4 soccer players in Chennai, India
Encourage – to inspire with hope, confidence, to give support, foster, to stimulate, spur
American Heritage Dictionary

About 15 years ago my friend Avery changed my life. We were taking classes at a leadership program at the time. We bumped into each other in the hallway & I mentioned to him that I had thought of calling him that week, but I hadn’t. Avery told me, “There is a world of difference between calling someone to check on them & thinking of calling someone to check on them.” I know what Avery told me is obvious. I know the road to hell is paved with good intentions. What Avery told me really opened my eyes.

I can think of someone; I can even think, “I really ought to check in with them. & too often I don’t follow through. I leave it at thinking – not doing. NATO – No Action, Talk Only.


“Do what you can, where you are, with what you have.”
Teddy Roosevelt

I may or may not have much to offer, but I can offer an encouraging word. Everyone needs someone to give them a vote of confidence & support. Everyone needs connection & relationship. I’ve said it before & I’ll say it again, relationships are the most valuable thing we have. While I have been mulling over encouragement, one of my brothers was in Singapore & he got to have coffee with a friend there that I like & respect a lot but maybe get to see once a year. It was encouraging & inspiring to me that they would both make the effort to connect simply because I suggested it. Hopefully they were encouraged as well.

My other brother excels at writing handwritten notes to people for any & all occasions or for no reason at all. I can promise you, everyone likes to get personal mail & I am always over the moon when I get one his notes. He once sent a handwritten note thanking my then 3 year old daughter for giving him a handful of grass to help feed his horses.


“Be kind, for everyone you meet is carrying a heavy burden.”
Ian MacLaren
A few thoughts:
1. If you want a friend, be a friend.
2. If you want to be encouraged, encourage someone.
3. The best advice I have heard about encouraging someone when things are going great is to say, “Congratulations. Well done. How did you do it?” & then listen & learn.
4. The best advice I have heard about encouraging someone when things are going awful is to simply show up, even if you do not know what to say.
5. The Good Book says, “Encourage one another & build each other up.”
Whether things are going great or awful – a sincere “attaboy” or “keep going” is always timely & appreciated.

Who can you encourage today?

Take what is good & disregard the rest.

Thanks for helping children play.

Here is an encouraging update from one of our partners in Ukraine.

Last Bell provides mentoring and help for orphanage graduates in Zhytomyr, Ukraine. When orphans begin having children of their own, they need a lot of help! Our Shelter Crisis Facility takes in moms and children who need a safe place to stay while they get back on their feet. It’s important for moms and kids to be able to play together there.

Please take a look at this video of our little ones learning soft blocks to learn how to climb and balance: https://www.facebook.com/100002365322823/videos/1550046101750886/

Last Bell kids with Ball Project equipment 2017

Thanks, Ball Project! Much of the equipment in this room was paid for by a Ball Project grant, and we use it through the long cold months.

Ball Project is thankful for all of our partners working faithfully to help children play!

The mission of Ball Project is to help children play.

Ball Project helps get balls & other sports equipment to coaches & community leaders around the world.


You can get involved in your neighborhood by simply organizing a soccer or kickball or Ultimate Frisbee game. You can also give funds to Ball Project. On average a good soccer ball costs around $20.

Help children play

“Give me a ball and I’ll have a thousand kids chasing after it.” –Solomon, Kenya

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