25 Days of Kindness Completed! {2016 Edition}

December 27, 2016

Once again, we've pulled together the months kind acts as a reminder of all that was accomplished. Thank you so much for joining us this year!


Day 1: Today, the kids and I donated items to our local humane society in honor and memory of our dog Reggie and got to pet some really sweet animals as well!

Day 2: An encouraging note (and caffeine) to a small business owner who is a hard working rock star.

Day 3: I may or may not have teared up a little when chatting with my girls about our military and their families and the sacrifices they make for our safety and well-being.

Day 4: Today was a bittersweet day, friends. We had the honor and privilege of helping dedicate Katie's Wing, a beautifully redone area at Place of Hope homeless shelter that will help give homeless women and kids a place to live. It's named in honor of our dear sister and friend Katrina, who died 11 years ago after a 5-year battle with breast cancer. The funds raised by our family's foundation and the generosity of so many others in the community led to this day.

Our 2016 Finale: Journals for Katie's Wing

December 6, 2016

Whew, already partway into the month, and it's already turning into a busy December! If you've been following along with this year's 25 days of Christmas kindness on our Facebook page, this past weekend we revealed via video what our finale will be this year (Kendra is in love with those live videos. If you know how much I hate being in the spotlight, you'll understand why all I do in the video is grin like a fool.)

Attending the dedication
A bit of the backstory first: More than 11 years ago, when my sister Katrina died after a 5-year battle with breast cancer, our family created a foundation in her honor that gave women and girls opportunities in Christian environments that they otherwise wouldn't have. Over the years, one of the places Katie's Club supported was Place of Hope, a homeless shelter in St. Cloud. Last year, Place of Hope announced that their new women's wing would be called Katie's Wing in honor of Katrina and her legacy.

This past weekend, we got to see the fruition of that dream in action. The three of us, along with  friends and folks from the community, attended the dedication of the wing. I could not. stop. crying. With more than a dozen bedrooms for women and their children as well as a common living area, kids room, kitchen and bathrooms, the wing is fully equipped to help women overcoming abuse, human trafficking, and homelessness. It's amazing.

Living room

We are SO excited to be a part of this amazing ministry, and although there are still practical needs to be met, we wanted to take on an item that we hope will encourage the wing's residents to dream.  We'd like to take on one specific item -- journals for all the women who stay in the wing, journals that they can then take with them as they leave the wing to continue their lives. So here is where you come in: We are asking our community and friends to help out by donating a journal. In addition, if you'd like to write a blessing, scripture, or prayer inside for the woman, we would love that!

Ok, I know it's the holidays and everyone is busy but journals are everywhere. I bought three this morning at Marshalls and spent $10 total (who else loves Marshalls?! It is seriously right up there with HomeGoods and Barnes & Noble as one of my happy places). We would LOVE for you to send us a journal, and before you do, write in it. If there's one thing we've learned over the years and believe in wholeheartedly, it's that your words matter. Words have the power to hurt or to heal, and your words of encouragement could be exactly what someone else needs to hear.

Hallway and a bedroom
Plus, how amazing would it be to say, "I know this person is a stranger to you, but they've been praying for you and will continue to do so"?! If you'd like to send us a journal, drop it in the mail (you can even send it media mail, which is cheaper, since it's a book!) to us at: 1704 Red Fox Road, St. Cloud, MN 56303. Thank you for joining with us, friends!

P. S. If you're interested in donating to some of the other practical needs of the wing, you can certainly still do so! A few of the items on their wishlist include sheets, curtains, and new windows, although there are other things they need as well. Donations can be sent to: Place of Hope, 511 9th Ave North, St. Cloud, MN 56303. Just designate your gift for Katie's Wing.

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