same, a little girl who became my niece. Two years ago. My niece Ava has been home two years. She’s loving life in a family. Meanwhile, the boy who laid beside her in that room still waits.

Last year, when volunteers returned, he was in a new room where children were no longer laying in cribs but running around the room and playing on colorful mats. He is both entirely different from when I met him and entirely the same. He’s full of energy. Responsive. Bops to the beat he constantly makes with his toy instruments. Runs. Thinks he’s jumping. Feeds himself. Scribbles with a marker. Puts puzzles in place and celebrates when he does.

Whoever created his file and prepared his papers for adoption knows him well. They described him as a handsome boy who is obedient and clever. They said he is active, loves to play outside, especially in the little car that he can drive around. When he is spoken to, they said he seems to have a mischievous expression when he answers. They said his hands and feet that are different than other kids are why he’s there. They are why he waits. Yet, they aren’t holding him back. He carefully builds block towers, taking a block in and out of a cup, and carefully turns pages of a book.

He’s so ready to come home and be someone’s boy.

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Interested in learning more about this sweet little guy? He’s currently available for adoption through WACAP who is offering a $3,000 grant to the family who wants to make him their son. Contact info@sparrow-fund.org to learn more about where he is and our experience with him. Contact wacap@wacap.org to request to review his file.

____________________________________
 

Jennifer lives in Louisville, Kentucky with her husband John and their three children Maddox, Evangelyn, and Harper. She is a stay-at-home mom who volunteers with Love Without Boundaries. They believed their family was complete after the birth of Evangelyn, but the Lord had much bigger and better plans. After Jennifer traveled to China in 2014 to volunteer in orphanages, and she knew that they had a daughter in China. In May 2017, they brought their youngest daughter Harper home. Jennifer’s heart was broken for children without families and those without a voice; ever since, she has been advocating and sharing their adoption story.

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Our favorite classroom-friendly sensory tools

Trauma and the way children handle sensory experiences are intimately connected. Simply put, traumatic experiences are primarily handled in the same parts of the brain that process sensory input. And, when that part of the brain is affected by trauma, sensory processing can be affected too. As we support children in the context of relationship to navigate trauma, we can see significant changes in what had been challenging in terms of sensory processing. Likewise, as we support our children’s sensory processing, we can also set them up to better learn, meet expectations, and connect, mitigating significant symptoms of their trauma.

As you consider the way your child processes sensory input, we recommend Understanding Your Child’s Sensory Signals by Angie Voss as well as all of Carol Kranowitz’s Out of Sync Child titles.

And, given how often we’re asked for recommendations for tools children could use in a classroom to provide opportunity for sensory input and, therefore, increased support for focus and learning, we’ve come up with a list of some of our favorites to share with you.


Stretchy bands for children to put around chair legs so that they can keep those feet moving.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bouncy Bands is a brand personally recommended by an OT for how easy it is to take on and off.

 

 

 

 

Adhesive velcro strips to simply stick inside or under a desktop for little fingers to touch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boinks marble/mesh toys are great quiet fidgets and our favorites of our teams to take to orphanages.

 

 

 

 

 

Stretchy toys are another quiet option that can meet the needs of some kiddos.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A spiky sensory bracelet your kiddo can wear all day long.

 

 

 

 


An inflatable wiggle seat is a good option as long as a teacher doesn’t mind some wobbling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chewigem makes some great chewable necklaces that are incognito and come in oodles of colors and designs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These sensory-friendly pencil toppers are moveable and reusable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you have a favorite classroom-friendly sensory tool? Let us know what it is so we can share it!

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