- Romania Trip Due to failed attempts during his
May '07 trip to wire the money from the sale of their Romanian apartment,
Dave had to make an unanticipated trip to Romania in September '07. It
was Dave's special joy to successfully find Petra's Village. Weather permitting,
he intends to make this a regular part of any future trips to Romania.
Our surgical burn intervention in 2000 for Petra proved to be rather unsuccessful,
but God did a huge work in Petra's heart while he was in the USA, and the
fruits are still evident.
The one other accomplishment during this short trip was the opportunity
to visit what used to be the Baby Orphanage; Dave does see possibilities
for future involvement here. During his visit to the Holding Center for
Street Children the friendly staff assured him that he is welcome to continue
to visit both facilities anytime he is in Romania. The dynamics of the
older children's orphanages has changed significantly since Romania entered
the EU; volunteer opportunities have been minimized. Considering the ongoing
difficulties in working with that director, Dave feels our involvement
at the Orlat girl's orphanage has ended.
Dave did one food packet distribution to approximately 35 peasant families
and he left money to provide for a Christmas '07 distribution. As this
trip was unanticipated, he didn't feel he could afford the expense of making
a Christmas trip that was a very difficult decision for him.
- Poinsettia Project The first project following our December
meeting was our annual Poinsettia project. We purchased eighty Poinsettias,
and with the help of 4 local friends we were able to bless each resident
of Eagle Meadows Assisted Living Center in College Place, WA. Most residents
were truly blessed by the flowers, and they were even more blessed that
we would spend a little time visiting them. We would like to apologize
for not contacting any of the board before doing this project to give them
the opportunity to join us - we will not make that mistake in the future.
If the board desires, we encourage you to do a similar project in Hermiston
- Roatan (Honduras) School Project Dave did 3 clown
shows at a small local (private, English-speaking) school in Roatan in
April. We hope this is a beginning of opportunities for Dave to be more
involved on future trips to Roatan. We have some concerns about how our
donation of supplies is being distributed and used in the public schools
there; we will continue to observe the local facilitator's progress to
determine if we want to continue involvement with the public school system
on the island.
- Scholar-Athlete Scholarship This $50,000 scholarship fund
is the profit on the sale of our apartment in Romania. We are still working
out the details of this new project. The colleges failed to contact us
when the 2 spring '07 recipients registered for school in the fall. Learning
from this experience, the burden of 'proof of enrollment' will now be on
It was a pleasure to be able to award 3 Athlete Scholarships in spring
'08. The recipients are all from the Hermiston Cross Country Team: Leslie
Macias, Terry Johnsen and Alex Ringe. The amount of the scholarships will
be determined by the amount of interest that the $50,000 principal earns
by the end of September '08 when fall quarter begins.
- Tourette Syndrome Grant
- Russian Book Distribution Distribution of the Russian
edition of Jean's advocacy manual, Music in the Midst of Chaos,
to Russian libraries and other Russian organizations is underway. Approximately
600 books remain to be distributed.
- Educator's Awareness There has been virtually zero
progress on utilizing the TS Educator's Awareness Grant since '03 when
the Neuro Center in Richland, WA, offered to implement the program. Jean
recently pursued a Walla Walla group about taking over the program, but
there appears to be no interest. Jean visited with the donor of the grant
concerning the waning Educator's Awareness Program; the donor is supportive
of terminating the program and transferring the remaining uncommitted grant
money to the VRS Employee Appreciation Fund.
- Valley Residential Services (VRS) Employee Appreciation Fund
The initial funding for this new project was a designated
contribution of $20,000. Plans are underway to purchase and distribute
our first annual cash appreciation-gift for each employee of Valley Residential
Services in Walla Walla. VRS is a Washington licensed non-profit service
provider which serves 66 adult clients with developmental disabilities.
The 121 staff who provide the daily client support services are generally
under-educated, underpaid individuals who work for VRS because they love
and are committed to their special-needs clients. Jean will purchase $25
gift cards to be given to each VRS employee at a special VRS Employee Appreciation
event in July.
- Tango Machine Taylor Jordon, 10, a fourth grader at Desert
View Elementary School in Hermiston has a form of cerebral palsy that limits
his verbal communication skills. Through a designated gift, Heart for Hope
purchased a kid-friendly form of speech technology called a 'Tango' machine.
The computerized device has enabled Taylor to interact with his peers and
communicate with his family and teachers.
- Cadena de Amor (Chain of Love) This Honduran NGO operates
several projects that serve the children of Honduras. Cadena sends children
to USA who need special surgery. The group also sponsors several national
dental programs with volunteers provided by, among others, Medical Teams
International of Portland, OR. MTI provided all the funding for Cadena
for many years after Hurricane Mitch, but MTI has now cut their support
in half. Cadena's annual budget is approximately $26,000. With some help
from new director John Spomer and a few other individuals, The NGO has
received needed funds to keep them in operation. Cadena is working on plans
for additional funding, but that is not easy in a very needy 3rd world
country. Last year John took 1 dental team to assist Cadena; in mid-March
'09 he plans to take a team for both a dental project and a construction
project. That group will go primarily through Heart for Hope as the U.S.
component. John can provide information for anyone interested in joining
the '09 team.
- Ronald McDonald House Room 104 at Portland's Ronald McDonald
West House is one of their most favorite, most-occupied rooms. Our initial
room sponsorship commitment in '03 resulted in a total makeover, and with
Becky's wise advice we purchased duplicate linens at that time so we could
spruce up the room later without having to change the theme. So when we
arrived in the July '07 to refresh the room, it was mostly a matter of
'out with the old, in with the new' while we fixed or replaced a few other
items that needed attention. The room does need repainted due to water
damage caused by upstairs plumbing problems (which have been fixed). Portland
volunteers have been contacted; now that the long-term tenants have vacated,
hopefully the painting will be completed in the near future. Heart will
provide the painting supplies. The House is pleased at the prospect of
getting the painting completed, and they are very appreciative of Heart's
continuing sponsorship. The room should be in good shape until 2010; at
that time we can evaluate whether Heart wishes to continue room sponsorship.
- Future Projects In addition to our regular annual and
ongoing projects (including the scholarship & VRS Appreciation Gift,
and poinsettia project), our plans include Dave's September trip to Romania,
a possible Christmas trip to Romania, and Doctor Spomer's ambitious Honduran
project(s). We will keep in touch with all of the board about any other
projects that surface. As always, we welcome your ideas for activities
that could make a difference in someone's life.
Summary Thank you for your commitment to Heart for Hope.
Without your faithfulness, Heart for Hope would not exist. We appreciate
our volunteers more than we can ever express, as do all those who are touched
by the varied projects of Heart for Hope.
With sincere appreciation -
Dave and Jean Conklin