A Party at Our House, A Playground, And an Amazing Jewelry Giveaway for You!

October 8, 2012 | 41 comments

It started in 2010, just after Haiti shook hard after the earthquake — so hard that thousands perished, thousands more were driven to tent cities and the whole world groaned for its lost children.

Here, on an Iowa farm, one small girl groaned with the world. I remember the night she trickled out her first prayer for Haiti, praying that God might do something, anything, to make it better.

“Mom,” my Lydia recalled this morning,  2 1/2 years later, “before that night, I never even knew that Haiti existed.”

Huddled under those covers night after night, we always knew that God really could do a miracle for the people of Haiti. And we were certain that He would. We still believe God is doing just that: We believe that God is redeeming all things, reconciling a groaning world. And we believe that He has a patterned history of using ordinary, common people to carry out His work. People like Lydia Lee.  She writes to you today: 

“Dear friend, 

Ever since the earthquake occurred in Haiti in the year of 2010,  I’ve wanted to

help Haiti.  I’ve prayed, donated money, and even held a tea party fundraiser at my church, which raised more than $600. The money was used to buy a generator in a rural Haiti church, so they could have lights during their church services. But this will be my biggest fundraiser yet. I would like to raise more than $5,000 to build a playground for children in Haiti.”

Today, Lydia kicks off her fundraiser, to build a playground at a school in Simonette, Haiti, where more than 500 children receive an education, a meal and a daily dose of hope.

Lydia writes:

“These children have nothing to play on at recess. These kids would love this playset, which will have lots of swings, slides, jungle gyms and other features.  The playground is being purchased from a supplier in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.” 

So begins the fundraiser. Last week, Lydia sent out 100 invitations, asking people to attend a kickoff party at our house. She invited her piano instructor, the school cooks, her school teachers, and every woman in our little country church.

Today, we invite you as well. If you live close enough, by all means, head over to the house tonight! We know that most of you live far away. But if you would like to be a part of bringing joy to 500 kids in Haiti, here’s how you can help:

1 — To kick off  the fundraiser, Lydia is selling ViBella Jewelry. This jewelry is handcrafted by women in Haiti. The sale of ViBella jewelry supports sustainable employment for real women. I’ve seen firsthand the difference that these jobs are making in the lives of women at risk.  And the jewelry is stunning!

2 — Much like a Pampered Chef or Thirty-One party, a percentage of ViBella sales is calculated at the end of the party. With Lydia’s ViBella party, 30% of all sales will go toward the playground fund. This means that 100% of your puchase will support a ministry in Haiti — either the jewelry artists or the schoolchildren.  

3 — Would you consider placing an order? Place your order online at www.ViBellaJewelry.com anytime before October 14. IMPORTANT: In the SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS part of the order, just before you complete your order, type the words “LYDIA LEE.” This will make sure that the proceeds will be included in the final playground tally.

4 — Enter right here for a ViBella Necklace giveaway! Last spring, while in Haiti, I watched as women made Faith necklaces, one of my favorite ViBella pieces. I purchased several of those necklaces from the workshop, and am now giving a brand-new one away. To be entered in the giveaway, you can place a comment in the comment box, SHARE this post on Facebook, or SHARE this post on Twitter. If you do all three, let me know in the comment box. Your name will then be entered three times!

Thank you for helping Lydia with her dream to raise money for a playground. Thank you for bringing joy to children in Haiti. Like Lydia said this morning, “you are an answer to prayer.”

necklace giveaway

My friend, Judith, is one of the women whose lives have changed because of her work with ViBella Jewelry…


by | October 8, 2012 | 41 comments


  1. Lori Popppinga

    Precious…both Lydia and the children at Touch of Hope. You have a gift Jennifer~so thankful you use it for His Glory.

    • dukeslee

      Lori! Thank you for spreading the word on FB and Twitter, too. I entered your name in the giveaway three times! 🙂

  2. Kerry

    What a wonderful heartfelt idea, Lydia!! That is an awesome girl you have there Jennifer!! I don’t have twitter, but I am off to post about this on FB. xxx♥

    • dukeslee

      Hey sweetie! Thank you for the love and support! Lydia and I reach out our arms to you for a ((GROUP HUG))… I’ve entered your name twice, once for the comment and once over on FB! The jewelry is beautiful!

  3. Maggie

    Yeah Lydia for working so hard for the people of God!

    • dukeslee

      Thank you, Maggie! Your name has been entered in the giveaway.

  4. Marlys Etter

    Love your blog. You have the greatest family. You inspire me so much! Thank you! Much success with the fundraiser! Can’t wait to check it out!!!

    • dukeslee

      Hi Marlys! Great to see you here in the comments. Your name has been entered in the giveaway. We appreciate you…

  5. Jillie

    Oh Lydia…How wonderful of your sweet Mom to feature you, and your noble cause, on her blogpost today! I have viewed ViBella Jewelry several times and only ‘thought’ about ordering. Today, I AM going to order! And WILL enter your name on my order form. How brave of you to fund raise for these precious Haitian people who have such great needs for their families right now. And a playground is a wonderful idea! Bless you Lydia Lee! (How is the healing of your ear coming along? I’ve been praying for you.) And thank you for reminding all of us again, about Haiti. We don’t want to forget about them.

  6. Beth S.

    What a great thing to do! Be blessed.

  7. Colleen

    I love her caring heart!! I have a girl who also has a big heart for Haiti-and it makes me smile to see these little ones who have it all figured out-that life it about compassion and giving and sharing love.

    Just posted on facebook and shared on twitter, and am going to go check out the vibella site:)

  8. Nacole

    Hi (((friend)))! I’m so excited about this. How wonderful–your sweet, adorable girl working hard. Her heart is beautiful. I will be in touch. I was already planning to share all over the place anyway, and I have also featured you in a small section on my blog to direct readers over here! I pray this goes well and your efforts are blessed. I plan to order mine very soon! Love you.

  9. Susan

    Jennifer, I know you are so proud of your Lydia! Happy to support her, and glad to pass this along on FB and Twitter 🙂

  10. Lisa Auter

    I wrote this on the fb page but I’ll say it again – Lydia Lovely Lee, I am so proud of you and your God-sized heart for this world. May your dream be a reality through the wonder and delight of Jesus Christ. I have shared this on fb and twitter mostly because I want to get the word out to everyone!! — but of course I would love some necklace beauty! Good luck, Lee family!

  11. Sandra Heska King

    So proud of you, sweet Lydia. Booked and tweeted. I could use some more faith. 😉

  12. Carol Hulin

    Way ta go Lydia!!!!
    I’ve retweeted on Twitter and shared on FB and will be checking out the Vibella site too.
    i’ll be praying for your fundraiser!!


  13. Alice

    Beautiful necklace. You and Lydia are too sweet! Love your blog and Thank you for all you are doing for others here! Blessings to you! 🙂 Shared on Facebook and Tweeted too:)

  14. Sophia DeLonghi

    I am so inspired and challenged by this young lady to do something to help change the world little by little! What a beautiful heart Jesus has given you to do this for the children. God bless you! I would be pleased to share this story on Facebook too!

  15. Dolly@Soulstops

    Dear Lydia,
    You inspire…Thanks for the invite…I bought some jewelry and tweeted about your party…You must be so proud of her, Jennifer 🙂

  16. Leah Adams

    Lydia is an inspiration! I pray she raises enough money for 2 playgrounds.

  17. Leah Adams

    God bless you for tempting me in such a beautiful way. In spite of having a thousand things to do, I sat and ordered jewelry. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to contribute. Cannot wait to get my pieces!!

  18. Danelle

    This really is inspiring. I will buy some jewelry, and facebook about this wonderful opportunity. Thank you Jennifer! Love you and your precious family so much. 🙂 God is shining brightly through your family.

  19. Salina

    Jennifer, what a wonderful blessing this morning. The jewelry is gorgeous and your daughter an inspiration.
    I will be posting on my FB page and through Twitter. Thank you so much.

  20. Mary Runneberg

    Thank you, Lydia for your support of this great cause! I have several pieces of ViBella jewelry, and they’re all well-made and beautiful! I just posted this on Facebook. I’m happy to support you in your efforts to help with the new playground. God bless!

  21. Donna Blum

    Hi Jennifer. Lydia has such a beautiful heart. You must be so very proud of her. And, what a fabulous cause. I will place an order as well as post on Facebook and Twitter. I hope the party is a huge fundraising success!

  22. Shawn Bensley

    Lydia, bless your tender heart. I will forward this on to my ladies at church.

  23. Beth E.

    Such a beautiful necklace and such a worthy cause! Lydia has such a loving, giving heart…I do believe she takes after her mother! 🙂

  24. momto8blog

    thank you for this beautiful example of kindness to others.

  25. viviene @ thejourneyofawoman

    Wow.. this is so good. You are such an awesome mother to have such an awesome kid! God bless you and this endeavor. Will share this on my FB page.. =)

  26. Beth H

    What a precious thing Lydia is doing. You are a blessed family.

  27. ro.ellott

    Love this…I just got on FB…I am new and don’t know how to do much…but will figure out how to share this. blessings~

  28. SimplyDarlene

    I ordered.
    I’m commenting.
    I Facebooked.
    I tweeted.

    What a blessing to participate!

  29. Isabel

    I was at Vi Bella a few weeks ago in Haiti. I visit Tytoo Gardens regularly and am really pleased the older girls can work there.

    I Facebook shared
    tweeted and I pinned!!

    Keep up the great work!!

  30. Janet

    Simply beautiful. Thank you. I would like to be entered in the giveaway. Have a good night 🙂

  31. Lorretta

    Oh Lydia….the KING is enthralled with your beauty sweet child! I am definitely moved by your love for those children in Haiti and will gladly pray. I will also check into their shop. Thanks for this incredible heart thump!
    Lorretta at Dancing on the Dash

    • Lorretta

      And I will share on Facebook/Twitter now. I pray that you raise TWICE as much!

  32. emily wierenga

    i LOVE this jewellery! i will look into ordering some… gorgeous work, dear lydia, and a beautiful dream.

  33. Dea

    I have a beautiful bracelet on the way to my mailbox! Thank you Lydia for loving Haiti! I do too. Everyone should get to have a playground at their school.

  34. Alicia

    Oh, Lydia, I love the way you love the WHOLE WIDE WORLD. I’m a girl who grew up with cornfields and pig farms all around me, too. And I had NEVER heard of Haiti, either, until my church sent a work team and I saw pictures of the kids there. And I loved their beautiful eyes! Many of our dearest friends have adopted kids from Haiti and so our little farm town is beginning to be filled with so many gorgeous kids with beautiful eyes 🙂 and beautiful hearts. Just loving on these kids in our midst makes me long to go visit their country and meet the children there. Thanks for letting me join your party! Praying that God will do a loaves-and-fishes miracle with your dream and that many children will know the thrill of sliding down a slick slide and swinging to the trees like we do. I’m excited to find the jewelry I ordered in the mail soon. Blessings, Lydia!



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