The ABC's of Compassion - Act for Compassion

I am going out on a limb here and starting a 26 post series about Compassion. Each post will have to do with one aspect of Compassion and start with a letter of the alphabet.

None of the posts have been written yet. This is my first one!

I hope to write and post these each week so that you can learn more about Compassion from a volunteer's perspective.

First up...Act for Compassion!

What is it?

Stealing this from the Act for Compassion page..."a platform that exists to help you create online campaigns to take action to release children from poverty."

When the Act for Compassion web site was first launched, I did a Bake for Brazil campaign.

Bake for Brazil Act for Compassion campaign

My original goal for this online campaign was for 19 people to join me by raising $50 each. I was never able to find the other 19 people, but I was able to raise $100 baking and selling homemade baked goods to my local friends and family.

For the Act for Compassion fundraising campaigns, you can set one up for your birthday, anniversary, wedding, Christmas, etc. Currently, the campaigns are focusing on Bibles, clean water, goats, Haiti, and Ecuador. Be sure to check the Act for Compassion page because areas of critical need change on a regular basis.

Want to focus on finding sponsors for waiting children?

You can do that too!

What I love about the Act for Compassion sponsorship campaign...you can set up your challenge to focus on different countries, ages, longest waiting, and a few other criteria.

So let's say, you just got back from a Compassion sponsor trip to Kenya.

Now you want to help find more sponsors for some children like the ones you fell in love with.

Set up your Act for Compassion sponsorship campaign for children just from Kenya!

One way I have used the sponsorship campaign, I set up a campaign to run in conjunction with my Compassion Sunday. This way, if people are searching for children by birthday, they could check my Act for Compassion sponsorship campaign to find a child whose birthday matched their own child's birthday!

One other area of the Act for Compassion page is the volunteer area.

Do you know that volunteers are a huge part of Compassion?

You can volunteer at Compassion partnered events.

Volunteer at Compassion partner events

Live in Colorado Springs? You can volunteer at Compassion Headquarters.

And, every now and then, there are volunteer leadership positions available as a way for you to serve!

As a sponsor, you are welcome to join the public Act for Compassion group on Facebook. And I also am the admin for the Act for Compassion Northern California group

These groups are great places to get encouragement and support, especially if you are looking to take the next step and become more involved as a volunteer with Compassion.

What questions do you have about Act for Compassion?

Italy - Day Two

Before we started exploring Rome on our first full day in Italy, we had to go try an Italian cappuccino. After a quick search, I found one within walking distance (actually, a lot of places were within walking distance!)

Sant Eustacchio il Caffe in Rome Italy

Once we arrived and figured out where to order our cappuccino and pastry, we waited at the coffee bar for our order. Seating in this cafe was extra, so just enjoyed our first breakfast standing up.

Croissant and cappuccino in Italy for breakfast

This was amazing!! I could get used to having this for breakfast every day!

Now before I write much more, I have to warn you that these Italy posts will be photo heavy. I did take my Nikon DSLR, but honestly, it was so much easier to just capture images with my iPhone.

After we finished our breakfast, we attempted to get an Uber to take us over to the Colosseum. Let me just say, our GPS did not work very well while we were over there. So we didn't find the spot where we needed to get the Uber. We ended up just catching a taxi to help cut down on the amount of walking we would be doing.

The Colosseum

We did not purchase tickets ahead of time, so we stood in line to enter Palatine Hill first. 

Excavation at Palatine Hill

I loved seeing excavation work going on at Palatine Hill. I wonder how many items they still find in the area.

View of The Colosseum from Palatine Hill

All of the signs had Italian and English. Do you see the dates on this sign?

Structures in Palatine Hill

It is incredible how many structures are still standing in this area from almost 2000 years ago!

Inside The Colosseum

After spending quite a bit of time walking around Palatine Hill, we made it over to the line to enter The Colosseum. The sheer size of this building is overwhelming!

Cross engraved in The Colosseum

I tried to photograph some of the less photographed things I found while walking around inside The Colosseum.

Hearts in The Colosseum

How many hearts do you see in this wall?

Here we are inside The Colosseum

We even had someone take our photo!

By this time, it had been quite a few hours since our cappuccino and croissant.

Lunch in Italy

I don't even remember all that we ordered for lunch, which is why photos from almost six months ago are helpful! But I do know, since it was a bit cold outside, we did have another cappuccino.

Cafe Cafe in Rome

After we finished lunch, we started walking toward The Pantheon.

Imperial Forum

We walked by the Imperial Forum. Some of these walls and columns were constructed before Jesus was born!

The Pantheon

The Pantheon is one of the buildings I did not want to miss on our trip.

Inside The Pantheon

This was my best attempt to capture the inside of The Pantheon. It is mind blowing to think how they constructed the inside of the dome and this building!

Exploring the streets of Rome

As you can see, many of the streets in Rome are quite narrow and nothing like the modern streets we have in the United States.

Inside a church in Rome

Many of the churches in Rome are open to the public. I recommend walking inside a few of them to admire the elaborate details.

Trevi Fountain

We have heard that most people who travel to Rome, stop by Trevi Fountain to throw in a coin. Apparently, if you do this, you are guaranteed a return trip to Italy...that is if you believe in that kind of stuff.

Did we throw in a coin? You bet we did! We had to do what all of the other tourists do!

By this time, after walking who knows how many miles, it was time to find a place for dinner.

Time for dinner in Italy

We decided to give this place a try...

homemade gnocchi

...because they had homemade gnocchi on the menu!

tiramisu

Because we did so much walking, we ordered tiramisu for dessert, yum!

Unicorn Fruit Loops

Probably the strangest thing we saw on this day was these Unicorn Fruit Loops in the market. Too bad we didn't have room in our luggage to bring a box or two of these home!

Have you ever been to Rome? What is the strangest thing you have ever seen while out of the country?

Stay tuned...day three of our trip will be coming soon!

Italy - Day One

If you have read my posts about our quick trip to the northeast, you might just be thinking this is becoming a travel blog.

Honestly, I wish it could be because I LOVE to travel!

If I had unlimited funds and time, I would love to travel as much as possible.

But since I can't, I am finally going to take some time to write about our time in Italy.

Especially since my last post about Italy was back in April...

Our first day in Italy wasn't even a full day, so I am not sure if I can really count it as day one, but I am going to anyway.

We landed in Rome around 3pm local time. Since we didn't check any bags, we didn't have to wait around for our luggage once we got off the plane. 

We made it to Rome!

We had to take a train into Rome from the airport. There are actually a few less expensive options to get from the airport into Rome, but we knew we didn't have a lot of daylight hours left on this day. And after a nine hour flight (and a nine hour time difference), we were ready to get outside and enjoy some of Italy!

Once we made it into Rome, we took a taxi to our AirBnB.

Outside our AirBnB in Rome

One thing I would highly suggest if you are going to take an international trip...be sure to add the international plan to at least one of your phones! We needed to call our AirBnB hosts at each location, and being able to check in with our kids gave me a bit of peace of mind as we were traveling so far away from home!

Anyway, once we got all checked in, our gracious host told us to head toward Campo de' Fiori and look for the Forno to find some really great Italian pizza!

 Fresh flowers for sale at Campo de' Fiori

Fresh flowers for sale at Campo de' Fiori

Eating pizza in Italy!

After we finished eating our pizza, we walked along and across the Tiber River.

Tiber River in Italy
Views along the Tiber River in Italy
Many people out walking along the Tiber River at night
Tiber River in Italy
Goodnight Italy!

If my health app on my phone is accurate, we walked just under 3 miles on this day and got just a small taste of how beautiful Italy is!

Like I said, we didn't have a lot of time on our first day in Italy, but it was definitely enough to document it with a few photos!

Stay tuned for more from our Italy trip!

Shoot, Share, and Don't Stress

My friends over at Compassion have started doing monthly webinars again which I am so excited about! These monthly webinars help each one of us be more effective advocates for Compassion.

The crazy thing is, they actually asked me to be on a panel with my friend Sam for this month's webinar, Get Social Media Savvy.

Who is Sam?

Sam is the social media manager at Compassion. His team handles all of the Compassion blog posts and all the social media channels for Compassion. I can't even imagine how crazy busy his team is on an every day basis!

Just so you know, I am not a social media expert. I just want to use my voice and the tools that are available to help spread the message of Compassion.

The webinar should be available very soon if you are interested in watching it.

In the meantime, I thought I would recap my three points in how you can use social media to advocate for Compassion.

Shoot - take pictures!

What should you take pictures of? A sponsor selfie, letter writing, attending the Compassion Experience, hosting a Compassion Sunday, volunteering at a Compassion event, any photos that have to do with your involvement with Compassion.

Breakfast with Felix in Mexico

The biggie photo? If you have had the chance to travel and meet your Compassion sponsored child, I sure hope you have photos from that experience!

Since there are people in your sphere of influence who might still be skeptical of Compassion, a photo of you with your sponsored child speaks volumes!!

Now that you have some photos, what should you do with them?

Share - post them on your favorite social media channel!

Compassion Social Media post

With each photo that you share, write something from your heart about that photo and/or experience.

Sponsor selfie - why do you sponsor a Compassion child?

Letter writing - maybe share something from a recent letter from your sponsored child

Compassion Experience - share the impact this experience had on you and your family

Compassion Sunday - share why you advocate for other Compassion children

Volunteering - share something meaningful from your experience

Meeting your Compassion sponsored child - if you have had this opportunity, I am sure you can share volumes about this experience!

What else can you share?

Compassion has great content on all of their social media channels. When you see something they have posted that resonates with you, add a few of your own thoughts and share!

Compassion Social Media hashtags

You can also mention Compassion and use hashtags in your posts. Compassion might just respond to your post to encourage you!

So what is the last point?

Don't Stress

I am going to say it again...I am not an expert!

Don't worry about knowing all the social media rules and guidelines.

Share from your heart!

Keep a balance - if you post regularly on social media, make sure it is not all about Compassion. 

Don't be discouraged - not all of your Compassion posts will bring Compassion sponsors. Be faithful in sharing. God already knows who will be sponsoring Compassion children and He will bring them about in His timing!

Still have questions? Comment below and I will try to answer them or find someone who can answer them for us!

 

Quick Trip to the Northeast - Day Five

Today's eventual destination for me: home!

But first, we had a few places to visit before Matthew took me to the airport.

First stop: The Springfield Armory National Historic Site

Springfield Armory National Historic Site

This is one place Matthew was really looking forward to visiting! This is where George Washington gave authority for rifles and muskets to be manufactured to be used starting with the Revolutionary War. The actual armory closed in 1968. Currently, the historic site houses an amazing collection of historic military firearms.

Civil War rifle eaten by a porcupine

There is no entrance fee for this site, so if you happen to be in the Springfield, Massachusetts area with a major history buff, be sure to put this place on your list of places to visit!

Next up, the Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford, Connecticut

Mark Twain House and Museum

We did go on the tour of the house, but we were not able to take pictures inside the house. Very interesting to hear more about Mark Twain's life on our tour and see the inside of this amazing home. Definitely worth the tour price!

Practically right next door is the home of Harriet Beecher Stowe

Harriet Beecher Stowe's home

One thing we learned while reading up on her life, her husband also attended Bowdoin College in Maine! If we had more time, I would have liked to go on this tour also, but it was getting close to the time I needed to get to the airport.

All of the stops on our Northeast trip

Overall, this was an incredible trip! So happy to have had this time to spend with my son, exploring part of our country together.

He has now been to 44 states and I have been to 39. 

Our family travel map of the USA

We may need to start a new map charting all of our other country travels soon!

If you haven't read the other days of our trip, you can read day one here, day two here, day three here, and day four here.

Where have you traveled lately?