Such Great Difference: Kara

Kara is one of the Such Great Heights models and I had the chance to be in Haiti with her just over a week ago. Kara has been sponsoring a child in Haiti since her trip last year and she got to meet her while she was in Haiti. It was the sweetest thing to get to photograph and see close up as Kara and her sponsored child quietly connected.

Tell us a little about the cause you are helping with and why you choose to make a difference helping out.
Nehemiah Vision Ministries is an organization located in Chambrun, Haiti. There is a school, church, clinic, and soon to be children’s home and hospital on campus. I first spent a week at NVM in the summer of 2011 with my youth group at Grace Community Church and I returned a couple of weeks ago. After my first trip I decided that I wanted to make a lasting impact on the life of a Haitian child that went beyond the week I spent at NVM, so I signed up for the sponsorship program last fall. Through this sponsorship a child receives a meal a day, access to medical care, and most importantly, a Christian education.
What are you doing to help out?
Through a $40/month donation I am sponsoring a 7 year old girl named Wizelaure Marius. She lives in a mud/stick hut with her mom and dad in Chambrun, Haiti. Her favorite color is red and she loves to play with dolls. Wizelaure just graduated from kindergarten! Through this sponsorship, she is able to attend NVM’s Christian school, receive a hot meal every day, and has access to good medical care.
What are you most excited about with the cause that you’ve chosen?
The thing that excites me the most about this program is that I know I am making an impact on Wizelaure and her family and I will be able to watch her grow and see God’s plan for her life unfold. I began to sponsor her in the fall of 2011 and I was able to visit her this June! She was a little shy, but it was so great to finally see her in person and to have a face to remember when I pray for her! In addition, this sponsorship program has grown tremendously in the years since Pastor Pierre began NVM and I can’t wait to see how else it grows!
What are you most scared about?
I can’t really think of anything that I am scared about, but I do wish I could be a part of her life a little more. She will write me a letter twice a year and I will write back, I am also allowed to send two packages a year for her. And of course I hope to visit her again! However, other than that I do not get to see her daily life and get to know her on a personal level. But I have comfort in knowing that God knows her and loves her.
How can people help out?
- There are so many ways to help out! For example, when I began to sponsor Wizelaure, I asked my parents if they would sponsor another child. It is something I am very passionate about and I felt God’s call for me to do, so of course they agreed! My family now sponsors Jean-Marc, who I also was able to meet. So really, it is as simple as spreading the word and making people aware of this cause.

- And if you feel called, you can go to this link and sponsor a child as well! I also know of a few people that are sponsoring a child together, so if $40/month isn’t feasible at this time, you can split that as many ways as you want!

- Nehemiah also has a feeding program that you can sign up for which is only $.75 to provide a hot meal per child per day ($15.00/month).

- And of course prayer is always appreciated. I told Wizelaure and Jean-Marc that I was praying for them and I would love if you joined me in that as well as praying for all the other children and NVM.

Such Great Difference: Shruthee

I know you saw Shruthee last week but I wanted to share another part of her with you! Shruthee filled out her Such Great Heights questionaire and I saw that she is involved with Timmy Global Health. I wanted to hear more about it and was excited to see how she is involved. Shruthee wants to go into medicine so this organization was a perfect fit for her. Along with friends, Shruthee helped start a chapter at Carmel High School. I love how she picked a passion and went for it!

Tell us a little about the cause, mission trip, charity or project you are helping with and why you choose to make a difference helping out.
“Timmy Global Health seeks to expand access to healthcare by building the capacity of on the ground partners, providing direct medical services in undeserved communities, and investing in behind the scenes “health systems” that ensure low-income patients have the support, finances, and resources they need to get the care they deserve”. This is an Indianapolis-based nonprofit that helps the truly underprivileged people get access to quality health care. Timmy is making an international impact in Nigeria, Guatemala, and Ecuador. We have been able to send 10 medical teams to Guatemala and Ecuador, dispersed over $118,000 in direct funding to our international partners, distributed 7,000+ medical supplies to local and international organizations and also $1.14 million worth of medicines to our international partner organizations!”

I chose to help out with Timmy Global Health because I love what the organization does. In the future I really want to go into medicine and work in underdeveloped countries, going where the need is. Timmy does exactly this so I figured what better way than this to start out my dream. It just feels good to know that I can help in some way.

What are you or will you being doing to help out?
This is the first year that my friends and I have started a Timmy Global Health Chapter at our high school. Our main focus is Pop Wuj’s safe stove project. Smoke inhalation from indoor, open stoves is the leading cause of death in many children. We will be trying to raise money to help build as many stoves as we can! Its costs about $200 to build a stove which volunteers make from scratch.
What are you most excited about with the cause that you’ve chosen?
I’m excited about the possibility of a trip down to Guatemala to actually help build the stoves! It would be great to see our impact first hand.
What are you most scared about?
I’m most scared about not getting the word out and raising enough money for the stoves. I just hope all goes well and Timmy becomes successful.
How can people help out?
Of course people can help out! Go to this website to see how you can get involved by starting a chapter, volunteering, and numerous other ways. Any donations would also be GREATLY appreciated by the hundreds of families that will be able to get better medical care just because of YOU.
Such Great Difference: Chelsea

Chelsea is making a difference in something that is near to her heart, bullying. She wants to speak one day and teach about how bullying can affect so many and is doing this by starting Bands for Bullying. Don’t you just love that she is taking a bad experience she had and turning into such a positive thing to make a difference?

Tell us a little about the cause, mission trip, charity or project you are helping with and why you choose to make a difference helping out.
I created Bands For Bullying because I have been bullied most of my life, 7th grade it was very severe. I just wanted to raise awareness because it can become so fatal nowadays. I chose bullying because I understand and have been there. I wanted people to know that there is help and healing!
What are you or will you being doing to help out?
As of now what I am doing to help is donating the proceeds to go to The Pacer National Center For Bullying Prevention. They do such an outstanding job making sure to spread the word to not only youth, but adults as well. Teens Against Bullying is one of their programs that is very well organized to help teens cope and prevent the cycle! I eventually want to start speaking at churches or events to help raise even more awareness. I already have a whole message planned.
What are you most excited about with the cause that you’ve chosen?
I’m excited to be able to connect with as much people as possible. I hope to not only be spreading the cause to my church but to other churches and organizations and others in general! I’m so passionate about bullying it just comes naturally that I am excited to spread awareness!
What are you most scared about?
I’m afraid of very little, because I know the Lord is my strength and he’s got my back. If there were something to be afraid of, I would say it would be that people don’t realize the scars that stay with you for the rest of your life when you are bullied. It’s traumatizing, from experience. I would be afraid that people wouldn’t understand or want to do something at all.
How can people help out?
I would love for people to volunteer and simply share Leviticus 19:18; Bands For Bullying to everyone they know! You can go to my Facebook page and simply write on the wall if you have ideas or anything you would like to see Bands for Bullying do! And you can “like” and “share” it to all of your Facebook friends. Even on twitter you can “follow” and “retweet.” The best thing you can do is buy a band. They are $5.00 and the proceeds, like I said earlier, go to The Pacer National Center For Bullying Prevention. I look forward to seeing what Bands For Bullying will do in the lives of others!
Such Great Difference: Jackson

Jackson is about to take part in Ride2Recovery on September 11. What an experience and way to help our veterans. You can still help support Jackson in raising money for his ride…check out the info on how you can help.

Tell us about the charity you’re helping with and why you choose to make a difference.
Ride to Recovery is an organization that was founded to help veterans injured in war both mentally and physically. Through trials and studies, they have shown that cycling is one of the best treatments for both the mental and physically injured. R2R supports these treatments by raising money for Spinning Rehabilitation programs and other Core Cycling Rehabilitation programs with cycling at the focus. Cycling is a very important part of these soldiers rehabilitation because it is an activity almost all patients can do and R2R speeds up the rehabilitation process.
R2R sponsors many events each year through the country and even overseas now in order to raise money. R2R has been featured on many local news channels and has been seen on Extreme Makeover Home Edition and NBC’s Brian Williams Making a Difference. R2R has participated in making custom bikes for soldiers who have lost one, two, and even three limbs. I have chosen to make a difference in the lives of these soldiers because of the sacrifice they have given up in order to defend my freedom and our country. The simple things I take for granted, they lost friends, teammates, and even limbs fighting for you and I.
What are you or will you being doing to help out?
This September 11th, I will be participating in a 530 mile ride sponsored by Ride to Recovery. The ride will start at ground zero in NY, go through Pennsylvania to United 93, and ultimately end at the Pentagon. My goal for the ride is to raise $2,998 ($1 for every person killed in the attacks). All the money I raise is used specifically for R2R’s rehabilitation programs since the whole ride is sponsored.
What are you most excited about with the cause that you’ve chosen?
I am very excited for this ride because I will be meeting many of the soldiers who are a part of the program along with many pro riders also taking part. I’m excited also for the physical challenge that the ride presents.
What are you most scared about?
I am most scared about reaching my goal of $2,998. I am a ways away still but am confident I will reach it. Also, for safety during some of the legs climbing and descending through mountains!
How can people help out?
People can definitely help out! I am still working on my goal of reaching $3,000 and would really appreciate anyone that could help me reach that goal. You can still help Jackson out…just leave us a comment and we will get you the information you need for your donation.
Such Great Difference: Conner

Conner has come up with a great way to support an organization he has had the opportunity to serve many times. He started TrageTees and is selling the T-shirts to raise money. I love seeing how Conner was inspired, had an idea and acted on it. Here’s more about TrageTees and head to the Facebook page and let Conner know you want to purchase a T-shirt!

Tell us about the project you’re helping with and why you choose to make a difference.
TrageTees is an organization that is focused on raising awareness of social injustices in America. Our plan for now is to sell shirts with our logo to: 1) raise awareness and 2) raise funds to send to charities that focus on social injustices. 

TrageTees is supporting In His Steps Ministries (IHS) in Canton, Mississippi. I have gone on three mission trips through Merge down there and absolutely love their ministry and overall purpose.

I was pushed by Dave Rod (church pastor) on the Winter Retreat to “Chase the Dark” and it took me a couple weeks but I came up with TrageTees as a way to do just that. I chose to start helping out because I feel God can make such a huge impact with such a small thing and I wanted to be one of those small impacts that one day grows.

What are you most excited about with the cause that you’ve chosen?
I’m most excited about helping out IHS because I’ve personally been down and worked with them and will be going back so I can witness first hand what impact TrageTees is having.
What are you most scared about?
I’m most scared about keeping TrageTees going. I have great hopes of it one day growing into something bigger but am still a little naive about the whole business world.
How can people help out?
Right now the best help would be for people to 1) join and follow TrageTees on Facebook and Twitter 2) to help spread the word about TrageTees and what we are doing. 3) to buy shirts and to encourage others to do the same. 4) mentoring me personally through business ordeals about setting up a non profit and such.
Such Great Difference: Ashley

One of our models, Ashley, is headed to Ukraine with Mission to Ukraine. She leaves next week and Nathan happens to be going on the trip too. We’ve known so many high school students who have gone on this trip and it has impacted them beyond words and they have given their love back to the people of Ukraine. Here’s a bit more about the trip.

Tell us about the project you’re helping with and why you choose to make a difference.
Mission To Ukraine is an organization that helps children and adults with physical and mental disabilities in Ukraine. They also help mothers who decide to keep their children instead of aborting them. Every summer MtU holds a 10 day camp for the kids and adults with disabilities where we teach them about the Bible, love them to the best of our ability and give their mothers a break from taking care of them!
I chose to make a difference because in the Bible Jesus tells us to help “the least of these.” In Ukraine, people with disabilities are looked down upon in society and they really are “the least of these.” After I went my first year I fell in love with the people there and God put a passion in my heart to be part of the ministry. So I went a second year and now a third year!
What are you or will you being doing to help out?
In Ukraine I will be with the disabled people every day. I will have a small group of people that I will spend most of the day with. I get to talk with them, play with them, love them and take care of them for the 10 days of the camp. My main role is to show them the love of Christ through serving them and spending time with them.
What are you most excited about with the cause that you’ve chosen?
I am most excited about the relationships I will make with the people! All of them just want to be loved and the friendships made through Christ make me so excited to be there!
What are you most scared about?
I am scared that I will go into this year with too many expectations. Especially going for the past two years I feel like I have an idea in my head about how it should go but I know that God is going to do something completely different this year… a little scary but still exciting!!
How can people help out?
People can help out by praying! PRAYER PRAYER PRAYER! And also financial support is HUGE. This trip is really expensive! It is hard to raise enough money let alone the third time around! You can go to the Grace website gracecc.org to help support the trip or contact me at ashleytoukraine.blogspot.com.
Such Great Difference: Emily

Emily is one of our 2012 models and as I was talking to her I learned about her upcoming trip. She’ll be living in Africa for a month this summer and serving people there. Are these teenagers not totally amazing?!! Here’s more about Emily’s trip.

Tell us about the project you’re helping with and why you choose to make a difference.
I am going to South Africa with an organization called Global Expeditions Teen Mania. I loooovvveeee to serve. It is just something that the Lord has blessed me with I guess. I knew I wanted to do something longer term this summer and I heard about this ministry and decided to check it out.
What are you or will you being doing to help out?
My group and I will be working in the slums basically. It is called a squatter camp. We will be telling people about Jesus, giving out food and clothes and just helping people out with their laundry and such.
What are you most excited about with the cause that you’ve chosen?
I am most excited to meet people! I don’t know anyone who I am going with. There will be around 50 other kids going with me. I am also excited to see what the Lord has in store!
What are you most scared about?
I’m  scared of the unknown. I love being in control but I won’t be on this trip.
How can people help out?
It would be great if people could pray for me on my trip! Also, donations would be great too! You can donate online at www.globalexpeditions.com/donte and my ID# is 2631839.
Such Great Difference: Cassie

Something you will see on this blog is a feature called Such Great Difference. We’ll be featuring teenagers who are making a difference in their community and world by volunteering their time and talents. This is sure to inspire you!

First up we have Cassie who is a Zionsville High School senior. She’s helping the Zionsville Lions Club to start having movies in the park and would like all of the proceeds from each movie night to be donated to local charities. Here’s more about her efforts.

Tell us about the project you’re helping with and why you choose to make a difference.
This project is actually something I did as a project in my a class last semester with a couple of my friends. The project was to start your own business and we chose to open a drive in movie. After working on the project, I absolutely fell in love with the idea. Around the end of February I emailed the Lions Club and we set up a meeting and they too loved the idea! When planning out this project I decided that if we are going to do something like this, I wanted to find a way to do something good with it. Therefore I decided that I wanted to have all the money for the project covered so that at the end of each night all the money made could be donated to different charities!
What are you or will you being doing to help out?
My role in this project is to get the equipment, raise the money, run the concession stands, take care of clean up and tear down and find volunteers to help the event run smoothly.
What are you most excited about with the cause that you’ve chosen?
I am most excited about the idea of everyone having a way to get together for an inexpensive night out, meet new people and really just bringing everyone together!
What are you most scared about?
I am most scared that I will not raise all the money needed and that it will not be something that people will want to go to.
How can people help out?
People can help in so many ways!!!!  Volunteers are always needed and any donations are incredibly helpful. So if people know of places to contact let me know! If you are interested in helping out Cassie you can email her at chiggins33 at live.com.