A dear friend of mine (and her hubby too, ha ha!) run the non-profit Sound of Hope. This is an amazing organization that cares for orphans around the world. It's humbling to know people that have given their life to such a huge task. It's not glamorous. It's not what many of us would choose. It's not lucrative in the worldly sense. But it's God's work, and it's life changing. I get told all the time how amazing Kevin and I are for faithfully and obediently following the call to adopt. Can I just be honest for a second? That is easy compared to what the Jacksons are doing with Sound of Hope. We are blessed to think that God is using us to be His instruments to rid the world of one more orphan, but Rusty and Ericka are providing hope and protection and love for thousands of orphans!
But they cannot do this alone. Please consider donating to Sound of Hope tomorrow for Alabama Gives. For every $10 donated, you will be entered to win a prize. Rest assured that your money is going to God's Kingdom work when you do click that donate button.
Below is a blog Ericka wrote about Sound of Hope. Enjoy reading and remember to donate!
“How did a girl from Oxford, AL end up here?” – It’s a question I often ask myself, whether speaking Thai in a Chiang Mai market, greeting women at a carepoint in Swaziland, or putting on my traditional punjabi suit before riding through Delhi traffic. My life looks very different than I ever could have dreamed it would, growing up in small town Alabama. Sometimes I still find it hard to believe that my husband and I are running our own international non-profit. When we aren’t working in our office in Maylene, AL, you can find us living and working in Thailand, India, or Africa.
Back when I was a student at Oxford High School, if you’d told me I would be comfortable half a world away in Africa I would have thought you’d lost your mind. A few years later, when I was struggling in Spanish classes at Auburn University, I would have laughed at the idea of learning Thai! But sometimes, things don’t go as we plan – and I am grateful for that! Every day that I get a chance to rescue innocent children from horrors like drug trafficking, sex trafficking, genocide and abuse, I am in awe that this is my job.
Through our work in third world countries, we are making a real difference. Little girls, who suffer in extreme poverty in Africa, are getting an opportunity for an education. Little boys, who would otherwise be forced to fight as child soldiers in Burma, are learning sustainable life-skills like gardening and raising livestock. Forgotten children, orphaned and abandoned in India, are being welcomed into loving homes. And it’s all happening because someone gave a few dollars to show they care.
If you’re reading this and wondering, “What does this have to do with me?” - well, I’m getting there. You see, tomorrow, February 2nd, is the very first Alabama Gives Day. This is a day that is dedicated to the hundreds of participating non-profits in our wonderful state. Organizations like the Alabama Broadcasters Association are hoping to increase awareness and funding for non-profit organizations in Alabama. They’re also hoping to show their fellow Alabamians just how much good we can do if we all give a little!
I’m here to tell you that The Sound of Hope wouldn’t exist without a multitude of intelligent, compassionate, generous people from my Sweet Home Alabama. You see, I am who I am today because of the incredible people in this state who have impacted me throughout my whole life. It was my teachers at DeArmanville Jr. High School, Oxford High School, and Auburn University who equipped me with the knowledge and leadership abilities I needed to start my own non-profit organization. It’s the traits of integrity, honesty, compassion, and generosity that I learned from my family and my church that help the work we do succeed. It’s the poise and confidence that I gained from the Miss Alabama Program that makes me comfortable speaking to audiences of thousands about the children we serve. I could go on, listing all the organizations, jobs, and friends that have been apart of my life, but the bottom line is this - each and every person I have met along my journey has made me who I am today.
But Alabamians don’t just stop there - they are far too generous for that! I can’t even count the number of people around the state that have helped us get The Sound of Hope off the ground. My former first grade teacher used to donate $100 a month back when we were first getting started. Every time we get a donation in the mail from Alabama, I look at the name on the check and smile…because there is something special about people from my home state supporting what we do.
When people ask us how we’re so successful, my husband is quick to say, “We are only as successful as our donors are generous.” It’s the truth. That’s why on February 2nd – Alabama Gives Day – I’m hoping you’ll give a tax-deductible donation to The Sound of Hope. We may just be from small town Alabama, but together, we can change the world!