Amazon Smile

You can now support Love & Hope Children’s Home every time you shop on  Just add AME International to your AmazonSmile Account!

What is AmazonSmile?

AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization. You can choose from nearly one million organizations to support.

How do I shop at AmazonSmile?

To shop at AmazonSmile simply go to from the web browser on your computer or mobile device. You may also want to add a bookmark to AmazonSmile to make it even easier to return and start your shopping at AmazonSmile.

Can I use my existing account on AmazonSmile?

Yes, you use the same account on and AmazonSmile. Your shopping cart, Wish List, wedding or baby registry, and other account settings are also the same.

How do I select a charitable organization to support when shopping on AmazonSmile?

On your first visit to AmazonSmile, you need to select a charitable organization to receive donations from eligible purchases before you begin shopping. We will remember your selection, and then every eligible purchase you make on AmazonSmile will result in a donation.

How much of my purchase does Amazon donate?

The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price from your eligible AmazonSmile purchases. The purchase price is the amount paid for the item minus any rebates and excluding shipping & handling, gift-wrapping fees, taxes, or service charges.



What Moves Your Heart?

Today’s post was contributed by our new friend Meike. Meike is from Germany and just finished a three month stay at Love & Hope Children’s Home. She was an asset during her time here in so many ways: covering care-giving shifts, chaperoning at soccer practice, and cooking dinner every Sunday. Thank you for being such a blessing to us, Meike. We miss you already!

One can serve others in many different ways. To do volunteer work at Love & Hope Children’s Home means: living in a family with 23 children. Just as in many other families, this includes fights and reconciliation, laughter and tears, giving and taking, school work, going to church, cleaning, etc., all on the slow path of learning and growing into adulthood. It all seems reasonably normal, but the circumstances under which the members of this family were thrown together were not normal at all. “Normal” for them was once a life in what we would consider poverty, without any real perspectives, without the chance to be all that they can be, in the company of whatever was left of their biological family. This has changed though, thanks to several people who have dedicated their lives to this cause, and many more people who support it from a distance. For over 10 years now, a wonderful team of staff and volunteers has worked hard to give these kids a life of love and hope, full of opportunity, with direction that the Bible gives us.

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I am glad and proud to have been part of this family, even if it was only for three months. Not only did I learn Spanish and experience the El Salvadoran culture. I was able to help the home and to apply myself just by spending time around some pretty amazing kids. At the same time I learned things that will shape my own life and hopefully the lives around me. For example, one does not have to be overwhelmed by a challenge (or a country that has many problems), you “just” start in a place that moves your heart and go on from there. God uses his people and he gives them everything they need: strength, wisdom, patience and love. It was so good to get to know people who “hunger for justice,” who take almost nothing and give everything; you have been a huge inspiration to me. For all of that I want to say, THANK YOU LOVE & HOPE! May you guys successfully and happily overcome every day’s small and big hurdles and may God be with you in everything.

Man kann sich auf ganz verschiedene Art und Weisen gemeinnützig einsetzen. Freiwilligenarbei bei Love & Hope heisst: Leben in einer Familie mit 23 Kindern. Genau wie in den meisten anderen Familien bedeutet das Streit und Versöhnung, Weinen und Lachen, Nehmen und Geben, Hausaufgaben machen, zur Kirche gehen, putzen …  das langsame Lernen und Wachsen hin zu einem selbstständigen Leben. Das alles erscheint relativ normal, doch sind die Umstände, unter denen die Mitglieder dieser Familie zusammengeworfen wurden, alles andere als normal. “Normal” war einmal ein Leben in etwas, das wir Armut nennen würden, ohne Perspektiven, ohne die Möglichkeit, neue Möglichkeiten zu entdecken, mit dem was von ihrer biologischen Familie übrig ist. Das hat sich geändert dank einiger Leute, die ihr Leben dieser Sache gewidmet haben und einiger weiterer, die es aus der Ferne unterstützen. Seit über 10 Jahren arbeiten nun bezahlte und unbezahlte Mitarbeiter daran, den Kindern ein Leben voller Liebe, Hoffnung und Möglichkeiten zu geben, in die Richtung in die uns die Bibel führt.

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Ich bin froh und stolz, teil dieser Familie gewesen zu sein, auch wenn es nur für drei Monate war. Nicht nur habe ich spanisch gelernt und die El Salvadorianische Kultur kennengelernt. Ich konnte dem Heim helfen und mich einbringen, einfach indem ich Zeit mit ein paar ziemlich coolen Kindern verbracht habe. Gleichzeitig habe ich Dinge gelernt, die mein Leben und hoffentlich das der Leute um mich herum beeinflussen werden. Zum Beispiel muss man nicht überwältigt sein von einer Herausforderung (oder einem Land, das vor vielen Problemen steht), man fängt “einfach” irgendwo an und geht dann von da aus weiter. Gott benutzt seine Leute und stattet sie mit allem aus, was sie brauchen: Kraft, Weisheit, Geduld, Liebe … Es tat gut, Leute kennenzulernen die “nach Gerechtigkeit dürsten”, die fast nichts nehmen und alles geben – ihr seid eine riesige Inspiration. Für all das möchte ich danke sagen, DANKE LOVE & HOPE! Möget ihr erfolgreich und glücklich die kleinen und grossen Hürden des Alltags überwinden, möge Gott immer bei euch sein.

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Thank you to Meike, and her friend Shayna, for the beautiful photographs! You can read more about Meike and Shayna’s Central American adventures by visiting their blogs here (Meike) and here (Shayna).


Education Makes a Difference

School is in full swing here at Love & Hope Children’s Home. The kids are off to a great, enthusiastic start. We are encouraged to see academic and social improvement in a few of the children who began at new schools this year. Everyone returns from school excited to tell us about their new friends and teachers.


At the home, our afternoons are consumed with homework, projects, and extra tutoring. The kids have taken it in stride, quickly adapting back to the school schedule. But by Friday afternoon, a week of early morning starts catches up and everyone (adults included) looks pretty tired.

Education is one of our top priorities at Love & Hope. We believe it’s one of the most valuable assets we can give our children, and something that can truly make the difference between a life of struggle and a life of success. Our Education Fund allows us to provide the best education and support that we can for the children of Love & Hope. Thanks to the generosity of many, we have already reached 39% of our goal for the 2014 Education Fund!

Our goal is to get to 100%! We’ve set up a special site where you can donate to our Education Fund in the name of a specific child, or make a general donation. Choose a child you sponsor, or a child that shares a common interest or age with one of your own children. Your contribution will help us reach our goal of fully funding education for our children in 2014. Supporting a child’s education is a direct and immediate way to make a lasting impact on their life, the life of their family, and the country of El Salvador.

Visit our 2014 Education Fund and give today. Then, share it with a friend!

Field Day at the Park

Jason and Valerie, our friends from Ohio, recently organized a field day at the park for the Love & Hope kids (and adults). Over 30 of us were split into five differently colored teams: red, blue, orange, pink and yellow.

Before leaving for the park, the teams prepared for fierce competition. Some of the little guys walked around telling whoever would listen that their team would triumph over the others. We put on shirts, headbands and wristbands according to team color, and painted our faces to look a little tougher.


Jason and Valerie had prepared a number of games that tested our listening skills, speed, balance, teamwork and fine motor skills. Most of events were timed; whichever team completed the task quickest won more points.

First, each team selected a player to walk through a maze blindfolded, guided only by the voices of their teammates.

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In the next event, each team had to work together to fill up a cup of water. After spinning around five times, the players took a gulp of water from a bottle then ran to the cup, spitting the water inside.

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Afterward, three members of each team had to flip a paper cup upside down using only the fingers on one hand. This took a lot of control, considering the breezy day.


Next came the water balloon toss.


And then the water balloon fight. Look at the pure joy on these faces!

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Later, each team chose two pairs of competitors to participate in a wheelbarrow race and a three-legged race.

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We finished with an intense game of tug-o-war on the sand volleyball court. Everyone pulled with all their might and finished with sore hands. 1690468_255982551237508_1313143568_n  1622087_255982621237501_1247220970_n 1622042_255983024570794_961935371_n

In the end, the orange team won: Rachel, Eliseo, Jacobo, Yessenia and Shayna. They were petite, but mighty!


Thank you Jason and Valerie for planning this fun day! We loved it. Also, credit for the great photos included in this blog goes to Brenda. She was our photographer for the day. Great job, Brenda!

Raquel’s Quinceañera

This January, Love & Hope Children’s Home celebrated the 15th birthday of Raquel. In Latin American culture, a girl’s 15th birthday is a celebration of her coming of age and her commitment to living a Godly and pure life. This was Love & Hope’s third formal quinceañera, and maybe our most unique, a reflection of Raquel’s spunky personality.

Preparations for Raquel’s quinceañera began weeks ago. She chose a purple and turquoise “beach” theme. The decorations for the day were put together by a combined group of visitors who worked for several days to create them almost entirely out of paper. Shells and sand were collected from the beach to decorate the tables and make centerpieces. The final result was economical, yet so beautiful!

Raquel wore a non-traditional knee-length dress for her quinceañera, and wore purple all-star sneakers rather than dress shoes. A quinceañera party is supposed to demonstrate the personality of the young lady, and Raquel certainly stayed true to hers in planning the event. 1492312_10153754019465440_132252574_o

Raquel and her damas (a quinceañera’s equivalent of bridesmaids) spent all of a Saturday morning getting ready for the party. Alma, a friend of ours who owns a salon here in San Salvador even had her stylists pamper Raquel, doing her hair and makeup for free. Meanwhile, a team of people set up tables, decorated the church and cooked dinner. 1523590_10153754031515440_1189946650_o1557330_10153754030945440_462743435_oThe quinceañera service featured music, a message from the pastor of the Union Church, Gary Powell, a slide show, and a ceremony in which Raquel received several symbolic gifts: a bracelet, ring and Bible. The bracelet and ring represent the unending circle of life and symbolize Raquel’s commitment to Christ and the promise of purity. The Bible was given to Raquel as a reminder of the importance of keeping and valuing the Word of God in her life. Raquel also wore a tiara, denoting her as a princess before God and the world; a triumph over childhood and the ability to overcome challenges that lie ahead.

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Raquel’s quinceañera was a wonderful celebration of a wonderful girl. Her enthusiasm for life is contagious, and everyone at Love & Hope Children’s Home finds incredible joy in being around Raquel. We look forward to walking with her into young adulthood, as she discovers her calling, her value to God, and becomes an agent of change in El Salvador.

To see a gorgeous video of Raquel’s special day, produced by our friends at Imagen Photography, click here.

This special day would not have been possible without the help and generosity of many people. The following people deserve a huge thank you from Love & Hope Children’s Home:

The Union Church, Gary & Sharon Powell, Rachel Sanson, Mandy Sidorski, Justin Klubnik, Mackenzie Klubnik, Eric Elkins, Nathan Migal, Jason Nehez, Sarah Nehez, Sarah Begg, Charity Okurut, Whitney Powell, Kathy and Danielle Sanson, Kristina, Andrew, Elijah & Judah Berger, Joey Sanson, The Reyes Family, Seven Hair Salon, AME International, Thrift Nation, Sam Hawkins, Nick & Deb Sparks, Dave & Kathy Porter, Veronica Castellón, Yessenia Guardado, René Rezhinos, Julio Ramirez, Larixa Parada, Marisol Cristales, Kirsten Zimmerman, Shayna Naran, Meike Wagner, Suzana Gomez, Veronica Andres, and Yanira Alarcon.

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