Sunday, September 30, 2007

Kids Helping Kids

Angel Covers has amazing supporters all over the world, but the ones who make me smile the most are the kids. They have the biggest hearts and complete joy with doing things for others. They have such pride in what they are doing and have the purest intentions.

This summer, children around the US raised money for kids around the world by selling lemonade and so many other ways. Two kids held lemonade stands and raised money for a guard at Humble Hearts, and for a little boy in China to have heart surgery. We received the saddest news this week when we learned that the little boy in China died before receiving surgery. We aren't clear as to what caused is death....was he sicker than the doctors thought? Did he have another undiagnosed illness? What I do know, is that the children who tried to save him, did so with as much love in their hearts as any of us have. They didn't know him, and didn't want anything back. They just wanted to help another child. And the funds they raised will be used to help another baby with a heart condition as soon as possible.

Although the news this week was so sad about this precious baby, we also received a beautiful donation from another little girl, Mia. Mia asked her friends to make donations to Angel Covers for bouncy seats rather than receive birthday presents. She raised $88, enough to purchase 11 bouncers for babies throughout China! Her selflessness will allow so many babies to see their world and be out of their cribs. The babies receiving these bouncers will grown and and be a part of the world like they never have before.

We should all be like Mia and so many other children supporting children less fortunate. We should always give of ourselves without expecting anything in return. I've always know that we can learn so much from kids all over the world. These children are living proof of that.

Kari Fillmore

Thursday, September 20, 2007


This past weekend I was asked to come speak at a church in Kansas as well as an open house. I was also fortunate enough to have the opportunity to be interviewed by a T.V. station and radio station. All weekend I met wonderful people who care deeply about the children we work with. At each talk I gave, children were sponsored, products were purchased, and people expressed great interest in getting more involved with Angel Covers.

While speaking at a church, I was asked if I consider Angel Covers to be successful or when we'll know that this organization is successful. My first instinct was to say, "Of course Angel Covers is successful. We have volunteers around the world who work hard and give their own financial resources to travel around the world. We care for thousands of children on a regular basis and they are healthier and have a better education because of it."

But, I also started thinking about success for the children we have the privilege to work with means to them. Sometimes success for these kids isn't measurable. Instead, it's in their attitudes about life and the hope for the future. Angel Covers is successful because it has given children around the world the confidence to dream of a different life, to hope for the future, to believe in themselves…you can see it in their eyes when you meet them. The kids I have meet, seem to believe that that I’m the one who has given them this sense of relief and joy in their lives. They don’t understand yet that this isn’t from me or any of our volunteers, but from themselves. Maybe the conduit is the programs we set up, or the food we provided, but they used those things and allowed themselves to believe they are capable of achieving more than they ever thought before.

AC will be successful when these girls graduate from high school or college. When the kids in Kenya graduate from high school or a trade school, and are able to support themselves and have a better life than they grew up with. When they don’t feel like they have to abandon their children as the only way to care for them, when they can work all day on a regular basis and afford to put food on the table each and every day, when they don’t contract AIDS or other diseases because they have the knowledge to prevent it….that’s also when AC will be successful. These kids look at us as if we are their hero’s, but what they don’t yet understand is that they are ours. If we can ever convey that message to them and have them truly understand it….well, I can’t think of a greater success than that. And when our first group of high school girls graduates, or the first group of Humble Hearts kids graduate, I’m going to be there tell them they are my hero’s. Because that’s what this is all about.

Kari Fillmore

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

What an amazing 5 years!

This weekend I'll be traveling to Kansas for a couple of speeches, as well as TV and radio interviews. Throughout week as I've been preparing, I've been looking through 5 years worth of photos and trying to select just a few to take with me. Never did I realize just how difficult that would be. We have thousands of photos from dozens of of the most beautiful children whose lives we have been privileged to touch. Babies who didn't know what a full belly felt like, but now have cute chubby rolls of skin. Children who had no toys, now have hula hoops and smiles on their faces. Children who couldn't hear, now have hearing aids and a speech therapist.

My goal this weekend is simply to spread the word; about our work, about our amazing sponsors, but most importantly about these children. I completely believe that every child has the potential to reach for the stars and grab them. Children around the world will be the ones to cure the various forms of cancer, find a vaccine for AIDS, or be the next leaders in peace. These children are being taught math, science, history, and other school subjects. But, more importantly they are being taught to believe in themselves. They are being taught that there is a world past poverty and despair. They are now believing they have a future past wondering where their next meal will come from.

Sometimes it's easy to feel like their are to many many children who need help. But I was reminded this week of the huge impact we are making for the kids we serve. And although we aren't helping every needy child, we are doing everything we can to care for as many as possible because they each deserve to hope.

Kari Fillmore

Monday, September 3, 2007

Our Sponsors Make a Difference...Thank You!!!

When I first became aware of the needs of the girls, I was astounded. I really wanted to make a difference, but the need is so big. How can one person make such a difference? I realized when each of us takes one small piece, it is suddenly very achievable and the difference we can make is surmountable.
I would like to say thank you to all our wonderful and generous sponsors and donors. Each and every one of you has taken on a piece and together we are making such a positive impact in the lives of so many girls. Your generosity has truly impacted the lives of these girls. The hope for a better future with an education that they never thought possible is suddenly in their sights! It is a gift that they will possess for their entire life.

Some quotes from our sponsors:

“I wonder who gets the larger feeling of "being blessed? I kind of feel right now like it is me. Mama's Wish" really is doing amazing and wonderful things in this world.”

“I'm so excited. (its funny how one can feel such an affinity and excitement for a total stranger - guess that's something we get passed to us with our own motherhood). Thanks so much!

“Thank you for your help and the work you do to help these students find support.”

“Thank you for raising awareness and helping these girls.”

“One of my fondest memories is 'back to school' time for me and my children - the excitement about a new teacher, back to school supplies and new clothes. My children are grown but my grandchildren remind me that some things never change. As Labor Day week-end approaches and my family's plans are underway for our final 'official' summer celebration, the thought of helping young women across the globe
create those memories was too much to keep inside for this grandmother. Every girl that chooses to go to high school in that province will have a sponsor - you have my word.”

Every year there are many girls who are prepared to enter high school, but they have one huge obstacle that prevents them from attending. This obstacle is tuition. For a girl to go to middle and high school the cost is about $10 per month, but with the average family income of $100 per year, how could one possible afford tuition? When a sponsor steps forward, an impossible dream becomes a reality! Many of the girls who have been sponsored have graduated from high school, taken and passed the national exams, and have been accepted to University!
Angel Covers wants to give this opportunity to every girl who wants to go to school to learn to better her future for herself, her family, and her village. Thank you to each and every one of you who has made an incredible difference in someone else’s life. Thank you for your continued support and spreading the word about the needs of these incredible girls!

Laureen Dorow
Angel Covers-Education Director

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Deja Vu:

The Mama’s Wish Miracle Continues

August 2005 stands out vividly in my memory because I witnessed a 48-hour miracle. We received photos of 23 girls and were asked if sponsors could be found for any of them. We agreed to try, and hoped that perhaps 3-4 of the girls would be sponsored, as time was extremely limited. The outpouring of concern for these girls was absolutely overwhelming, and in very little time we had not only those 23 girls sponsored, but many, more than that, and several college students too!

Fast forward to 2007, and once again I am witnessing a Mama’s Wish Miracle. This time we were given information on 51 girls, plus a possible 14 more who had left school the year before due to lack of funding. I admit that I had low expectations; after all, many families are cutting back financially right now and I was skeptical that we would be able to get word out quickly enough to help all but just a few of the girls. Oh, ye of little faith! Yet again I am awestruck by the generosity and commitment by so many people to see that every single one of these girls be given the opportunity to attend school. This should no longer surprise me, because word of mouth is lightening quick in these days of Internet and e-mail lists. Thank you to all of you who forwarded our plea for sponsors to family and friends. Although we still have a few girls in need of sponsorship available on our website, I am thrilled to let you know that as of tonight every one of these precious girls has been told to pack their bags and get ready to travel to boarding school in TongRen. Isn’t that wonderful? Teacher Jian Cuo, one of the founders of the Mama’s Wish program, delivered the good news personally to families in villages far and wide. I received the following email late last night from Nicole Fan, our China Facilitator who works with Jian Cuo to manage the program in China:

“Jian Cuo spoke to all the sponsored girls today. He told me that all of us should have witnessed this. He said the girls and their family members gathered together and some were laughing, some were crying and some were jumping. He said that these girls are the happiest kids in the world. The new college girls can't believe they are sponsored too! They are so much blessed! Everybody said 'Thank You' and they said they wish there are more words exist to express their feeling.”

It has been so moving to read all of the wonderful notes that sponsors are sending in with their sponsorship payments. We gathered several of them together and send them to Nicole so that she could see just how wonderful and generous you all are. She forwarded the email to Jian Cuo, and a short time later replied with the following:

“I wrote the following to Jian Cuo and told him that these love letters from sponsors are very touching. I asked him to have some Mama’s Wish college girls to translate the letters and read to our new students so that they will know how lovely and respectable these sponsors are. I wish by reading their letters, our students can learn to be grateful and to be happy by giving and loving others. Jian Cuo told me the college girls have already started the translation and he is going to make copies and hand to every student.”
School starts on September 5th and thanks to you dozens of bright, beautiful, and promising girls have received the gift of an education and ultimately the gift of changing the course of their lives. Thank you for helping them to reach for the stars.

Angela Taylor
Mama’s Wish Education

For information on how you can help change the world by educating a promising young girl in the Mama’s Wish program, please contact We have one college student and a few more high school students in need of sponsorship.