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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Summer 2008 Quarterly Newsletter

Summer 2008 Quarterly Newsletter
This quarterly update showcases how Chances for Children has transformed into a team of dedicated and selfless individuals all with a common passion - giving the children of Haiti a chance. As most of you know our work in Haiti is very demanding and provides us with new challenges each day. Despite all of the obstacles that we face everyday we are succeeding. Our success is due to the power of a team that has miraculously formed over the past year. It is remarkable to consider what our team has accomplished in just the last few months.

A container was sent down to Haiti at the end of June and is one example of the power of our team. The container was filled with supplies for the school and equipment for a medical clinic. The container was a result of the hard work of our volunteers: Elizabeth Molina, Brad and Dori Hobbs, Melissa Holdaway, Becky Bastian and Tracy Mullen. We sent 10,000 pounds of much needed medical equipment, school supplies and school furniture. Elizabeth Molina secured the donation of 200 school desks and chairs and worked tirelessly to coordinate all of the container logistics and the volunteers to load. What the Hobbs family achieved was remarkable - through their donations we will now have a "state of the art" health clinic for the children in our care. Melissa Holdaway and Becky Bastian worked diligently to get school bags filled with school supplies for all of the village children. These efforts underscore the team concept that is now engrained in the Chances for Children culture.

This newsletter does not allow the space to recognize all of the many contributions that so many have made to this cause. But here is another example of the power of teamwork.


Duke Hansen, who is one of our key investors and a Founders Circle Member, and April Connors (who along with her husband Mike, are adopting Darlene) teamed up to help solve the problem of rising food costs in Haiti. Duke offered cargo space on a plane to Haiti and it was April's creativity, guts, passion, and dedication that put together a box drive of needed food and formula. Her idea was brilliant and it was a simple way for lots of people to get involved and help. What transpired was nothing short of inspirational. So far we have received over 250 boxes that will be shipped to Haiti on the plane that Duke has arranged. Our estimates indicate that when it is all said and done we will have more than 300 boxes of food and formula on it's way to the children in our orphanage and village. Two of our adoptive families, the Brusse and Wardle families were each able to get over 30 boxes donated. This effort was far reaching and almost every single one of our adoptive families got involved - some families canvassed neighborhoods, churches, started internet chains and the result was beyond our wildest expectation. A great idea and the power of teamwork made it happen.

Kathi and I are proud to be part of this team. I find it remarkable that so many people have stepped up to give so much to this cause and the team is creating a sense of momentum, even in a country where things sometimes seem to stand still. I am very grateful for all of the things that so many have done. I am also encouraged, for as this team grows, we will continue to expand our efforts and make as much of a contribution as we can - giving deserving children a chance at a better life.

Craig Juntunen - Founder, Chances for Children

Family Profile

So far this year we have had 38 families, as well as a group of key investors and eleven physical therapists visit the crèche. All of the visitors this quarter are a subset of the bigger team who are making a significant contribution to these children. We currently have 65 children at the crèche and the good news is that 53 files have now been approved by the IBESR stage of the adoption process which indicates that we will have a record year for adoptions in 2008.

The Castro Family made their first trip to the Crèche in June and here were their comments:

"Meeting our son in person and realizing that he was THE baby Bernie that we've been planning for and talking about everyday made it all so real. It was an experience completely on par with the births of our other 2 children. Just seared into my memory for a lifetime. Also magical was the experience of meeting all of the other children.

As I've said to many people since I've been back, children don't fake happiness -- they either are happy or they're not, and the kids at the crèche are genuinely happy children. Of course, they need mommies and daddies like all kids do, but they are getting such great care and they are so bonded to their caregivers and to one another, that it was not a depressing experience to be there. It was a beautiful oasis -- a place where I know Bernie will be in good hands until we're able to bring him home."

The Castro Family

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