This year our efforts for our Children for Children concert are going to help refugees at the Oinofyta Refugee Camp in Greece.

We were made aware of this particular group of refugees through my sister’s friend Liz who went with her family to help build a computer lab there last summer.

This winter we have found that there is an urgent need as 178 refugees (including 47 kids under the age of 5, several newborns, and one pregnant woman) remain outside in tents.  With temperatures dipping into the low 30’s at night, they are freezing cold, and temperatures promise to decrease.  As a result, women, children and families are suffering.  A generous donor has started a project to shelter these families but they are in desperate need of $10,000 to finish the project.  We have committed to raising $3,000 to help.

Just like last year, we will gather as neighbors and friends for a concert hosted by the children FOR the children in Greece, and the parents will pay to enjoy the talents shared at the concert which proceeds will go directly to the Oinofyta Camp in Greece.  (More about how Children for Children concerts originated and how ours went last year back HERE.)

Our concert doesn’t take place until the 21st, but WE WOULD LOVE TO START FUND RAISING RIGHT AWAY.  So if you are looking for a good way to give this Christmas season, please help us raise the money this particular group of refugees is in desperate need for right now.  

The link is HERE with more information. 

Here is a video with more information about the refugee crisis.  I love that it gives some specific ways we can help in our own communities near the end.



  1. While I applaud your efforts to help these people, I have to wonder….aren't there any hungry, starving children in the US that could use your help? I know it doesn't sound as glamorous as a refugee camp in Greece – but how about the poor children in NY ghettos? Shouldn't we make sure the children in our own country have full bellies and a roof over their head before we apply our efforts and our money to those in other countries?

    1. Maria, it sounds like you have a heart for children in underserved communities in this country. I'm sure the various organizations that help vulnerable children and families in these areas would love your help!

    2. I do. Thanks. But I think it would be nice if high-profile families like Shawni's took the lead in supporting impoverished US children and families as well – especially since so many people read this blog and want to be like Shawni and imitate what she does.

    3. I can definitely see your point of view Maria. The turkey trot that they just hosted benefited children here in the US.
      Shawni's family is also following a Light The World Challenge with 25 days of service in 25 ways and they were encouraged to help a refugee.
      I know Shawni and her family give a lot of help to local and far away organizations.

    4. Maria, I have a different opinion (and please don't read this with a harsh voice in your head, because I don't mean to be harsh). I think the point is helping someone in need and that the nationality doesn't mind. It's good if different people support different causes, because that way something is done for everyone.

      And I also disagree with the word "glamorous" in combination with refugees. I'm pretty sure there is nothing glamorous in a refugee camp.

    5. Hi Kerstin. I respect your opinion – and of course everyone should help in the way they feel moved. I just feel like it's a shame for kids right here in our backyard to be hungry and suffering, while the rich, well-known families choose to go across the globe to "help".

      It's called "poverty tourism". The glamorous part is not in the refugee camp. It allows the tourists to go somewhere they want to go anyway, and visit an orphanage or camp while they are there. Take a few pics reading and coloring with the children.

      Sounds much more glamorous (and fun) to take a trip to Greece to light their world than to "serve" at a soup kitchen in 35 degree weather in a ghetto in The Bronx, NY. Those kids are hungry too, and they are in our own rich country.

    6. Of course not, JH. But I feel that as citizens and residents of the United States we have the responsibility to try to take care of the children and homeless people in our own country before we take our money and efforts elsewhere. It could be compared to letting your own family go hungry while you go feed your next door neighbors.

    7. Maria, I agree with you. And it in absolutely no way takes away from how wonderful of a deed it is for Shawni's family to help others overseas. We have tons of refugee families in the US who need so much. And even more working poor families who go from two to three jobs per day and still can't feed their families. This next statement in NO WAY reflects Shawni or her family, but I know people in the US who oppose immigration or allowing refugees into our country but then go on mission trips to other countries to help those very same groups of people. I think when it feels so foreign it comes off as glamorous and like a good deed, but doing so in our own country feels political and like it doesn't really matter as much. I was a teacher in a high poverty school in a Midwest city and I urge everyone to look within their own communities to see where the needs are. If we can support the children and families within our own or neighboring communities then we will impact the place where our children and their fellow citizens will grow up. SO many good, hardworking and deserving people live in dire circumstances in the US and would really benefit from the love and dedication that is put into efforts given overseas.

    8. I'm a little late here, I've been gone all day, but just wanted to agree there are so many needs right here in our country. The bottom line is that there are needs everywhere and I don't believe there is any "right answer" as to where to put efforts. The children putting on the concert (our kids along with our neighbors' kids) had a vote on which need spoke to them the most this year after a few different ideas they mulled over. Helping the refugees in this camp is what they chose. I wish we could reach out in every direction at the same time, but I love that something like this gives kids a chance to be exposed to all kinds of needs in and out of the US. Over the years hopefully we will be able to chose all kinds of different needs. Most service is more private, but this one is one we could use some help on (as well as the Turkey Trot that benefits mostly local kids through BrainFood) so THANK YOU to everyone who has donated and helped support over the years. Thank you so very much for those who have donated through the links in this post for this particular effort. Every bit helps and it will be so great to already have donation momentum going on the evening we hold the concert!


  2. This is such a great project! We actually are taking our family to Greece this spring and I've been looking for a way to serve while we are there. Do you know who I can contact for more information on the Oinofyta Refugee Camp?

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