When Camdenton mom Tina Griffin found out her new friend Kari had 10 children and no way to transport them all together at the same time, she decided she and her kids were going to do something about it.
“I wanted my kids to learn about helping others in need,” Tina said.
Tina is a public speaker, and she met Kari while speaking at a music festival last June. After the two discovered they were both originally from the same Wisconsin town, they quickly became friends. They exchanged contact information and reunited a few months later.
Tina always thought she had a bit of a challenge with having four children under the age of six, and homeschooling two of them, until she went to Kari’s house.
Kari, who is single, has 10 children. She adopted seven babies, three years and younger in the past 2.5 years. The first baby she adopted was born in a toilet by a drug addicted woman.
“I knew I was supposed to wrap my arms around this little guy and give him a home,” Kari said. After that, her heart was captured by orphan babies. She adopted two more two-year olds, two one-year olds, identical seven-month old twin girls, and a ten-week-old baby girl. She also has three biological children of her own, ages 12, nine and five.
Tina went to work to help Kari by first posting the need on Facebook. She quickly found a red van that would be perfect.
“I wanted to get her this van so bad…especially because it was red to signify the huge heart she has for providing a loving home to all these babies,” Tina said.
The owner of the red van, after hearing about Kari’s family, lowered the price by $1,100. Tina and approximately 15 families, along with Heartland Worship Center church, joined together and raised half of the cost of the van. One family from California pledged to match all funds raised. All together a total of $6,000 was given in one weekend. This included $500 for taxes, insurance and license plates.
“Throughout this entire process, my kids got to experience firsthand how God provides and the joy of being used by God to help others in need,” Tina said.
“The look of joy on Kari’s face when she saw the van was priceless!” Tina said.
Tina encourages parents to get their children involved in helping someone less fortunate than themselves. “No matter how impossible it may seem – with God nothing is impossible!” Tina recommends the book Chicken Soup for the Soul: Volunteering and Giving Back, as a source of ideas to get started. Now Tina and her kids are fundraising to help send 18 people to Disneyland.
Read more about Tina and her advice for families at counterculturemom.com.