fabulous freedom finale!!

Well, goodness. Thanks for making my birthday so AWESOME!! You people are just the BEST!! xoxoxoxoxo!!

waldoA little recap of my special day (feel free to scroll past all this to get to the STUFF I’M GIVING AWAY):

My first ever trip to Costco, lots of Facebook love, 9 copies of Expecting donated to pregnancy centers.

Some sweet friends donating to The Hard Places Community in honor of my b-day, lots of sweet texts/phone calls, handing out candy at the tutoring apartment.

trickortreatSome quick impromptu tutoring (3rd grade Social Studies homework), some not-so-quick 10 pages of Life Skills Workbook help for Omar (a 17yo who’s been in America less than a year), a gorgeous baby boy dressed as Waldo.

Standing in line for $3 Chipotle bowls with half of Columbus, meeting Barack Obama, and thanking God for all my blessings.

*And I’m going to keep the JEWELRY GIVE-AWAY open until noon today, so there’s still time to win. Woot!

somaliglassesAnd you can also still donate $10 to The Hard Places Community and get a free t-shirt AND/OR buy a copy of The Exodus Road, and I’ll send you a copy of Deepening the Soul for Justice.

And I’d love to get 11 more copies of Expecting donated so I can send 10 to two different pregnancy centers on my waiting list.

And now for something REALLY COOL (and then I’ll get to the FREE stuff, I promise). My friend, Krysten, who made the gorgeous jewelry from yesterday? Also made four STUNNING pieces out of REAL CAMBODIAN MONEY (and this super-awesome resin stuff that melts and hardens and wow).

cambodianecklacesAND she’s GIVING them to me to sell for Cambodia!! For a $38 donation (because I’m 38 now) to The Hard Places Community, one of these AMAZING, ONE-OF-A-KIND Fancy Freedom Designs necklaces can be YOURS.

For just $38, you’ll be fighting human trafficking, making a statement, starting conversations, looking awesome, AND I’ll love you forever.

(Just be one of the first four to claim them in the comments or e-mail me.)

shehasanameAND if you share this post on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or any other sort of social network thingy, you’ll be entered to win either:

a.) one of 4 She Has a Name t-shirts in the size of your choice (I have 5, and I pretty much wear one of them every day of my life).


b.) a Dress Blessed hoodie in the size (S-XXL) and color (grey, purple, turquoise) of your choice (I wear my hoodie every day too–except in the summer).


And if you don’t happen to win, you should absolutely buy a t-shirt and/or hoodie anyway, because guess why. All the proceeds from the She Has a Name tees go to fight human trafficking here in Ohio and in India.

AND whenever you buy a Dress Blessed hoodie (and mention my name), my friend Jackie gives all of her profits from the sale to The Hard Places Community.

Isn’t that AWESOME?!?

obamaAND LAST THING: I want to know what YOUR favorite organization is. What are you passionate about? Where do you like to give your time and/or money? What injustice hurts your heart? Who are the people that are doing something to help others in any kind of need in any place near or far?

Give me a brief description of the organization and why you love them, and link to them in the comments. And I’ll choose FIVE of them to give $20 to in your honor.

(I’m so excited to hear all about what you love!)

OOPS. VERY, VERY LAST THING: On Monday (November 4) at 12:00 Central time (1:00 EST), I’ll be on Moody Radio’s Midday Connection show chatting with my friends Melinda and Anita about SKIPPING CHRISTMAS. (I know, craziness.) You can listen live online or on your own radio if you get a Moody station. I’d love to have you listen in (and I’ll be giving away more free stuff!)

Thanks for making my birthday week so much fun!! xoxoxoxoxo

*I forgot to tell you which organizations I donated $20 to! Lost Sheep, Harbor House, Asia’s Hope (Prek Eng 1), Compassion International, and Timbali Crafts. Thanks to all of you for sharing your favorites!

And the t-shirt winners: Dee, Sharon, Melissa, and Jill!

And the hoodie winner: Andrea!

35 thoughts on “fabulous freedom finale!!

  1. Sharon

    When I read that you’d met Obama, I thought you were just throwing that in there to see if people were paying attention. Then I saw the pic – lol! I tweeted the post. Hmm, fave org? Oy, it changes daily (sometimes hourly). Just ask my husband when I’m hitting him up for $$ to give – lol! I’m gonna go with this one as I’m guessing no one reading is familiar with this organization. http://www.mephiboshethministry.org/ They minister to people with disabilities. The founder is probably the most amazing person I’ve ever met. She has Cerebral Palsy and travels the globe to minister to those with disabilities. To share with them how much God loves them. Oh, and she is in her eighties……

  2. Laura

    Wow, what an amazing bunch of organizations (the ones you mentioned plus all the ones in the comments)! I don’t actively support any specific organization (like those, helping people who are hurting, in need, etc), only local groups. (husband and I are on the board as Co-President, Secretary, and both coach our local youth baseball league, and I volunteer for our town Fire Dep’t) – this makes me realize I should probably venture out of our local, safe bubble to help others too. Thanks for being such a positive role model for others, Marla. You are awesome! (and I shared the link with my co-workers, as I am facebook free! – and will try to figure out how to share on google+ too!)

  3. Lisa Basner

    Awesome giveaways!!!
    My favorite organization is any that promotes Bible translations. I support friends who are with New Tribes Mission, and we buy My Father’s World home school curriculum, and all the proceeds go towards Bible translation. This, in obvious ways, helps fight injustice. When people really know what the Bible says, God can move in their heart to change their ways.

  4. Andrea

    <3 !!

    One of those close to my heart is the Inspiration Center in Nairobi, Kenya. Right in the middle of Mathare (huge slum area with more than a million residents), they are providing art classes for kids to be creative and learn some skills, church services, baby care so single parents or grandparents can work and not be forced to leave the baby alone all day, etc. Right now a HS football team in Colorado is raising money to help them build a 5 story building in Mathare with a clinic on the first floor to give medical care to those in the slum and apartments on the other 4 floors where rent will go to pay for children living in the slums to go to school. I love how all of their ideas fund multiple great outcomes. The page for the high school fundraiser is http://www.youcaring.com/other/-one-starfish-at-a-time/86403/update/85619. I met Moses when I was in Kenya and think they really do a great job of serving the community.

  5. valerie (in TX)

    So excited to share this on facebook! The organization we love to support is Ebenezer Children’s Ministry, in Kibuku, Uganda. They are a very small ministry, just over a year old, but I am so amazed at all they are doing already! Their primary purpose is to care for children who are infected or affected by HIV/AIDS (“affected” meaning maybe they’ve been orphaned due to AIDS), but really, they serve and minister to the entire community. They are currently providing care for 20 children, ranging in age from 5 months to 12 years, including all medical care, housing, and nutrition for these kids. Ebenezer started their own school so that they can nuture these kids in a loving, supportive environment all day long! They’ve planted a church in the community of Kibuku and have over 200 attending every week. They’ve started mid-week Bible clubs and have a Friday night “coffee and chat” for the older kids. They have planted crops and begun raising chickens to help their ministry become self-sustaining. They do home visits with the families in their community, providing food, medical care, HIV/AIDS education, and so much more. For such a small ministry, they have huge dreams, and I love that they minister to the whole community, bringing change from the ground up!

  6. Melissa

    I shared on Facebook.

    As far as charity, it was really hard to pick. There are so many good and worthy and deserving charities out there. But I think I’m going to have to go with Harbor House. (http://www.harborhouseonline.org/index.html) It’s a domestic abuse shelter, but they do so much more than just shelter these women – I really believe they are committed to working to try and end domestic violence. Domestic violence weighs so heavy on my heart, I think, because home should be a place where you are safe above also and domestic violence takes what should be the closest safest relationships and turns them into the most frightening most dangerous relationships. And while there are a lot of worthy organizations here in Milwaukee, Harbor House is in my hometown and I volunteered with them one summer when I was in college, so in that sense they have an extra special bond with them. That time there impacted me in a big way and I will never forget it. I used to work with the kids, who really are the most helpless victims in all of this. I also picked Harbor House because they suffered a fire in the shelter part of their building this summer and so I think because of that they could use the extra donations – I am sure that they had to use at least some money they had set aside for other things to make repairs and rebuy supplies like beds, sheets, pillows, etc. They are a special place to me and so I picked them, though really, it was a tough, tough decision because there are so many worthy places out there.

  7. Bethany

    I shared on Facebook! The organization I love to donate to is Asia’s Hope. http://asiashope.org/–specifically my church’s orphanage in Cambodia (PE1). I love that they rescue kids BEFORE they can be mistreated on the streets. I love that they get local churches to “adopt” an orphanage and invest in them, write to them, take trips to visit them. I love the family-centered model of their orphanages–house parents, limited to 25 “brothers and sisters”.

  8. Suzanne Deeren

    Following your birthday week celebration…how fun! Happy to share your link with facebook friends – we all can and should do something to fight injustice in the world around us. I would love to make a statement with your cool t-shirt or hoodie 🙂

    The Lord has given me a passion for Timbali Crafts (www.timbalicrafts.org). I love this income generating project for women in Swaziland, Africa. The impact this ministry has on the lives of both widows and orphans is incredible and the amazing women of Timbali inspire me. The Timbali women are also all volunteer cooks at feeding centers for orphans and vulnerable children in their rural communities and help feed more than 2,500 children every day. I volunteer my time to travel far and near to sell their beautiful, hand-made bags, totes and purses. It is hard to be brief about an organization I love so much 🙂 I can’t wait to get back there next summer!

  9. Jill Foley

    I google+’d this because I’d love one of those t-shirts or hoodies.

    My favorite organization – Compassion International. I’m slightly addicted to child sponsorship because I know it works. I’ve seen the ministry with my own eyes and met several grads who have been released from poverty in Jesus’ name. Just last weekend I met a young woman from the Dominican Republic who knows Jesus because she was sponsored through Compassion when she was younger.

      1. Jill Foley

        I love that you have a Gabriel! I’ve never seen a Compassion child named Jill so I had to settle with having a girl with the same birthday : )

        Both of my daughters also have birthday buddies – born the exact same day as them.

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