Usually we would talk about our anniversary coming up, this year was our third, but it coincided with the tragic natural disasters going on in OK so we’re just now getting to it.
A lot has changed in those three years. We started out with three Directors on our Board, James Snell, David Cheesbrough and Mikaela Hulstine. Our mission was to help abused children gain self esteem.
Then in June of 2011 we expanded our mission to include disaster relief and later on that year disadvantaged children. Our first trip for disaster relief was to Chickasha, OK to help a couple of families whose children lost everything in the 5.24.11 tornado a month or so after it happened.We added a new team member–in Alabama–Katrina Brannon as our Central & Southern AL Coordinator. We traveled to AL twice in 2011 to deliver donations to the children there after the 4.27.11 tornadoes (in July and October). Katrina delivered donations to children at other times during the year. We also traveled several times to Joplin to take donations to the children there that lost everything in the 5.22.11 tornado. Two of our trips we went shopping for the kids with money raised by adopting one of the children on our list.D
In 2012 we added another team member, this time in Chickasha, OK. JJ Francais joined our team in May as our Director of Fundraising, a Board member and shortly after that became our Central & Western OK Coordinator as well. We also added to our team Deborah McDonald as our AL Kids Assessment Manager for Jefferson, Walker & Winston Counties. She helps us with Northern Alabama. We are glad JJ joined our team as wildfires erupted in OK in August 2012 and JJ was our link to the children who survived. Deborah helped us help children in Jasper, AL and also went to Tuscaloosa to help Katrina. We also were able to have a Toy Drive for both the children in Tuscaloosa, AL and the children who survived the wildfires last year.
This year we did not add any more team members, but we sure have been busy in OK! JJ has spearheaded the disaster relief effort in Central OK for the children who survived the tornadoes and floods there, while Mikaela has spearheaded those who survived the floods in Eastern OK. When needed Mikaela has gone down to help JJ. We have helped over 200 children this year alone.
We give God all the glory for how he has touched the hearts of the donors and given us the strength to do what was needed. We are thankful for those who have given to help us help the children of OK. ~The Heart 4 Children Ministries Team