Why Project Give Five

Why Project Give Five???
Our lives were turned upside down in 2013 when our seventeen year old daughter traveled to Ethiopia on a mission trip. When she returned from Ethiopia, her entire world had changed. She no longer wanted to go into the fashion industry after high school but instead wanted to serve the people of Ethiopia through mission work. She chose to graduate high school early and began college with a major in nonprofit administration. We decided to travel to Ethiopia in December of 2013 as a family to see for ourselves what had captured her heart and if we felt it was safe for her to serve there. We were also going there to meet two young boys Kennedy had met while visiting Korah, a trash dump community in Ethiopia . These boys were both orphaned at a very young age. Our daughter loved them as brothers and was determined we would meet them. In December of 2013, my husband, myself, our three daughters ages 17, 14 and 11 traveled to Ethiopia and worked with a mission team serving the poorest of the poor. Our hearts were now broken as well for these beautiful people and we completely understood our oldest daughter’s dreams for helping them. We were no longer scared for her and her future but instead wanted to help her help others, however, we weren’t quite sure how to best do that. I knew from past experience how difficult it was to find people who were able to commit to $35 to $50 per month for sponsorship as I had worked on finding sponsors for 16 orphans. While trying to think of other options, I began to play around with the idea of people pooling their money together to help others, wondering what could be accomplished if 500 people gave $5 per month. That $2500 could mean sponsorship for 50 families! We decided to form a nonprofit to make this a reality. That is how Project Give Five was born. When I get overwhelmed with worry and feelings of being ill-equipped, I remind myself that this is God’s project and I am just his small worker and as long as I follow Him, Project Give Five will soar. On another note, our hearts did melt for the two boys our daughter had fallen in love with and they are joining our family in March of 2014. If one year ago, someone had told me that we would be traveling to Africa, starting a nonprofit and bringing two Ethiopian boys into our home I would not have believed them but I can tell you today that my heart has never been so full. It is overflowing and I am beyond excited to find out what God has planned next for our family and for Project Give Give!


Heidi Odegaard