My Ghanaian brother, John, and me in Elmina, Ghana -- 2005

I pray this day finds you all well and bright as we move further into this season of endings, beginnings and much reflection. I have been extremely introspective over the past few weeks and one of the things that continually comes into my mind is the thought of all those who are less fortunate than myself. At this time of year, many tend to increase their charitable giving – both temporal and monetary – and, while it is a wonderful thing, I would love to see this feeling continue throughout the year. Sometimes, people find it difficult to give money when they don’t "know where the money is going" and don’t see the faces of those you are helping – today I’m giving all of my readers the opportunity to help one real person who is in need.

Since my study abroad experience in Ghana in 2005, I have been sponsoring a young man named John. Some of you who are personal friends and acquaintances of mine helped me help John with his school fees back in 2007 and he's still very grateful. I'm happy to report that he has graduated and now moved into a vocational technical school.

Unfortunately, however, John's mother has fallen seriously ill and is now hospitalized and in need of an operation. As in many developing countries -- and a lot of our own country! -- most people do not have any health insurance and medical services must be paid out of pocket. Thankfully, the hospital has agreed to treat John's mother even though he and his family do not have the money to pay, her treatment will stop and they will not provide necessary medicines and other aftercare if they do not receive payment.

As you are completing your holiday shopping, I pray that you will consider making a small donation to help John and his family. No amount is too small -- $2, $5, $10 -- ANY amount you are able to give will be very greatly appreciated and you can donate using your bank account or credit card via PayPal. All money received will go directly to John's family. Also, everyone who donates will receive 2 entries into Ase Ire's winter giveaway.

Please use the donation button to the right to give today!

Whether or not you are able to donate, please keep John and his family in your prayers. I will keep you abreast of the situation as it develops.

Ire (blessings) to you today and always!