AUTHOR JEN HATMAKER INSPIRES, CHALLENGES READERS, RAISES FUNDS FOR ANTI-TRAFFICKING HOMES:
GARAGE SALE FOR ORPHANS FUNDS ONE HOME OF $6000, RAISING FUNDS FOR SECOND HOME WITH H.E.L.P

Author Jen Hatmaker’s latest book, 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess (January 1, 2012, B&H Publishing), has inspired readers to sell the excess in their homes to serve the poor, already raising funds for one Haiti home to help abandoned orphans, they have raised 86 percent of a second home with her Garage Sale for Orphans challenge alongside Austin-based charity H.E.L.P. (Help End Local Poverty).
7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess chronicles the true story of how Hatmaker took seven months, identified seven areas of excess, and made seven simple choices to fight back against the modern-day diseases of greed, materialism, and over-indulgence. The areas of excess were food, clothes, spending, media, possessions, waste and stress. Hatmaker spent thirty days on each topic, boiling it down to the number seven: only eat seven foods, wear seven articles of clothing, spend money in seven places, eliminate use of seven media types, give away seven things each day for one month, adopt seven green habits, and observe seven “sacred pauses.”
Hatmaker had an overwhelming response from readers asking for tips on how they, too, could implement their own experimental mutiny against excess. In her Feb. 9 blog on jenhatmaker.com, Hatmaker offered tips to her readers including encouraging readers to host a Garage Sale for Orphans by selling excess things they find in their homes and help the poor.
“There is a paper-thin line between orphans and human trafficking,” said Hatmaker, who just adopted two orphans from Ethiopia. “Kids on the streets or those just aged-out of the system, children with no options and no advocates, are targeted almost immediately for sex and labor trafficking. They are exploited and abused relentlessly, low-hanging fruit for predators. Our church partners with H.E.L.P. to build safe homes for these children for the whopping price of $6000 each.”
At www.garagesalefororphans.com readers, and the general public, are able to make the donations of the proceeds from their garage sales of their excess. To date, with $6000 raised, one home has already been funded for Ferrier, Haiti, and Hatmaker’s readers have raised 86 percent, $5159.41, of a second home in Haiti.
“One of the best and most effective ways to fight trafficking is to prevent trafficking in the first place,” says Chris Marlow, founder of H.E.L.P. “Traffickers target orphaned children. We will build these homes within 20 minutes of the Dominican border. Kids are being sold at this border right now, into the Dominican Republic, where they will become sex and labor slaves. H.E.L.P., in partnership with Austin New Church and Restore.com, is going to build 12 preventative safe homes in 2012.”
According to Marlow, they rescue the “worst case scenario” orphans—kids that are homeless, doubled-orphaned, abandoned, etc.  H.E.L.P. also rescues girls that age out of their current orphanage, girls 12- and 13-years-old kicked out of the orphanage because they’re too old. Marlow says these girls usually become prostitutes locally in Haiti or are sold into the Dominican Republic.
“I am moved, overwhelmed, thrilled, mainly stunned at the response to 7 so far,” says Hatmaker. “It’s just extraordinary, not the least of which is this project in Haiti we are pulling off together. We are going to easily fund two safe houses, and I have my sights set on more. My readers are the best on earth. I am so proud and humbled to join them in such important work.”
Each home Hatmaker’s readers of 7 are building will have an overseer, or house mom/dad, potentially a widow, creating a family style orphan care home. A local H.E.L.P. leader in Haiti will oversee the entire project. The kids will also be sponsored, so they will get food, water, clothing, and will also be able to attend school. Once a child is rescued, H.E.L.P. raises that child until they graduate college or trade school, so they can then take care of their own families.
“We at B&H are thrilled at the global impact 7 is having on people and communities,” says Selma Wilson, President of B&H Publishing Group. “We are proud to have the opportunity to work with Jen Hatmaker and other authors who have a heart for helping people worldwide.”
For more information on 7 and this challenge, go to www.jenhatmaker.com.

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ABOUT JEN HATMAKER:
Jen Hatmaker has authored 9 books including Interrupted, Ms. Understood: Rebuilding the Feminine Equation, and A Modern Girl’s Guide to Bible Study, and is a sought-after Women’s issues and Bible study speaker across the United States. She and her husband, Brandon, planted Austin New Church in an economically and ethnically diverse, socially unique, urban area of Austin, Texas, in 2008, with the church mantra: “Love Your Neighbor, Serve Your City.” Recently the Hatmaker’s added to their family of five with two adopted children from Ethiopia. Jen’s blog can be found at www.jenhatmaker.com.

ABOUT HELP:
HelpEndLocalPoverty (HELP) is a global tribe dedicated to ending extreme poverty by rescuing orphans, restoring their hope and renewing their communities. HELP is a 501(c)3 non-profit based in Austin, TX. www.helpendlocalpoverty.com

ABOUT B&H PUBLISHING GROUP:
B&H Publishing Group, a division of LifeWay Christian Resources, is a team of more than 100 mission-minded people with a passion for taking God’s Word to the world. Among its print and digital releases for the trade, church and academic markets, recent titles include New York Times No. 1 best sellers The Love Dare and The Vow and the award-winning HCSB Study Bible.

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