For it is in giving that we receive.
St. Francis of Assisi
As 2014 was ending, I took on a volunteer project to finish up a new website for a charity organization I have been involved with for many years. It involved quite a bit of learning on my part. I had a rudimentary understanding of WordPress from my own website, but that site was set up for me by a wonderful web designer, Holly Knott. This time I worked along with another artist/volunteer/web designer, Miki Lovett, to get pages written, photos added, and a WooCommerce application added to the site. It was challenging and meant putting aside some of my own art for a bit, but it was well worth the effort.
The organization is the Franciscan Family Apostolate (FFA) and the now operational site can be found here. Through family sponsorship programs and funding of clinics, the organization helps the destitute among the fisherfolk near Alleppey, India and HIV/AIDS widows and children in the tribal areas of Andhra Pradesh, India .
My family has been involved with FFA from its inception in the early 70’s. My aunt, Mary Catherine Storms, was one of the first sponsors. Her legacy of supporting the poor through FFA was passed on to other members of our family including myself. I currently am helping three families and serve on the Board of FFA. The organization’s emphasis is upon assisting families. regardless of religious background, in reaching a point of independence through providing food, clothing, housing, medical care, and vocational training. It is a wonderful event if a family becomes self-sufficient and a sponsor can then reach out and help another family. I write about my experience with one wonderful woman in an article here.
We currently have three families in Andhra Pradesh in need of sponsors. For $25 a month, you can make a significant difference in the lives of these women and children.It is amazing what less than $1 a day can do. I can vouch for the sincerity and ethics of the FFA. I have made a number of trips to India to see in person how our programs are being administered. If you are interested in possibly sponsoring a family, you can learn more here; if you would consider a small donation to help with one of the programs the FFA administers, you can learn more here.
I hope, at the least, that you might check out our new site and learn a bit about life in some of these areas on the other side of the world.
Have a great day!