I am not sure what to share.
Where to start.
How to explain it.
How to tell their stories.
Meet some of the kids of Haiti that I met last week. Their faces just bring tears to my eyes. Their stories of daily life hurt my heart. This is just ONE of the days…
I walked thru their “HOMES.” Small huts made of tin. Little alley ways with naked kids running throughout. Holes everywhere. Crammed together. No running water. No locks on the doors. No safety. No front door. Most of them with no electricity.
I saw their “BEDS.” No blankets. Minimal sheets. Some of them slept on cardboard. Some of them had to elevate their cot on bricks so that when it rained they did not get feces on their bed.
Is this real life I asked myself…it sure is to them.
I talked with them and played games with them.
THEY HAVE NAMES AND IT HURTS TO KNOW THEY ARE STILL THERE… A piece of my heart is with them always. It was a new level of poverty for me.
The smells. The faces. The hurt…it was more than I could take this trip.
I broke down about day three and to honest…I wondered…What is your plan Lord? I don’t get it. But throughout the week I realized that HE ALWAYS has a plan.
These kids have taught me a level of faith that I will never understand. As I walked with them I realized that my life would be so incomplete without Haiti. I realized that God has given me these kids for a reason…and some days I don’t understand the reason…Just to be honest.
But I do know this… Each of us has something to be thankful for. They ran the streets playing together. They giggled at each other. And as I sat there and watched them I realized they taught me that TIME IS A GIFT. Just spending time with them was a blessing to me (and I hope to them.) But together they spend days and nights in the alleys…together. They have nothing to give…but TIME to one another.
As we near the Christmas season…I pray that you remember to SPEND TIME together. We get all wrapped up in the busyness of the holidays…but don’t forget to spend time with your loved ones. True authentic time. I know that may sound easy…but for me it is hard. I get wrapped up in running to this event and that event and I forget that I need to be present. I forget that I just need to spend REAL TIME with the people I am with. To put away my cell phone and giggle with the ones I am with.
I’m thankful for all of you that love these kids. I tell you these stories because so many of you ask. So many of donate. So many of you care. Every time I go…I wish you were with me. I wish you could hear their stories and see their pain and their joy.
Click to donate this holiday season:


Can we raise …. $30,000 in 30 Days? Heck ya we can!

We are on our way folks. IT IS CRAZY how many of you have said you wanted to give to this cause. It is crazy how many of you have already donated. I KNOW WE CAN DO THIS!!
But I wanted to tell you EXACTLY why I think this is the best Christmas Challenge/Fundraiser to date. I want to tell you how I KNOW GOD IS IN THIS CHALLENGE! Its a long read, but worth it…
I recently meet a young man named Chase Ward. It has been on my heart to reach out to the orphans in Africa and mutual friends have mentioned his name…for years. I have avoided reaching out to be honest…because he was just a pup. I figured I would join along with some big organization and go that direction. But after having three people in one week ask me if I knew him…I called him. I get it GOD…I’ll call.
We grabbed coffee a few weeks ago and as I sat there…it was clear this guy was the real deal. He was filled with the holy spirit. HE LOVES THESE KIDS. HE KNOWS THEIR NAMES. And his faith in GOD was overwhelming.
We chatted about their school sponsorship program and how it is growing. He told me they typically take in 35 new kids a year to go to their school. This year they had a chance for kids to show up and be “interviewed” to come to the school.
107 KIDS SHOWED UP! Well that sounds amazing. It also is hard reality that several kids are just running the streets and not going to school. Can you imagine.
The tears started to follow down his face as he told me, “We can only take 35 kids cause we don’t have room for all 107.”
I asked him “How will you pick?”
I mean honestly…how do you decide who gets to be blessed with an education and who does not. Who gets to be “Chosen?”
So he said, well…I have to pick unless I build this new school. This is where I love how God works. I asked about the new school and tons of questions. It reminded me so much of the setting in Haiti. With a little hesitation he showed me the plan. I could see all over him he was not asking me for the funds, but he was feeling a bit overwhelmed.
Chase said
“I met with an architect and he said that we could build this simple school…but the funds are not there.”
I said…”how much?”
He said “We need a lot, Gretchen”
I said… “Whats a lot?”
He said “$30,000!”
I instantly knew. I knew that God had planned this coffee date. I knew that I needed to throw this challenge out to you guys. The plan looked so similar to the plan of the school we started in was like was just saying “YOU KNOW WE CAN DO THIS!!!”
I honestly have been beyond blessing with love and support of people for years. Spiritual support. Financial support and when this young man that I avoided said I need $30,000 to get this done. Shivers came over me…Cause I truly think GOD can do this.
Chase never once asked for a dollar. He never once asked for me to throw a CONSTRUCTION CHRISTMAS Challenge. But he did ask if I wanted to go with him.
So here is the dream:
We secretly raise $30,000 in 30 days by December 15th.
He and I are leaving December 17th to go spend Christmas in AFRICA!
And I would love to bless his socks off with a surprise that for Christmas he get to tell those 107 KIDS that GOD PROVIDED and they can go to SCHOOL!
So yes…it is a long shot. It is a long post…BUT I KNOW WE CAN DO IT!!! Below is a video of the current school and some of the kids.
Take two minutes and watch it. It will change your world. Lets be a blessing this CHRISTMAS!

Blessing #1: Meet Father and Son



Meet my friends from Haiti. I meet this father and son in October of 2016 just after the hurricane. They were living in the “home” you see in the first picture. No joke. The hurricane had crushed their home and this dad was doing all he could to provide for his son. Just like several of you do.

This dad had gathered up all the crumbled rock from his home he previously had. Placed it on the ground. Put a tarp over the rocks. Put a stick in the middle to keep the roof up. Then laid a blanket down and every night his son and him would crawl under this thatched roof and sleep. It was unimaginable.

As I climbed into their “home” I was completed overwhelmed. There was no way they were staying dry. I don’t even want to tell you about the spiders and other creatures that had to be living there. They only had a few pieces of clothing. One pillow. One toothbrush.

But the part I was overwhelmed about the most was … their hope.

This dad did EVERYTHING he could to keep his son safe and warm. To keep him dry and to provide for him the best that he could. As we stood there he simply shrugged and said “I hope to rebuild a home someday.”

So I came back and several of you asked about the trip. I told you the story of this father and son…and how it ripped my heart in pieces. You stepped up….and YOU BUILT HIS NEW HOUSE.

As I went back in February I got the chance to stop and see him and his new “HOME.” This time it was a real home…and it is because of YOU! YOU GUYS DID IT!!! Just look at his smile. I wish I could have taken all of you there to see him smile. To feel his hugs of gratitude. To have him give you the tour he gave me of his new home.

I tell you this story because that is the true meaning of Construction Christmas. We want to say thank you for giving. Thank you for trusting us and helping our friend. Thank you for letting us tell the stories and for listening. Thank you for contributing. We feel blessed to have amazing friends here that love our friends around the world.

Every year around the holiday season so many of you ask “WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP?”…so here it is:

CONSTRUCTION CHRISTMAS is going to raise the bar this year! It is only $5500 to build a home similar to this one. A home that will provide a new life to a new family.

We are officially 30 days from the party and we plan to raise enough funds to help:
– Build several homes for families in Haiti.
– Help build a school in Africa (more to come on that story)
– And build amazing relationships with our friends around the world
– Tell you the stories of how YOU HAVE  CHANGED THEM.

SO LET’S GET STARTED! We have 30 days!!! Can we raise $10,000? $25,000? Heck, why not $50,000? Lets shoot for the moon.

Below is the link to donate. It is a 501(c)(3) non-profit.

CONSTRUCTION CHRISTMAS is sure to be the best Christmas party yet.

Lets celebrate giving life and hope to all! Gosh I love this time of year!