Saturday, May 24, 2008

Crystal Ball, Anyone?

Just checked the exchange rate as we look forward to our departure in mid-June...not lookin' good.

Friday, May 23, 2008

100 x 100

In China, you'll often hear people speaking of symbolic numbers. We knew a Chinese student whose phone number had too many 4's in it. The word for 4 in Chinese sounds like the word for death. This student's mother said she should get her phone number changed...too much "si"...too much death.

The Olympics are starting on 8.8.08, and 8 is an auspicious number, usually. 8.8 is also Father's day in China because 8 is pronounced "ba" and the word for Father is ba-ba (but the character is a different "ba"). Some people say that the fact that the earthquake happened on 5.12 (5+1+2=8) is a bad omen for the Olympics.

In the adoption community, there's an activity people often do while they are waiting, which is to make a "100 good wishes quilt" by trading quilt squares across the country with their "DTC group" (DTC stands for Dossier-To-China, the day they sent their application to the China Center for Adoption Affairs).

So what I am hoping, when I hear from people who still want to send donations toward my little 100 pound mini-shipment of relief, is that they might take the amount they have and build it up to their own 50 or 100 pounds of help, and that through the internet we can find people to hand-carry these donations to China, a little at a time, in checked luggage. There's a whole egroup dedicated to Carry On Only adoption travel...think of all the 100 pound allotments there are! If each person traveling to China carry-on-only could bring a suitcase of formula, medicine, blankets, a tent, anything, that would add up.

Why not set a goal of 100 people x 100 pounds each over the next 100 days and see what a difference we can make?

I'll let you know if it catches on.

our next trip begins in a little over 3 weeks!

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Thanks to Mead Johnson Corporation for a promise to donate baby vitamins.

Thanks to CVS for saying "no" by giving us $100 store credit as a consolation donation.

Thanks to B at church for saying she couldn't attend the dinner next week, and then pressing a $20 bill into my hands.

Still waiting to hear back from the pharmacist at the hospital, and from a source of powdered kaolectrolyte (like Pedialyte)...I want to buy in bulk, not pay $5.95 for four packets!


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

100 Pounds of Help

People are helping already. Here's where we stand thus far:

June 10: deadline for collecting 100 pounds of medicine for orphaned children in the earthquake-affected area.

Our church is doing two very important things:
  1. giving a monetary donation from the social ministry fund
  2. donating the proceeds from next Wednesday night's community meal
We have invited our area's Chinese community as well as the families who have adopted internationally to attend the dinner, hoping to increase the donated amount.

I was turned down by a local pediatric clinic because they no longer get samples of antibiotics, BUT (and this is the key...I don' t mind "no" if it's "no, but...") one doctor who has solicited donations for relief work in Honduras advised me that we can buy antibiotics at cost from the pharmacy at our area hospital if we get approval from the pharmacy manager. I will go see her tomorrow.

I also asked Costco for a store card to use for buying over-the-counter children's meds...awaiting response. CVS has a highly bureaucratic process that is not suitable for a short-term emergency appeal. National chain stores are NOT very nimble at a time like this! In contrast, Kate's Natural Foods may donate baby multivitamin drops, and I'll go to Sue's Supernutrition tomorrow as well. Both are small, locally-owned health food stores, so I may have better luck. MeiMei's orphanage had access to liquid baby vitamins to add to rice porridge, and we can attest to the difference it made in her health.

And the big unknown...I put messages up at several adoption-related e-groups I belong to. Who knows? I may have more than 100 pounds' worth of donations coming in the mail over the next week, though I doubt it if people run into the same problem I've encountered today.

Priority order for the 100 pounds:
1. prescription antibiotics
2. over the counter children's meds
3. filler like cotton balls, latex gloves, gauze/band-aids

Any money left over after we fill the luggage will be donated to Half the Sky Foundation through Global Giving.

Cross your fingers - I'll keep you posted on the progress of this mini relief effort. It is such a blessing to be able to do something other than sigh at the television! If you feel moved to action, I again encourage you to send funds to Half the Sky through Global Giving. Tell a friend you're giving...maybe you'll inspire them too.


Monday, May 19, 2008

Giving to China

It suddenly dawned on me today that I know people heading for China in the next several weeks! Half The Sky Foundation published a list today of medicines that are sorely needed in orphanages in the Chengdu area, especially children's antibiotics and antidiarrheal/rehydration medicines like Pedialyte.

I called my friend P to see if he would be willing to hand-carry items to Chengdu, and he said he can take up to 50 pounds. He is also asking the students who are heading to China with him if they would be willing to take items as well. To think we could be of help, any help at all...I'll be calling doctors' offices tomorrow to see whether they can give any samples, and I will also be making the rounds of places like Costco to see whether they might donate powdered Pedialyte, baby vitamins, anything.

Did you know there have been thousands of aftershocks from this earthquake, some very severe? Apparently the Chengdu orphanage is making plans to evacuate because their building was fine but as things continue to shake, they just don't want to take any chances. They will be moving into tents. Tents. Can you imagine trying to care for dozens of babies and toddlers in a tent city? The people who make it their life's work to care for these children deserve any help we can give.

If you have any connections to sources of children's antibiotics (powdered is best--it can be reconstituted overseas) can you please post a comment and let me know? We've got until mid-June to get this box together, and maybe if the students are willing to make room in their luggage, we can help. They are simply out of these medicines in Chengdu at this point.

Thanks--I'll let you know how the medicine collection goes. In the meantime, I encourage you to visit to keep up with what's going on in China and to support their efforts. They are on the ground in China, ensuring that the money will be used where it is truly needed.


You can search FTJ for past posts, e.g. China info...