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Human Race – A family event

As we gear up again for the Human Race on May 4th, I have family on my mind.    We have had a recent addition to our family last September (Alicia Mae Gellings), and it’s a little mind-blowing that the Gellings household is now a family of four.    However, it also reminded me that the Human Race is a true family event.    Of the many participants that will be running and walking, some will be pushing strollers, some will be bringing along the family dog, and some will participate in wheelchairs.    It is really an event for all.   

It’s so appropriate, because I think of the Medical Mission that this event will support for Mighty Hearts, and it’s also all about the family.     The children come through the clinic as a family…sometimes as an extended family if an aunt or a grandparent is the only guardian available.    In the clinic, in addition to taking photos for the files of the children, the mission team also takes a family photo for the family to take home with them.   This is a gift that the families really appreciate! 

In addition to paying attention to the health of the children, the medical team also helps the parents understand the importance of nutrition, hygiene and a loving home to the overall health of the children…..and gives them tools to provide healthy meals and a clean, loving environment for the children.    Family is very important to the mission of Mighty Hearts International……so I’m thrilled that the Human Race is such a family-friendly event…..so join the Mighty Hearts International team…..and bring the whole family.    After the “race”, there are brats and hotdogs for everyone.    In addition, this year, a portion of the Badger marching band will perform the 5th Quarter.    We’ll look forward to seeing you there!  



Octoberfest: Why we serve

The last few weeks I have written a lot about Octoberfest. The one thing I haven’t answered is “why do we serve?” And no, I don’t mean serving jambalaya either!

The question is why do we take our time and resources for a good part of September just for a one day event?

The answer is True Christmas. Mighty Hearts uses Octoberfest to raise money for the poorest children in Peru to have the best Christmas ever!

True Christmas involves a physical gift like a doll or a toy robot, a snack of Christmas cake called a panetone, games, singing and lots, and lots of fun! More important than the nice gifts is the real message of Christmas-That Jesus loves each of these children and he came to Earth just for them!

I had the honor of taking part in True Christmas in Peru in 2010. I witnessed, firsthand, how the love of the volunteers, the gifts, and the message of Jesus impacted each of the children.

Last year over 2,800 children were impacted by True Christmas. Our involvement in Octoberfest supports over 300 of them. Will you join us giving the gift of Jesus this year?

Please contact [email protected] to volunteer

Octoberfest: All hands on deck!

In order to run smoothly Appleton’s Octoberfest needs a huge number of volunteers. Over 1,000 people donate their time as block captains, first aid, communications, and of course, in the 100+ non-profit food booths! Many of these people donate their time and expertise behind the scenes too…this event is quite the undertaking!

I didn’t know this before we got involved but the city of Appleton has its own coordinator just for this event! With 120,000 people scheduled to attend Octoberfest and over 150 food and craft booths I’m sure it’s a full time job!

This year’s Octoberfest takes place on Saturday, September 29th. In order to make Mighty Heart’s Octoberfest a success we need 40+ volunteers to answer the call to help. We need food preppers, dishwashers, and cooks before the event, and cooks, servers, and runners the day of Octoberfest.

Funds raised in Octoberfest go to support True Christmas in Peru.

Octoberfest: Building Memories

I’ve always has fond memories of Octoberfest in Appleton.

As a boy I went faithfully every year with my family rain or shine. I loved the carnival atmosphere and especially the food! My favorites were always the fresh cream puffs and clam chowder.

As a young adult I was able to experience Octoberfest in a different way, by volunteering. My Boy Scout troop had a booth where we served apple and cherry cobbler made in cast iron Dutch ovens. What made those days even more special was I was able to serve with my father who was also our Assistant Scout Master.

Today we are building a whole new set of memories.

This is the third year that Mighty Hearts has had a booth at Octoberfest. We are making over 60 gallons of spicy jambalaya and white chicken chili to serve. We need your help to make this a success. Whether you volunteer with your family, friends, or by yourself this is a great chance to serve with awesome people for a great cause. We also serve a great God!

Funds raised in Mighty Hearts’ Octoberfest go to support True Christmas in Peru.

Please contact [email protected] to volunteer

Turning the page on one of the organization’s firsts

As we prepare for the Human Race Fundraiser on May 5th, I thought back on how fund-raising for Mighty Hearts has evolved over the past few years.     The Human Race will replace our Brat Fry Fundraisers as the primary fundraiser for the Medical Mission Trip.  The Human Race is an event that is family-friendly, it provides an opportunity for lots of people to be involved, and it is web-enabled, allowing visibility across the globe to the actions of our little community in Appleton, WI.    It’s an extremely exciting change of events.   

I admit, however, that I’m a little nostalgic about the Brat Fry fundraisers.   After all, our very first fundraiser was a brat fry.    I actually enjoy roasting brats and burgers over a charcoal grill.   Call me crazy.  

Change is always hard, but it’s also exciting.   I’m looking forward to seeing what the Mighty Hearts volunteers and donors can do in the Human Race fundraiser.  I’m excited about how our organization is maturing.    Most of all, I’m excited about all the vitamins and supplies that $4000 can buy for the medical trip if we reach our goal.    Turning the page in this way is a sign of growth for our organization, and it’s absolutely the right thing to do.

If you’re interested in joining the team in the Human Race Fundraising, it’s really easy.   Just follow the link and join the team or donate to the cause.    You don’t even have to walk to raise pledges….you can be a phantom walker! 


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Lamentations 4:4 - Because of thirst the infant’s tongue sticks to the roof of its mouth; the children beg for bread, but no one gives it to them. (NIV, ©2011)