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From Once Upon a Time Until Now and Into The Future with Your Support

Greetings Abōd Shelters® Friends!

Ginny Shiverdecker, Executive Director

Michelle Rothfus, Project Coordinator Abōd Shelters®

Once upon a time, a chance meeting ignited a powerful purpose. On a trip to Soweta, South Africa, Doug Sharp, seasoned architect, experienced the extremes of poverty but was moved by the pride one woman showed in her shack. As she unlocked the padlock that connected the crooked door to her home, Doug could already see into her one room home through the slats of wood and metal making up the walled structure on the outside.

He smiled and accepted the invitation in. Sparse with only the necessities including a mattress, a small table with a few dishes and a couple of worn rugs on the dirt floor Doug sensed the pride the woman had in her home.

Design Challenge

Doug returned to the US and on behalf of BSB Design, Inc. accepted a challenge of designing a home for a family that could be built in one day, for as little as possible that could be shipped anywhere in the world. The project began with employees from BSB Design’s offices throughout the country attending brainstorming sessions and design charettes. Program goals included ease of construction, durability, security and design integrity. Teams developed solutions of all shapes and sizes using some of the most technologically advanced materials on the market. A simple yet sound design, defined by its use of graceful arches, rose above the rest as the best solution.

Doug Sharp, Founder of Abōd Shelters®, Retired Chairman and Architect of BSB Design, Inc.

Jerry Messman (on right) Retired Designer with BSB Design, Inc. speaking to housing officials during the first Abōd Shelters® prototype build in South Africa in 2006.

The Winning Design

Abōd lead designer Jerry Messman located in the BSB Design, inc. office in Tampa, FL, drew inspiration from the Catenary Arch, an organic shape found throughout nature. The innate strength of the arch is paired with structural steel and other high-quality components in a marvel of modern engineering, at once highly technical yet impressively simple to build.

The winning design from BSB Design, Inc., which ultimately became known as Abōd, is now being manufactured in South Africa and can be shipped anywhere.

Manufacturing in South Africa

Jacques and Lee-Ann Hammer, Abōd Shelters® Manufacturer located in Johannesburg, South Africa went through an optional but rigorous 2-year process of testing the materials and the design through the South African Government to get their housing certificate. In addition to the many other ways they can be used the certificate allows the Abōd to be legally used as housing in South Africa.

Read how this young couple, through being drawn to a higher calling, met Doug Sharp and became involved as Abōd Shelters® Manufacturers in Johannesburg, South Africa: ‘Manufacturing Abod Shelters is Higher Calling for South African Couple’.

Jacques and Lee-Ann Hammer, Abōd Shelters® Manufacturers, located in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Abod’s being built on the STEMM Campus for teachers and workers with the help of Ty Pennington. #TyAbodBuild

Kicking Off the New Year in Tanzania

Several Abōd Shelters® projects have already been completed in Africa with one finishing up this week in Tanzania; ‘Ten Abods to be Completed in 10 Days in Tanzania with STEMM and Ty Pennington.’ They are being built for teachers and workers in the local villages. In addition to the original 10, another Abōd will be built to be used as a Birthing Center with the goal of reducing the number of women that die every year giving childbirth. This is a really big issue in Tanzania as many women and babies could be saved during pregnancy and childbirth with clean and functional facilities and progressive education for the local midwives. Be sure to follow our Facebook page to view images of the build as they come in!

Flexibility of Design

Abōd homes are not only highly functional, sustainable and can be built in one day, they are often lower in cost versus standard construction. Natural light, cross breeze and open loft spaces provide universally enjoyable comforts. The basic shell is included, with add-on options (see right). Architects at BSB Design, Inc. created Abōd with flexibility in mind, so there is no lack of functionality or comfort, despite the price.

Options Include:

  • Different sized windows
  • Sliding glass door verses conventional door
  • Kitchen sink, shower tray, plumbing consumables
  • Washing line
  • Solar light kits
  • 8-litre hot water steel boiler

Shipping Outside of Africa

Recently, we have received many inquiries from individuals in other areas of the world that are interested in purchasing one Abōd for private use. We are grateful individuals are interested but the challenge is that it is very costly to ship just one overseas from South Africa. Depending on fuel prices it could cost an additional $3500 plus custom and clearance fees along with transportation from the port or airport to the individual’s location. Until we have manufacturing available in other areas, it would be much more economical to send an entire shipping container full to one location. While our goal is to set up manufacturing all over the world to use local labor and make Abōd as cost efficient as possible, we’re still in the beginning stages. With your support, we’ll grow our relationships, connect with additional partners and complete projects to contribute to solving the world housing crisis.

How can you help?

  1. Partner with us or provide an introduction to a potential partner. We can make a greater impact working together than separately. We have been able to build homes, dormitories, medical buildings and classrooms as a result of working together. Reach out to Abōd Shelters® so we can partner and make a difference together! ginny@abodshelters.com
  2. Get involved as an organization or individual through prayer, raising awareness or providing monetary support. We’d love to be able to share our Abōd Shelters® Story with your organization or group.  ginny@abodshelters.com
  3. Follow us on social media, like, share and invite others. Abōd Shelters® values the relationships we have made and we’re thankful for all of the support our friends have provided.

Abōd Shelters®, a registered 501©3 organization, are very interested in working with US and international organizations to leverage resources to provide homes to those in need.
You can get involved and help us build a sustainable Village of the Future using Abōd Shelters® through prayer, raising awareness and providing monetary support through partnership or become a Sponsor in 2017. For more information about ways to partner with us or becoming a sponsor, please mail your interest to ginny@abodshelters.com


There are many options for private individuals, companies, schools, churches and other organizations to partner with us and make a real difference. Check out how to Partner With Us or simply connect to Ginny Shiverdecker at ginny@abodshelters.comYou may also donate to build an Abōd.

From Once Upon a Time Until Now and Into The Future with Your Support
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Ten Abods To Be Completed in Ten Days in Tanzania with STEMM and Ty Pennington

Greetings Abōd® Shelters Friends!

Ginny Shiverdecker, Executive Director

Ginny Shiverdecker, Executive Director Ginny@abodshelters.com

Taking part in another Abod Shelters adventure is an incredible way to start the New Year! I find myself writing this from the Atlanta International Airport and am grateful to Delta for offering Wi-Fi before I board the flight to Amsterdam and then on to Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. This adventure goes beyond the customary experience to the uncustomary.

For our avid Abod Shelters Followers, you may recall back in July, I shared a story, ‘New Partnership Blossoms: Abod Shelters Foundation and STEMM in Tanzania’ about Siouxland Tanzania Educational Medical Ministries (STEMM) who we are partnering with on a build starting this week.

PARTNERSHIP BACKGROUND 

The STEMM organization has a medical mission and children’s home that operates in a small village called Mbuguni (Pronounced “buh-goonie”), near Arusha, Tanzania. 2017 marks the 20th Anniversary of Dr. Steve Meyer and his wife Dana’s first visit when they were inspired to make a difference. With the support of the local people and political influencer named Lazaro, whom Dr. Meyer met at a college in Sioux City, Iowa, STEMM has made an incredible impact on the Maasai people – especially the women and children.

Doug Vander Weide, Chairman of Abod Shelters Foundation, and Dr. Meyer forged a relationship based on shared values of our board missions. Doug made a trip to the STEMM campus back in June to work through the possible opportunity for a partnership.

Mbuguni, location marked with a red star, is in northern Tanzania just southeast of Arusha.

The STEMM campus was growing so the leaders were at a point where they needed to provide more housing for teachers, caretakers, agri-workers and the people who operate the campus.

As our organizations collaborated it became apparent that Abod Shelters could offer them a faster, more sustainable and affordable solution than traditional block housing.  Dr. Meyer and our Doug felt it was a match made in heaven when they met and set in motion the plans to build an Abod Shelters Village in January 2017.

So much has happened between then and now. As we outlined the build possibilities it became apparent that this would be no ordinary experience.

2017 TANZANIA BUILD BEGINS THIS WEEK

Ty Pennington, Abod Shelters Foundation Celebrity Ambassador

To me actions speak louder than words. Ty Pennington continues to show his deep caring heart by his deeds to help us democratize housing for the worlds neediest people.

In addition to his fundraising efforts, “Ty is hoping to turn (the construction of the housing) into a new television series,” Dr Meyer explained.

Project Build Overview

  • To demonstrate the innovative nature of Abod Shelters, the project will include building 10 Abod’s in 10 days with a team of 30. This has never been done before. The building project begins this week, January 4th 2017.
  • Ty Pennington raised funds in 2016 to build the first Abod Shelters Micro Village. Five of the Abod homes will be a result of Ty’s donation. He is especially excited to do this as our Goodwill Ambassador.
  • To take his commitment to Abod even further, Ty is joining us in building the Abod Shelters with some of his friends. We have a talented video crew joining us who will be filming the experience. Stay tuned as he will be sharing the results of this experience with the public soon!

ALSO BUILDING BIRTHING CENTER

One of the biggest outcomes of the positive conversations about the opportunity to serve the Maasai people is the identification of a way to utilize the Abod Shelter as a Clinical Birthing Center.

We had our first experience creating this environment in Asikuma, Ghana with great success in 2016. The below pictures show one of the birthing centers. Far left: The assembly crew is finishing the construction process. Middle: The inside with 2 birthing beds, curtains for privacy and a full bathroom in the back with plumbing and water availability. Far right: the birthing center is back to back with the home that the nurse midwife stays in while she is on rotation.

Dr. Meyer indicated the desire to adopt the same concept for Tanzania. Here is why; According to UNICEF “close to 8000 women die every year during pregnancy and child birth as a result of conditions that could have been prevented or treated.” Mid-wifery is the acceptable practice which has been in place for centuries although it is not progressing at the rate of medical advances in the developed world.

After witnessing the results in Ghana with the addition of the Birthing Center it became apparent that with an organized system of Birthing Centers as well as progressive education for the local mid wives many women could be saved during pregnancy and childbirth. The result? We are building our first Abod Birthing Center in Tanzania.

This is just the first step for Abod in Tanzania with the support of caring people like Dr. Steve and Dana Meyer.  Once we understand the culture and the people better we will work side by side with the Maasai people to offer the stability, safety and security like the Abod can provide. We will be adding more homes to the village over the next 6 months and welcome your support.

YOUR SUPPORT IS STILL NEEDED

If you wish to help the Abod Shelters Village expand in Tanzania or help us add more Birthing Centers to reduce the death rate, please go to Abod Shelters to donate. Your donation will make a big difference in the lives of women and their children.

Stay tuned: More to come when I land in Kilamanjaro, Tanzania and be sure to follow our adventure on Twitter!  #TyAbodBuild.


In heartfelt service,

Ginny Shiverdecker
Executive Director


There are many options for private individuals, companies, schools, churches and other organizations to partner with us and make a real difference. Check out how to Partner With Us or simply connect to Ginny Shiverdecker at ginny@abodshelters.comYou may also donate to build an Abōd.

Ten Abods To Be Completed in Ten Days in Tanzania with STEMM and Ty Pennington
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Abōd Shelters Foundation Debuts in Florida at Valiant Wealth Fundraiser

Greetings Abōd® Shelters Friends!

Ginny Shiverdecker, Executive Director

Ginny Shiverdecker, Executive Director Ginny@abodshelters.com

‘Tis the season. Magic happens when hearts align around a cause that rings true and demonstrates tangible impact on lives of those who suffer in severe poverty.
This magical feeling permeated the air at The Woods, Harbourside in Jupiter Thursday evening December 1st. Entrepreneurs, business owners and medical professionals gathered for the first Florida Valiant Wealth Africa Philanthropy Mixer for Abod Shelters Foundation. It thrilled me to see this event unfold.

Doug Vander Weide, Founder, Valiant Wealth and event sponsor, also Chairman of the Abod Shelters Foundation welcomed guests. He was joined by Paul Hassebroek, his partner. Doug’s remarks explained the Foundation’s purpose to be first to democratize housing for the worlds neediest populations, as over 4 billion people live in below poverty conditions, a worldwide epidemic.

I believe Abōd helped sparked the trendy tiny home movement. Its distinctive design based on the catenary arch, connects emotionally with people from all parts of the world.

From left to right: Doug Vander Weide, Ginny Shiverdecker and Paul Hassebroek 

The design is the result of a competition among architects of BSB Design, a nationally recognized firm of residential and commercial developments. The promise of this humanitarian design is Abōd Shelters: One House, One Family, One Day. The Abōd is delivered as a kit, is proven to be 50% cheaper, 80% faster to build and lasts 100% longer than traditional block housing.

The Abōd is quite versatile. Abōd Villages are established in partnership with NGO’s in a growing number of Africa locations, like Zambia where Abōds are devoted to dormitories for high school age students and housing for teachers. In Ghana, Abōd homes are built for working families at a fish farm enterprise on Lake Volta, Asikuma. In Limpopo, Abōds serve as homes and classrooms for children, teachers and caretakers.

The ‘Invitation Only’ event was created to raise funds for an Abōd Medical Center Surgery and Birthing Centers (they refer to them as Theaters) in the heart of a Abōd Tiny Home Village planned in Mbuguni, Tanzania operated by Siouxland Tanzania Educational Medical Ministries (STEMM). The project breaks ground in January 2017. Guests generously donated after hearing the real stories of how Abōd projects positively impact children and women’s lives. As Valiant Wealth Director of Development and Abōd Shelters Foundation’s Executive Director offered this message: The birthing center is the first step toward saving lives as over 8,000 women die during child birth in Tanzania every year. By providing clinical settings and educating Maasai women to elevated midwifery practices, we can change the death rate and help prevent the high degree of cerebral palsy in children who are born in such poor conditions.  Watch for more on STEMM in next week’s post as we head to Tanzania after Christmas.

Tesla offers tours of the Model X along with the Model S for guests to experience.

To enhance the authentic African fun factor participants toured the highly sought after Tesla Models S and X with product specialists. Tesla is founded by South African born Elon Musk.

To help bring the Abōd Village concept to life, guests could try on the Oculus Rift Virtual Reality Glasses to see how Abōd can be designed as classrooms, homes or medical facilities.

The personal stories and activities inspired guests to participate in the African Silent Auction featuring artisan jewelry, South African wine, tribal paintings, a sculpture and one of a kind hand craft creations.

In addition, guests were offered the chance to win an Abōd Shelters African Adventure Trip for two with Ty Pennington of Extreme Makeover fame, for a once in a lifetime learn, build and safari experience. Pennington signed on as Goodwill Ambassador two years ago believing the cause meaningful and to help build awareness.

When I was asked if there would be a future event, I said, “Absolutely!” Our intent is to start a conversation around our mission and make connections to build a community of like-minded people who care passionately about providing women and children stability that comes with better living conditions. We received tremendous feedback on the quality of experience and raised funds to build and furnish a desperately needed Birthing Center. This enthusiastic response encourages us to create the next Valiant Philanthropy Experience for Abōd Shelters projects. Stay tuned for the next event announcement.

Ginny Shiverdecker, Executive Director Abod Shelters Foundation sharing story of building tiny homes in Africa with guests at The Woods, Harbourside in Jupiter.

Iris Melecio participates in the Door Prizes and Silent Auction Fundraising Gift Collection.

From left to right: Kelly and Tom Callahan , Jermey Oxer, Bob Harbour, Heather Oxer

To donate to build a Birthing Center or one of the homes for this project, visit our donation page at Abod Shelters. Any amount will be helpful.

There are many options for private individuals, companies, schools, churches and other organizations to partner with us and make a real difference. Check out how to Partner With Us or simply connect to Ginny Shiverdecker at ginny@abodshelters.comYou may also donate to build an Abōd.


In heartfelt service,

Ginny Shiverdecker
Executive Director


Abōd Shelters Foundation Debuts in Florida at Valiant Wealth Fundraiser
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Being Thankful… What For?

Greetings Abōd® Shelters Friends!

Ginny Shiverdecker, Executive Director

Michelle Rothfus, Project Coordinator Abōd® Shelters

It’s getting to be that time of year. You know… THAT time when the cool breezes of fall start turning very brisk, when there is a dramatic change in clothes because the chill seems to go right to your bones and heavy soups, stews and hot pasta casseroles are the main menu items for meals. The worst of THAT time? When I cannot wear my sunglasses home from work because it is already dark! Yes, clocks have been set back for Daylight Savings Time here in the Midwest (US) and it feels like our days are shorter because it’s dark so early.

The change in the season means Thanksgiving is right around the corner. With it comes gatherings of friends and family you don’t see often, impromptu meals and potlucks, gifts for hosts and, oh yes, a reminder to be thankful. Am I not thankful enough throughout the year? Don’t take me the wrong way, I have MANY blessings to be grateful for. Maybe it’s the stress of the holidays coming up or maybe it’s because my family and I are uprooted now and most of what we own is in storage. Yep, that is it.

My husband and I sold our family home, the one our children grew up in. The one where we grew to love our community and make new best friends in. The one that all the kids came to hang out in. My husband and I are going through a transition where our kids are almost adult age and we are now most often are the only ones at home. Our kids are a little upset that we are permanently leaving the place where they made their most cherished memories, but realize they are growing themselves and pursuing their own young adult interests. I have reassured them that wherever we’re together… we are “home”.

The stress of being uprooted is a powerful reminder about how much having a safe, comfortable place to call home impacts your life. I keep reminding myself that my situation is nothing compared to what recent refugees, hurricane victims or homeless have gone or are currently going through. So, believe me, I am not complaining one bit!

We have decided to go with a smaller home but with more outside space, so we’re moving to the country. Until our home is ready to move in, we are “borrowing” living space – which means living out of suitcases for several months.

50 million children are living as refugees, uprooted by war, violence & persecution, UNICEF says.

Refugees at a makeshift camp near the Greek village of Idomeni; thousands are stranded at the Balkan border. Picture: AFP/Getty

I have learned over the years and has become part of my core values; that my life is MUCH better than I deserve and I have a responsibility, expectation and duty… to give back.”

I sometimes feel that I don’t give or do enough, but I do what I can and I hope you do to. Feeling thankful is a choice. So, for this week I chose to make a list, ‘My Thankful List’. And I’m taking it a step further by also creating a ‘I Am Going to Do in 2017’ list.

  1. I am thankful for my health, so I’m able to attend my kid’s activities, coach, and even practice with them many times. And that I’m fit to go on long-distance bike rides and crazy fast tube rides with the boat.
  2. I am thankful for my husband, who did the heavy lifting during our move; who always makes certain our vehicles are maintained himself; who takes on all the long-distance driving when we travel; who enjoys doing things with me and holds me up when I feel like falling.
  3. I am thankful for my children, and their diverse personalities that caused me to grow tremendously, to meet many people and go places I would never have otherwise on my own.
  4. I am thankful for my work, where I’m blessed to help others meet their goals and I enjoy the day-to-day variety of my responsibilities. And that has provided me with the opportunity to travel to Haiti, Zambia and South Africa and to become friends with amazing people.
  5. I am thankful for my freedom, so I can pursue my personal passions and religion and go where and when I want to without fear.
  6. I am thankful for long lazy weekends, that provide time to recoup and re-energize and sometimes to do nothing but sit, listen and enjoy what’s going on around me.
  7. I am thankful for my experiences, those that have impacted me to make me who I am today.
  8. I am thankful for my role models, such as my parents who were super strict so I understood respect; my in-laws who are full of grace and gave me a different parenting perspective; and my church friends who aligned me on the path to be saved.
  9. I am thankful for my sense of humor, and being able to laugh loud and so hard I pee my pants or spit a mouthful of drink across the room…or all over someone.
  10. I am thankful for my friends and acquaintances, who have been ready with the right things to say to lift me up, to offer help and advice or their home to use as needed.
  1. I will secretly pay it forward at least 1 time per month; do something or buy something in advance for someone.
  2. I will handwrite a thank you or “just because” note and give or mail it to someone at least 1 time per month.
  3. I will reach out to friends or family members that I haven’t been in contact with for many years.
  4. I will learn something new and different outside of work.
  5. I will volunteer to make meals (or part of) for families in need.
  6. I will travel to a new country.
  7. I will include my family in as many of these as possible.
  8. I will stay offline for one day every weekend.
  9. I will take ‘me time’ for a couple of hours every week and just focus on doing things for myself.
  10. I will increase my healthy habits everyday by drinking more water, eating more veggies and being more active.

Here’s my challenge to you: Open your heart and write your own items that you are thankful for and what you are going to do in 2017. Be sure to keep them in front of you so that you can refer to them often. If you’d like, send them to me (Michelle@abodshelters.com) so that I can share with others. You’d be surprised at how motivating it is to read someone else’s and how it inspires others to do the same. Happy Thanksgiving and Best Wishes!


One House. One Family. One Day.

www.abodshelters.com

If you enjoyed this post, I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter or Facebook. Thank you!

There are many options for private individuals, companies, schools, churches and other organizations to partner with us and make a real difference. Check out how to Partner With Us or simply connect to Ginny Shiverdecker at ginny@abodshelters.comYou may also donate to build an Abōd.

Abōd® Shelters, a registered 501©3 organization, are very interested in working with US and international organizations to leverage resources to provide homes to those in need.
You can get involved and help us build a sustainable Village of the Future using Abōd® Shelters through prayer, raising awareness and providing monetary support through partnership or become a Sponsor in 2016. For more information about ways to partner with us or becoming a sponsor, please mail your interest to ginny@abodshelters.com


Being Thankful… What For?
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Philanthropy Day Is November 15th: Saluting People Who Change the World With a Giving Heart

Greetings Abōd® Shelters Friends!

Phi-lan-thro-py: Greek origin – philanthropia – love of humankind

Noun: Altruistic concern for human welfare and advancement, usually manifested by donations of money, resources, or work to needy persons.The practice of giving time and money to help make life better for other people.

Synonyms: Generosity, altruism, social conscience, magnanimity, humanity, kindness, compassion, benevolence, charity.

Ginny Shiverdecker, Executive Director

Ginny Shiverdecker, Executive Director Ginny@abodshelters.com

Philanthropy – what a beautiful word so full of promise and positive energy. It is not uncommon post our national presidential election, to experience a feeling of optimism no matter the outcome. To me, it is the perfect time to express gratitude for our freedom and way of life. I recently visited the website of the National Philanthropy Day® (NPD) and was inspired by the information they provide and wanted to share some of the background of this impactful day with you.

You can actively support National Philanthropy Day® (NPD) on November 15th – the day thousands of people around the world come together to both: (1) put that word into action and (2) recognize the change that word has brought to our communities.

From the National Philanthropy Day® Official Website:

NPD is a celebration of philanthropy; giving, volunteering and charitable engagement that highlights the accomplishments, large and small, that philanthropy and all those involved in the philanthropic process, makes to our society and our world. National Philanthropy Day® is both an official day and a grassroots movement.

Every year, since 1986 when President Ronald Reagan first proclaimed November 15th as National Philanthropy Day®, communities across the globe have celebrated by hosting events to recognize activities of donors, volunteers, foundations, leaders, corporations, and others engaged in philanthropy. Since that first NPD, participation has grown year after year.

Today it has become a platform for charitable work that EVERYONE does to make a difference and create impact in their communities. Whether you’re a donor or a volunteer (or both!), young or old, no matter how much you give or what causes you support; what you do from the heart makes a difference!

To that end, this coming November 15th is the day I wish to salute YOU: All of the caring and generous people who compose the Abōd Shelters® Community of Supporters.

There are so many people who have touched our mission and forever change us for the better:

  • All the talented associates within BSB Design  – fondly referred to as BSB Nation, the original creators of Abōd Shelters® for their ongoing engagement and support.
  • Valiant Wealth Family Office & Financial Advisors for their leadership and generosity.
  • Our committed Abōd Shelters® Foundation Board of Directors  who I am honored to work with every day.
  • Our dedicated Abōd Shelters® Manufacturer in Johannesburg, South Africa – HMR Homes for embracing the possibilities of Abod’s role in improving lives of Africans everywhere.
  • Our trusted NGO partners who put Abod to work in service that transforms real lives.
  • Ty Pennington Abōd Shelters® Goodwill Ambassador for his creative leadership, talent and time to help us spread the word about of Mission to democratize housing.
  • The EPICS professors and students at Purdue University who challenge us.
  • Our generous donors – companies, sponsors, families and individuals who are true believers.
  • All the devoted volunteers who answer the call of service – we have so much fun.
  • The spouses and partners of our givers who sacrifice their loved one’s time for us.
  • Finally, those of you out there who have yet to discover Abōd Shelters® but are destined to do so. We await meeting you with open arms.

Chris Korte, Steve Cashman and Matthew Sharp assembling one of the arches to a home that was built for a granny and her grandchildren on Del Cramer Campus through Blessman Ministries in Mokopane, South Africa.

Local women relaxing and enjoying their accomplishment of building an entire Abod in one day on their own as a prototype for the South African Government.

THANK YOU for having a giving heart of your time, talents, spirit and energy. The journey would never be as much fun, successful or rewarding without you!

May the way these special people live their lives through acts of philanthropy be an inspiration to others to get involved. It takes one small step forward to experience a new world of meaningful connections, happiness and satisfaction. I thank my lucky stars every day to be amidst such quality individuals.

The NPD website highlights the extraordinary work of donors and volunteers around the world every day. The site will feature finalists in the National Philanthropy Day Honors program. More than 70 video nominations were received in six categories: Philanthropist, Volunteer Fundraiser, Corporation, Foundations and Youth in Philanthropy (Youth and Individual). The public is asked to vote on the nominees who most impacted their communities and the world. A group of judges choose the final honoree in each category, who will be recognized at the National Philanthropy Day Honors program in New York City in November. You will find great stories on ways to give more effectively and profiles of unique and inspiring philanthropists… just like you!

In closing, I would like to also applaud the efforts of the National Philanthropy Day operating team for their efforts to increase public interest and awareness of the importance of philanthropy, as well as knowledge on giving, volunteering and engagement at the charitable level so people can practice EFFECTIVE philanthropy.

Doug Vander Weide and son, DJ, finishing the loft on the Abod built for the fish farm on Lake Volta in Eastern Ghana through Acts 2 Collective.

New Abod Built via Blessman Ministries with one of the builders and the new homeowner, Talent.

Thank you for all you do to build trust in what NGO’s do to made a difference in the world.


In heartfelt service,

Ginny Shiverdecker
Executive Director


There are many options for private individuals, companies, schools, churches and other organizations to partner with us and make a real difference. Check out how to Partner With Us or simply connect to Ginny Shiverdecker at ginny@abodshelters.comYou may also donate to build an Abōd.

Philanthropy Day Is November 15th: Saluting People Who Change the World With a Giving Heart
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A Typical Tiny Home is not an option in areas where Abod Shelters work

Greetings Abōd® Shelters Friends!

Ginny Shiverdecker, Executive Director

Michelle Rothfus, Project Coordinator Abōd® Shelters

The goal of the ‘Tiny House Movement’ is to create more affordable housing and to simplify your life. With the ‘Tiny House Movement’ in full swing, there are many options available for individuals downsizing, living more simply and saving a lot financially. The average tiny house is about 185 square feet and can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $90,000 or much higher depending on the extra options and craftsmanship. This amount does not include the land that it will be placed upon or the monthly utilities.

Why such a large difference in price?

The lower the cost depends on if you have the resources, time and know-how to build it yourself and if you are able to find free or second-hand materials to use. The majority of the cost is a result of the extra options. What are the extra options? These are the shrunk down items that fit in small spaces that typical people in the US would prefer not to go without, such as a water heater, refrigerator, stove, toilet, air conditioner, clothes washer/dryer, cabinets, counter, or a table.

Photo credit: Prothaus Interiors.

Photo Credit: The Alpha via New Frontier Tiny Homes

Photo Credit: K6 by kitHAUS

Tiny houses can be as diverse as the people who own them and “going tiny” can mean something entirely different depending on the person you ask.

I volunteer for Abōd Shelters® which is dedicated to providing affordable housing wherever it is needed around the world. We work in areas where the average daily income is less than $1.90 per day. Yes, you read that right. Go ahead, do the math. There is nowhere in the world, where a person could live on this amount. So, even a $10,000 Tiny Home is NOT an option for a family in need.

Even though housing is a fundamental right, 100 million people worldwide are homeless and are in need of a safe, quality built home.

People living in extreme poverty in Africa has grown substantially since 1990,”

– according to the latest World Bank Africa poverty report.

Abōd Shelters® started as a challenge to BSB Design from one of their most trusted advisors, Dr Robert Cooper, PH.D. He believed that BSB had much more to offer than just architecture and planning. He felt that BSB was a design firm that could impact the world in so many other ways and challenged the firm to democratize and create housing for 3rd world countries.

Photo Credit: Dr Robert Cooper, Cooper Neuroscience Lab.

Everyone deserves to live in a home designed by an architect.”

Jack Bloodgood Founder, BSB Design

So with Dr Robert Cooper’s urging and BSB Design’s founding principle thought in mind, BSB leaders came together with the challenge of designing a home for a family that could be built in one day, for as little as possible and that could be shipped anywhere in the world. The winning design, which was ultimately the Abod, is now being manufactured in South Africa and can be shipped anywhere.

Abod homes are not only highly functional, sustainable and can be built in one day, they are often lower cost versus standard construction. Natural light, cross breeze and open loft spaces provide universally enjoyable comforts. The basic shell is included, with add-on options. Architects at BSB Design created Abod with flexibility in mind, so there is no lack of functionality or comfort, despite the price.

  • Compact and cost-effective to deliver. By truck, ship or plane, the lightweight home can be delivered onsite for quick and easy assembly.
  • Readily manufactured in large quantities. All components are made from stock materials.
  • Quick and simple to assemble. An entire single unit structure can be completed in one day by 4 – 5 people.
  • High-quality, enduring structure has a projected low cost via mass manufacturing.

Abōd Shelters® Foundation collaborates with other non-profits or non-government organizations to provide housing for families, teachers, students, provide schools, medical and birthing clinics in areas in need. We recognize the value of collaborating with like-minded individuals and groups to benefit both through: Cost savings; increasing resources, skills and abilities; and improving efficiency. Most of all, collaborating allows both sides to accomplish much more, better, faster and smarter. In our case, it is providing as many homes to those in need as possible.

At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done. We will be judged by ‘I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless, and you took me in.”

– Mother Teresa

Interested in making a difference with homelessness, disaster relief, refugee housing? Abōd® Shelters, a registered 501©3 organization, are very interested in working with US and international organizations to leverage resources to provide homes to those in need.

One House. One Family. One Day.

www.abodshelters.com

If you enjoyed this post, I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter or Facebook. Thank you! 


Abōd® Shelters, a registered 501©3 organization, are very interested in working with US and international organizations to leverage resources to provide homes to those in need.
You can get involved and help us build a sustainable Village of the Future using Abōd® Shelters through prayer, raising awareness and providing monetary support through partnership or become a Sponsor in 2017. For more information about ways to partner with us or becoming a sponsor, please mail your interest to ginny@abodshelters.com


There are many options for private individuals, companies, schools, churches and other organizations to partner with us and make a real difference. Check out how to Partner With Us or simply connect to Ginny Shiverdecker at ginny@abodshelters.comYou may also donate to build an Abōd.

A Typical Tiny Home is not an option in areas where Abod Shelters work
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Meet Apricot Lane Farms, Setting the Pace in Modern Traditional Farming

Photo credit goes to Apricot Lane Farms, John and Molly Chester.

Greetings Abōd® Shelters Friends!

Ginny Shiverdecker, Executive Director

Ginny Shiverdecker, Executive Director Ginny@abodshelters.com

One thing leads to another, right? I was introduced recently to Apricot Lane Farms through a friend of Abod Shelters, Will Johnston, founder of Tiny House Atlanta. He knows a great couple who have spent vacation time working with the innovative directors at the farm.

Kevin Bates, a Sales Executive with IBM with a passion for being in the countryside of beautiful Southern California, specifically likes to get his hands into farming because it brings him outdoors and closer to nature. This brought him to Apricot Lane Farms, the dreamscape of Molly and John Chester, a husband and wife team, who left their job titles of ‘documentary filmmaker’ and ‘private chef’ to become farmers and pursue their vision of starting Apricot Lane Farms in 2011.

In December 2015 they welcomed their first son, Beauden, into the family. Molly is an old school chum of Kevin’s. Hope you followed the introduction links.

The Chester’s are a unique, highly spirited couple who are the modern architects of a traditional foods farm. They each bring passion and perspective to the farm’s development and direction that is capturing the imagination of more and more people. In fact, they have even attracted the attention of The Queen of Network TV, Oprah, who now features short segments about Apricot Lane Farms on the O Network each Sunday. It’s a sign they are doing something right.

Molly and John Chester, Owners of Apricot Lane Farms

Their farm is located in the natural, rich environment of Simi Valley California, along the southern portion of California’s Coast. Interestingly, the farm is just 40 miles north of Downtown Los Angeles and 20 miles east of Ventura in Moorpark, CA. It is worth a visit to Apricot Lane Farm’s charming website as it explains the special world they are creating. Check out their Films and Photos too.

The Chester’s Farming Team have been charged with the mission of creating a well-balanced ecosystem and rich soils that produce nutrient-dense foods while treating the environment and the animals with respect.

The Farm’s residents include pigs, goats, sheep, chickens, ducks, guinea hens, horses, highland cattle, and one brown Swiss dairy cow named “Maggie.” The land consists of Biodynamic Certified avocado and lemon orchards, a vegetable garden, pastures, and over 75 varieties of stone fruit.

To inspire you further, here is a new twist, they want to encourage you to experience firsthand as they love to share the farm with you. You can experience farm life by visiting, volunteering in the garden, becoming a culinary intern or even a film intern.

It is because they are expanding such opportunities on the farm, that they are exploring the possibility of using our Abod Shelters solution to provide tiny guest homes for the growing number of visitors to the farm. Abod’s can be easily rotated around the farm and can be arranged in small pods or ‘tiny villages’ to encourage interaction between the guests who come to work on the farm for various periods of time.

We’ve discovered thus far, that we share similar values of putting humanity first, committing to sustainability and a ‘less is more’ philosophy. So if all things line up right we may be seeing a rainbow of Abod homes on the landscape of Apricot Lane Farms in the near future.

I salute Molly and John Chester for their courage and commitment to pursuing their dreams while transforming our view of farming in our current world in ways that benefit mankind.


In heartfelt service,

Ginny Shiverdecker
Executive Director


There are many options for private individuals, companies, schools, churches and other organizations to partner with us and make a real difference. Check out how to Partner With Us or simply connect to Ginny Shiverdecker at ginny@abodshelters.comYou may also donate to build an Abōd.

Meet Apricot Lane Farms, Setting the Pace in Modern Traditional Farming
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The Results of Hurricane Matthew: Trying to Recover in Haiti

Cover Photo Credit: People walk on the street after strong waves hit the coast at Siboney beach ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Matthew in Cuba. Reuters bdnews24.com

Greetings Abōd® Shelters Friends!

Ginny Shiverdecker, Executive Director

Michelle Rothfus, Project Coordinator Abōd® Shelters

It’s very sad that the country of Haiti was hit with a powerful Category 4 hurricane when they were still recovering from the earthquake of 2010. Some areas were just beginning to flourish again when Hurricane Matthew’s forces caused many deaths, injuries and destruction. Warnings for Hurricane Matthew were in effect for Jamaica, Haiti, eastern Cuba and eastern and central Bahamas. It’s not just the safety and well-being of individuals during the hurricane that is a concern, it’s what comes after as well.

See The New York Times article, ‘Photos and Detailed Maps Reveal Hurricane Matthew’s Brutal Aftermath in Haiti’ to understand the destruction.

Haiti has been hit by many very strong hurricanes but even weaker storms that pass nearby have produced devastating floods and mudslides.

Matthew’s Track History

Because of the infrastructure and the way many houses are built in 3rd world countries there is a great amount of devastation. Not only are the structures easily destroyed but as a result of the devastation the main water sources end up contaminated and then sickness and additional deaths follow. There are always going to be threats to low-lying areas but in 3rd world countries it takes much, much longer to recover and rebuild.

Logan Abassi/Minustah, via European Pressphoto Agency

Houses damaged and destroyed by Hurricane Matthew line a mountain road in south-western Haiti but a lack of clean water could be the storm’s more deadly legacy. Photograph: Rebecca Blackwell/AP

Even though one would think that there is always the option of moving, people have very strong ties to their communities which means moving would be very difficult and disruptive to their initial well-being. Even in the US when Americans considered it likely that a disaster would occur in their area, the majority of them would want to rebuild in the same area. See The Huffington Post article, ‘Rebuilding After Hurricanes: The Public’s View’

It’s been reported by the United Nations latest tally that at least 500 people were killed by Hurricane Matthew and over 100 people are still missing. There are thousands of people displaced as well as additional repercussions as a result of the storm. Cholera is on the rise in Haiti after Hurricane Matthew flooded rivers and destroyed wells. If access to food, water and shelter do not improve immediately, the death toll is expected to increase.

What Matthew didn’t kill, cholera and infections are going to. Infections are coming in.”

said the Haitian Health Foundation country director, Nadesha Mijoba, speaking from Jérémie, a city of 30,000 that was hit by the full force of the category 4 hurricane.

What can you do?

Cash is the most helpful item to provide after a Natural Disaster as it can go directly to items needed for the specific area. Be aware of many scams or organizations that don’t disperse the funds where they are projected. Search the BBB if needed or stick to donating to reputable organizations.

Before sending anything, for example; water, sunscreen, insect repellant, cleaning supplies, clothing, etc. always find out what resources are available to take these items because if there is no way to store or disperse the items to use immediately, they become a hindrance to the efforts. For more information on why this is such a hindrance, read ‘When Disaster Relief Brings Anything but Relief’ from cbsnews.com.

The second most helpful item is your time. If you have the means to help even for a small period of time, you will make a difference.

We, at Abōd Shelters® Foundation, are looking for Partners to support our ongoing efforts of providing homes to people in need. Abōd Shelters® are a good fit for disasters as they can be swiftly deployed and quickly built to provide immediate housing. Be a part of making this happen. Are you an organization, nonprofit or NGO interested or do you have contact with one? Let’s talk… please contact ginny@abodshelters.com

Del Cramer Campus through Blessman Ministries. A small Abod Shelters Village is in the background where the grannies live with their grandchildren and other children they care for.

One House. One Family. One Day.

www.abodshelters.com

If you enjoyed this post, I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter or Facebook. Thank you!


Abōd® Shelters, a registered 501©3 organization, are very interested in working with US and international organizations to leverage resources to provide homes to those in need.
You can get involved and help us build a sustainable Village of the Future using Abōd® Shelters through prayer, raising awareness and providing monetary support through partnership or become a Sponsor in 2016. For more information about ways to partner with us or becoming a sponsor, please mail your interest to ginny@abodshelters.com


There are many options for private individuals, companies, schools, churches and other organizations to partner with us and make a real difference. Check out how to Partner With Us or simply connect to Ginny Shiverdecker at ginny@abodshelters.comYou may also donate to build an Abōd.

The Results of Hurricane Matthew: Trying to Recover in Haiti
read more

Living with Hurricane Matthew Where Fear Meets Gratitude

Greetings Abōd® Shelters Friends!

Ginny Shiverdecker, Executive Director

Ginny Shiverdecker, Executive Director Ginny@abodshelters.com

Surviving Hurricane Matthew is a memory that will linger for a long time to come for me. Here on the eastern coast line of Florida the storm blew in unanticipated effects. In the aftermath we are compelled to take a few steps back to refocus, rethink and reframe our view of life.

As the hurricane approached, I was thinking about a local news headline I had just read about homeless children on the Florida coast. My heart sank as I thought about the level of deep fear these children must feel at a time like this. What would they do for protection?

Working for the Abōd Shelters® Foundation, I have been researching the growing homeless situation in our country. The statistics are staggering. Yet in an election year the issue of our growing homeless population across America has gone unaddressed.

According to the Covenant House, every year, more than 2 million kids in America will face a period of homelessness. In addition, children who lack a stable home are vulnerable to a number of adverse outcomes. Some threats, such as poverty and hunger, may precede episodes of homelessness; others stem directly from living without a home. Homeless children are more likely than other children to have moderate to severe acute and chronic health problems, and less access to medical and dental care. Read more information at Child Trends.

Photo credit to: Getty Images, blog by Kevin M Ryan, President and CEO, Covenant House

For 7 days last week I felt the real fear of losing our home. My husband and I recently relocated from Tampa, to the Stuart area, north of Palm Beach, Florida, to be closer to our dear family members.

We just became fully settled into our newly constructed house. We especially love our enclosed patio with seating and dining to make it an inviting tropical atmosphere for family and friends.

It seemed a cruel twist of fate as we watched the machinations of Hurricane Matthew forcefully make its way off the African Coast. Creating devastation to Haiti and resulting in hundreds of deaths, it then turned toward Cuba. It was predicted that it would turn due north toward Florida’s East Coast with a trajectory moving it further up to the Carolina Coast and impacting millions of people. It had been 10 years since any storm of this magnitude found its way here. I felt chills running down my spine.

Personally experiencing a storm of this magnitude was a first for me. The storm was nothing less than surreal. The range of emotions are indescribable and even to this moment I am still processing it all.

Once we began to realize the situation was REAL we took stock and mobilized. Making plans helped us feel in control to a degree and then physically getting ready helped us deal with the inevitable. What did we need to do? We had less than three days to prepare. The weather forecast was full of ferocious predictions that it would hit land here – likely right where we live!

Things you never think about surface like; What if my life or those of my loved ones is threatened? What if the severe winds and rain inflict intense damage or even worse, we lose our home completely?

As we were mobilizing in our neighborhood I witnessed others do the same. The stores were over run with people. My hubby and I faced the crowds to stock up on provisions to last us for a while. Why? The loss of electricity would be the biggest issue. One does not know how long we would go without.

Photo from EUMETSAT

https://www.ready.gov/hurricanes explains what actions to take when you receive a hurricane watch or warning alert from the National Weather Service for your local area. It also provides tips on what to do before, during, and after a hurricane.

Once we accomplished this task we moved on. What did we need to do to protect the house? I brushed away the sadness to be productive. Thankfully, we did not need to put up protective shutters because our home was built with major storm protection in mind. Older homes were not protected so we went to help family and their neighbors get shutters up quickly. There was intermittent rain that eventually did not stop for hours. We pressed on and got the job done until we dropped from exhaustion.

Storm day arrived so we sat tight waiting for it to arrive. The anticipation was so stressful. Will it hit land with 130 mph winds or hug the coast and creep northward? One seeks any distraction possible to stay sane knowing the worst of it was due to arrive in the deep, dark of the night at 3 a.m.! We retired that night not saying very much but knowing our hearts and minds were full of anxiety. Suddenly our electricity went off.  All we could do was to wait it out. Eventually, dawn came with us wide eyed as kids on Christmas morning wondering what we might discover. Looking out our windows much to our surprise, we found our neighborhood was spared tragic damage to homes. The neighbors were appearing on their front lawns to check on each other, to talk and connect. We survived but what of the rest of the area?  Time would tell as we began to venture out into the community.

Vero Beach resident Michael Banks found a tree in his side yard split in two, but there was no major damage. (Photo: JON SANTUCCI/TREASURE COAST NEWSPAPERS)

All through the night, I wondered if those homeless children were in shelters and out of harm’s way. Hours into the day when the storm passed the electricity was restored. I checked the headlines to see if everyone had made it through safely along our coast.

What good comes from an experience like living through Hurricane Matthew? I learned long ago in every challenge there is a gift. We just have to wait for God to reveal it. If we are open, it will surface in the form of a blessing that helps us just when we need it. We all feel we were spared the traumatic evil that could have befallen us. We feel humbling gratitude for safe family, friends and strangers. For now, that is the overwhelming emotion here on the Treasure Coast of Florida. I will share the blessing once it reveals itself. I trust it will. But for now I am going to make a donation to the homeless kids in the area who need it most.


In heartfelt service,

Ginny Shiverdecker
Executive Director


Hurricane Matthew was the worst natural disaster to hit Haiti since the earthquake of 2010. The country is still trying to recover with some areas just recently starting to flourish again. Hurricane Matthew’s forces caused many deaths, injuries and destruction along with new cases of cholera being reported. Read about one town, Jérémie, that was directly in its path.

Abōd Shelters® are a good fit for disasters as they can be swiftly deployed and quickly built to provide immediate housing. We currently are looking for partners to help make this happen. Are you an NGO or do you have contact with one?

There are many options for private individuals, companies, schools, churches and other organizations to partner with us and make a real difference. Simply connect with Ginny Shiverdecker at ginny@abodshelters.comYou may also donate to build an Abōd.

Living with Hurricane Matthew Where Fear Meets Gratitude
read more

One Humanity: What Can You Do to Make Someone’s Life Better?

Greetings Abōd® Shelters Friends!

Merriam-Webster defines humanitarian simply as “a person who works to make other people’s lives better.”

Ginny Shiverdecker, Executive Director

Michelle Rothfus, Project Coordinator Abōd® Shelters

There is an unprecedented number of people that need help worldwide. So who are actually providing help to these people in need? Other people. Most reference these individuals as ‘humanitarian aid workers.’ They work in front line conditions all over the world, facilitating the distribution of aid to people who have suffered from human or natural disasters.

While the job varies from truck driving, drilling wells, distributing food, water and clothing, to writing funding proposals or auditing books, it takes an individual that feels a true calling to be a full-time Humanitarian Aid Worker. Read ‘Why You Might Want to Work in Relief and Development (And Why You Might Not)’

While millions around the world are in dire need of humanitarian assistance, being a humanitarian worker is frequently unsafe. According to consulting group Humanitarian Outcomes, in 2015 alone, 287 aid workers were victims of major attacks.

“Humanitarian Outcomes (2016), Aid Worker Security Database https://aidworkersecurity.org/sites/default/files/HO_AidWorkerSecPreview_1015_G.PDF_.pdf

With aid organisations increasingly working in riskier environments to reach those most in need, 2013 was the deadliest year on record for aid workers, with nearly 500 attacks.”

What Makes A Country Dangerous for Aid Workers? by Jason Miklian, Kristian Hoelscher and Håvard Mokleiv Nygård

What makes a country dangerous to humanitarian workers? Jason Miklian, Kristian Hoelscher and Håvard Mokleiv Nygård wrote in theguardian five key characteristics that were uncovered about countries where aid workers are assumed to be the most at risk. See below insert or dive deeper into this group’s research on ‘Understanding Violent Attacks against Humanitarian Workers’.

Key Characteristics About Countries Where Aid Workers Are Most At Risk:

  1. Countries at war are more dangerous
  2. Whether combatants follow the “rules of war” has little impact
  3. Criminal violence doesn’t influence risk of attack
  4. An international military presence isn’t riskier – but UN peacekeeping forces might be
  5. More developed states are safer

How do we keep our aid workers safe and at the same time get to the people who are in need?

Having good relationships with the community members who are most influential is important to be safe. In ‘14 ways humanitarians can stay safe in insecure environments’ in theguardian, Rachel Banning-Lover collected a panel of experts suggestions on how humanitarian organizations can continue to work with most at-risk communities.

Photo credit: Rapheal Frankfurter, Executive Director of Wellbody Alliance

Suggestions to Work With At-Risk Communities:

  1. Befriend the Influencers
  2. Identify our own weak spots
  3. Relate to new players on the scene
  4. Set humanitarian standards for everyone
  5. Look out for all your staff
  6. Ask what value you bring
  7. Know the risks of working with certain donors
  8. Understand the ‘guys with guns’
  9. Accept that we aren’t politically neutral
  10. Use drones for good
  11. Leave security to the soldiers
  12. Set a clear point of exit
  13. Recognize that working with the private sector may bring greater risks
  14. Better aid will keep us safe

There are 130 million people that need help now so we need to balance keeping our aid workers safe and providing support to those in need.

While I don’t feel the calling to be a full time Humanitarian Aid Worker, I still get extremely frustrated over the time it takes – a snail’s pace – to get help to people in need.

Since I don’t have a bajillion dollars and it takes much more than money to solve these issues, I try to resolve to leave the big decision-making and actionable steps up to those that are most influential. I say “I try” because my heart is still substantially weighted and aching for those that are suffering. For me it helps my heart and mind to get involved where and when I can, which is on a local level in my own community.

You don’t have to work full-time as a humanitarian to make someone else’s life better. My coworker volunteers every Saturday morning at one of the local hospitals to cuddle and rock babies that were born premature. The mothers will never meet her to express appreciation and the babies will never remember her but she provides a soothing and calming human touch that is desperately needed for their growth so they can go home to their families sooner.

Photo Credit: Kye R. Lee – Staff Photographer with Dallas News.

Whether you have extra time to give each week or each month, below are examples that will make a positive difference in someone’s life:

  1. Visit someone in the hospital, nursing home or an elderly person in their home. This can be very lonely to those who do not have family or visitors to provide encouragement or comfort when they are in these situations. Many times bringing a calm dog (get permission from staff in advance), reading part of a book, providing a magazine – even if it is used, playing cards or simply visiting and chatting for a few minutes will make a big difference in someone’s life.
  2. Help the homeless by calling a local shelter to find out their needs. When I worked at a women’s shelter we would get a few calls from people that wanted to know what we needed but only had time to give. I would arrange for them to come in to make a nutritious meal with the women. This was beneficial for both the women that lived there and those that volunteered their time. The women would receive education on preparing nutritious, well balanced meals and have normal conversations with other adults. Many of the residents had addictions so having conversations and sharing about themselves was great practice and at times mentorships would develop. Another group saved hotel shampoos, toothbrushes and toothpaste and would package them up in a gift box with a note of encouragement for each new resident.
  3. Mow the yard, buy a bag of groceries or shovel snow for a single parent or elderly person. Single parents are sometimes stretched to the limit with the amount of responsibilities they have. A small gesture such as these take a huge load off their plate to be able to do something else that is needed. Without a doubt, you’ll lift their spirits. Many older individuals want to stay in their homes as long as possible and can do yard chores but may be limited somewhat. Every once in a while, one of my mom’s neighbors snow blows her drive during the winter. I know personally how much this helps and means to her.
  4. Provide a meal to a new parent or someone who is sick or recovering from surgery. Being a new parent, having a sickness or recovering from surgery can be very overwhelming where just taking a shower is difficult, let alone preparing a meal. Yet a nutritious meal is what they need to give them energy and get better. As you are preparing a casserole or pasta dish for you family, double it so that it doesn’t take that much extra time. Add a vegetable and fruit and viola… you have a gourmet meal to provide! Prior to visiting my aunt and uncle before he passed away from a terminal disease, I would stop by the grocery store, get groceries for my family and buy extra fresh fruit to leave at their house. I would write a bible verse on a 3×5 card and drop it in the bag. When I would return, the bible verses would be taped next to his bed and the fruit would be gone.

In all of these situations, you will put a smile on someone’s face, including yours, and more than likely inspire others to do the same for someone else.

If you wait until you can do everything for everybody, instead of something for somebody, you’ll end up not doing nothing for nobody.”

Malcom Bane

Interested in being ONE person that makes a difference with homelessness, disaster relief, refugee housing?

  1. Organizations, groups and churches of all sizes can help Abod Shelters through prayer, raising awareness and providing monetary support.
  2. College Students can help Abod Shelters spread the word on campus or bringing a campaign to your university.
  3. Through Partnering with companies and individuals who share our passion, we can provide homes to everyone in need.

Del Cramer Campus through Blessman Ministries. A small Abod Shelters Village is in the background where grannies live with their grandchildren and other children they care for.

One House. One Family. One Day.

www.abodshelters.com

If you enjoyed this post, I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter or Facebook. Thank you!


Abōd® Shelters, a registered 501©3 organization, are very interested in working with US and international organizations to leverage resources to provide homes to those in need.
You can get involved and help us build a sustainable Village of the Future using Abōd® Shelters through prayer, raising awareness and providing monetary support through partnership or become a Sponsor in 2016. For more information about ways to partner with us or becoming a sponsor, please mail your interest to ginny@abodshelters.com


There are many options for private individuals, companies, schools, churches and other organizations to partner with us and make a real difference. Check out how to Partner With Us or simply connect to Ginny Shiverdecker at ginny@abodshelters.comYou may also donate to build an Abōd.

One Humanity: What Can You Do to Make Someone’s Life Better?
read more