This is a post a long time coming.

It’s been mulling around in my head for over a month now.

It’s a project taken on by our small group at church that we are trying to evolve into a kind of orphan ministry. Right now it is comprised of mostly adoptive and foster care moms. But as we wrestled with the issues in our lives due to our role as adoptive and foster care mothers, we understood that there is a much bigger picture. That adoption is a tiny, tiny piece. A small, small band-aid on a huge crisis. And our ultimate desire being a world where adoption is no longer necessary.

And thus, we began to dream and explore how we could always keep that in front of us. That we would never forget the places our children came from, the circumstances that brought them to us, the injustices suffered, and the millions left behind. And the mandate God gives us to care for the poor and the widow and and the orphan.

Shane Clairborne says, “Sometimes we speak to change the world, sometimes we speak to keep the world from changing us.”

And that’s how i see these new projects we are going to take on. I am really excited about them. Because I know you guys. And I think as a collective force of mommy bloggers and precious friends and family, we can make a huge dent. I will feature them on the blog about once a month. Giving you—IF you want it–an opportunity to look outside of ourselves. Outside of our own homes. And into the reality of millions of children.

So our first project was Plumpynut. If you haven’t read about it, you need to. Look here. Basically it’s a ready-to-eat, vitaman rich mixture that is saving lives around the world. I believe it looks much like peanut butter and has a two year shelf life and it is literally keeping children alive in parts of the world where drought and famine are making it impossible for moms and dads to feed their children. Ethiopia in particular right now is in a crisis famine. The above article tells the story of herds of mothers emerging from the field, having walked miles and miles through the night to bring their sick children to a malnutrition clinic and hopefully be able to return with a jar of Plumpynut. A miracle to them…they have watched dying children recover with it. Yet there is only enough to give the most severe cases. And many are turned away. If you need visuals, go here.

We understand that $77 buys enough Plumpy nut packets to feed 50 children a day.

77 dollars keeps 50 children alive today.

So as a group we just said, let’s see how much Plumpy Nut we can buy in the next month. Go, talk, collect, save and we’ll bring the money back next month and make a big donation to UNICEF for Plumpy Nut (we did tax record checks and they will allow us to make the donation straight to Plumpy Nut. I know some people are not crazy about UNICEF…but for this one, we thought it was our best option). Ready, Set, Go.

I’ve been hearing stories about the money raised by some of my friends. And I can’t believe I let them get ahead of me here. 🙂

So this is what I’m doing: All month I have been grocery shopping. And then right before check-out, I have been putting 5 things back. It’s so stupid really how pathetic it is with a cart full of groceries. But it kept me thinking. I went without some silly snack things and have completely given up drinking soda at home. And the money saved has gone to a little account for the end of the month donation.

I am also going to throw some things in a Garage Sale this week-end and hopefully set up a Lemonade Stand with the kids there…all money going to Plumpynut. (If you want to come buy a really expensive glass of lemonade, email me and I’ll give you our location.)

And I am giving you the opportunity to join us if you want. I am going to put up the donate button again on the sidebar for the time being. If you trust me, you can donate there. It goes to my personal paypal account, but all money collected there in the next week will go to Plumpynut. If you want to mail a donation, make the check to UNICEF, and send it to me (again, email if you need an address).

So there you go. Just an opportunity to do something. To keep the world from changing you.

There will be another project soon. I can’t wait to tell you about them. Some people think I am crazy, but I keep telling them–You don’t know these girls. These moms. These grandmas. These blog readers. These friends of mine. They get it.

Thanks much.

22 Responses to plumpy nut.

  1. Veronica says:


    I would love to send a donation. Please let me know where I can send it. What a wonderful idea! Can’t wait to hear what your other ideas are! Please email me your address. I am a neighbor of Courtney’s.


  2. Becky says:

    You’re not crazy.

    Any more than Jesus was.

  3. Marcie says:

    Just getting back in the loop after having company.

    Love this idea! It’s a crazy, wonderful idea and I can’t wait to see what happens and then hear the rest of the ideas.

    Now I have to figure out what I can donate. I know it can’t be much right now but making a small dent is better than doing nothing at all. Besides, lots of small dents together might actually make a pretty big impact. I know it’s not enough but if I can help feed a few of those suffering kids and make a difference, I’m all over that. I figure it’s the very least I can do.

    Thanks to you, I “get it” in a more personal way than ever before and I can never go back.

  4. Sarah Saunier says:

    You inspire me Jody.

  5. Amy G says:

    Awesome…I am in!

  6. Lynda says:

    Me too, Jody. Way to go! I will need your address please.

  7. rebekah says:

    Very well written post – we have a little fundraiser for Plumpynut going on here in Wisconsin too – tied to the Wisconsin Ironman this weekend, so I’ve given my buckaroos over that way already. Looking forward to your next job for us!

  8. angela says:

    k. i’m going to copy your post and put it on my blog… since we leave for Ethiopia this weekend (oh my word!) and won’t be around for awhile, i’m going to send my blog readers to your donate button. 🙂
    Thank you. I love it. And, I love Shane. And, I’m SO on board with this.
    Rock on my bandaid covering sister…

    p.s. it was more than just a bandaid for z and k… and it is for all those who are adopted… but, i know it isn’t the solution for all… and I’m with you to do whatever we can to help parents LIVE to keep their kids. amen?

  9. april says:

    awesome idea!!! My sister and I were just discussing plumpynut a few days ago, so I’m going to forward this to her, and add it to my blog if that’s ok. Septermber is “plumpynut month” for me and my family now! I’ll do what i can to spread the word.

  10. Amy Taylor says:

    Thanks Jody. I’d like to talk about Plumpynut on my blog too. Great idea!

  11. HollyAnn says:

    Plumpynut is cool! We are looking into it for our new orphanage and the villages around us! Go Jody! I am glad UNICEF will let you donate directly to Plumpynut! I have horror stories of personal experience with UNICEF! So never give money directly to them if you truly want to help the orphans!

  12. Jenny says:

    I’m in. You write so eloquently and with such feeling and empathy. I am ready to commit to putting money aside each week to contribute. I will also commit to talking about Plumpynut on my blog (sorry. not much traffic there , but every bit counts). Thank you for your inspiration.

  13. Tanya says:

    Hi Jody,
    I’m a total lurker who was given your blog by another adoptive mom. I see my struggles as an adoptive parent in your words…..they are just the words I could not find for myself. The blessings far outweigh the hard parts, but the hard parts are there nonetheless, and I appreciate your total honesty. I also grew up in Iowa so I enjoy the scenery from your yard….reminds me of my childhood. 🙂 I’m in for Plumpynut! Please send me your snail mail and I’ll send a check. I’d never heard of plumpynut before now. What a great thing.

  14. Lisa says:

    OK so amazing – about a week ago, I got approved to do a fundraiser with unicef next month (apparently if you want to use their name/logo stuff in a public place – like our restaurant – you have to fill something out and get “approved”) and i specified that i want the money to go directly to plumpy nut -So I will be raising my own money here in Centralia, WA!
    Go us!!
    We are so on the same page right now!

  15. Ashley Catlett says:

    Please send me your address so I can mail a check. My husband and I are adopting from Ethiopia so I keep up with your blog. We want to do something for the poor and for the orphans but are so overwhelmed. What are some organizations you recommend, since I have heard people get frustrated with UNICEF.

    I appreciate your concise entries and beautiful photos! Keep it up!

    Ashley in NC

  16. Linny Best says:

    I am in! Thanks for doing this. Can you send me your address so I can send a check too?!

  17. steffANY says:

    I had to become the master of making plumpy nut in order for the twins to get released from the hospital. It’s quite a cool thing.

  18. Meghan Walsh says:

    Hi Jody. I’ve been a blog reader off and on through Tesi’s blog – and I just came home from ET with my son, who is named Zeke as well. Anyway, I just raised $16K for Plumpy’Nut through MSF – as part of the Ironman Triathalon Janus Charity Challenge (whew, a mouthful). I am very curious to know how you organized donations for Plumpy’Nut directly with UNICEF? We were able to get MSF to commit our donations to E. Africa and specifically to nutritional relief using Plumpy’Nut. I did 5 radio shows and some local news pieces – and my grassroots effort was amazing and rewarding and consuming and is a passion I plan on pursuing. So…I’d LOVE to hear from you – because community efforts are so key to living our passions and comittments. I’d love to hear from you (in all of our spare time, right?)

  19. MK says:

    I just came across this blog while doing some Plumpy’Nut Googling and was wondering whether you’ve considered Heifer International ( as an organization to donate to for a future project.

    Their approach is to give families resources (e.g., goats, sheep, water buffalo, etc.) and training specific to their environment and needs to provide for themselves. As part of this program, recipients then “pass on the gift” by sharing the offspring of gift animals with others in need in their community. My husband and I are big supporters of Plumpy’Nut, as our hearts ache for those children and feel the pain their mothers must go through struggling to provide for them. At the same time, we admire the “teach a man to fish” approach Heifer takes, too.

  20. Hi…can you tell me HOW to buy Plumpy Nut?? I am on my second adoption from Ethiopia and I need to get some of this miracle stuff to my son in his orphanage…he has basically been starving for the first year of his life..he is dangerously small and I worry that something could happen to him IF he doesn’t grow..we’re doing our paper work as quickly as possible..but in this wait time..I wanted his orphanage to give him this stuff…I’ve googled and googled and can’t find out HOW to buy it…thanks for your help…kristi j

  21. Navyn Salem says:

    Hi all,
    I came across this blog in my Google Alerts. I love the beautiful picture of you and all of your children. I was noticing the comments about UNICEF – if anyone wants to give to Plumpy’nut and not to UNICEF I am a mother of four who started a nonprofit Plumpy’nut factory in Providence, RI called Edesia and we are shipping every week to the Horn of Africa in response to this famine. Check out Edesia’s website or friend us on FB to see what we are up to. Would love to have more mom power to help me in this battle! Navyn

  22. Cien'Nia Robbins says:

    you are….. simply amazing

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