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Leave a Cheater, Give a Refugee Kid a Christmas


Chump Nation has a big heart. Last year, we did Operation Sparkly Shoes, raising money for the orphanage school Confident Children Out of Conflict in Juba, South Sudan. For those of you new to the blog, I have a dear friend LeAnna, who was stationed there as a foreign service officer. We filled her Christmas Amazon list for the kids — and BOY did we! Chump Nation filled the whole Amazon basket in under a day. (Um, and thereby brazenly breaking the rules of the diplomatic pouch service…)

The result? A lot of deserving kiddos got sparkly shoes and toys and books. I’m asking again this year for Chump Nation to donate to Confident Children Out of Conflict.

That sweater you were going to buy the cheater? You’re not buying it this year. That gadget that they had to have, and you got, and they sniffed at? And then spent the holidays feting their Schoompie instead of you? You’re not living that anymore. You are FREE. So take that extra pocket change and that joyfully liberated heart and go help an orphan.

I wouldn’t ask if I didn’t have a personal connection to this charity and I KNOW that they do important work. This this is Annabel, and Faith, and Fatima, these are kids who have witnessed war and unspeakable acts. Many have been sexually trafficked. Most have never been to school —  70 percent of children aged 6–17 years have never set foot in a classroom. The country has a literacy rate of 27 percent. (And most of those people are men.)

Okay, so Faith has that book upside down. We can help with that, CN.

cathyAnd don’t just take my word for it that CCC is awesome — take Secretary of State John Kerry’s word for it. This year he gave CCC’s founder Cathy Groenendijk the State Department’s TIP (Trafficking in Persons) Hero Award.

“We recognize your hard work in caring for and protecting children who are vulnerable to trafficking, your steadfast commitment to the right of every girl and boy to an education, and your persistent engagement to increase justice for survivors of modern slavery,” said Kerry

Oh hey, you’re thinking, if CCC is on John Kerry’s radar, the money must be rolling in. I can shrug off this Chump Lady request. NO PEOPLE, THE MONEY IS NOT ROLLING IN. This was in my Facebook feed this week from the program director at CCC John Bernard Fenning looking for a pair of SHOES for a boy who sleeps in a fucking GRAVEYARD.

daniel<<< This kid. Here’s a bit of his story.

He, like many of the children we support sleeps among dead bodies in a graveyard… He came to the office a few weeks after I had met him asking for a plastic sheet for his house. Daniel lives in a shack put together with whatever could be found scraping around. Life in the graveyard is a disaster when it rains. Everything floods and the shacks are shown to be pretty crappy and if not from malaria, people get sick and die from basic diseases in the standing water. Daniel came asking for some help getting a new plastic sheet to at least keep some of the rain out of his ‘house’. I asked where his parents were and his mother had traveled to the village, disappeared for nearly all of this year with just neighbours expected to take care of him and his brothers.

Daniel came to the office a couple of days ago asking if he could have some clothes for Christmas. The shirt he was wearing had only two buttons left, and his shorts were looking very tatty. He had no shoes.

That’s a picture of Daniel in his new clothes.

Okay, Daniel is one more sad story in a sea of sad stories. Suicide bombing, ISIS, right-wing freaks shooting Planned Parenthood clinics — I get it. You want to tune the bad news out. Me too. But look, here’s our chance to do A GOOD DEED. We can’t stop ISIS, but we can buy a kid some freaking sheet plastic. We can scrounge up some money to buy books. Gift some orphan tuition fees and a few clean t-shirts.

It’s a start. It’s something. And maybe if everyone did a few more somethings there wouldn’t be so much extremism. Maybe there’d be more schools, and more reasoned thinkers, and less crazy.

I’m a chump. I do hopium. Instead of directing our hopium at cheaters, why not direct it to orphans?

I think they’ve got a better chance of succeeding. And if nothing else, they’ll have dry feet.

In the U.S. you can donate HERE by PayPal (and read more about CCC)

And in Europe you can donate HERE by PayPal in Euros.

In the UK, the info is: “account in the UK is 73656357, sort code 20-85-46, account name CCC UK.”

Show CCC some Chump Nation mightiness! Give today!

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
      • I think you can use either link. It will just show up as a different amount at your end, after the currency exchange. (i.e., 20 euros would deduct around 30 dollars.)

  • Just made a donation – please send my best wishes to your friend who is doing such special work. It reminds us all that there are a LOT of decent human beings out there.

      • I should add, LeAnna got re-posted to Morocco. But let’s keep up her good work. There are a lot of deserving charities out there, but I’d rather commit to one place and try and make a small difference. I commit. I’m a one-charity woman. I’m a chump that way. 😉

      • Oops, I’ve been a two-charity woman this year, am I a bad person? 😉 I’d never heard of Pinecone Elves until I started coming here to regain my sanity – I googled them, and was smitten – can’t wait to start making my own. Lucky enough to have a small pine tree in my garden… all I need is some felt, glue and googly eyes!

  • Oh and please do NOT donate to me to give to CCC. Use the links provided. (Otherwise, I have to transfer the money and report that income as MY income. Please don’t make my tax returns any more complicated. 🙂 )

  • I just sent in my donation as well, it wasn’t as much as I would have liked, but hopefully once I am no longer a poor PhD student I will be able to do more.

    • Hey, you’re an inspiration — if poor PhD candidates can give, you employed chumps can do it too!

    • Thanks for knowing that whether big or little you can make a difference to these great kids.

  • Just donated. Thank you so much CL for giving us this opportunity to make a difference in the lives of children. Even though it may appear to be only a drop in the bucket, I am always reminded of the quote from Schindler’s List – “Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire.”

  • CL, thanks for the reminder that, as bad as things may get here in the Chump Nation, I don’t think any of us are sleeping in a shack in a graveyard. Donation sent.

    • Thanks. I realize some people might be silently annoyed that it’s off topic, but I hey, I do my holiday charity begging once a year. It’s good to remember however awful our stories, there are folks out there living in worse hells. Besides, it feels good to help. We can all use that lift. 🙂

      • Agreed. And I think that being charitable is never off-topic. Being as generous as I please, whenever I see a need, is one of the pleasures of no longer having a hanger-on that insists he really “Needs” some stupid new gadget or accessory. I suspect that’s true for many of the people who frequent this site.

  • When I read stories about a kid needing a plastic sheet and shoes, I cringe at what my fucktard spent on hookers. Surely there is some special hell for these spawns of satan? Anywho, I’m hoping lots of shoes and sheets can be purchased for the price of an hour with a hooker.

  • I just made a donation. Thanks for giving me enough information to feel comfortable with this organization. I’m glad to share, and after reading those stories I feel positively wealthy.

  • Done! Thanks for organizing this. And I love the new word I learned today: hopium. It’s good to direct our hope in the right direction.

  • Done! Thanks for the opportunity to give back to a seriously chumped bunch of kids. I must admit, I missed the wicked pleasure of completely exploding the diplomatic pouch this year. I still got that warm fuzzy feeling from doing the right thing.
    CL, do you have any news of Annabel? I hope she continues to do well and can continue her education again next year.

    • I posted about Annabel several months ago — the money we raised for her, went back to CCC. Her “family” withdrew her from the school in Uganda. Hearing that she got a scholarship, they took her back and essentially held her hostage for money. (Sorry, I don’t know a kinder way to describe it.) Her life as a deaf girl was pretty worthless to them before, but to cross borders as a minor you need a family members permission. A’s mother is homeless, AWOL, an addict. The school was without choice (they need the permissions, and they don’t want to piss off the South Sudanese as there is a civil war over there).

      But Cathy has not given up. Last I heard from LeAnna she or the minister of education (!) visits her monthly and delivers medicine. They’ve tried so far in vain to convince the family to release her.

      It’s incredibly hard to be a young woman, especially one with disabilities, in South Sudan.

      CCC reached out to all the donors, (I posted about it in the forums), and it was agreed that the monies be given to CCC for other kids’ educations. (They offered to return all the money!) If they get Annabel back to school, they’ll come up with tuition again.

      It’s a very sad story.

      • I wish I could say I am surprised. I live not a million miles from where Annabel does (your old stomping ground, Cape Town!) and even here where obviously it’s better, women are chattel, and a disabled one is… well, unlikely to get very far UNLESS she can be a meal ticket in some way, be it begging at traffic lights or the way to get some form of government grant. As soon as I heard the Annabel situation way back when, it was my first thought; these are people who have, let’s say, not been 100% dedicated to caring for their child. I get that circumstances are incredibly difficult and I certainly do not judge anyone for requiring food on the table, wanting a grant or whatever, really, I get that. But this kind of thing, well, she’s an economic resource to them, nothing more. It is beyond despicable and I really hope a way can be found to help her.

        • I remember “Twilight Children” in South Africa. I lived for awhile in Bramfontein in Johannesburg. All the street kids came out at night begging. It’s incredibly sad.

          • They do it in CT too, usually at the behest of some adult who functions as a pimp of sorts. I have friends who are social workers who do their best to try and get the children off the streets, many of them come from severely abusive traumatic circumstances to begin with, so it’s uphill work and only a tiny percentage can ever really be properly helped. But clearly they have it better than these children in Sudan, which is all the more scary.

            • I should add that one of the many good things CCC does is try to reunite kids with their parents when they’ve been separated by the civil war. If you follow their Facebook page, there are many heart-warming stories.

              I believe every kid can be helped, and no child is hopeless. (Adult serial cheaters? Probably. Little kids? No, IMO.)

  • Brilliant – have donated. It’s good to do this. Like last year I am cheaterless but sadly I am also without my Dad who died in October. My Dad was the polar opposite of the XH- loyal, faithful, generous. If anything he had chump/co-dependent tendencies- my mum had mental health/alcohol issues.

    And in between the deaths of my parents, I divorced a cheater. So I’ve learnt a whole lot about moving forward and gaining a life. And that includes helping those still struggling whether they are chumps leaving cheaters or children facing challenging circumstances. Merry Christmas Chump Nation. x

    • I’m sorry for the loss of your dad, Mikky. The holidays must be rough. Thanks for giving.

      • Thanks CL- my Dad supported many charities so doing this is my way of giving him a Xmas present I know he’d have liked!

  • Done. Thanks for doing this Chump Lady. I sometimes need a reminder how fortunate I am. I was glad to receive this one. Merry Christmas!

    • Yes, on John’s Facebook post (linked in article) he writes with the particulars —

      We support 800 children like Daniel in Juba, and it’s a struggle to find the money. It costs about £20 a month to properly support a child in school which includes school fees, uniform, bag, school materials, underwear, sanitary materials for girls, and outside school support. I know that’s a lot, but either a one-off gift or paying the share of a child’s both make a massive difference (our account in the UK is 73656357, sort code 20-85-46, account name CCC UK).

          • Thanks M for your support!

            We are just getting the UK charity off the ground, so it’s really great to have your support.

  • What I was able to give was small in comparison to the benefits I have received from this site. I was happy to do it for the children of course (kids have always been my soft spot), but also to honor you CL. Like most, my losses have been very high as a consequence of discovering there were multiple infidelities over most of my 20 years of marriage. It’s been hard to see much further than my own pain for a long time, but this site has given me hope and continues to sustain me in so many positive ways.

    There was meaning for me in your post today as well. As bad as it’s been, I have always been out of the weather, clothed well, employed, loved and supported by family, and eaten three squares a day. Thanks for making me look up from my problems and have some gratitude for what I still have, and for how much better I have it than most people on this planet. That helps. I’m not sure you were “off topic” at all.

    • Tracy –

      I have received hundreds of dollars worth of incredible advice, stories, friendship and counsel from ChumpLady. In comparison, this is a small monetary thanks to an outstanding organization you support.

      Peace of mind is priceless.

  • Oh all the absolute fantastic help you have ‘donated’ to us, I certainly hope no one is tiffed with today’s post. That would be tragic. One day off topic won’t hurt any of us.

  • Thank you so much Chump Lady for your amazing support and that of your generous followers. I hope to be able to keep you updated on Daniel’s progress. Let’s hope our team can counsel his mother to stick around this year.

    • Thanks John for all the wonderful work you do for CCC. I speak for all of us here when I say it is our pleasure to help in any way we can.

  • Donation sent. Thank you CL for reminding us, in everything you do, to GIVE. You are truly an inspiration.

  • Thanks CL, donation sent. Going through the infidelity trauma/shit storm has been difficult, but it has certainly increased my compassion level. Nothing diminishes what I went through or what you all experienced, but I am sure the experience has made you understand suffering more.

    I am amazed by the mighty people here who had it really bad, I am an employed with a supportive family, friends and children. My narcissist is a piece of work but I managed to (mostly) contain her crazy. I could not know what it is like to be physically abused, stolen from or pregnant while being abandoned by some shitty sociopath.

    Trying to understand what it is like to be one of these kids is hard to plumb. Nothing much else to say.

  • Done…I love that the overarching org is “Mothering across Continents”. Thanks for the opportunity to give!

  • I just donated! Bless those sweet children, and the upstanding adults working to help them, there is so much love and goodness in the world.

  • Thanks for updating us on the work of this organization and for letting us know about a good place to give.

  • “Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us every day.”–Sally Koch

    “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”—Mother Theresa

    “We rise by lifting others.”—Robert Ingersoll

    It’s important to remember that we can make a difference. Thanks CL for reminding us.
    Donation to CCC done. It looks like a reputable organization that does important charitable work.

    Thanks CL—your blog keeps me sane & lightens my heavy heart. Thanks CN too.
    Bless each & everyone ?

  • Done. I work in a partnership with a refugee resettlement agency. Trust me when I say we all have too much.
    Thanks Chump Lady for putting the word out!!!

  • Donated! It was so nice to read this post this time last year. I donated last year, too, even though I was in a dark place in Dec, 2014. My divorce was not yet final, my lawyer needed money after Cheater wasted $5000 on mediation (which I knew wouldn’t work and be a waste of time and money and it was), my Cheater put his AP on his witness list, and my lawyer was warning a trial could potentially cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. After reading the post of the kids, I realized even with my surmounting problems, me and my boys were healthy, employed and we’d be fine.

    In Jan I’ll celebrate 1 year anniversary divorced from The Disordered. My boys are happy & healthy and doing well in school, my house has been refinanced to get Cheater off mortgage, I’ve gotten rid of most of Cheater ‘ s crap (why do they leave their shit behind?), I’ve done home repairs, I bought a new SUV, next week new washer dryer arrive, and I’ve got lots of new projects and opportunities at work. Life is good! For all of you reading this who are still close to D-Day or still in the throes of divorce, Chumplady is right: LIFE GETS BETTER, WE PROMISE!

    CL, please post an update after the holidays about the kids!

  • Donation in and I hope that I helped some child today have a tiny bit brighter future. Thank you Chump Lady for all you do and to all the people at CCC. Love to you all.

  • My children and I were looking forward to this particular holiday tradition! Because of single parenting, a job and my own business, I have very little time to contribute here on the CL site. But I read almost everything and it keeps resonating, helping me to put my individual feelings on the – looong – road to meh in context.

    Being able to give our donation again this year, lets me know we don’t have it so bad. There’s food on our table and safe shelter. And much more.

    Wishing all chumps, big and small, a prosperous and cheaterfree future!

  • I am apparently too stupid to even spend money today..tried website like 6 times but it wont let me input my US address…it asks for “location” and I put my state but then it asks for my province. Any suggestions?

    • I resuscitated a long dead paypal acct to send it…I trust it all works. The orphans officially have a few bucks from Major Cheaterpants life insurance.

  • I have been doing this for years (different charity). My ex-husband did not buy me a gift for any occasion for 25 years. I started buying my own gifts and pretending they were from him for the kid’s sake (when they were young and before d-day.). After d-day, I put money in the bank for my kids and send money for juvenile diabetes. There is a man I used to work with who cherishes his family, always said nice things about his wife, bought her well thought out gifts. His son has juvenile diabetes and because he has the husband personality and father personality I always wanted, I picked that charity for the past six years. It’s a great idea!!

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