Our Charity: Imagine Goods

Our primary focus is on the charity Imagine Goods. Imagine Goods is an organization of people who believe that we can bring change to the world one bit at a time. We imagine good and bring change.

Vision - To see the transformation in body, mind, and spirit of the world´s poorest and most marginalized people. To see the transformation of the values in people who live in our communities.

Mission - We are a support to those that are enabling opportunity for the world´s poorest and most marginalized people. We are a voice to inspire our societies to live ethically and to advocate for social justice.

Please visit the Imagine Goods website to see the extraordinary things they are doing to serve the poor and oppressed around the world.

On The Ground in Cambodia

Here are some emails written during Michelle´s most recent trip to Cambodia. Please take the time to read it and see how the money we raise at Sweet Charity is being used to change lives.

Email 1

Hey all....hopping on here quickly.

We had a really good meeting with Chomno this afternoon. Got a lot of things figured out and things are looking really good. So exciting! We were able to give him lots of $ which had been raised. $2000 for a well (which he says that the village by the army camp, where we visited yesterday and where Don/Ang´s toilets are). He has been praying for a well. We had $600 for formula for HIV babies, we had $300 for Safe Haven, which he will use for new school supplies, $80 for the TB hospital, $500 just for Cambodia Hope Organization CHO, etc...so it was great to be able to give him $ for so many amazing projects they are doing! Towards the end of our meeting, while he was typing up the receipt, a CHO staff came in and they were talking a bit in Khmer...then he turned and looked at us...saddened...and said that the border police had just arrested some traffickers and so the Safe Haven just got 3 new residents....a 2 month old baby boy, 5 year boy, and 8 year old boy!! So, good that they were rescued...but, so sad!! So glad to be working with a group of people who are so needed in this country with so much of this going on.

After the meeting we relaxed a bit...and then Chomno took us out to eat...along with his wife and his daughter. So, it was great to be able to be with them. As he was dropping us off we mentioned to him that there were some men from S. Africa staying at the hotel who seemed a bit rough, like not good men....he perked right up. He asked a few more questions and we shared that, yeah...the one guy had been a bit aggressive...but, that we were OK. So, he came right into the hotel and talked with the manager and let him know that CHO people are to be cared for here...and that he needs to keep an eye on us, and he will take the CHO business elsewhere...and etc....he said that the police would be called right away if anything happened, etc....so sweet. Reminded me of how my dad would of been. :) He gave us his business card again...lettting us know that we call him right away if we don´t feel safe, etc...and police will be there for us. :) Sweet man. But, we feel safe. :) The hotel manager (who we know...we have been here and he´s been here for the past 5 years...he is the one who let me use his personal computer the other day) was so sorry and said that the men actually left yesterday. He said they are "big men" who have business in Thailand in jewels and other things....

Alright...off for now. Love you much!!
Michelle

Email 2

Hey all... rough morning. We got up and all was good, went to devotions as normal with CHO, ate breakfast...and about 9:15 were getting ready to come back to the hotel to wait for Chomno...we stepped outside and were called into the room by Sophie. A 5 month old baby was being dropped off. The neighbor was bringing the baby in...the husband has left the wife and baby to remarry -- the mother was angry and so left the baby with a neighbor and went to Thailand -- unsure how to care for the baby. So, the neighbor had been caring for the baby for a bit, but was out of $ for formula and didn´t know what to do, so came to CHO. Glad she came to CHO instead of finding a trafficker....SO -- we each held the baby, went across the street to the pharmacy to buy a bottle and more formula. While Aiyana was at the pharmacy the baby just started crying and crying...so hungry. It was just awful. The neighbor didn´t know the name of the baby....so, she asked us to name her...that did us all in. We decided on "Grace"-- so that is her name. Chomno is going to send a social service person into the village to verify all stories and then let us know. They have no more funding for this type of thing....they are on such a limited budget. So, he will let us know and we said we would make sure that baby Grace was cared for. She was just beautiful....smiling and precious. If Cambodia/US relations allowed for adoptions I think this would of been a tough one to walk away from for each of us.

We then walked thru the Hope and Restoration Center that CHO has bought and is working on. It is looking great. The bottom floor will be a place where foreigners come to pay for internet, coffee and baked goods. The sewing projects that we do will have a room in the back, with the silk screen machine that someone bought for CHO. The next floor is CHO offices, the next floor is turned into dorm rooms for girls who have been rescued from brothels, former prostitutes. So -- the girls will spend the first 6 months at a secured location in counseling and then be moved to this floor/dorm. (which will have secured security, locks, etc...and each room has its own shower for them to feel private/safe). Here they will learn a trade in bakery, coffee shop, sewing...and then be able to stay in these dorm rooms for 1 - 2 years (as they need it to feel OK and to be taught in their trade) and then be able to work for CHO in these areas. The next floor is a conference room, then the next floor will be the church. It´s a great building with great dreams for the people. The building that CHO is in now, they rent...so, this one has been purchased by a large church in Seattle for them -- so, that is GREAT!

Well....early tomorrow we leave for Pnomh Penh, by taxi, and then look into Fed Ex and a couple other things there, eat dinner, shower at the hotel, and then head to the airport.
Love you much!
Michelle