Category Archives: Current Vigilante Kindness Projects

New VK Projects and 101% on Giving Tuesday

Happy December!

The close of the year is an exciting time at Vigilante Kindness. We’ve wrapped our projects from the previous year and have taken some time to consider, pray about, and begin the baby steps of planning new projects for the coming year. I’m giddy over our projects for 2016!. Some are familiar projects we’re continuing with and others are brand spanking new opportunities. I hope you’ll take a sec to pop over to our Current Projects Page and read all about them, but for now I’ll just say they involve pigs and tractors and feminine products-oh my!

In other exciting news, today if you donate to Vigilante Kindness via the PayPal Giving Fund, your donation will go a lot further.

PayPal-Giving-Fund-300x225

Normally VK receives 97% of all PayPal donations, but today we’ll receive 101% of every donation. So if you’d like to make a donation before the calendar year ends, or if you know an organization seeking to make a donation, your donation can do a just little more good today through the PayPal Giving Fund.

I’m thankful for how seamless PayPal makes our transactions and thankful that they’re giving back to Vigilante Kindness today. Most of all I’m thankful for you, Vigilantes, for falling in love with the people and places we work with and joining us in committing acts of Vigilante Kindness.

 

Want to be a Vigilante?

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2015 is winding down and for Vigilante Kindness, that means we’re gearing up for a new year in wild adventures of Vigilante Kindness and we’d like you to join us. As we prepare for the new projects God is calling us to in Uganda, we’re looking to expand our Board of Directors to meet our growing needs and perhaps you’ve been looking for something more to do with your life, too.

Vigilante Kindness is currently looking for volunteers who possess talents in the areas of:

  • finance & accounting
  • personnel & human resources
  • administration, management & leadership
  • fundraising & grant writing
  • web design
  • non-profit experience
  • community service
  • project & policy development
  • public relations & communication
  • education & instruction
  • special events
  • outreach & advocacy
  • art instruction

If you’re interested in being on the Board of Directors, please email your completed Vigilante Kindness Board Application to Alicia at vigilantekindness@gmail.com.  Tell us a little bit about yourself, what your special gifts and talents are and why you’re interested in being on the board.

If you’re interested in becoming more involved in Vigilante Kindness, but becoming a director isn’t your thing,  or maybe you don’t see your skill set listed above, we want you, too.  Maybe you paint.  Or write.  Or take photographs.  Or ride your bike really far.  Or knit hats and scarves.  Or make jewelry.  Or make music.  Or make jam.  Or teach Zumba.  Or cut hair.  Whatever your gifts and talents are, we recognize them as something valuable, we recognize you as someone who is valued.  We see you.  We want you to join in our wild adventures of Vigilante Kindness.

Paper Beads & Paintings Now For Sale Online!

jewelry & paintings for VK website-8

Dearest, patient online Vigilantes, the long-awaited day for you to purchase paper bead jewelry online is finally here. In case you simply can’t wait another moment, pop on over to our store to shop. I’ll wait here.

Because of seed money donated by Vigilantes prior to my last trip to Uganda,  Vigilante Kindness was able to purchase 1,000ish gorgeous paper bead necklaces and bracelets. I bought up every bit the women of Bungatira created and I thought surely 1,000ish pieces would be enough to last us for sales for a year.

I was wrong.

So very wrong.

I brought them to one local speaking engagement and had 2 small jewelry parties and POOF! all but a few pieces were snatched up before I could even breathe, let alone get the pieces loaded vigilantekindness.com to sell.

Honestly, it was a great problem to have. Once again, Vigilantes, you completely knocked my socks off with your generosity and support for the people we’ve come to love in Uganda.

The good news is that there are a few lovely pieces remaining and the even better news is that this year’s jewelry sales have guaranteed that this project is now self-sustaining. It makes me want to jump up and down a teensy bit. Okay, more than a teensy bit.

Before you head over to buy some beautiful paper bead jewelry, please take 2 minutes to see how the paper bead jewelry is made.

Loving you with all my liver,

Alicia

P.S. While you’re there you can check out the three remaining painting we have for sale by Ugandan artists Calvin & Seddrick.

Amazon Smile for Vigilante Kindness

Amazon Smile for Vigilante KindnessWe’re over the moon to announce that Amazon Smile has decided to partner with Vigilante Kindness.  That means all that shopping you love to do on Amazon can now benefit Vigilante Kindness.  How does it work?

Bookmark this link and use it each time you want to purchase something from Amazon.  Then Amazon automatically donates 0.5% of your purchase to Vigilante Kindness.  It’s as easy as that.

Unfortunately, you can’t yet use Amazon Smile through the Amazon app.  So if you shop on Amazon through your iPhone or iPad, please be sure to bookmark our Amazon Smile link on your internet browser and shop through Amazon Smile that way.

Would you do us one more favor?  Please share our Amazon Smile link with your family and friends.

As always, thanks so much for your kindness and support.

Vigilante Kindness Recycling Drive

Hey, Vigilantes,

Sometimes doing something good requires giving of your time and money.

Sometimes all it takes is giving your trash.

This is the latter.

At Vigilante Kindness, we want to pursue self-sustaining educational and employment opportunities with and for people in developing countries throughout the world, but we also want to do that in a way that takes care of the world itself.

Enter the Vigilante Kindness Recycling Drive.

You may already know that we’re recycling magazines to help the women of Te Okot make paper bead jewelry to sell so they can earn a sustainable income.

paper beads made from recycled paperWe’ve added a few items to our list and 100% of the proceeds from the recycled items will go toward Vigilante Kindness general fund.

Please consider donating the following recyclable items to Vigilante Kindness:
  • aluminum cans
  • plastic bottles
  • empty printer cartridges
  • empty toner cartridges
  • old cell phones/smart phones
  • old (working) laptops
  • old iPods

Want to collect recyclables at your workplace, your school, your church or any other location for Vigilante Kindness?   Here’s a printable flyer for you to attach to the container of your choice.VK Recycling flyer

If you live in the Redding area, when your container is full, just shoot us an email (vigilantekindness@gmail.com) and we’ll come collect your recyclables.  If you live outside of the area, but would like to join the recycling drive, shoot us an email and we’ll get you all set up.

Thanks for helping us care for the people we love throughout the world in ways that also help care for the world itself.

Fondly,

Alicia

Chickens, Of Course

My phone had been pinging all day long.  As I walked to my car that afternoon, I checked my messages and laughed at the group conversation my boys had been having while I was at work.  Normally I loathe group texts, group conversations and the straight EVIL that is the Reply All button.

But the conversation between my boys tickled me.  I struggled to translate their conversation from Acoli into English, but when I did, I saw that there were 28–yes, 28–messages about land prospects for the chicken farm, feed providers, which farmer they’ll buy the initial chicks from, etc.

There were also teasing barbs, typical brotherly ribbing.  Can I just tell you how much my heart loves the teasing they do?  My formerly orphaned boys tease each other like brothers do and it’s music to my ears.

I read along as their messages progressed into the evening in Uganda and when they settled down for the night and messaged a chorus of I love yous to each other, it was all I could do to scoop my puddled heart up off the floor.

Because of you, Vigilantes, my boys were starting to see that their Chicken Farm Project wasn’t just a dream.

Me?  I wish I had their faith.  I’d spent the previous night looking at the Chicken Farm Project donation thermometer, incredibly grateful for the $51 that had been donated, but also trying to come up with ways to make that thermometer fill up to the tippy top.

Fundraising Thermometer Widget ~ Fundraising Thermometer Graphic-2

Little did I know, on that very night, as I sat trying to think of ways to make this project happen, and the following morning as my boys chattered away about all things chicken, a Vigilante woman was praying about my boys and their future chicken farm.

This woman has asked to remain anonymous, so let me tell you just a little about her.  She’s a cancer survivor.  She volunteers at her local hospital.  She takes in foster kids.  She loves with her heart wide open.

After I finished translating the 28 messages from my boys, I received this message from this Vigilante woman.

After thinking and praying about this last night and today, I have decided to send you a check for $950 to fund the chicken project.  I’m impressed with the guys and their determination in coming up with an idea, a business plan, and a way to help others.”

Insert record scratch here.

Wait, what???

I read her message again.  She’d decided to fund the remainder of the ENTIRE CHICKEN FARM PROJECT.

I called her immediately and before the first ring, I was crying, snot dripping, mascara running, ugly crying.  I left her a blubbering voicemail and then called my mom, who cried right along with me.

I still laugh at the whole idea of this chicken farm.  Really, God?  You want me, the girl who is terrified of birds, to help my boys start a chicken farm in Uganda?  Chickens?  Really?  Of course. God’s sense of humor is obviously fully in tact.

God’s sense of compassion is also fully in tact.  I know this to be true because three formerly orphaned boys have not only taken up residence in my heart, but in your hearts, too.

My boys still struggle with the residual pain of being orphaned. Of being left by parents who died too young. Of being unloved. Of being treated like dogs. Of being children left to fend for themselves on the streets. Of being unclaimed.

I sit here fighting back tears again because you, sweet Vigilantes, whether you donated a single penny or a lot of pennies, have claimed me, claimed my boys, and claimed a whole lot of chickens, too.

Thank you.  Thank you so much.

Want to see something wonderful before you go?

Fundraising Thermometer Widget ~ Fundraising Thermometer Graphic

 

Leku Ivan’s Heart

It’s Monday and you deserve a sweet story.  How about one about Leku Ivan, the painter kid in Uganda who uses the money from his paintings to buy his sister new dresses in the absence of their parents?

Leku Ivan

Last October, Ivan was featured in The Daily Monitor.  Here’s the story:

The paintings of artist Ivan Leku, 19, may not ring a bell on the first look. They may seem like any other paintings, like the ones for decorating our rooms or office walls.
But on closer and careful observation, one gets fascinated with beautiful graphical illustration of the abstract paintings in acrylics.
The paintings send a striking message about the lives of the African street children, of children living a deplorable life, yet covered with jolly faces.

No Ordinary Painting

“This is not just an ordinary painting. I am trying to relay how our children are suffering on the streets,” Leku says. “All these children need is love and care so that they are transformed.”
Leku says from his experience as a street child for more than 10 years, he knows the challenges street children go through. “From my talent as an artist, I think it is worthwhile telling the world about these children through my paintings,” Leku says, adding: “My ambition at the moment is to ensure that the local people and the government take up responsibilities of looking after the street children who could be in possession of good talents.”

Passion for art

Leku says art has been his passion since childhood. He acquired practical art skills from Jinja Art shop, where he had been undergoing training in abstract and landscape paintings.

“Even in my childhood, no one thought I could be an artist. But because I had people around me who believed that art was what can earn me a living, they groomed me and today, they appreciate my skills,” says Leku.

He began commercial painting in 2010.

With Shs400,000, he rented a room in Gulu Town, which serves as his work station.

In order to reduce the rent he pays, he shares the room with two other artists. On how and where he sells his products, Leku says it is mostly at exhibition shows, trade fairs and hotels, targeting mainly foreign customers who seem to be more interested in his art pieces.

He says some of his clients constitute foreigners, who place their orders and have their goods sent to them and the money sent to him through Western Union.

Future plans

Leku says he intends to turn his workshop into a free training class for street children, whose lives, he says, are considered wasted.

“I want these children to learn practical art skills for their future life sustenance,” says Leku.

Those foreign clients who place orders and send money via Western Union?  That’s you, sweet Vigilantes.  You’re making a difference in Ivan’s life.  In turn, he’s sharing his heart and his talent with street kids in Gulu.

Want to buy one of Ivan’s paintings?  Click here to see a handful of his remaining pieces and the paintings of the other artists who share his shop.

Giraffes by Leku Ivan $40 (plus shipping)