The concept of “Be Well… Do Good” was a theme central to the launch of Wellness Nation. Pursuing a state of well-being is clearly valuable, but it was never intended to stand alone. Rather, good health allows us greater opportunities to do well! It provides more energy to help those around us, reduces both the time and financial resources often devoted to sickness, and provides a brighter outlook on life that allows us to look for opportunities to lend a hand to a neighbor. The goal of being well isn’t simply to “be well.” Rather, the goal of being well is to allow us to do more good in the world! The founders of Wellness Nation have made it their goal to model this by living out this mission in practical ways. What follows is a brief overview of some of the areas that have brought joy in the journey. We’d love to hear your stories of how “being well” has indeed provided you with an enhanced opportunity to “do good!”
After Suzanna returned from a trip to an orphanage in the Ukraine, we felt a tugging to help the mom‘s and children in at least a small way. She had seen incredibly difficult conditions for the children, including prison-like settings and automatic dismissal with minimal training at the age of 16 (typically leading to prostitution and crime for the majority)
Eventually this lead us down two paths. The first was a major fundraiser along with Janus Charity Challenge and Ironman Arizona to help get the orphanage building started.
Simultaneously, Suzanna worked closely with the MOPS (Mothers of Pre Schoolers) organization to help make connections in an effort to help support the moms in the area. Headway is being made, and MOPS‘ international efforts continue to make a difference in new corners of the globe every day. Want to help them out? Here‘s the link: www.mops.org/
In June of ‘07, our family had an opportunity to spend a few days in Juarez, Mexico with a team building houses for the families in the area. Sounds pretty straightforward, right? Well, what we saw simultaneously both broke and spurred our hearts. Most families in the area – if they have a home at all – are living in shacks with a roof thrown together with plywood, tires and anything else that will help shade the 110 degree heat and at least slightly deflect the driving rainstorms.
Healthcare is minimal, and we were told that approximately 25% of the babies don‘t survive due in part to lack of food. In fact, parents typically won‘t give their babies names for several weeks or months until it looks like they have a good chance of survival.
One of the families receiving a home had 8 day old (un-named) twins. The new home obviously provided safety from the elements and we were able to provide them with at least a few weeks worth of baby formula. But they‘re certainly not out of the woods. And when they do get their feet under them, there are many others with similar needs. Life-sustaining needs.
It‘s our goal to help in some way. Formula, additional housing supplies, medical supplies. The organization we worked with down there was Missions Ministry. They‘re down to earth people who are truly making a difference – one person at a time. Here‘s their website if you‘d like to find out more about either going down with a team or providing funds for formula, medical or house supplies: www.missionsministries.com/
Back in the mid-90‘s, Suzanna was volunteering at a local pregnancy center when she was introduced to a young teen who was several months pregnant and had absolutely no support system (no parents and absent father of the soon-to-be child). What took place next changed the lives of both the young woman and the Coopers, as she moved in with them (and their own baby girl) until a few months after the birth of the child. Fast forward 12 years… she‘s now married with four children and as a result of some unexpected issues, returns to the Cooper‘s house to live for 6 months. This is not the appropriate place for details, but we‘re happy to report that she and her family are back on their feet and headed in the right direction. And the three Cooper kids still refer to her as their “big sister.”
When there’s hope in the future, there truly is a significant power in the present. But sometimes, there isn’t much hope available on which to grasp. And it’s for that reason that Wellness Nation started the “Spark of Hope Fund.” We’ve been very fortunate in our own lives, and realize this provides both an opportunity and a responsibility to help those who need a reason to visualize a positive future. This fund will be dedicated to helping providing just that – a spark of hope to those who have very little on which to build that future. Launched in 2009, this will be the primary outlet through which the Wellness Nation Team will continue to support the vision of “Be Well… and Do Good.”
The “Spark of Hope Fund” continued to be the primary focus of the Wellness Nation charitable financial support. We were excited to see the fund more than double during 2010, with plans to continue that trend in coming years. In addition to the organization’s financial commitment to our vision of “Be Well… and Do Good,” our organization’s founders also poured their lives into a number of other very worthwhile non-profit pursuits. The most significant of these was their involvement in the marriage ministry at their local church. Believing that marriages across the country are at a critical juncture, Brad and Suzanna headed up the marriage mentoring program and taught an extended marriage class, among other related aspects.