Howdy. I'm Matt Todd. My wife and I have four kids and a dog,. I'm passionate about orphan care. I'm a die-hard fan of the Evansville Aces, the Indiana Hoosiers, and Star Wars. I'm trying to live life by the Todd family motto: "It behooves us to live!"

We stand by Jennifer. I hope you do, too.

Jennifer has been an integral part of our family for the past nine years. Through her work with Adoptions of Indiana, she has served as our social worker. It was because of her that we were able to bring Mihret home. And Weldu, too.

I have no idea what our family would be like without her direct influence. And for that, we are forever grateful.

We stand by Jennifer.

Jennifer’s story is woven into ours. She has had a huge impact on our family. That’s why the horrible news of her husband’s death hits us pretty hard. And that’s why I’m sharing this GoFundMe campaign. I can’t imagine losing someone in such a public way. This is just one way we can stand by Jennifer as she and her family rebuild and carry on. From what I understand, Jennifer plans on continuing the priceless work she’s already been doing. That’s a great thing. I hope she can continue to impact countless other families throughout Indiana.

But first, there are some other things that need to be taken care of. And maybe you can help.

It would mean the world to our family if you would consider donating to this cause. I realize I can’t speak for them on a first-hand basis, but I’m sure it would mean a lot and countless other families whom Jennifer has served, too.

According to the page itself, here is the plan for using this financial assistance:

  • Emergency rescue and medical out of pocket costs
  •  Funeral expenses
  • Bereavement counseling and support for Jennifer and her children
  • Loss of family income
  • Future educational needs for the children
  • Long-term financial stability

Jennifer Morrissey has given so much of herself to so many families throughout the state. Supporting her during her family’s unimaginable moment of crisis is really a no-brainer. It is a right thing to do.

I hope you feel the same way.

Buy a bracelet or mug. Change the world

MudLOVE Cover

A few months ago, Aiden came home from a youth group retreat with a bracelet on his wrist. It was a MudLOVE band. Now, Aiden’s not the kind of guy to wear much jewelry, but this bracelet was different. He never took it off. He loves it. It’s his style. It has a good message and it’s for a good cause.

“If I’m ever raising money for a mission trip, I want to use them for a fundraiser,” he told us. It’s a pretty good fundraiser. You keep half the money raised from selling wrist bands or mugs. Plus, each item purchased provides one week of clean water for a person in the Central African Republic.

MudLOVE has partnered with Water for Good to help build and sustain wells in the Central African Republic. This is a life-saving, life-changing mission. Because clean water changes everything. I’ve seen it with my own eyes.

MudLOVE mugs and bands help provide clean water to the Central African Republic.

So when we talked with Aiden about the possibility of needing to raise some funds to help cover the cost of his plane ticket to Ethiopia, he naturally suggested partnering with MudLOVE. Oh yeah – have I mentioned that Aiden is coming with us on this final adoption-related trip to Ethiopia? It just makes sense. He gets to experience his teenage brother’s homeland first-hand. And they get to spend some quality bonding time together before the craziness hits the fan when all SIX of us are finally under one roof together. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that will probably change his life.

So he’s going.

He’s excited.

And we’re excited, too.

So to help offset some of the costs of adding him to our travel group (the grant organization that is paying for my plane ticket and Christy’s plane ticket won’t cover a sibling, which is totally understandable), Aiden has asked to host this fundraiser through MudLOVE. He loves these and he thinks you’ll love them, too!

A purchase of a bracelet or a mug will not only help him go to Ethiopia, but it will also help change the life of a person living in the midst of severe crisis.

So here’s the deal. Through MudLOVE, we are selling wrist bands and mugs. The Classic bands are $10 apiece if you choose one of the words that are already available. The word choices for these Classic Bands are: Beautiful, Believe, Blessed, Courage, Create, Dance, Dream, Faith, Family, Free, Friends, Grace, Hope, Imagine, Inspire, Joy, Laugh, Live, Love, Peace, Pray, Shine, Smile, Strength, and Trust.

Word choices for Classic Bands: Beautiful, believe, blesses, courage, create, dance, dream, faith, family, free, friends, grace, hope, imagine, inspire, joy, laugh, live, love, peace, pray, shine, smile, strength, trust.

You can also customize your band with your own unique message for $15 each. The maximum character limit is 13 characters, and you can use any combination of numbers and letters and a variety of special characters (like a cross, heart, ribbon, or music note – to name a few).

For either style of band, you can choose from these colors for the band’s elastic: White, Gray, Blue, Turquoise, Green, Lime,  Yellow, Gold, Orange, Pink, Red, Burgundy, Purple, Brown, Navy, and Black.

If you live outside of the Indianapolis or Evansville areas, please add $1.50 per 4 bracelets for shipping.

MudLOVE Mugs

We’re also able to offer some classy, hand-crafted mugs that are microwave and dishwasher safe. I’ll be honest. They’re beautiful. I wish I could buy them all. But that would defeat the purpose of a fundraiser. Right?

It’s the same concept as the bands. You can buy a classic mug for $25. Or you can customize your mug’s color and imprint for only $30.

Unfortunately, we don’t think we will be able to ship these. So unless there’s a way for us to meet in the Indianapolis or Evansville, IN, area – or if we’re planning on meeting sometime in the near future – please don’t order these mugs. I don’t think we can guarantee their safe arrival to your home.

Ready to order?

Great!

You can click my PayPal link and give all of the information there. Please include the type of band or mug (classic or custom) with the word(s) you’d like included, plus the color of your mug or the elastic. Don’t forget to include the $1.50 for shipping if we’re going to ship it out of state.

If you say it’s a good or service, PayPal will take out a fee. I’m just sayin’. Do with that what you will.

If you have any questions, concerns, or need clarification, please feel free to email me.

In order to have these items in-hand shortly after we return from Ethiopia, we’re going to place our MudLOVE order early Tuesday morning. So you have until Tuesday, 1/26, at 7:30 a.m. Eastern to place your order!

Thank you for your ongoing support of this adoption journey!

 

The Yard Sale is over. Thank you!

Yard Sale Sign

I’ve been trying to come up with the proper words to explain what happened at Saturday’s Yard Sale. While I’m still trying to wrap my head around it, I think it’s altogether fitting and proper to go ahead and say this…

it was a smashing success.

It went so well that we didn’t have enough stuff left in order to justify having the sale again Monday morning. Sorry if you were planning on stopping by on Monday, but most of the major stuff was already gone. Thanks for thinking of us, though!

We raised more money than I’ve ever seen a Yard Sale bring in.

I have to say that I wasn’t so sure things would turn out like that when we opened Saturday morning. In almost every other yard sale that we’ve ever had, people show up more than a half an hour early and start rummaging through the stuff while we’re still setting up. That didn’t happen this time. While it’s a major annoyance to have people go through the items you’re selling while you’re in the midst of the mad rush to set up, it is a good sign that people know you’re having a yard sale. So when no one showed up until 10 minutes before we opened, I have to admit that I got a little nervous. What if this whole day was a bust? All of this time and effort would’ve been wasted.

People started to trickle in. The traffic was steady, but it was nothing overwhelming. I left at 9:30 to take Mihret to soccer. Before driving away, I snapped this picture:

The Yard Sale is in full swing. Feel free to stop by! #Indy #Greenwood #GreenwoodIndiana #YardSale #fundraiser

A photo posted by Matt Todd (@mattdantodd) on

Like I said, people were coming, but it wasn’t horribly busy. Things changed while I was gone, though. Halfway through soccer, I started getting texts like this from Christy:

It’s CRAZY!!!

 

Help!!!!!

It seems that the floodgates had opened and the entire region had arrived at our driveway. This is what the scene looked like shortly after I got home:

It’s going fast! #YardSale #Greenwood #Indy

A photo posted by Matt Todd (@mattdantodd) on


As you can see, a lot of stuff is gone – including most of the big-ticket items. The dishwasher, drum set, trunks, bike, armchair – all gone. Stuff was flying off the shelves! Like I said, it was a smashing success.

Now that I’ve told you what happened, I need to say this: If you supported this fundraiser in any way – donations, spreading the word, prayer, etc.) – thank you. From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU!

Flash shirt sale!

Adoption fundraiser t-shirts: "We have this hope as an anchor"

A missions team has adopted our shirt design as their official team shirt! So, we are ordering another round of adult t-shirts (sorry, we are not including any of the yellow Youth-sized t-shirts with this order) this Tuesday (July 29).

The t-shirts are available in S-XXXL and cost $20 each ($22 for XXL and XXXL). They are still available in Coral, Grey, and Cadet Blue.

We have also added sweatshirts to this batch of orders. They are $30 apiece ($32 for XXL).

As we did with the previous batch of shirts, there’s a flat $5 fee to ship your shirt(s) if you live outside of the Evansville, IN or Indianapolis, IN metropolitan areas.

If you have any other questions or would like to order a shirt (or more), please contact me and we’ll add your purchase to the order.

Don’t wait! We will be submitting our order at the end of day on Tuesday, July 29!

Please feel free to share this with anyone who might be interested. Thanks for your ongoing support in our journey to bring Little Man home!

You can help us bring Little Man home!

I’m excited to say that we have decided to move forward with the adoption process even though there is still some uncertainty about the direction of international adoptions in Ethiopia. Here’s the thing, though: If we waited until we were 100% certain that there wouldn’t be any surprises or obstacles or difficulties, we’d never move forward. Ever. And that’s not just in the realm of adoption. That’s life in general.

So, in order for this adoption to happen in a timely manner, we’re going to need help. In fact, we need your help. It is no secret that adoption costs can add up. Quickly. So here’s what we’re doing…

We’re putting together a 500-piece puzzle. It will hang in Little Man’s room. We’re going to frame it in a double-sided frame so you can look at the front and the back of the puzzle. On the back of the puzzle will be the names of everyone who sponsored a puzzle piece. It will be a powerful reminder of how so many people are part of the story of Little Man coming to our family! It only takes a simple $10 donation to sponsor a puzzle piece. You can find all the details and a breakdown of where the money is going by visiting our fundraiser page.

Or, you can simply give here:

Now, if you’re quick at math, you’ll notice that we’re only offering sponsorship of 499 pieces. Why not 500? Because we want Little Man to put in the last piece when he comes home.

Even if you don’t want to/won’t/can’t support our efforts by sponsoring a puzzle piece, please help us spread the word! Feel free to tweet about it, share it on facebook, grab the widget, and/or email your friends, family, and co-workers about it. Shoot. You could even let people know by smoke signals if you think that’ll do the trick!

The quicker we can raise this money, the quicker we can pay the fees. The quicker we can pay the fees, the quicker we can bring Little Man home!!

On Monday of next week, I’ll let you know of another way you can help with our adoption expenses. I hope you like coffee…

Yard sale in Mooresville, Indiana!

Yard sale sign
Part of our calling as parents is to change the world by raising world-changers. Part of that responsibility means to get them outside of their comfort zones and take them to cultures that are far different from ours. So we’ve decided that Christy is going to take Aiden on a short-term mission trip in 2014. While the destination isn’t set in stone, I think we’re leaning towards working with a group that’s going to Guatemala where they’ll have a chance to care for orphans while shining the light of God’s love.

As I’m sure you know, international travel can be expensive. So we’re already starting to raise funds for this trip. Fundraising effort #1….a yard sale with stuff from several different families!

If you live anywhere near Mooresville, Indiana, we’d love to have your support. Come buy our stuff tomorrow morning (Saturday, July 27). “Doors” open at 8 9 (thanks a lot, rain delay)!
Garage Sale Map

We hope to see you tomorrow at 90 East Carlisle Street in Mooresville!