Saturday night was an amazing night! In the last couple of days, I have heard from the China team how thankful they are for the support of the “Home team.”
Thanks to the efforts and commitment of some amazing Event Planners, Volunteers and guests who invested their evening and some hard-earned dollars, “Little Hearts, Big Dreams” raised over $18,000! Our goal was less than half that amount!
Guests at the event listened intently to Joy Drechsler, Executive Director of Associated Services for International Adoption, and Dr. Laurie Armsby, Pediatric Cardiologist at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. Dr. Armsby is also a member of the Little Hearts Medical team that will travel to Beijing, China in October.
Joy spoke about her ties to myself, Mike, and my wife, Tanya Lee, who helped start the Little Hearts Team. Joy’s agency facilitated the adoptions of the our last two adopted children, Ping and JJ. Both children were under the care of the staff at Little Flower Foster Home, where the LHM team will volunteer during the upcoming trip.
Dr. Armsby kept guests’ rapt attention as she talked about the road leading this October’s trip. As the cardiologist for our children, Dr. Armsby has been a key part of helping care for them. Along with Dr. Stephen Langley, Head of Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital and the rest of the team at Doernbecher, Dr. Armsby has helped provide life-changing care for Ping, JJ and Shelby Lee, who came to our family in 2007; our first “heart baby” even though she was 8 at the time. Shelby was born with Single Ventricle Congenital Heart Disease, as were Ping and JJ.
Part of Dr. Armsby’s talk included stories of meeting our family and pictures of our children as they grew. But what really grabbed people’s attention was how she connected those stories to some deep medical explanations of our kids’ medical conditions and how complex their care is. And yet even with the complexity, Dr. Armsby also painted a picture of how the Little Hearts Medical team’s October trip can help continue our family’s story into a chapter of giving care to other children who desperately need it.
While the auction raised some great funds with packages that included a Sunriver Resort Home, Sun Valley Jazz and Hotel Package, handmade long board and other amazing items, our guests showed some amazing generosity during our Special Appeal. Tanya and I talked about the staff at Little Flower Foster Home and the connection each of our guests now have to the Little Flower team.
One of our big hopes has been to raise the funding needed to take some medical devices to Little Flower Foster Home. They have been trying for a long time, in particular, to raise money to purchase special Pulse Oximeter’s designed for use by small, premature infants. The guests responded generously when I asked the guests in attendance to pledge their support and give, beginning with $600, the cost for one Pulse Oximeter.
I am amazed when I consider how this amazing event came together! In less than six weeks, the team was able to pull together a wonderful evening with no database of contributors. We had a lot of help and donations in making it happen, though. Aside from minimal cost for the facility, some decor and food costs, people in the community donated the rest of what we needed. This included some amazing pictures of children at the foster home and entertainment from great local musicians Ian James, Bill Dutton, Johnnie Ballard and Patrick Curtain.
So thanks to all of you! Whether you gave a cash donation, auction item or attended the event and contributed to the cause … we are very thankful!
Now we refocus our efforts in finishing preparations for the trip, which is a little more than 3 weeks away. Mark your calendars for October 18 and stay tuned to our website for updates in the meantime.