"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
- James 1:27
We are Inspired4Kids.
Our family (The Mahoney's) is built on adoption but more importantly built on LOVE, Kevin was adopted in Canada as a child, and he and his wife Michelle, adopted 2 amazing daughters from South Korea - Megan in 2000, and Mikayla in 2002.
Now we wish to help others create their Forever Family..
It’s the end of January 2017 and I’ve completed the 1st month of the 2017 Forever Family Fundraiser and it’s off to a great start. For the 1st month, I have walked an incremental 185,000 steps vs 2016 and averaging just over 15,000 steps/day for the month (as measured by my Fitbit Fitness tracker). That’s ahead of the pace I set to achieve 500,000 incremental steps for the year so I have increased the goal to a very stretching 1,000,000 incremental steps vs 2016. That’s 27% more walking than I did in all of 2016.
So January allowed me to get off to a great start, but to be totally transparent, January wasn’t really a high activity month for me in 2016, so I had a low base of comparison. Last year in January, I only averaged about 9,000 steps per day.
February is going to be the start of the real challenge. Last year I averaged 12,625 steps a day for the month so I will need to continue to Step-it-Up if I plan to add to the incremental step count through the month.
Financially, we are off to a good start as well and thanks to all my friends and family that have supported us so far. We have raised $605 for the month with a fairly low level awareness campaign. In February we will Step-it-Up for Fundraising as well.
Keep Walking my friends!!!
INSPIRED! That is how I choose to be as we start 2017. 2016 is behind us and yes let’s acknowledge that it wasn’t the best year on record for many and for the broader world around us. In fact it seemed as if the world got even move divisive. But for 2017 let’s choose to do something about different. As Mother Teresa said “Not all of us can do great things but we can all do small things with great love”
So, to start 2017, I am INSPIRED by the story of Terry Smathers and THE BIG HIKE for ADOPTION that he completed last year. Terry always had a dream in his heart to hike the Appalachian Trail and he combined it with a passion to help children in need, so on February 29, 2016 Terry set out in Georgia to follow that dream with the plan to complete the 2,190 mile (3,524 km) trip to Maine. Terry completed the trail six months later on August 30, 2016 (1 week ahead of schedule) and raised over $26,000 for the charity ‘Lifesong for Orphans’.
Now for those who know me (Kevin Mahoney), you know that I have been trying to walk more to get more healthy and have been using a Fitbit fitness tracker for the last 3 years. But for some reason (ahem laziness…) no matter how hard I try I can’t get beyond the recommended minimum of 10,000 steps per day when averaged over the entire year. Sure, there has been moments of triumph – I completed 1,000,000 steps in 10 weeks last spring, but that was followed up with many weeks of low activity. For 2016, I completed just over 3.6 million steps or 10,027 steps per day.
Terry’s passion and efforts has inspired me to ‘STEP-IT-UP’ in 2017 with a new year long fundraising effort. My goal is to add additional day of walking every week for the entire year. That will add over 500,000 steps for the year and each and every one of these steps will be done with the goal to raise $s to help children in need.
Terry was able to raise $26,000 for his charity in 2016 and so for 2017 I am going to set the initial goal of raising $10,000 for the year with the intent that we will smash through that goal in no time as I work to build out the circle of support throughout the year.
I am asking for support of friends and family and anyone who has it in their heart to help support children in need through adoption, foster care, child sponsorship, fundraising or any another type of support.
You can sponsor in the form of a 1 time donation or even better you can set-up a monthly donation to support this effort throughout the entire year ($10/month?)
January 1st gets this effort started and as soon as I get this post up, I’m headed out to door to start walking!!!
Stay tuned throughout 2017 as there will be More to Come. Updates every month, walking in some interesting places (I hope), some partnerships with others and special fundraising challenges, and I know my girls have some ideas percolating to STEP-IT-UP in 2017 themselves.
In 2017 its time to STEP-IT-UP and make a positive impact for orphans and children in need.
Will you join us?
2016 is quickly winding down and proving to be another tumultuous year. More terrorist attacks, the ongoing war in Syria, the Zika virus, Brexit, the divisive US election, and the larget mass migration and refugee crisis since WWII.
It is with this backdrop of world events that I have decided to “Light a Candle” and be a voice for positive change in the world and write a book with the hope to raise funds to help orphans and children in need. That book is Orphan Song.
I set out in September to start this journey and spent the fall completing a writing course and solidifyling the plan for the book. This phase is now complete!!!
It is now clear in my mind what the book is about. The Orphan Song I hear in my heart now has a form that I can share with you. It is a LOVE SONG. In fact it is a song in the form of stories that sing about one of the greatest forms of Love that there is. The ancient greeks called this type of Love ‘Agape Love’ which is the selfless love that exists between God and Mankind and is most evident in the world as the Love between a parent and their child.
With all that is happening in the world that can and sometimes does divide us. The Love that we express for our children is one thing that Unifies us. That Love exists whether we are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist or profess any other faith. That Love exists whether we are heterosexual or LGBTQ. That Love exists whether we are Conservative or Liberal irrespective of who we voted for in the latest election. That Love exists whether we have our own biologoical children, whether we adopt, whether we foster care and even extends beyond our own children to a Love for orphans and children in need around the world. Orphan Song then is set to bring together a diverse set of stories that will bring this song to life.
I am now in motion writing the initial stage of Orphan Song and have a handful of contacts who have agreed to share there storys with us but I am looking for more…
If you have a story to share or know of someone whose story you think would be perfect for inclusion in this project, please contact me through our Facebook page or by email at the links below:
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/orphansongcanada/
2017 will be the year that Orphan Song comes to life and the song will be shared. I hope that you will continue to join me on this journey.
What a great day with the Adoption Council of Ontario at the Riverdale Park in Toronto today. We joined in the annual Adoption Fun Walk as part of their awareness and fundraising efforts to help foster children with an evidence-based, cutting edge approach ensuring that every child leaves foster care with a permanent family and every family can access the support they need. If you aren't familiar with them you can check them out at https://www.adoption.on.ca/
As part of the walk, we set a modest fundraising effort with ABBA Canada of $500 with a matching donation for every dollar donated to increase the overall donation to $1,000 but as of now we have fallen quite short...
But all is not lost, we'll make a final push to try and get to the objective.
Today is the Adoption Council of Ontario's annual Adoption Fun Walk. The Mahoney's (Kevin, Michelle, Megan, Mikayla - and Bailey too woof woof!!!) will be walkin gin this event.
For this weekend, we have a MATCHING GIFT OFFER of $500, so any funds donated to ABBA Canada during this weekend will be matched up to $500.
Wish us luck!!!
The Mahoney Family (Kevin, Michelle, Megan & Mikayla) will be joining the Adoption Council of Ontario in their annual fundraiser on September 18th for the Adoption Fun Walk to helpraise funds and awareness for Foster Children to help ensure more Foster Children find Forever Families.
We'd Like to use this opportunity to also continue fundraising for ABBA Canada for the amazing work they do to provide financial grants for families looking to adopt.
We have a big project coming in the fall so stay tuned...
It's nearly the end of June and the girls have been especially busy at school with Megan writing her Grade 10 exams and Mikayla graduating from Grade 8. We were so proud to see Mikayla receive the CItizenship Award at graduation for outstanding academics and embodiment of Catholic values.
With school done, the girls are now freed up to start planning the summer fundraiser. They are hoping to join together with some other teens and run a fundraiser with our local church this year. We are setting a very stretching goal of raising $3,000 this summer (we barley made our $2,000 objective in 2015).
Seperately, I (Kevin) am going to start planning towards a new project for Orphan Song. It's HUSH HUSH for now, but I hope to share some exciting news at the end of the summer.
We are the Mahoney's and have fundraised for the past 2 summers to help provide Adoption Grants through ABBA Canada. We are thrilled to continue this year and have decided to re-Brand our effort under the name Orphan Song.
Orphan Song is a song that has grown in our hearts and calls out to be released and shared with others. It's a song of heartache and pain and a song of hope and thanksgiving. It's a song that crosses the world, a song for every orphan in every country, of every race, culture and religion. It's our song and we choose to share it with you.
We are in the planning stages of our 2016 fundraising campaign and will have more to share in coming weeks.
You can follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/orphansongcanada/
Our 2015 fundraising drive just barley squeezed across the $2,000 goal line bringing the total raised so far to $3,644. We are thrilled that we have reached the $3,500 level so that our fundraising has contributed to a grant to help create another forever family. Special thanks to the Tulak family for their direct contribution - without you we would't have even come close!
Through the summer we tried various 'virtual' fundraising techniques including a "Virtual" Lemonade Stand and an "On Line" Yard Sale but looking back I really feel these did not generate the same level of interest and enthusiasm for others and had less direct involvement of the entire family as compared to the "live" events we ran in 2014.
We hope to take another run at fundraising in 2016 and will re-think our approach. We'd love input from any within the ABBA Canada community on creative ways.
See you next summer!!!
(Kevin, Michelle, Megan & Mikayla)
MIkayla asked me "Dad, if we're going to do an OnLine Yard Sale this summer, how are we going to sell Lemonade?" This inspired me to develop an Online solution...
Launched for Canada Day - Megan & Mikayla's Virtual Lemonade Stand!
We are using a fundraiser site (http://tilt.tc/WjLr) to run the findraiser. We are selling Virtual Lemonade & Cookies for $3.00 each. For every one sold, at the end of the fundraiser the girls will bake 'real' cookies and deliver them to a local Seniors Centre.
Next Step - the OnLine Yard Sale will launch in August.
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