Posts filed under Fundraising

closer than ever.


A few months ago, our church hosted a series on adoption. It broke me in all the right ways: reminding me of His love for us and our future child, whispering again His constant provision and that He has everything - even our bank account - under control.

And then we met with a couple who heads up a sending organization. We talked with them of dreams we have - and how this adoption has moved us to the point of faith we never imagined even a year ago. The man smiled as he listened, and then said "you know - I'm going to pray for this child of yours. I'm going to pray you guys become parents at the precise moment you're meant to, and I'm praying you always remember the joys of living under the Kingdom economy."

I paused a bit there, a little unsure of where he was going. He looked at us and shook his head, "I can't tell you how many couples we send who by all means shouldn't have found the money to make it overseas. Our economy is not God's economy."

And then I squeezed Russ' knee, because I knew.

Our life right now? It doesn't make sense. My quitting does not equate to any sudden onslaught of money. I write, yes. I've published a book - true. But I haven't seen any money from Come Alive yet and going from a steady, secure and nice income to well...a future filled with question marks is devastating to this control idol I've held on to with such force.

And freeing. It's so completely freeing.

The following week, we were approached by a friend who said him and his wife felt called to participate in helping us bring our child home. He sent our agency a generous check, and we were clear through mid-December in payments.

This still left us wondering how and when we'd pay off the rest, but I wasn't concerned anymore. I'd seen Him provide for us every month at just the right moment; He would do the same for our adoption. I knew it.

Over the past few weeks, we've been talking with a friend from church who now lives overseas. After a few vague texts from a mutual friend, we received an email from him stating that after hearing the Stone's series on adoption, him and his wife wanted to join with those in the midst of the process. He asked us to share our story, asked us what we were doing to fundraise, and asked how much we owed.

And then he told us he would pay the rest.

There's really no words to explain how I felt in that moment of complete grace and generosity. Two months ago, in the midst of our adoption falling apart and feeling the weight of expectation failure, I would look at the amount we owe - close to 10,000 dollars - and feel the fear creep up and turn to a bitter disbelief. I felt forgotten. Manipulated. Tossed aside.

This whole process has been a lesson in extreme faith. Do I trust Him enough to create a new budget without my income? Do I believe in His faithfulness in providing for us? Do I share all of the ways He's stepped in and moved on our behalf?

I hope so, but I know my finite human heart. I know the difficulty of seeing such a huge number and all of the hurdles we have yet to jump and think, "really? You're for me even here? Now? Because...all I see is debris."

But the truth? If I look close enough, I don't see broken pieces. I don't see debris from everything that's fallen apart. I see a mosaic telling a story of His goodness and restoration.

A few days ago, we sent the last of the checks and a copy of my book to our agency in Houston. As soon as our case worker receives the package and deposits the checks, Jubilee will be fully funded.


And just like that, we're closer than we've ever been to bringing our little one home.

Posted on December 18, 2012 and filed under Fundraising.

second annual free coffee for a year fundraiser


:: FOR THE ENTIRE MONTH OF NOVEMBER :: Get amazing coffee + help us bring baby Ramirez home + be entered to win free coffee for a year = SOMETHING YOU DON'T WANT TO MISS

Instructions -

1. Go to Just Love Coffee Roasters -

2. Click "Shop"

3. Choose your coffee (or hot chocolate!) For every bag you purchase, we'll get five dollars toward our adoption

4. Be entered to win free coffee for a YEAR.


Posted on November 3, 2012 and filed under Fundraising.

An incentive.

When I wrote the last post about the truth of where we are financially in this adoption, my stomach twisted a little. It's never easy to ask for help, and it's even more difficult when you know there really isn't a tangible "takeaway" for those who choose to give. I mean, it's not like I can write a story for you if you give.

(although, I will. totally. i mean...if that's what you want. just let me know.)

As I thought about it though, I realized there were a few things we could do, and there's some ideas I have brewing over these next few months. I DO know if you need a chef - for anything - you could let us know and the money would go straight to the adoption. I also know we'll still be selling coffee and still piecing together our adoption puzzle.

But I have something exciting for you today.


Since July, I've been letting myself dive more and more into this artist's heart that's captured me. I've always been an artist - with words and with music. But it's been a little overwhelming lately the creativity that oozes out without me even noticing. So I figured, why not harness it?

From now until October 29, every person who donates at least fifty dollars to our adoption will be entered to win this painting, His Word in my heart like fire. You can enter multiple times, too - just donate in increments of fifty! 

I'll announce the winner October 30.

To donate now, click the link below.



Posted on October 15, 2012 and filed under Fundraising.

in which we ask for help

this past month has been...hectic. shoot. these past six months have been crazy. turn in our application, start homestudy interviews, face a stalemate with our social worker's illness.

get our home visit completed while struggling through chills and 100+ fever....

then, we battled the what-have-yous for the next few weeks while we juggled paperwork and small, idiosyncratic pieces of information to complete our file for our agency.

to top it off, a month ago our case worker tell us she has moms waiting which led to us {finally} submitting everything for review. if you've forgotten, we heard back less than two days later :: we were approved.

which brings us to today.

april 16, we had 5200 dollars due.

we didn't have it.

{we still don't}

but here's the thing :: nothing has changed. i believe He still finishes what He starts. if there's one thing i've come to understand through this process it's that His timing is impeccable. 

last week, our agency called and set us up for monthly payments. this is both good and not-so-good. good, because now our amount we're responsible for isn't as overwhelming as a chunk of cash when we cross a certain line in the process. {especially since we're already behind and the placement can happen at any moment}. but...since we're on a payment plan, this will lengthen the process for after the placement - when we have a kid and are waiting on the court to process papers.

usually, this takes about six months. with monthly payments, if we don't get a head start or find a wad of cash to pay off a chunk of the bill, this process could take up to a year.

so we're asking for help. we've been scrimping and saving and trying to figure out what we can do to squeeze every cent out of what we already make...but still, the 960 dollar a month payment is pretty large.

would you consider joining us? check out our puzzle fundraiser here. we bought a 1500 piece puzzle and for every piece "purchased" we'll find ourselves closer to the goal. the best part? we'll get to write your name on the back of the puzzle - a way for us to remember who gave and joined us in this process. even better :: baby ramirez will see it as well. if you just want to donate, check out the "join us" button on the right side of the blog.

and if you can't join us through donating, pray? pray for the birth mom. pray for our baby. pray for us.

together, we'll witness God do an amazing thing in bringing baby ramirez home.

Posted on May 15, 2012 and filed under Fundraising.

fundraiser :: dollar bomb

Thanks to some pretty amazing folks, we were able to raise about 250 dollars in the Just Love coffee giveaway at the beginning of the year.

You can still buy coffee at our store, by the way - our favorite blend is Rwandan. 

This puts us closer to our goal for our next payment to our adoption agency, but we still have a long way to go. Once we are cleared and sign our papers, we'll owe 5,250 for our first installment.

Here's where you can help.

I've learned over the years fundraising with and for Invisible Children that a lot of littles can add up to one big. Because of this, we're starting a


One dollar won't buy much. Maybe a soda from a machine? Possibly a candy bar...but until midnight on Monday, March 19 we're hosting a dollar bomb where people can donate a dollar - just a dollar! - to our adoption fund. Hopefully, after donating, you'll share the campaign with friends. I know social networking has its benefits, and the reach of a blog post can go from a few to a lot in just a few moments, and so I'm counting on people to share this fundraiser - and hopefully, all of the little donations will add up to a whole lot more than what we anticipated.

Donating is easy.

1. Click here or check out the "Join us" button on the side of our blog.

2. Share this post with your friends!

We'll definitely keep you updated on how close we are to our goal. Currently, we are about 4300 short and we hope to turn in this payment before the end of March. 

Posted on March 15, 2012 and filed under Fundraising.

a thank you {and a mini-giveaway}

since we started the just love coffee fundraiser, fifteen orders have come in to help raise money for baby ramirez. 

basically, you guys are awesome. 

BUT. that's not the biggest news.

because you can't ever have too much fun, and erin and i like to think of ridiculous ideas together, we've decided to raise the stakes.

from now {as in 12:45pm CST on friday, january 27} until midnight on january 31, anyone who has ordered or WILL order is automatically entered into a drawing for a free dinner cooked by my fabulous chef of a husband. really. he's a chef.

he'll come over to your house, make an amazing meal and even give you some pointers if you're so inclined and want to learn a little more about french cookery.

and if you're not local, have no fear. you'll still be entered into the drawing to win two of our favorite books in all the land. 

so let's recap:

1. buy coffee from both of our shops {Reichman Coffee Shop, Ramirez Coffee Shop}

2. be entered to win a free dinner cooked by an awesome chef OR some of our favorite books {drawing week of feb.3}


be entered to win free coffee for a year. {drawing week of feb.15}



we're practically throwing stuff at you here.

so now you know. buy coffee get food. buy coffee get more coffee. buy coffee we raise money for our adoption.

it's a win-win-win.

Posted on January 26, 2012 and filed under Fundraising.

The biggest coffee contest ever.

I met Erin on twitter. It's true. We realized quickly we had a connection with writing and orphan care as well as a heart for community. I think at one point we even joked around about moving in together - as long as we promised not to steal her hummus. Now, two years later, Erin and I are close friends experiencing the often excruciating {but celebrated} process of adoption.

And we have a brilliant plan to get you guys involved.

As you know, Russ and I have a coffee shop through Just Love Coffee Roasters. For every bag purchased, we receive five dollars.

Erin and Chris have a coffee shop as well.

Here's our plan: through FEBRUARY 15, anyone who buys coffee from both our shops will be entered to win a YEAR LONG SUPPLY of coffee.

If you enter and win, every month, you'll receive a bag of your choice - my personal favorite is the Rwandan or Ethiopian Harrar - and you won't have to pay a cent. 

Good deal, huh?

I mean...who doesn't want coffee?!

So here's the lowdown -

1. Go to both our shops and buy at least one bag of coffee from each. {Reichman Coffee Shop, Ramirez Coffee Shop} 2. Share the contest with anyone and everyone you know because you love us. 3. We'll keep track and the week of February 15 announce the winner of the contest.

Pretty simple. As always, let us know if you have any questions!

Good luck!

Posted on January 16, 2012 and filed under Fundraising.

get involved: buy coffee

By the end of this week, we hope to have our application sent into our adoption agency. The cost for this is minimal considering what we were facing with the Ethiopian adoption: 250 dollars. We can do this. Thanks to some incredible friends who joined with us in the 100 dollar campaign earlier, we're almost to the point where we can pay for both our adoption application and home-study outright. But we're not quite there. 

You can help, though. 

Since the beginning of this website, we've linked to Just Love coffee, a website I found through other  Ethiopian adoption blogs. It's incredible coffee - my favorite is the harar - and for every bag purchased we get five dollars toward our adoption. We've never talked about them, though. I've never mentioned that the reason we have the button on the side-bar that says Just Love Coffee is there because it links to our account with the company. All you need to do is click on the link above or the button in the sidebar and you'll be able to order coffee that will shoot money toward our account.

How cool is that?! 

Would you consider signing up for some coffee? Maybe spread the word? It's humbling to think that at some point, if everyone in our network bought a bag or two, we'd gain some serious ground in raising money for baby Ramirez. And it's coffee. This is something you buy anyway. Why not make it a purchase that will help your caffeine intake as well as our adoption? ;)


Quick Caveat - if you already support a couple who also uses Just Love coffee, please do not feel obligated to purchase bags through us. No competing necessary. Perhaps just spread the word?

Posted on November 21, 2011 and filed under Fundraising.

be one?

A couple weeks ago, I sat down on the ground in our living room and organized papers for three hours. Sitting there, amidst all of the papers and forms and outlines and fee sheets, it became really really overwhelming. But I know it never happens unless you start, and according to Steven Pressfield, regardless of what you're doing, you need to start before you're ready.

So uh, here we are...unready.

Our goal is to have our dossier in Ethiopia by August. This is going to take a whole lotta work - and a whole lotta help.

Gladney separates paperwork into three sections. Right now, Russ and I are diving in to group one. This includes the application, criminal background, medical exams and the home study.

This will cost us about $11,000.

Physically, this number is impossible to reach. But I've been reminded lately that our God dwells in the impossible - and often asks us to do the same. I would love to have this amount by the end of May. This would place us with about 25,000 more dollars to raise {because we're uh...raising enough money for two kids} and well on our way to the amount needed for our dossier to be in Ethiopia by August.

Right now, we're looking for 100 people to donate 100 dollars. All it takes is one - and even if you can't give a hundred dollars, any bit helps.

These past few months have been huge for us in terms of our hearts' preparation for our children waiting for us. More than ever before we feel called to Ethiopia, and more than ever before we feel longing for our children to be with us. And we know we can't do it alone.

Will you join?

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me!


Posted on May 6, 2011 and filed under Fundraising, Paperwork.

review: adopt without debt.

If you've been reading this blog since the beginning, you know one of the biggest hurdles we faced in the very beginning was finances. Who am I kidding - it's still a hurdle. But, we have found out that when God calls you to do something, it doesn't mean you're able. Usually, it something seemingly impossible - that's how He works, right? A couple weeks ago, Julie Gumm offered me a chance to read her new book, Adopt Without Debt. Given the cost of adoption from Ethiopia as well as the fundraising Russ and I are about to jump into, I couldn't wait to read what she had to say. I mean, we need all the help we can get.

Perhaps the most useful information presented in her book was the overwhelming amount of organizations providing grants for adoptive families. It doesn't matter the method you're using or from where you're adopting - there's a grant for you. For instance, if you live in NW Arkansas, the Titus Foundation offers grants for adoptive families. I had no clue there were such specific grants available. I plan on taking full advantage of these organizations throughout the process.

Another great resource within the book are the stories of other adoptive families - the creative ways in which they pursued their child. From karaoke nights to benefit dinners to garage sales - the ideas of fundraising run the gamut.

Most of all though, this book was so encouraging. Sometimes, I look at the debt we face because of student loans and living on one paycheck and wonder if it will ever go away. Reading Gumm's story reminded me that is possible. Even more, living in debt isn't biblical. Hearing this convicted me to fight to live as debt free as possible and work to lighten the debt we already carry. And honestly? There should be some sacrifices involved. Because when it comes down to it, what's more important: the dress on the rack or the cup of coffee {ouch} or our baby coming home?

The answer's pretty obvious.

What is the most creative fundraiser you've heard about in adoption circles? If you are adopting, how do you plan to raise money?

Posted on May 5, 2011 and filed under Fundraising.

giveaway winner

this is just a quick note to say Virginia won the noonday giveaway! [i had the screen shot of the random number generator, but like a genius forgot to email it to myself. sorry guys. i promise this was legit.] :) thanks everyone for reading & participating - Virginia, send me your address so we can get the necklace to you?

also: the online fundraiser has extended through tonight. so if you didn't get anything from noonday last week, you still have time to buy something and put 10% of your purchase to our adoption! just remember to put "elora ramirez" in the instructions to merchant at checkout.

oh. and if you have any friends or loved ones who would be interested in this fundraiser, definitely feel free to pass it on to them. again - thank you guys so much for participating!

Posted on February 14, 2011 and filed under Fundraising.

embira seed necklace giveaway

okay. so i've never done the whole "give-away" thing on my blog. but, once i heard about noonday and once i started looking at their product, i knew i wanted to give you guys the chance at some awesome merchandise. of course, jessica was incredibly generous and offered the embira seed necklace for the give away. isn't it beautiful? don't you want it? i can't wait for saturday when i can see the rest of the merchandise in person... there are a few ways you can snag this necklace for yourself. check out the following options and then make sure to leave a comment!

  1. follow NoondayStyle on twitter
  2. go over to the Noonday Collection website, browse around & then leave me a comment telling me your favorite item
  3. tweet about this giveaway  “Head on over to @eloranicole's blog to enter a great giveaway from @noondaystyle ::"
  4. share the link on facebook
  5. "like" noonday on facebook

five ways to enter. leave a comment for each entry - just so i can make sure to track the random entries. i'll announce the winner on monday, february 14.

contest starts TODAY and will go until midnight on saturday, february 12. good luck!

ALSO!! don't forget that from now until saturday 10% of every purchase you make on noonday's website goes to baby ramirez! just write my name - "elora ramirez" in the instructions to merchant at checkout. thanks!!

Posted on February 10, 2011 and filed under Fundraising.

noonday: giveaway & fundraiser

i'm not sure if you've heard, but there's this incredible new company who pleads the cause of the orphan by selling quality handmade products. their name comes from isaiah 58:10: if you satisfy the needs of the oppressed, your night will become like the noonday.

birthed out of a trip to uganda in january of 2010, noonday isn't even a year old - but they're quickly gaining ground in popularity. the story behind the company is incredible:  it was through the uganda trip, the owner & her husband felt called to international adoption and were given the opportunity to sell african jewelry and product. one thing led to another, and now, a year later, they are helping others in the process of raising funds.

i. love. them.

next week, russ & i are having a trunk show with noonday - our very first fundraiser. and while i know about 1% of you guys actually live nearby, we wanted to invite you to take part in the festivities. here's how you can help us this week:

1. buy something online. from now until february 12, 2010, 10% of online purchases will go to baby ramirez. all you need to do is make sure to put my name - elora ramirez - in the "instructions to merchant" section of the online shopping cart. i'm super, super excited about some of the new stuff jessica has added - including a new ethiopian line! i have my eye on the peacock earrings and the riverbed bracelets. there's also scarves, necklaces, home products, hats...i honestly haven't found something on the site that i didn't like - and the prices range from about 15-150 dollars, so there really is something for everyone. let me know if you plan on getting something.

2. blog about it. there's something amazing about the network of bloggers i've met over the past year. i've seen so many moments where people weren't necessarily able to help physically but immediately picked up the laptop and posted about it so others would know. if you do blog about it - make sure and let me know. i already plan on creating some type of keepsake where our future child[ren] will know how many people helped get them home. if you don't have a blog, you can e-mail friends & family or post it on your facebook or twitter.

finally, come back on thursday. i'm having my first-ever giveaway and it's this beautiful necklace from noonday i'm sure you're going to love. tell all your friends about it as well. :)

Posted on February 5, 2011 and filed under Fundraising.