Feb 3, 2010

Decorah church is raising contributions for Haiti

Posted: 4:00 p.m. Tuesday, January 2nd, 2010

Decorah Covenant Church at 115 Washington Street has agreed to serve as the local collecting site for "Helping Hands for Haiti," a campaign to raise dry formula, milk, wet ones and diapers for Ruuska Village, a Christian orphanage located 7 miles from Port-au-Prince.

The church is accepting donations of powdered formula, dry milk, diapers and wet-wipes between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m through Sunday, February 14th. Donations will then be taken to Florida, from where they will be transported to the orphanage. Cash donations can also be sent to Helping Hands For Haiti, 1003 Grand Street, Guthrie Center, IA 50115.

The project is the brainchild of former Decorah resident Kim Grinna, and actually began this fall prior to the earthquake. Kim's sister has adopted several orphans from this orphanage in the past and Kim's niece has been working at the orphanage since August of 2009.

Kim challenged her own children to try to feel the pain of the orphans in Haiti for just one day. After watching a video about conditions in pre-quake Haiti the family was moved to start this project. Their initial goal that was 500 cans of powdered formula along with other desperately needed items such as dry milk, wet ones and diapers. However, the needs of the orphanage have increased tremendously following the earthquake, so Decorah resident Andrea Carlson decided to expand the Haitian milk project beyond the original Des Moines area to include Decorah.

For more information, please contact Andrea Carlson (382-1409) or Kim Grinna (641-332-2396).


Jan 27, 2010

How the milk mission started...

First of all, my niece, Lacey Hewitt, has been working at Ruuska Village since August, '09. Through her, I learned about the severe malnutrition some of the babies have when they arrive at the village. I particularly learned about a beautiful little girl named Naikema. Lacey cared for her all night when she came in, but her sickness was too much for her weak immune system. She passed away that night. I was deeply troubled by that. In that same week, I watched a video on world hunger by Joyce Meyer Ministries.

The video was so stirring to me emotionally, that I decided to have my children watch it in hopes that it would broaden their worldview. After they watched it, my eldest son, Grant-age 13, asked me with tears in his eyes, "Mom, what can I do? I am just a kid". This stuck with me for days. Isn't that how we all feel? After all, the problem of world hunger is so big. What can we do here in America? I am tied down with six children. But the words of Joyce Meyer stayed with me. She said, "Find out what you can do, and do it. Don't sit around doing nothing, while millions of people are suffering. Don't wait around for three angels from Heaven to tell you what to do. God has already asked us to take care of the orphans and widows in this world through His word." Sure enough, three days later, the idea just popped into my head that we should try to do our part by collecting 500 cans of baby formula for Ruuska Village, in Bon Repos, Haiti. Through my slideshow presentation and passing out brochures and posters, we collected 160 cans of baby formula pre-earthquake. Once the earthquake hit, I could forsee God working in all of this from the beginning. He knew this was going to happen and that there would be thousands more orphans in need. He also knew that we would be prepared to promote this idea across Iowa and beyond.

I know we will never solve world hunger, but I challenged my own children to feel their pain. I asked them to give up food for one day. They did. In the evening, we drank a glass of milk together. My question to them and you is this...."If you could relieve someone's suffering for one day, would you?" That is what we hope to do, to relieve the hunger pains of the littlest orphans in Haiti, a country right next to the greatest country in the world. It's not that there isn't enough food for all the people on the earth, they just don't have access to it.

Welcome from the Grinnas!