Thursday, February 13, 2014

Beard-a-thon with Dave Obwald

Many of you are aware that Erin and I have been in the process of adopting a little girl from China for over a year now. By God's provision to the point of waiting to be matched. The total cost of this endeavor is $30,000. God has provided along the way at each point with exact amounts but we still have $15,000 to go. One of our hopes is to bring our three biological kids along with us to see where there sister is from while exposing them to God's heart for orphans and the world in a profound way, firsthand. God has used so many people on our journey thus far. It has really been a group effort all along! It is amazing to see people learn about God's heart for orphans and fatherless and be spurred to get involved in different ways.

We came across a really fun idea for this last push.  Personally this is good for me (Dave) as well because it will serve as a daily visual reminder to pray for our little girl and remember God's goodness and care. Shea Sumlin, a buddy who I work with at The Well Community Church, shared with us the story of friends of his from Texas, DJ and Courtney Coffman. They fundraised for their international adoption in a very creative way. They called it Beard For a Baby… DJ and some buddies grew out their beards and asked folks to sponsor them, a good old fashion Beard-a-thon. I thought, "What an awesome idea!", and the next thought was,"I would never do that because I am way to self conscious, I have never grown out a beard, and I am pretty sure if I did it would be some a mixture of awkward and creepy."  The more I thought about it those excuses seemed pretty lame and the opportunity to do something fun with some men in my life, bring awareness to God's heart for orphans, and speak up for those who can't speak for themselves, with an awkward beard, sounded great!. 

So…after a few hours of thought I decided "I'm in". Erin was thinking the same thing throughout that day which means LET THE GROWING BEGIN! … she even said she would still kiss me even if it is ugly (I need some people to remind her of that along the way). 

That night I contacted Courtney and DJ and they were so excited for us to use the idea and offered to help us in any way they could.  Learn more about their story and check out some amazing beards here 

So here is the deal.  We are doing this Beard-a-thon for five months called Beards of Hope, February 15th- July 15th.  People can come alongside in multiple ways. 

Be a Beard Grower::  Our goal is to have 10 guys who will grow with me!  Awkward loves company!  A Beard Grower would be challenged to get at least 5 friends/family members to sponsor them at $10 for each of the 5 months that they grow their beards. As a Beard Grower we ask you to send in monthly pics so we can track your progress and make it fun. (You can continue to obtain sponsors along the way as well. See Contest Rules below)

Sponsor a Beard::  Another way for you to be involved is to be a Beard Sponsor. You can sponsor a certain Beard Grower or if you don't care about beards you can make a contribution to the general adoption fund. A full sponsorship is $10 per month for the 5 months of growth totaling $50. We will have incentives along the way so help us make it fun by supporting your favorite beard grower.

The Name:: Beards of Hope::
We are choosing the name for this fundraiser because we plan on having our daughter's middle name be Hope. It is a name that will constantly remind us that God provides hope to the hopeless. That in our broken world our God can bring hope, transformation, and redemption in the loneliest, and most painful places. We are beyond thankful to have experienced the hope of that redemption in our lives and now hope to share his love by inviting one of His daughters into our home. The hope in Jesus shines so much brighter in light of the brokenness that it pierces through. Our little girl is one of millions of orphans in our world and we get to do for her what we wish we could do for all of them.  

Next Steps::
We will be making a blog with a pay pal button by the end of the week, but wanted to get this email out now so that beard growers could be ready by February 15th. Let me know if your are in to be a Beard Grower and or a Beard Sponsor and we'll have some fun while we together remember the hope within brokenness that God provides and also laugh at some beards along the way.

Contest Rules
It's simple really….

1.  Grow a beard.  If you already have a beard, keep on growing.  If you're clean shaven, start growing.  The contest will last from February 15th- July-15th.  If you need to maintain professionalism for work, rest assured that trimming is allowed.  If you are not worried about professionalism, then rock the neck beard like there's no tomorrow.
2.  Collect pledges.  Each contestant is responsible to find at least 5 people to sponsor their monthly beard growth. Ex: "I will give you $10 for every month that you don't shave your beard."
3.  Send us monthly updates.  On the 15th of every month send us an updated picture of your beard growth and pledge amounts.  We will update the blog so that people can watch the progress.
4.  Advertise.  Get your family and friends involved through Facebook, twitter and our blog. People can start sponsoring you at any any point in the growing journey.  The beards themselves will be great advertisements and conversation starters.
5.  Collect funds.  All contestants are responsible for collecting their monthly pledges.  Pledges are due no later than July-15th.  Sponsors can turn in cash, check, or donate on this site (to come) via the Subscription button.  Additionally, if you have family or friends who want to make a one time donation, they can do that as well.  Both monthly subscriptions and one time donations can be made on the Support a Beard page on our site.
6.  Have Fun! We will have fun surprises along the way for Beard Growers to ensure that you have fun.

Interested or questions? Email Dave & Erin

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