Blog

DSC_6334r copyYes, we are worlds apart from the men, women, and children we have grown to love in Kitale, Kenya. A distant relationship is not an easy relationship to sustain. However, our BLOG is designed to keep relationships alive and well. You are encouraged to visit and revisit our blog for current updates, testimonies, announcements, encouraging words, and simply to bask in the many stories about our successes.

Chick-fil-A Foundation’s 2015 True Inspiration Award Winner

CFA Foundation True Inspiration Awards '15-270_Chicks for Children

Dr. Mark Cooper pictured with Rodney Bullard, Vice President of Community Affairs for Chick-fil-A, Inc. and Executive Director of Chick-fil-A Foundation, and Franchised Operator Alan Kizer

 

About the True Inspiration Awards

We are so honored to be one of the Chick-fil-A Foundation’s 2015 True Inspiration Award Winners.  25 organizations were nominated by Chick-fil-A Owner/Operators and community foundations from across the nation for their support of youth and giving back to their communities. Chicks for Children was nominated in the Chick-fil-A Owner/Operator Choice category for our dedication to eliminating the devastating consequences of local and global poverty characterized by illiteracy, hopelessness and social isolationWe were presented with our True Inspiration Award Friday, September 4th in Atlanta, Georgia at the fabulous Fox Theatre.

About the Award Design

The Award statue was created by Society Awards and was designed to reflect “The Flame Within.”  Chick-fil-A’s goal is to ignite the flame of goodwill, philanthropy and service in all who receive the award and those who are impacted by the work of Chicks for Children.  Our flame and desire to help others will continue to burn for years to come.  Thank you for all your efforts in helping us achieve this honor.

Thank You!

A big thank you to you for helping Chicks for Children get selected as one of Chick-fil-A’s True Inspiration Awards Winners.  We were honored for the work we do to inspire children in the community helping them to be the best versions of themselves.  Since we couldn’t do it alone, we wanted to share this award with you and thank you for your continued work helping Chicks for Children make a difference as we help build the next generation of leaders.

A Love Letter From God

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Yes, it is a letter written by one of my dear friends from the Kipsongo Slum who lives in the new Seeds Children’s Home. Yet, it feels like a love letter from God. God is so gracious to allow me to have such a relationship with Beryl. I just had to share this special relationship with you. The handwritten letter was surrounded by beautifully colored flowers and a hand drawn picture of the Holy Bible.

Dear Professor Mark,

Hello! How are you? I have really missed you so much. I hope you will come soon. We are doing good with Jimmy in Kenya.

I hope you are doing good in America. I pray to God to continue providing for you and also, do not stop spreading His word because He is the one who gives you life and free oxygen to breath. Greet your family. I hope your beloved daughter she is doing good. Tell her that I love her so much even if she does not know me. We are doing good and I always work hard in school to fulfill my dream. Please if you remember me always and always read in the book of Philipians 4:8.

Your lovely friend,

 Beryl

Of course, I could keep such a letter to myself. But isn’t that like keeping such illuminating Light in the shadows? Jesus called us into relationships. How in God’s name can we grow in our relationships with our dear friends from the Kipsongo Slum in Kitale, Kenya if we fail to recognize the reciprocal nature of our relationships? To give affirmation, affection, acceptance, attention, and appreciation (5 A’s) unto others is necessary but not sufficient. It is good for us to be the recipients of the 5 A’s from others. To give and to receive is integral to God-given and God-driven relationships.

Just imagine the pleasure I “received” from Beryl’s letter. Now, imagine the pleasure Beryl receives from my letter to her. OMG! I’ve seen what they do with letters. They treat them like treasures! How cool is that? Of course, they are treasures to me, as well. 

P.S. Now imagine, the many mighty acorn sponsors (www.mightyacorn.org) as well as sponsors through other organizations having such communication with our kids from the Kipsongo Slum. It is a blessing to all and from all!

Sustainability – farm land lease

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SUSTAINABILITY is such an important part of our Seeds Ministry relationship. Pastor Richard and Hellen have needed the monetary resources to lease land for agricultural development. They KNOW how to grow maze. They know how to rotate a variety of crops on the same land. Our Chicks for Children Foundation partners have made possible the leasing of 70 acres. It is our INCOME MAKING AND EXPENSE SAVINGS program. If you are that farmer or farmer want-to-be, please join our effort to use the land to feed the orphans! Eventually, we want to purchase land. Also, if this project is as successful as anticipated, we will be developing a PLOW AHEAD campaign to purchase a tractor; a tractor for personal use and for leasing. AHHHH, a tractor then becomes a MONEY MAKER AND EXPENSE SAVER. I wish you could listen in on Pastor Richard Makani’s thoughts. “Thank you God for such a wonderful blessing to grow the crops that feed the orphans!”

Start on foundation for new kitchen

These pictures represents the present kitchen at the Seeds Children’s Home where orphans from the Kipsongo Slum in Kitale, Kenya Current Kitchen Insidelive. The Seeds Children’s Home parents are very resourceful. They are also very gracious. You will never hear them whine! The kitchen is terribly small and inadequate for serving 210 plus kids. Of course, the picture fails to represent the many nooks and grannies inside and outside that serve as their dining hall.
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Well, here is the great news; news that should cause YOU to celebrate. There has been enough monetary and prayer support to build the foundation of the dining hall/kitchen/laundry room (see below). The picture below represents the progress on the new dining hall/kitchen/laundry build project. Soon, you will hear more to the story. Of course, the campaign to raise additional monetary support continues. There is some upcoming great news that represents the building of the walls. Stay tuned! We are just too thrilled to make this announcement, especially since many of YOU participate in your monetary support and prayer support. We thank God for such a wonderful blessing and thank Him for allowing us to simply participate!

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True Inspiration Award

The Chicks for Children Foundation is humbled and honored to be selected as a recipient of the Chick-fil-A Foundation inaugural True Inspiration Award, an award inspired by the generosity of Chick-fil-A’s founder, S. Truett Cathy. The award supports chick-fil-a-s_truett_cathyChicks for Children Foundations effort to focus on character development, positive community and cultural involvement, and effective civic engagement. While we are gracious in receiving S. Truett Cathy and Chick-fil-A’s very generous award, we want to pay tribute to his insatiable appetite to make our world a better place. Thank you S. Truett Cathy! Thank you Chick-fil-A! and Thank you Alan Kizer, Operator Chick-fil-A at Conway Commons and West Conway, who nominated Chicks for Children Foundation! Click here for more information.

LET’S CELEBRATE THE DIFFERENCE YOU HAVE MADE!

The Chicks for Children Foundation has much to celebrate. The foundation has contributed to a variety of achievements, including the following:

  1. We celebrate the completion of the new orphanage that rescued 120 more girls from the Kipsongo post_20150118_01 Slum in Kitale, Kenya. The children gather together daily expressing gratitude for their rescue from hunger, homelessness, abandonment, abuse, fear, and despair. Yes, there is much to celebrate!
     

     

     

  2. We celebrate the development of the agricultural land lease project, the greenhouses, the post_20150118_02 chicken enterprise, the woodworking shop, and the classroom construction project. Such developments provide sustainable solutions for supporting the many seeds ministries, including the Seeds Children’s Home, Seeds Bread of Life Center, Seeds Academy, and Seeds Stone Medical Clinic.

     

     

  3. We celebrate our growing Kids Helping Kids Make A Difference educational campaign post_20150118_03 designed for public and parochial teaching teams, school counselors, and churches to teach children that they can change the world for kids who face hunger and poverty. The I CARE Chicken Dance is a culmination of such lessons. Yes, it is a silly dance for 4,000 plus kids. Yet, it represents a serious cause.

     

  4. We celebrate the missionary zeal of the orphans from Seeds Ministry who are now sharing post_20150118_04 messages of hope to kids considered the least of those at Mt. Elgon. They have raised money and used the money to purchase food and school supplies. They are giving unto others as others have given unto them; a true testimony to their desire to pay forward acts of kindness.

     

     

  5. The aforementioned achievements are made possible by YOU! You have been so very generous with your resources. Therefore, our foundation team CELEBRATES you. It is our hope and prayer that you help us stay the course designed to change the world for those who face the challenges of physical and psychological poverty.

The I CARE Chicken Dance is growing!

The “Kids Helping Kids” campaign has taken root in Chickamauga, GA thanks to my niece, Bailey Teem, and her outstanding teaching team at Oakwood Christian Academy. Several hundred students from kindergarten through sixth grade created some exciting renditions of the I CARE dance. While feeling silly, they also took very serious the cause to fight local and global poverty. There shall come a day when 100’s of schools imitate TEEM’s great TEAM! More pictures to come soon. My wife and I enjoyed dancing with Teem’s Team. The principal and teaching team were OUTSTANDING! The kids didn’t quit dancing and caring… Hey, the sixth graders who initially said, “No way!” set a wonderful example. When encouraged to think outside themselves and outside the box, kids show so much heart, especially when teaching team stir the heart. THE COMMON CORE OF EDUCATION – LEARN ABOUT ACADEMICS AND CARING FOR OTHERS, ESPECIALLY THE LEAST OF THOSE.

Conway, get ready to dance!

photoChick-fil-A Spirit Night showed the spirit on Monday night! Teaching teams, students, families, and many UCA teacher education candidates enjoyed the evening sharing stories about our “Kids Helping Kids” campaign.  Everyone is gearing up for I CARE Chicken Dance Marathon VI at the end of next week. Candidates representing the Association for Childhood Education International helped children make book marks. BIG SUCCESS! As Craig O’Neil says, “Conway, get ready to dance!”

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Chick-fil-A Spirit Night

Chick-fil-A invites all the I CARE Chicken Dancers, their teaching teams, and families to join the Chick-fil-A Spirit Night Monday, April 14th for a benefit designed to help Chicks for Children Foundation, Inc. raise awareness, understanding, and action for children in Africa and America who face hunger and poverty. Come experience the fun and festive occasion. Students are asked to bring mug shots to help us make a picture collage for the kids in Kitale, Kenya. They will also have activities designed to make a keep sake for themselves and for the kids in Africa. Yes, we will translate our I CARE Chicken Song into action, “I want to be a kid who cares about the kids in Africa.” Let’s make Monday matter by showing how much we CARE!

See the poster: Chick-fil-a and Chicks for Children Spirit Night 2014

 

Walk A Mile in My Shoes

SAVE THE DATE! On April 25th, 2014, 4,000 plus students from all nine elementary schools from the Conway School District in Conway, AR will participate in the WALK A Mile In MY Shoes Chicken Dance Marathon VI. Arkansas television personality, Craig O’Neil, calls it the Caring Dance! Everyone is encouraged to stay tune for this hope-filled, purpose-driven marathon designed to keep hope alive for children through our funding raising and education efforts. Proceeds will fight local poverty in Conway and global poverty in Kitale, Kenya. Stay tune for reports about other marathons occurring within and outside Arkansas, as well.

At the present time, an education team at the University of Central Arkansas from the Department of Early Childhood and Special Education is preparing for teacher teams a several week instructional module designed to help in the following ways:

  1. Teach students common core standards
  2. Teach students to empathize by learning how to walk a mile in the shoes of others.
  3. Teach students how to be difference makers and even world-changers.
  4. Teach students qualities of difference making – gratitude, caring, respect, responsibility, courage, and collaborate.
  5. Teach students to participate in service-learning activities through applying the stages of service-learning – investigation, preparation, action, reflection, and celebration.
  6. Teach students the benefit of children helping children within a local community and across the world.

It is our HOPE that you will also WALK A MILE IN OUR SHOES and join our campaign to educate children to help children all over the world.