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Friday, November 09, 2007

November 2007

November 2007 Newsletter
Newsletter November 2007
Vol 1, Issue 1

News from Chances for Children
www.chances4children.org
Greetings
For those of you who know us, this has been a year of amazing firsts. Having gone from days of leisure with only being responsible for feeding and walking our two Labrador Retrievers to suddenly having a home filled with 3 children under the age of six, all while funding and operating an orphanage in a third world country - well, we have gone through quite a change!

Chances for Children, a 501c3 non profit organization was formed a year ago. It is hard to believe how quickly this year has gone by. Thanks to a great staff in Haiti and the financial commitment of many good friends, we have had an extremely productive first year. We started with 22 children at the Crèche with 14 families in the Haitian adoption process. As of October 1st, we now have 70 children at the Crèche and 40 families in the Haitian adoption process and homes for every single child! At times the process is exhausting, chaotic and stressful. And while we don't get nearly as much sleep as we used to, we have never felt more fulfilled. For every frustration there is a contrasting high. We have a wonderful new purpose in our lives and a valuable legacy that we will leave to our three Haitian children.

We have been blessed to have many financial contributors, a hard working honest staff, and caring and passionate adoptive families. None of this would be a reality if we did not have the energy and support of this incredible team. We each have a different role but we all share the same goal - providing hope for the children of Haiti - one family at a time.

Kathi and Craig

Quinn Lucien celebrating his 1 Yr. Anniversary

The Welling Family

The most recent homecoming!

Scott and Michelle Welling were finally able to meet their children, Savannah Ludnie and Jordan Francky on September 28, 2007. The first time parents spent six days in Haiti to start the transition with their new family.

The kids are settling nicely into their new home in Odgen, Utah. Little three and a half year old Savannah Ludnie has quite an influence on her two year old brother Jordan Francky. There are many times when Savahnnah will say something in Creole and Jordan will perk right up and obey. She likes to help him put on his shoes and encourages him to come along when he's supposed to stay close. Jordan is a little policeman who knows when he is being obedient and when he isn't. He seems to enjoy pointing out suspect behavior by shouting "hey!" and then shaking his head back and forth saying "no". When Savannah plays with her food or when Dad demonstrates eating a cherry tomato in only one bite, Jordan does his job of letting us know with his "hey" and head shaking "no."

The children got an unexpected first taste of snow within three days of arriving in Utah. At first they were timid to touch it, but over the next two days before the snow melted, they had fun playing in it. Savannah and Jordan are fascinated by cars and always yell out "machine" (or however you say it in Creole) when they see one. They love riding in the car and have never fussed about being strapped into their carseats (as opposed to screaming on the plane ride home when they had to wear the airplane seatbelt). All in all, the transition has gone very well.

Those of us who know Savannah and Jordan can attest that we have never seen smiles on their faces quite like the ones in this photo. Their eyes and smiles express their happiness to finally be home.

The Wacker Family

We are so fortunate to have Charles and Cindy Wacker as part of our C4C family. Not only did they bring two children from our Crèche into their homes, they literally have brought the entire Crèche into their lives. They are working on a donated food program that looks very promising. Cindy is in the final stages of securing a large grain donation (25,000 pounds) and we are confident she will be successful in doing so. Charles worked very hard to get a computer and software donated for John, our preschool teacher. In addition, they have their long term sites set on starting a goat program (for milk) at the Crèche. We are truly lucky to count them as friends, family and supporters.

For a detailed account of their story visit: Family Stories

Volunteers Extraordinaire

At Chances for Children all administrative costs are paid for by the founders. This allows us to send all donations we receive directly to Haiti. Because we try to keep our administrative costs lean, we are very grateful whenever we have people willing to volunteer their time and efforts. Currently we have 5 fantastic volunteers:

Erika Dayton - an adoptive mom (Jestevenson and Naderson) helps us in the travel department. She leads trips to Haiti and helps families co-ordinate their travel plans and itineraries. You can reach Erika at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Joan Fredericks -does all of the accounting for Chances for Children at no charge.

Kathryn Haynes - manages our online database keeping track of all families and their contact information.

Melissa Holdaway - one of our newest volunteers (adopting Lovedidine and Lucio) has organized the photo program, donated a computer, camera and webcam and is working on creating school bags filled with hygiene and school supplies (500 of them) for the village children.

Doreen Serio - manages all of our family profile forms for new families. She does this while being a mom to 4 adopted girls from Guatamala.

A big and heartfelt thank you to each of you!!!!

Introducing Amber; Our Newest Employee
We want to introduce all of you to our newest member of the C4C team, Amber Croghan. Amber and her family have been financial contributors for the last year and she recently decided to jump in with both feet. Amber attended University of Colorado and moved to Scottsdale last year. She will be assisting in all the adoption related co-ordination between our agencies and our staff in Haiti. Amber will be making her first trip to see the Crèche in November. You can reach Amber at 480-888-3711 or email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).
In this issue
Your Contributions at Work
Welling Family
Wacker Family
Founders Circle
New Board Member
Volunteers Extraordinaire
Newest Employee
An Event to Remember
Holiday Events
Quick Links
How You Can Help
News and Events
About Haiti
Your Contributions at Work

Melissa BeforeThanks to those of you who have made donations to our efforts in Haiti. Your generosity has helped us save the lives of 50 children so far this year. With your contributions we have been able provide a future for children who without your support would not have made it to see another birthday.  Now they are matched with loving families and waiting for their adoptions to be finalized. Soon they will be home with their families in the U.S and Canada.

Thanks to those of you who have made donations to our efforts in Haiti. Your generosity has helped us save the lives of 50 children so far this year. With your contributions we have been able provide a future for children who without your support would not have made it to see another birthday. Now they are matched with loving families and waiting for their adoptions to be finalized. Soon they will be home with their families in the U.S and Canada.

Before & After Pictures of Melissa

Founders Circle
One of the goals of Chances for Children is to create and run an adoption center that will be recognized as the standard for an international adoption center. Those who have visited our facility have witnessed our distinguishing features, such as our caregiver ratio, clean and safe living conditions and our emphasis on child development. Creating and maintaining this one-of-a-kind environment is costly. In the long run, we believe creating this kind of brand identity will increase a family's desire to adopt children from Haiti and distinguish us as an attractive alternative for those already in the process of international adoption. Executing this kind of long-term strategy is very expensive, even in a country that carries the moniker of being the poorest country in the western hemisphere.

As with all 501c3 organizations, the long-term prospects of operation are a function of funding. We have implemented a multi-tier fund raising program that if successful, will ensure the viability of our operation and save the lives of hundreds of children in the years ahead. The top of our investment tier is our Founders Circle. We are looking for eight investors to make a one-time investment of $100,000 dollars. These individuals will be recognized as the Founders who fortified the foundation of our operation. Each Founder will have his or her name on a plaque at the entrance of the crèche. Everyone who enters the crèche will see these names and recognize the sacrifice and commitment that these individuals made for the children of Haiti.

We currently have five members who have joined the Founders Circle and we are approaching other potential members who may want to make this significant investment in our program. We recognize that this size of investment will not fit into everyone's donation budget. It is important for us to communicate to everyone that any amount of investment into our program is valued tremendously by all of us. We are profoundly grateful for all of the generous support we have received this year.

When the Founders Circle team is complete we will introduce them in this newsletter and give them the distinctive recognition they deserve. For further information about the Founders Circle please contact Craig Juntunen at 480-513-3373 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

New Board Member
Chances for Children is pleased to announce that Dave Jacquin has been appointed to it's Board of Directors.

David Jacquin founded North Point Advisors in 2004 with the mission to develop the preeminent mergers and acquisitions advisory firm dedicated solely to the consumer and technology industries. David has completed over 75 transactions in the restaurant industry and has worked with a number of leaders in the industry including Brinker, Cheesecake Factory, Jimmy John's, Landry's, Lone Star, Outback Steakhouse, PF Chang's, Sbarro and TGI Friday's.

David has spent two decades of his career as an M&A advisor. David obtained a B.S. with honors from St. Louis University and earned his J.D. with honors from Georgetown University. He lives in Sonoma County, California with his wife Heidi and their two children, Hayley and Alec.

Dave's entrepreneurial flare and energy will fuel the continued growth of the foundation and he and Heidi will be instrumental in expanding the public awareness of our work in Haiti. Dave's passion and integrity make him a perfect fit for our organization and we are very grateful that he is willing to commit a portion of his time to our cause.

An Event to Remember
Kids with Allen Cave 

Our goal at Chances for Children is to raise enough funds in the next year to allow the Crèche to work towards self sustainability by 2009. It is our long term goal to provide a systemic solution to some of the challenges in Haiti and not just through adoptions. With this goal in mind, and with our partners in Haiti, Foundation Enfant Jesus, we have long term plans to focus on many areas of community development.

                                                                               

Haiti reggae star Alan Cave visits the Crèche

Our most significant task is the completion of the school complex in our local village of Lamerdelle. We believe that our school will become the heart of the village and the main component of our rural development. Foundation Enfant Jesus's goals for the school include:

  • Create a school that meets Haitian Ministry Education criteria and can be duplicated in other regions of Haiti
  • Promote literacy for all
  • Provide vocational training
  • Promote strong family and community values
  • Promote gender equity to empower women
  • Promote development of the region and facilitate community participation
  • Promote environmental sustainability
  • Reduce child mortality through our health programs, improve maternal health and combat HIV, malaria and other infectious diseases

Foundation Enfant Jesus has begun to raise awareness and funds for the construction of the village school. On September 29th a telethon was held. The telethon was broadcast with the four major television stations, major newspapers and radio stations. Pledges were received from all over the country (Haiti) responding to the message, "United together to build." Our plea was that education is the only solution to our long term future in Haiti.

Once funding for the orphanage is secure, both Chances for Children and Foundation Enfant Jesus will work together to begin a capital campaign in late 2008 to finish the school. For details of the telethon and a note from our executive director Gina Duncan visit our Upcoming Events Page.

Holiday Events
Annual Christmas Party
Each year the children are given gifts to open at the Christmas party. We are hoping to have these gifts donated by the C4C community. If you would like to purchase a fun, educational toy for the children, please send it by December 1st to C4C.

A Way to Thank the Staff
If you would like to contribute to the staff bonuses, please donate $50, $100 or $150 on the C4C website through PayPal. You may also send a check of any amount. Please note on your check that it is to be used for staff Christmas bonuses.

Holiday Gift Cards
The children at the Crèche will be drawing holiday pictures to be printed onto Christmas cards. You can make a donation for someone on your gift list. Inside the card will let the recipient know that a donation was made in their name. For more information, please contact Melissa .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

All of us at C4C appreciate your generosity. We are blessed to be part of a community of such committed and loving people!

What a difference a year makes!

We believe that part of our responsibility is to track our performance. Your investment is important and we want to make certain we are accountable for your donation. Here are some metrics from the last 12 months

 

OCT 2006

OCT 2007

Number of Children under our care

28

71

Number of Families in the adoption process

14

43

Number of Adoptions Completed

8

10

Annual Adoptions

11

25 (goal)

Number of Families waiting to be matched

4

15

Number of Caregivers

14

38

On Site Medical Team

2

4

In addition to the statistics above we have also:

  • Launched our website http://www.chances4children.org
  • Started an online family forum which has an active community
  • Added a physical therapy program
  • Started preschool for children 2-3 years
  • Expanded our preschool curriculum for our older children
  • Have hosted trips for over 14 visiting families
  • Completed a major roof repair and storage facility at the orphanage

Kathi Juntunen
Chances 4 Children

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