Earlier this Spring, we heard from Anna, who told us an unimaginable story about two families near and dear to her heart – the Montoyas and the McKinnons. The Montoya family was visiting the McKinnon family in Virginia for the weekend. In the middle of the night, a fire broke out while the families were sleeping. Tom and Lindsay McKinnon’s boys, Patrick (10) and Logan (5), did not survive the fire. Each and every attempt to get to the boys was met with a raging wall of flames and smoke. Zak and Christy Montoya and their girls, Gigi and Bella, survived. In her attempts to rescue the McKinnon boys, Christy was engulfed in flames and suffered 3rd degree burns to her arms, back, shoulders, airway, and hands. While fundraisers were held for both families, Anna reached out to us detailing a special project she had in mind. “I can’t tell you how many times Tom and Lindsay have come to my rescue or helped me in some way. They have always been my biggest cheerleaders and supporters, somehow they have this magical way of making me feel like I can do anything. And I am not alone, anyone who has ever […]
We learned about the non-profit Deaf Camps, Inc. when board member, Louise Rollins nominated her colleague, and Deaf Camps president, Kathy MacMillian for our Shero Love Flash Mob last year. Deaf Camps is an all-volunteer organization that runs a summer camp program for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Deaf Camps provides accommodations for campers who have additional special needs and who would not be able to attend other camps designed for deaf children. They also provide a program for hearing children who want to learn American Sign Language, so that they can learn and play alongside their deaf siblings, friends, and neighbors. Many of the deaf campers attend mainstream schools and have few or no deaf friends at their schools. Deaf Camps provides a valuable social outlet for children and a rare opportunity for a fully accessible environment, free of communication barriers. Campers hike, swim, play games, perform skits, worship, make arts and crafts, go rafting, build confidence, and make new friends. A little over 50% of the 100 campers receive scholarships to attend. Countless volunteer staff hours are required to fundraise and support this tremendous effort. The Deaf Camps Board told us that their biggest dream is […]
Our beloved sisters and brothers in Louisiana have been operating with stunning courage and grace and ferocity and hope under harrowing circumstances. We have been watching how you have handled this flooding and each other and we stand in awe of you. To thank you for your example, Together Rising has connected with an incredible group called the Associated Professional Educators of Louisiana (A+PEL). A+PEL told us that around 40 of Louisiana’s schools were devastated by last month’s flooding, and they have set up a Disaster Relief Fund to assist teachers who lost classroom supplies in the floods. 100% of the donations that A+PEL receives go directly to teachers, and so far 934 teachers have contacted them to request assistance. Together Rising has provided A+PEL with $10,000 to support these teachers and to help these flooded schools recover. Louisiana teachers and back-to-schoolers: We see you, we believe in you, and our help is already on its way. Friends, this is just some of what your giving is making possible. AND ALSO—STAY TUNED. Next month we are going to have another story to share with you about how your gifts are pouring down love on a flooded-out high […]
This spring, the author Corban Addison traveled to Europe, following the route taken by hundreds of thousands of refugees from the Greek island of Lesvos to the cities of northern Germany. Along his way, Corban met volunteers from a dozen nations who saved lives using the funds you have given—making meals, distributing clothes, and surviving months with little sleep. He also met people we’ve helped—people who have crossed thousands of miles and endured innumerable perils only to find themselves trapped behind closed borders, living in tents, and wondering if their purgatory will ever end. Together Rising and The Compassion Collective asked Corban to share some of his journey with us. We want you to hear more about the work you are supporting and the lives that are being saved through your giving. Let’s join him on his journey. *************** Part 1 – I landed on Lesvos on a brilliant morning. The plane came in low over the sparkling Aegean and landed in the shadow of hills bronzed by the Greek sun. After renting a car, I drove across the island to Molyvos on the north shore—the rugged stretch of coastline that saw more than 400,000 refugees land in less […]
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