Category Archives: Christmas Celebrations

Let’s Celebrate! 20 Ways To Engage With ER This Year

ER Save the Date 20 Year Postcard

Having grown up in Ecuador and experiencing ER’s outreach to the poorest of the poor first-hand, Rheanna Cline created the following list to encourage everyone to celebrate 20 years of ER Christmas parties in the Quito Dump.

By Rheanna Lea Cline

Through the work of Extreme Response, thousands of people living in extreme situations are experiencing significant life change. With programs and partners in nine countries, ER provides many opportunities to get involved in our life-changing work with at-risk people. Here are a few of those opportunities:

  1. Tell your friends, coworkers, and family members about us.
  2. Sign up to receive our monthly newsletter and learn more about what we’re doing around the world at www.extremeresponse.org/newsletter-signup.
  3. Like us on Facebook.
  4. Join one of our Christmas Outreach Teams to bring hope to the hopeless during the holidays.
  5. Bring a few of your friends together to donate $100/month to Safe180 and help a girl rescued from human trafficking stay in a safe home.
  6. Check out our Changing Lives Blog to read more about the people impacted by our work.
  7. Become a coach in our Leadership Community to help encourage and inspire developing leaders.
  8. Donate to our Extreme Women initiative to help us provide education, counseling, intervention, nourishment, medical support, and job training for at-risk women.
  9. Gather a few friends from your church, school, or business to go on an Extreme Team volunteer trip.
  10. Consider joining our team as a Career Worker to use your skills and talents for one year or more to help the poor and vulnerable of the world.
  11. Give $20/month to provide for all of one boy’s needs for a year in our Manila Children’s Home.
  12. Host your own fundraising event, such as a car wash or bake sale, and send the funds through ER to ensure that those most in need benefit from your efforts.
  13. Follow us on Instagram.
  14. Host an informational event at your home with one of our leaders there to speak to your group.
  15. Shop through AmazonSmile and select ER as your designated charity to have 0.5% of all purchases automatically donated to us.
  16. Donate a few dollars a month to the Extreme Kids Scholarship Fund to cover the costs for a South African kid to attend and stay in school.
  17. Send your disaster relief donations to ER and directly impact people affected by the disaster.
  18. Donate $20/month to provide a Quito Dump Kid with lunch for a full month.
  19. Collect hygiene items and toys for our Christmas Parties around the world.
  20. Intern with us for a summer at one of our locations in South America, Africa or Asia.

For more information on any of these opportunities, please visit our website at www.extremeresponse.org or contact us by email at info@extremeresponse.org.

Calling All ER Friends and ‘Alumni’   

ER Save the Date 20 Year Postcard

ER is celebrating 20 years of Christmas parties by gathering in 11 locations in the U.S. and Canada this fall. If you’ve volunteered or supported ER’s work any any time during the last 20 years, we invite you to attend one of these gatherings:

  • Atlanta/Lawrenceville, GA (Sept. 22)
  • Simcoe, Canada (Oct. 1)
  • Detroit/Lake Angeles/Rochester Hills, MI (Oct. 8 and 9)
  • Rensselear, IN (Oct. 11)
  • Indianapolis/Fishers, IN (Oct. 13)
  • Dallas, TX (Oct. 20)
  • Santa Maria, CA (Nov. 5)
  • Lancaster, CA (Nov. 6)
  • Glendora, CA (Nov. 10)
  • Orange County, CA (Nov. 12)

Come hear some incredible highlights, heartwarming stories and new opportunities. For more information, please email Rheanna Lea Cline at rlcline@extremeresponse.org.

7 Reasons to Join an Extreme Response Christmas Team

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ER’s Lindsey FIsher dances joyfully during an ER Christmas party in South Africa

IMG_0261By Tim Fausch, ER Communications

So you’ve survived winter and are looking for something exciting to do this year. You’ve thought about planning a vacation, but the idea of another beach trip leaves you empty. Fortunately for you, we’ve got the perfect solution: Join an Extreme Response Christmas team and help change lives!

The Quito Christmas teams impacted more than 4,400 people last year!
Last year’s Quito Christmas team impacted 4,350 people!

Join an ER Christmas team? Why would you want to do that?

We’re glad you asked. Here are seven reasons why you would be crazy not to join a team.

1.  Why settle for celebrating Christmas once when you can celebrate it seven-plus times? ER Christmas teams go where few others go in order to connect with people living in extreme conditions. Our Christmas teams typically host at least one party each day for a week, with each party taking place in a unique setting.

2.  You dislike “touristy” trips. We feel your pain. Nothing screams “snoozer” like a visit to some man-made theme park or shopping district. As part of an ER Christmas team, you’ll meet real people living on the edge of society and you’ll play a central role in providing them with hope!

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Dawn Carnill reconnects with a family attending the Quito Dump Christmas Celebration.

3.  Your passport needs a stamp from Ecuador, the Philippines or South Africa.  How can you say you’ve seen the world without visiting one or all of these incredible countries?

4.  You want more friends. Christmas teams are a great way to meet people who share your passions. You’ll enjoy meeting people from different places and learning about their lives.

5.  You still have a couple megabytes of space left on your digital camera.  Get ready, because you’ll meet some of the cutest kids on the planet. You’ll be physically unable to resist snapping pics of them _MG_0309having the time of their life. For most kids, it will be their only chance to celebrate Christmas.

6. Your heart needs warming. Exhausting jobs, household chores and busy schedules can suck the life out of us. It’s easy to misplace our compassion. We’ll help you find it! Every day will be filled with opportunities to help “the least of these”.

7.  You’ve always wanted to join “an assembly line of love”. Our teams IMG_0267participate in something we like to call “organized chaos”. This is when we gather as a team to assemble gift bags for the children. It’s actually a bit of slap-happy fun and a great way to bond with your team.

But seriously…

So we’ve shared some fun and funky reasons to join a Christmas team, but the real reason is that you’ll be investing into the lives of people who are often forgotten by society…families who live in squatter communities, people who glean their living picking through the trash for recyclables, children who are sick, abandoned or orphaned, and the 12279062_10153032967721920_7145267726201177551_nvictims of human trafficking. These are the people we reach and we’d love to have you join us.

If you’ve never been on an ER Christmas team, perhaps this is the year. We’re celebrating 20 years of Christmas parties, starting with the very first one (see a video of that party) in the Quito Dump in 1997. In the years since, we’ve become more organized and efficient as  you can see in these more recent video. But one thing hasn’t changed. We continue to share the story – and joy – of Christmas to those who eagerly want to receive it.

ER-logo-20th-Anniversary-Full-Color-Portrait (1)This year we have three Christmas Teams planned in late November and early December: Quito, EcuadorManila, the Philippines and Cape Town, South Africa. You can learn more about our Christmas teams by visiting our Christmas Celebrations page.

If you are unable to join a team in person, we would still highly value your participation as a volunteer or donor.  For general information, email Christmas@extremeresponse.org.

 

 

ER Has Moved Out of the Dump; We Need Your Help!

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By Jerry Carnill, ER President and CEO

IMG_0699Today I am sharing an urgent message. ER is facing one of our biggest challenges ever. It’s always been a bit turbulent serving families who glean their living picking through trash at the Quito Dump, but the agencies that oversee children’s services and health clinics recently told us we needed to leave Dump. They feel it is not a suitable location for childcare. After serving here for 19 years, we initially were surprised, but ultimately embraced the request.

JostinSo we’ve relocated the Child Development Center to a temporary space for the next six months. I am so proud of our ER team, which dropped everything to renovate the new space quickly and move the CDC. Our medical and dental clinics are closed for now.

And there’s more. The government announced the dump would close at the end of the year, leaving 250+ families without a means of support. As you can imagine the families are scared, confused and wondering what to do. They not only face losing their livelihood, community and identity, but their relationship with ER. For years, we’ve cared for them when no one else did. In the face of theses challenges our commitment to help these families has not wavered.

IMG_3301As we’ve seen before, these crises are opportunities to increase our impact and help the families break out of poverty. For example, when the dump bulldozed the homes of those living there, ER and volunteers opened the CDC and started building simple block homes (13 so far) for families.

  • *The new CDC is problematic for many recyclers because it is several miles from the dump.
  • IMAG1512*We’re spending unplanned funds on renovations, utilities and rent (the dump was rent-free).
  • *We’re facing logistical issues with meals, equipment and Ecuadorian staff.
  • *We’re urgently planning how to provide services to help families become self-sustainable.

 

IMAG1526Please join us as we navigate through this disruption and prepare for the future.

We covet your support. We need short-term teams, volunteers, interns and career staff who are interested in pouring into the dump community.

Would you also give to help us cover the extra costs of the new facility and possibly a permanent new location? We need at least $37,000 to meet immediate and future needs. You can also donate online here.

Later this year we will hold the 20th Christmas celebration at the Quito Dump. We would love to have you join us. Please help us as we respond to changing needs. IMG_6835 (2)Thank you for your encouragement!

Jerry Carnill, President and CEO

P.S. – Take a look at this short video of our transition to the CDC!

Jerry Carnill, Extreme ResponseIf you would like to speak with me about this personally, call 404-713-5168 or email me at jcarnill@extremeresponse.org.

Paul Cripps: Faithful Leader, Lover of People, Life-Changer

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By Tim Fausch, ER Communications

There are many ways to measure the value of one’s life on earth, but perhaps the greatest is to consider the lasting impact he or she has on those they encounter.

Aranas | Photography2014-10Paul Cripps, co-founder of ER Canada with his best friend and wife Linda, was someone who had a life-changing impact on the people he touched. Soft-spoken, thoughtful and selfless, Paul was a friend and encourager to people wherever they were in their life journey. And when he met people who were poor, sick, uneducated, abused, abandoned or oppressed, he showed them deep compassion and love.

Consider these words from Paul, shared on an ER video:

“I have had the privilege of spending time in all three of our regions and have witnessed first hand many stories of changed lives. There is nothing more impactful than spending time in a squatter village, or picking up a street kid in need of a hug.”

ER CEO Jerry Carnill shared Paul’s willingness to battle through obstacles in order to serve others:

Paul & Linda“Paul  set an example for all of us on many levels. He loved his wife, kids and grandkids with all of his heart, yet he also set aside personal comforts to help people in extreme situations. During the past several months Paul served others in extreme heat, with very little sleep while living with physical pain due to sickness. His legacy will live on through the lives of people across the globe.”

Paul did much more than show compassion. He and Linda turned their concern for others into a life mission. They focused everything they had on helping people in very tangible ways.

Russ Cline, ER’s Chief Advancement Officer, recently profiled Paul and Linda’s strategic use of their time and resources in the Leader Mundial eNewsletter:

_DSC1771“But the biggest thing they have leveraged has been their lives. Not only do they serve the staff, partners and ER family around the world, but they have invested their lives in relationship. They have visited, they have served, they have helped set vision, they have coached, they have explored, they have listened, they have come alongside so many of us (I speak for many) and just helped us to do better.”  Read Russ’ blog here.

 

DSC_0169Paul impacted people around the world, including many ER partners who are on the front lines working to help people living in distress. Pierre Rioux,  Director of ATAIM, an ER partner that serves indigent people in South Africa, shared this:

“Paul’s approach to life was a huge example to me. He always put others first, in spite of how he felt physically. He never wanted people to know he was suffering. Paul was a true leader that I plan to imitate. I hope I can be half the leader he was.”

IMG_1308ER’s Asia Region Director, Joshua Benavidez, shared this regarding Paul:

“A big guy with a big heart. Thank you Paul for everything you have done for us and the people whom we love so much, especially the kids. You will be greatly missed. You will always be in our hearts.”

Paul and ER Canada were big supporters of the programs in Haiti run by ER partners Lemuel and House of Hope. This Facebook post by the folks at Lemuel captured Paul and Linda’s impact in Haiti:

“Paul Cripps was known and loved by all of us. He had a genuinely compassionate, servant’s heart and we are grateful for all the ways in which he touched our lives and served Lemuel through ER Canada.”

Aranas | Photography2014-10Paul and Linda led volunteer teams to help at-risk people around the globe, introducing hundreds to the concept of serving others cross-culturally. Paul was tireless in his dedication, working long hours at their auto dealership only to come home and work just as hard for ER Canada.

Led by his strong faith, Paul strived to bring hope to the hopeless. Those who knew him would say, “Well done faithful servant, well done.”

Author’s note. It’s rare when you meet people you immediately love and trust. That’s what took place when my wife Deb and I first met Paul and Linda. We saw their character, compassion, selflessness, generosity and willingness to sacrifice and we were inspired. We wanted to be more like them…and still do. Thank you Paul and Linda for living lives that are authentic, and for helping show the way.

The notice below was published by the Jason Smith Funeral Chapel and provides details on Paul’s family and life.

CRIPPS, Paul Kenneth (1959 – 2015) – surrounded by his loving family and promoted to the arms of his Lord & Saviour, at the Norfolk General Hospital on Sunday, September 20th, 2015 in his 57th year.  Cherished husband and best friend of Linda Cripps (nee Armstrong) of Simcoe.  Loving father & grandfather of Nicole La Porte (Aaron) of Waterford, their sons Jacob & Evan;  and David Cripps (Angel) of Simcoe, their son Benjamin.  Beloved son of Ronald Cripps (late Violet) of Simcoe.  Paul will be lovingly remembered by his brother Carl Cripps (Lenny) of Caronport, Saskatchewan, their children Daniel, Samuel & Deborah.  Dearly loved son-in-law of Elsa Armstrong (late Lawrence).  Together Paul & Linda own and operate Aitken Chevrolet Buick GMC.  Always a passion for serving others, Paul served as Chair, Vice Chair & Past Chair of the Norfolk General Hospital Foundation Board, was a member of the Simcoe Gospel Chapel and was the Canadian Founder & Director of Extreme Response Canada, a charity organization committed to changing the lives of people by providing humanitarian aid to those living in extreme, often life-threatening, poverty stricken situations.  Friends are invited to share their memories of Paul with his family at the JASON SMITH FUNERAL CHAPEL, 689 Norfolk St. North Simcoe for visitation on Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015 from 2-4 & 7-9 p.m. and again on Wednesday morning from 10:00 – 10:45 a.m. at the Simcoe Gospel Chapel, Hwy#3 East Simcoe.  Paul’s home going service will be held in the church sanctuary at 11:00 a.m. with Pastor Martin Brown officiating.  Interment:  Oakwood Cemetery, Simcoe.  In lieu of flowers, those wishing to donate in memory of Paul are asked to consider Extreme Response Canada.  Personal online condolences at www.smithfuneralchapel.com (519) 426-0199.

True and Lasting Hope

Jessa Anderson

 Jessa AndersonBy Jessa Anderson, Extreme Response Volunteer

Recording artists Jessa and Jordan Anderson have made six trips to Quito to work at ER Christmas celebrations. What inspires them to return every year, while juggling two kids and a hectic touring schedule?

 

This year my husband Jordan and I took our sixth trip to Quito, Ecuador, for the annual Extreme Response Christmas celebrations. You’d think that after so much exposure to extreme poverty we would feel emotionally prepared to witness it again. Yet each trip brings fresh and unique emotions. It never fails to pierce my heart when I see the contrast between the plenty I live with every day, and the lack of even basic necessities that those we serve during the course of the week live with.

While I always enjoy the celebrations themselves, my favorite time is usually when the party is ending and Jordan Anderson says goodbye to guests at an ER Christmas Celebrationthe guests are leaving. Language is no longer a barrier as we have the opportunity to distribute gifts and food, and to hug, high-five, and fist-bump as we all wish one another a Merry Christmas.

Time after time, I’ve witnessed children joyfully clinging to a stuffed toy, proudly displaying a new comb, or contentedly sitting down just outside the exit to eat a piece of fruit they have received. I see mothers with tiny babies strapped to their backs rearranging their belongings to allow them to carry a bag heavy with pantry staples that will provide meals for weeks and months to come. Some people shyly accept their gifts, while others exuberantly pull you in for a kiss on the cheek, but each of them has had the opportunity to have fun, to play games, to relax, and to set aside their struggles, if only for a few hours.

Jessa Anderson get Quito hugMore than the personal blessing of knowing we were able to provide a few hours of fun, there is the knowledge that we were able to play a small part in providing each person with true and lasting hope. All year, staff and local partners are working with these same people to change their situations, and ultimately, change their lives. We may only see them once a year, but we can leave knowing there are people caring for their needs on a regular basis. I have heard story after story of lives forever changed by the work Extreme Response does. Having the opportunity to be part of that has been instrumental is shifting my life perspective.

Jordan Anderson does face painting at an ER Christmas celebration in QuitoEach trip reminds me that there are many people living in extreme situations, not just across the world, but in my own city. I find I am renewed in my passion for serving those in need with the resources I have. I have been encouraged and challenged by the work Extreme Response is doing to change lives, and privileged to play a small part through the Christmas celebrations.

 

Jessa Anderson, WholeThe Andersons live in Nashville, TN, with their two small children. Learn more about their music – including Whole – Jessa’s latest CD, their touring schedule, blogs, volunteer work, and more at www.jessaanderson.com.