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Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Back from Appalachia and Washington DC and while it's hard to share all that I experienced, here are a few photos and brief recap.
A team of 17 Hope4Women members from all over the US met in Pound, Va. and met the charming and hard working mayor- Jackie Gilliam. She had several projects for us including teaching women to make pillowcase dresses, spread sealant on a home's roof, paint the home of a local woman and improve the home/business for an elderly couple.
We shared the books, clothing and Crocs that were so generously donated.
Our team visited the Pound Combines School and made bookmarks with kids, let them select a Dress A Girl dress or pair of shorts, a couple of books and some school supplies.
After 5 days in Pound, we drove to manchester, Ky. and met local leaders who are reaching out to the children who live in the hollows. I got a real education and they stressed that 80% of people are on some kind of public assistance. We were shown a camp which the church supports and had a chance to meet some of the children who come to their Sunday night outreach where they earn point and then select a toy, book or some school supplies. I was reminded that God created us with generous hearts but also with a desire to work and earn our "daily bread." When asked what was their biggest need, Doug answered, " not money, if money could fix Appalachia, it would be fixed by now. We need intact families to come and be role models for these children who have rarely seen healthy family dynamics."
The Hope4Kids and Hope4Women team met some bright spots and I know the H4WI staff is praying for God's direction for next steps.
Pray for the people of Appalachia that their hearts open to Jesus and they can find the dignity of self-sufficiency.