I know nothing about blogging, except that it is a great way to get information out to folks. I don’t know if there is blogger etiquette, so please let me know if I step on any toes, specifically yours. I am finding it difficult to talk about Care Village Outreach without mentioning people who have been instrumental in its founding and in its operation. I will not use names to refer to these amazing contributors because they don’t all have titles (other than “friend”). If you identify yourself in my postings and would rather be unidentifiable, please let me know and I will correct it right away.
Several “firsts” for me this year: I am a first time “blogger,” I helped start non-profit organization, I am a “Facebooker,” still yet to make my first post (I think they call that Facebook stalking), and I just retired from 39 years of public school teaching. All of my firsts have come with some fear and trepidation, but all of them have also presented me with a new perspective and new opportunities. Very exciting!
My last week at Saline Schools, I had many people ask me how they can keep up to date with Care Village, including what we are doing and how they might help out. I promised that I would see about posting regular updates on the Care Village Outreach website. I spoke with our amazing (and voluntary, by the way) web designer, about the possibility of adding a blog to the site. As is always the answer with this person, he said “sure!” So, here we go!
I have preceded this first blog post with a little history about Care Village Outreach. That brings me up to date. I must say that I am inspired thinking about how we arrived where we are with the founding of CVO. Members of the board, and many in the Saline community, have met every idea to improve life for the children at Care Village with a resounding “yes”.
We are currently finalizing plans for another visit to Care Village August 1-15, 2018. We have tickets purchased, forms filled out, plans made for our daily itinerary, t-shirts ordered, and ground transportation in place.
Speaking of t-shirts, another example of the kindness of good people was made evident to me. A former student from my Milan teaching days was asking me about Care Village at a recent high school graduation open house for a mutual friend. He mentioned that he works for a company in Ann Arbor that designs and prints custom t-shirts. When I mentioned that we would appreciate a deal on a shirt for the mission team that we could also purchase for the Care Village children and staff, he said he would check into it. Underground Printing in Ann Arbor gave us a ridiculously good price on these shirts and so we have them in process. My former student and current friend then told us that he and his dad would like to cover the remainder of the cost and donate the shirts to the children, staff, and mission team. I continue to be overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of people.
A good-sized portion of the funds we have raised through Care Village Outreach have come from a very few individuals. Others have apologized to me that they can only make a small monetary donation. People don’t always seem to realize that it isn’t about the amount; it is about the love and the caring. Every single dollar means that someone in America cares about a child at Care Village. We will make things happen with or without lots of dollars. People can donate their time, and many do in many ways – some, to collect items that we sent (and will send) in the shipping containers. Others donate their time serving on the Board of Directors and writing grant proposals. Still others help move pianos out of donor homes to storage. People can donate their kind words of encouragement and support, and many; many have done that over and over again. People can join us on one of our trips to Care Village. To date, 49 from Saline have visited Care Village and worked with the children.