Sunday, December 30, 2012

Just one more day!

Hello dear friends! I hope this blog finds you all having enjoyed a wonderful Christmas with your family and friends, and getting ready for a fun New Year's Eve! We have been busy, busy, busy -  between work and the holidays - but we finally made it out to Arkansas for Christmas with Rusty's family. I have so many fun blogs to share over the next few weeks, but I wanted to write tonight to let you know that you only have ONE MORE DAY (Monday) to give your 2012 tax-deductible gift to The Sound of Hope!

If you've never given before and you want a quick summary of our work, our 2012 Report is now on our blog - so be sure to check that out. But I'll give you an even shorter version here - WE NEED YOUR HELP! We have accomplished some incredible things this year, and we have even bigger dreams for 2013. We want to see the first 5 little girls brought into our new Children's Home in Thailand... we want to build a Children's Home on the land we bought in India... we want to start a Children's Library in the refugee camp for our sweet kids from Burma who risked their lives to get an education... and we want to be sure all 115 children at our carepoint in Swaziland get to go to school this coming year! And of course, that's not all. The 217 children we care for have big needs, but they won't be met without your help.

We are working so hard to bring rescue, protection, and holistic care to children in need, but our work can't continue without the support of generous, compassionate people like you. We need people to partner with us - people who have big hearts and big dreams to change the world! And I know that describes SO many of YOU - my wonderful readers! So please...

   Give for the little girl growing up in a brothel in India.
       Give for the little boy in Swaziland who needs an education.
           Give for the little girl in Thailand at risk of being sold into slavery.
               Give for the little boy who is afraid of being forced to fight as a child soldier in Burma

Your gift can take these children from a life of despair, to a hope-filled future!

As 2012 comes to a close, please pray about giving a year-end gift (or signing up to be a monthly donor) for The Sound of Hope. And consider sharing our website or this blog with your friends on facebook and twitter. Help us continue our life-saving work! Even a small gift can make a BIG difference in the life of a child in need!

***Thanks so much for your continued support and love. I hope you all have a blessed New Year!***

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Announcing a BRAND NEW Sound of Hope!

If you just read my blog then you're probably wondering why I've been MIA lately. (Sorry friends!) But if you're also my friend on FB or twitter, then you know the reason I haven't been blogging, is because of the CrAzY hours I've been working.

I don't actually remember the last time Rusty and I had a real (full) day off, but I do know it was before Thanksgiving. And since we got home from our Arkansas Thanksgiving visit, we've been working a lot of 10, 12, 15, and even 18 hour work days. But I'm thrilled to announce that alllll that work was worth it, because this week we revealed our BRAND NEW logo, website, and online store for The Sound of Hope!!!

For a while now we've known that in order to continue our full-time work with The Sound of Hope, we needed to focus on improving our organization. We've been "getting by" with free websites and printwork designed by friends, and while we're grateful for that getting us this far, it just didn't do our work justice. The children we serve overseas have INCREDIBLE stories, and we want to make sure people hear them, see them, and have a way to respond to them. So this Fall, we hired an amazing firm to make The Sound of Hope even better!

The team at Ideogram has worked tirelessly to create this awesome site for us, and we're so excited to see it live! On our homepage you'll find an interactive slider that shows each country we work in, our main video for that country, our latest tweet, and the projects we're currently fundraising for. (Move the boxes with your up & down & left & right arrows.)

Click on the map (or the menu in the top right of the page) and you can visit 4 country specific pages. For the first time, you can see (in detail) where we work, how many children we care for, and exactly what we do in each country. You can also find our latest country specific videos, blogs, and fundraising projects. There are 2 brand new Feature videos too - check them out on our India & Swaziland pages! (I'm just going to brag on my husband for a minute here, ok? Rusty did an amazing job on these 2 videos, so you will definitely want to watch them! :)

There are several other new pages, but I'll let you peruse the site and discover them yourself. I do want to point out one more INCREDIBLE addition though. This week, we opened up our first ever online store for The Sound of Hope!

For the past year I have been collecting merchandise from around the world to sell in our shop. We have so many beautiful, unique products from India, Thailand, Burma, and Swaziland - and I'm so excited to finally share them with you! There's original art, handmade jewelry, silk scarves, handpainted brass bowls and MUCH more! And the best part is - every single purchase helps us provide RESCUE, PROTECTION, and HOLISTIC CARE to children in need.

It's been really exciting to see how people have responded to our new site and the store! In just 3 days our store has had over 2,000 page views and a ton of orders. I believe this will be a great tool to connect new people with our work around the world! (And a big THANK YOU goes out to Alison Wilkey for the gorgeous product photos she did for us! :)

So, what are you waiting for?! Go check out our new site and shop in our new store! (If you place an order by Monday the 17th, you should get it in time for Christmas :) And please help us get the word out by sharing our new site with your friends via email, facebook, and twitter. 'Tis the season for year-end tax-deductible gifts, and we need your help to finish 2012 strong!