In a world where earthquakes happen quite unexpectedly and children are left alone without parents, it is the simplest things in life that can make a huge difference. Children in Haiti are suffering alone, in many cases. Even those fortunate enough to have parents, are homeless with every possession they had gone from the face of the earth. They are hurting and missing being a child.
It was no surprise, when news of this horrible earthquake circulated, to receive an email from my dear friend, Karen Koeppe about her special endeavor to help these children. Karen always was so involved in children causes through out our years together growing up as young mothers. She had a way also of convincing others to join in whether you wanted to or not! Just the positive spirit was enigmatic enough to get others involved. We all wanted to help and have what she possessed. If that meant being a part of her current project, so be it, we were hooked! I found myself involved in everything from Bible School, a women’s group that held events for kids such as Christmas with Santa and even a teen age youth group, the most difficult age on earth to deal to children. Nothing stopped Karen when she was on a mission.
Apparently the years have not changed my dear friend. This new project is aptly called Project Angel Wings. She gave it this title because the premise behind it is about enwrapping children in Haiti with angel’s wings. Children are so innocent and Karen is so in tuned to this quality in our youth. Karen was quick to point out, aside from the most basic needs the children in Haiti are requiring; they deserve a little fun and laughter.
Her solution to this dilemma was to come up with a plan that would not be compromised by a downward economy. The premise behind it was every child deserves some toy to hold on to. She started this project simply by asking people concerned about the catastrophe to rummage through their toy boxes and garages. The idea was to spearhead donations from others for simple things to help the children there pass the time. Used items we all have around our homes that are not going to be missed by us if they disappear in a collection bin to children. Something as simple, as she put it in her initial request to others, soccer balls that seldom get used and are easy to replace, Frisbees collecting dust, doll babies long forgotten that a child in Haiti can hold. A simple request from a caring woman meant to convey love and hope to these children during trying times if people were responsive to the request.
To date, Karen has collected so many items that she needed to have a sponsor to mail the toy donations over to these children. Mathew 25 Ministries is helping her accomplish this. She is now so overwhelmed with the response that she is asking for boxes to package all the items (12 ×12 × 18). I think even she is surprised at the level of responsiveness.
Instead of sitting back and watching television images on her screen, this one woman is acting. She is even going to area schools to pick up donations where she has left drop boxes. She and her husband Detlef have offered their home as a place to store all of these items given with love until February 8 of 2010. At that time, she will find a way to deliver all of the countless donations she has received and collected to the organization mailing them.
This is not the first time Karen has collected items for children either. Just recently, during the Christmas season of 2009, she collected wrapped toys for children for families in need in her area.
I know the world is a better place because of selfless people in it that are motivated to be an instrument of compassion and change as Karen Koeppe so willingly is. I could not let this generosity and concern put into positive action go by without letting those that follow my blog know what a special woman she is. I am so proud to call her dear friend, sister in Christ. I love Karen and I know the children in Haiti will also late in February when they receive their toys; they will receive the fruits of her labor and know they are children not forgotten by the world.
Contact below if you would like additional information as to how you can help:
Project Angel Wings (PAW)
Karen D. Koeppe
PO BOX 176127
Covington, KY 41017
Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org