Friday, March 22, 2013


Few things make me happier then witnessing random acts of kindness. Who doesn't love "nice people"? ... and when they happen to be an amazingly talented photographer who lends his awesome photo for a good cause, well... that's especially joyful!
Andy Biggs 

Andy is the talent behind the awesome Photo we adopted to represent Acacia Shade, and he kindly gave us permission to use it. We have a hard time not believing that he didn't take it just for us because it couldn't be more perfect.  

I don't need to tell you how incredible his photographs are, they speak for themselves. Do yourself a favor and take a tour of his website, you won't be sorry for the minutes spent at your computer while your transported to places few ever get to see. 
Andy is a celebrated Photographer, adventurer, conservationist, and teacher, whose photography celebrates the African landscape and its rich wildlife, people, and culture. All awesome in their own rights, but on top of all that he happens to be a super nice guy.

Thanks Andy  


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

GHANIAN ANGLES.... they exist and we love them.

There are a few things I know for sure and one of them is that angels walk the earth in Ghana..... and lucky for us three of them are on team Acacia Shade. We couldn't be more grateful!

 Everything is harder to accomplish in Ghana and so when I say that they perform miracles daily, all while still smiling..that is no exaggeration. They have been through the fiery furnace of life which melts away the dross from the gold and fewer hearts I know are as pure as theirs. Sometimes I think life is too easy for me to ever achieve that kind of goodness, but as long as I have them to show me the way, I'll never stop trying. 

Meet these beautiful ladies....

Helena Obeng-Asamoah

Helena works for the Department of Social Welfare and is an advocate for children everywhere. There is no distinction from her work and how she lives her life everyday....selfless and doing what ever she can to bless and save a child's life.  

"I am a Social Worker. My work involves ensuring that kids live in families and not in institutions. That kids who cannot live with their biological families have appropriate alternative care. I love kids and hate to see them suffer." 

- Helena

Vivian Kissiwaa Apeaning

Vivian has a way of getting the impossible done. She has a kindness and warmth about her that people can't resist. We wouldn't be where we are without her time and efforts which she gives so generously!
 In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, singing, dancing, traveling, watching soccer, and spending time with family and friends. She is pleased to be a member of Acacia Shade.  and says that "When you see the condition of the children, your heart breaks.  Instantly, there is something that communicates with you to help in any way that you can".  

Yvonne Ansah-Arthur

When registering our foundation in Ghana we discovered that we needed a third board member and Yvonne so graciously, and without hesitation accepted. She is a recently widowed mother of four with a huge heart and spirit. In her own words she describes herself as... "a strong and affable single mother of four children." Yvonne tells me that she loves the ideology of Acacia Shade because of her strong desire to serve, learn, and acquire new experiences. She has a special interest in children and the desire to see them live a fulfilling life. She grew up with many foster siblings whom her parents were working with to take them off the streets.

Thank you our Ghanian Angels.. you inspire us.


Monday, March 11, 2013



It takes a village to raise a child, and in some instances a city or two. Thank you good people of Provo and Alpine who donated boxes of items including cribs, blankets, linens, and kitchenwares to furnish our new foster home in Accra, which will soon become a place of refuge to some very special children presently waiting in an orphanage there......and a BIG shout out to my brother Eric, who let us stuff those boxes of goodies along side some heavy equipment that was making it's way in a container bound for his company in Ghana. 
Free shipping and free stuff = more funds to spend directly on the care of these sweet children. win/win... Thanks All.


Sunday, March 10, 2013


The Acacia Tree 

When trying to come up with a name for our foundation, we were stumped. What do you call something that encompasses so many things... things we feel deeply committed to, things we want to accomplish now, and things we dream of achieving someday? Nothing came to us until one night Hannah's husband Shane hit the "mother-lode" of inspiration and brought Acacia Shade, with its perfect symbolism to the table. The vote was unanimous, how could it not be? This was the perfect name... Not only can this incredible tree survive in the driest and bleakest of conditions,  but it also offers respite from the scorching African sun to any beneath it's shade giving branches. And....So for us it represents, not only the will these children have to survive against the challenges they face, but also our ability to comfort and shield them from the reality of their situation by offering them a safe haven to flourish in. Thank You Shane for finding us the perfect name.


Saturday, March 9, 2013


Meet the children..

 These are the first four (of what we hope are to be many) Acacia Shade children. They are currently in an orphanage in Accra waiting for their new home to be ready, which, if our efforts pay off, should be very soon.

 When I met them, none of these sweet children could communicate verbally,... but as you can see from the pics that I snapped, their eyes say more then words ever could.  

We are working to be able to get these children tested by medical professionals to find out what their capabilities, as well as their disabilities, are and what more we can do to improve their quality of life beyond meeting just their physical needs.

Eyes are the window to the soul... and as I look at these pics again, I see souls as deserving and precious as any and all of God's children.