Show Hope Advocate, Jenni Gustafson, donated her 21st birthday to raise funds and awareness for Show Hope and orphan care! Read her story below:
Growing up as a Steven Curtis Chapman fan, and by crossing paths with families who had worked with Show Hope through their own adoption stories, Jenni Gustafson decided to become an advocate for Show Hope and follow God’s call to care for the fatherless.
Fresh out of college at 20 years old, Jenni grew tired of hearing her friends talk about their 21st birthdays. How could she use her own 21st birthday in a more significant way? That’s when she came up with an idea for her own advocacy event. She started preparing 21 different projects and set out to raise $2,100 for her birthday. Jenni states, “After 3 months of networking with adoption agencies, government agencies, foster care centers, children’s homes and other organizations in orphan care, I was able to set up 21 different events, all helping to restore the hope of a family to orphans in distress!”
For 3 weeks surrounding her birthday, she worked hard organizing her 21 projects. From picking up clothing donations, to fundraising at local restaurants, to rallying 40 friends and family members to write to children at a home in San Diego, Jenni mobilized the people in her life to join the movement to care for orphans. Her project inspired many others to donate toward her campaign in support of Show Hope! Through her 21st birthday campaign, she ended up surpassing her goal by raising almost $2,200 for Show Hope! Over 100 people involved in her efforts had their eyes opened to the many heartbreaking challenges that the orphan crisis presents, but they also learned that everyone can do something to help! The most rewarding part of her effort was being able to meet so many children and showing them in a real way that God’s people are praying for them and that they are loved.
Jenni’s advocacy effort is proof that it only takes one person standing up for orphans to inspire others to do the same! When we asked if she had any advice for those wanting to plan their own Show Hope Advocacy event, she said, “Keep in mind that prayer is seriously the strongest thing you can do to make your event successful. The impact of your event is going to be so much stronger than what you could ever imagine because God is ultimately in control of who finds out about the event, who is touched by it, and who is inspired to do their own work for orphans because of it. We have a light in Christ and he’s going to shine through us with our advocacy!”
Become an advocate just like Jenni, and help restore hope! Sign-up as a Show Hope Advocate today!