Welcoming Erica

Welcoming Erica

erikaWelcoming Erica Rhodes to the We Survive Team


Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember you have within you the strength, the patience and the passion to reach for the stars, to change the world.  ~~ Harriet Tubman


College student Erica Rhodes contacted We Survive wanting to be part of a team that inspires Hopes and Dreams.  She wrote, “I am interested in an opportunity to be a part of helping change the lives of impoverished children.”  When we talked she loved the idea LIGHTFEST Re-Ignited and shining a Light of Hope around the world while bringing awareness to poverty, hunger and homelessness.  Erica will be part of a LIGHTFEST event in March 2018


In 2012 Erica started an organization called Gifts for Angels, with the purpose to collect toys and funds for children at Norton Children’s Hospital in memory of her brother who spent his life in the NICU. Erica says, “I wanted to give back to the hospital who took such great care of my family during our time with my brother Jacobi Hager.”


Erica founded Gifts for Angels, “because I know how it feels to sit in the hospital with a family member not knowing what tomorrow will bring, I wanted to brighten the days of the children and their families during their rough times”.


For more information about Gifts for Angels



Love Lights Story

Love Lights Story

The Love Lights Story

by Annie Justice

20170928951555001I began embellishing candles over 20 years ago at the request of my mother in law. She asked me to make a memorial candle for her daughter’s wedding to light in memory of her son. This was an honor for me to be considered for the task. After making that first candle, other requests poured in over the years. I have crafted candle sets for weddings and memorial candles for funerals. A year and a half ago, I gave a candle to my sister after her son’s passing. She shared with me how much comfort that this gift has brought to her as she continues to light it up each evening. Something I discovered through the years is that the lighting of memorial candles during family gatherings are also a wonderful way to remember our beloved and how powerful they can be in the healing of grief. 20170928951555581I name my creations “Love Lights” as these creations touch my heart and are created out of love. Because I like to spread words of encouragement and meaning as well, I create candle sets for meditation , gift giving and home decor.  Items are available for purchase at Kim’s Pickins on Fegenbush Lane in Louisville, KY.  Special orders are always welcome and local delivery is available.



Love Lights Broadway

Love Lights Broadway

LIGHTFEST Re-Ignited 2017

November 4, 2017


Love Lights Broadway

Louisville, Kentucky

St. Augustine Catholic Church


As LIGHTFEST Re-Ignited Ambassador Heather French Henry says, “Poverty knows no barriers, it has touched us all. Stay strong. Today is your choice. Be the one who determines your future. No matter how hard it gets, you can survive.”


proclamation 2017On a Beautifully Bright Autumn Day, LIGHTFEST Re-Ignited once again brought education and awareness to communities regarding issues faced by those vulnerable to poverty, hunger and homelessness while providing activities for all that attended.

There was educational information from health providers, there was face painting, jewelry making and other crafts along with puppeteers, rappers from a Portland Youth Center.

Annie Justice shared her creative candle embellishing talents for the Love Lights. Sunshine Joe Mallard designed a tapestry piece for LIGHTFEST 2017. Children added their creative artistic touches for an original “Sunshine” Joe creation. This tapestry will be unveiled in March 2018.

There was a diverse group of participants including those within the homeless community that took part in the Light of Hope Walk. A talented young man agreed to walk with Brad DeZern leading the walk as they sang the song—This Little Light of Mine.

Sponsor—Passport Health Plans

Host—St. Augustine Catholic Church



Puppeteers—College Heights UMC Puppet Team

Debbie Lewis

Girl Scout Troop 476 Jacqueline McMillian-Bohler

Jacqueline Browning

Kentucky One Health—Our Lady of Peace

Jacqueline Browning

Last Days Motorcycle Ministry

Brad DeZern

Linda Young

Matthew Simons—Simons Electric

Paulette Stinnett


Jason Reynolds

Annie Justice

Sunshine Joe Mallard Tapestry Creation

Michelle Wolf

Matt Wolf

Sharon Moody

Hometown Pizza

Diane Corsey


In case we have missed anyone, please know we appreciate your help. To read more about the event and to see pictures go here.

We Survive – Hurricane Harvey Relief

We Survive – Hurricane Harvey Relief

labor of love

We Survive Hurricane Harvey Relief

We Survive is aware that Hurricane Harvey brought storms, tornadoes, record rainfall and flooding to communities in Texas and Louisiana.

The needs will change daily, weekly and monthly for those recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, We Survive is joining with St. Angela Merici Catholic Church in Missouri City, Texas—a suburb of Houston, Texas.

We Survive is asking that you donate Gift Cards that will help those in need to get their basic needs of food, clothing and repairs for shelter.

Kroger, WalMart, Target, and Lowe’s have stores in the areas where support is needed.

You can send your gift card to:

We Survive

P.O. Box 91401

Louisville, Ky 40291

Attn: Hurricane Harvey

Together We Will Change Lives!!

This collection will continue through the month of September.

September is Hunger Action Month

Plan now to make September 2017 a time to stand together against hunger.

Join We Survive in supporting hurricane relief efforts in Texas. The goal of National Hunger Action Month is to create a movement throughout September that has a real and lasting impact on the issue of hunger in our communities.


            WE SURVIVE  (502) 558-8317                   

            St. Angela Merici Catholic Church  (713) 306-0583                            


Giving with Abundance

Giving with Abundance

Giving with Abundance

During the summer, you can’t help but have an awareness of Vacation Bible School (VBS).  The little signs in front yards and in front of churches let us know that VBS is on its way.

“Vacation Bible School (VBS) is a specialized form of religious education which focuses on children… The origins of Vacation Bible School can be traced back to Hopedale, Illinois in 1894. Sunday school teacher D. T. Miles, who also was a public school teacher, felt she was limited by time constraints in teaching the Bible to children. So, she started a daily Bible school to teach children during the summer.” Vacation Bible School – Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vacation_Bible_School

Being involved with summer activities with children reaps great rewards.

rsz_vbsJeffersontown Christian Church (JCC) VBS 2017 was called Abundance Orchard. It was in coordination with The Society of St Andrews (SOSA). SOSA is an organization that promotes feeding America’s hungry by decreasing waste and gleaning fields.

At JCC’s VBS, the children heard stories about bible situations where people shared a meal with those in need. The children learned about gleaning fields to collect the leftover produce that may not be marketable but serves to feed the hungry. They created Barrel gardens decorated with great accessories from glowdecoration.com, bird feeders and made a video for their congregation to promote gleaning and not wasting usable food.

The children and congregation collected $600 in change to help deliver servings of the gleaned food to food kitchens and other programs that feed the hungry in the United States.

It is JCC’s HOPE to become more active with SOSA. At present, JCC is talking to the Young Adult Ministry and will be talking to the Youth leaders looking into the possibility of JCC volunteering in surrounding state’s gleaning efforts. A representative of JCC is in contact with the leadership of SOSA exploring options.

A Thank You—From: Becky Easter, Director of Church Relations, Society of St. Andrew

“Dear Friends in Christ, Thank you for caring for people who are hungry! Through the $600.00 gift from your recent VBS, Jeffersontown Christian Church will put healthy, nourishing food on the tables of individuals and families who are struggling to get by. Partnering with the Society of St. Andrew, you engage volunteer gleaners in hands on mission and service. You help send large loads of fruit and vegetables to areas where they are in most need. You support local feeding agencies in every area of the country and you reduce food waste-all as you follow Jesus’ command to feed the hungry. Thank you for this gift and for joining the Society of St. Andrew in our mission of working toward feeding physical and spiritual hunger.”

For more information go to SOSA website.   http://endhunger.org/gleaning-network/

The Society of St Andrews Gleaning Network http://endhunger.org/gleaning-network/  Gleaning Americas Fields Feeding Americas Hungry.

JCC Thanks all the parents and family members that came out for Abundance Orchard Country Fair. Over 80 people took part in singing, games, a petting farm, snacks and fellowship. The coin collection was a wonderful sight to behold. The congregation and children collected $600. That is 30,000 servings of food delivered to hungry families in America. The congregation has an opportunity to view the children’s barrel gardens whenever they are on the church grounds.

We Survive’s LIGHTFEST Re-Ignited http://lightfestreignited.info/  sends a message of hope while bringing awareness and educates about those who are susceptible to or struggling with the issues of poverty, hunger and homelessness.  We Survive encourages everyone to shine a Light of HOPE on November 4, 2017.  All it takes is a single act of kindness, stepping outside at 7pm EDT wherever you are. It can be a cell phone, flashlight, candle or turn on your porch light.

The Ebb – Tide of Vibes

The Ebb – Tide of Vibes

The Ebb – Tide of Vibes

Written by LOL PJKA



Tell me as only my and not your pendulum swings in the aftermath

          of your being, what is the formula to ~ live without you, ~ a

          mix that no longer exists?


Pi r = lonely and incomplete.  1 + 1 = 2 is beyond my thought

          process, a full life lived with out you?


While continuing on with rhyme, rhythm and blues, improvisational

          flickers, atypical vibes from this unsteady, scripting

          writing-pen ~ surfaces to annoy; ~~ AH~HA ~~ brings joy

          within a spontaneous rhythm I once employed!!!


Is that vibrato in the sound of my voice, ~ The Ebb-Tide of Vibes

          a nuance emanating of hope; a formula to mix up my existence,

          old to new ascribing a song, a rhyme a vibe, a cauldron

          filled with a wealth of joy to just be alive?


Conversion, and not a minute too soon ~ from doom and gloom

          transitioning into life, living, reasons to be; fields of

          dreams, a futuristic life of peacefulness ahead for me.


Oh ~  my spirit ascends in an emotional climb to heights unknown,

          known to him my beloved friend, my husband.  Someday the

          heights that we both have achieved will place us in each

          others company.  Till then my life to live is this side of the

          veil; to soar in all the peace, patience, love and joy to be

          found in this world. 


                                                                             LOL PJKA


What the Day of Hope Means to Me

What the Day of Hope Means to Me

What the Day of Hope Means to Me

by Jacqueline Blue Browning

blue and sharonThe love and compassion that Moody and Sharon share always struck me at my core. Here were two individuals who had discovered some of the secrets of life. Simple secrets, that get lost in the hustle and bustle of life as we know it to be on this planet today. Some of the most important secrets ; to stop and take the time to breath in nature, to be grateful for and appreciate the beauty of our Earth and to share with one another. These simple truths are often forgotten by many, yet when these secrets are put into practice the results are amazing.

I remember much laughter and wonderful conversations with the children and parents at Day Of Hope. This event is so important to the community. Providing children and families with not only hope but relaxation, a moment to pause and reflect and appreciate the beauty in the world. The atmosphere is always harmonious and everyone shares with one another and smiles.

6-15DayHopeCreek(3)I met Sharon Cecil when I was on my first clinical rotation for the LPN Program at Galen College. She was my first ever clinical instructor. She was so knowledgeable and compassionate. As I continued with my studies I moved on to the RN program. Upon graduation I began working with Sharon on the Day of Hope event. I partnered up with Whole Foods as they donate fruit, snacks and drinks for everyone. I enjoyed being the nurse educator and would provide health and nutrition information. My favorite part was always hiking with the kids. We would also go down to the creek and explore, face paint and paint rocks. We would have a fire pit and make smores. It was always a great time for everyone involved.

Hearing the laughter of the children, seeing the smiles on the faces of the adults, listening to the trees sway in the wind, smelling the fire pit’s smoke float and dance with the wind all while feeling the sun on our skin was one of my favorite memories. I have attended the day of hope for the last 5 years and will continue to for as long as I am able. I plan on continuing my commitment to Sharon and Moody and their vision. I will be graduating in 2019 as a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner and will continue to participate, create and be a part of Day of Hope.blue


Jacqueline Blue Browning, PMHNP- student

Eastern Kentucky University, Class of 2019

A Picture Perfect Day

A Picture Perfect Day

Remembering Moody and Day of Hope

March 25, 2017

A Picture Perfect Day

Written by Sharon Cecil

Father Bob Mueller, pastor of Good Samaritan United Catholic House Church and Vice President of Development at Hosparus Health presided over the Remembering Moody portion of this celebratory day.

choir 1

Wayside Christian Mission Choir – Sang at Remembering Moody

A BEAUTIFUL Day in every Way

The Day of Hope that followed Remembering Moody, honored Moody’s passion for the underserved children and families that We Survive serves. These children and families were always near and dear to Moody’s heart.

Moody believed that when you give, you are given an opportunity to change lives.  He knew it takes a village to make things happen.  We Survive volunteers continue to be a testament to the power of service.

Words are powerful, but I am lost for the words that convey the GRATITUDE I feel at this moment.   “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

Painting Rocks Music Eating and fun Portrayal of Hope tapestry Playing Frisbee Making Gods Eyes at the creek GS Troop 476

Special THANK YOU to all our supporters and volunteers for making this a very special day for everyone!
In case we have missed anyone, please know we appreciate your help.
Sedulo Group
Supporters and Volunteers
Wayside Christian Mission Choir
Rachael and Jeremy Hunt
Heidi Joy Stenson
The Wildflower Chronicles
Girl Scout Troop 476
Jacqueline McMillian-Bohler
Debbie and Bryan Lewis
Robertson Family
Fr. Bob Mueller
Sunshine Joe Mallard
Mary and Gary Jewell
Jacqueline “Blue” Browning and Family
Anita and Tony Seekins
Jenniffer Truitt
Hometown Pizza
We Survive
Taxes on the Go Offers Hope for the Homebound

Taxes on the Go Offers Hope for the Homebound

Written by Sharon Cecil

In the fall of 2015, I found myself in a situation where I was pretty much limited due to a fall that created mobility issues. To the knee injury that imposed restrictions that I referred to as “stair incarceration” add blustery wind and a flurry of snow accumulation, home became my husband’s and my sanctuary.

During this time, there were a lot of people sharing stories about how it was hard to get out of their home to get things done. The information shared took me on an explorative journey to seek out services that are available to you when you are homebound.

Two services that I felt were vital included getting your taxes completed and food for the pantry.

Taxes on the Go Offers Hope for the Homebound

TaxFormIt is inevitable, that January brings with it that time of the year. TAX time! It can be one of the most grueling tasks that you procrastinate about for multiple reasons.

One young man’s story was fascinating.

Michael Fitzmayer has done tax preparation for more than 35 years. He will tell you that he has seen just about every type of tax situation in that time.

Mike started Taxes on the Go. He will come to your home with his laptop in hand and prepare your taxes.   He has the capability to e-file, but needs to file from his office to ensure that it is sent from a secure network.

In order to help people that were less fortunate than he is, Mike started doing Taxes on the Go. Mike wanted to be there for people who were in recovery situations and be able to reduce the cost for those with lower incomes or stressed financial concerns.

Mike talked with me regarding, “People with low incomes are going into tax preparation offices and being taken advantage of by paying very high preparation fees.”

When you can’t leave home, there is always the option to do your taxes yourself when you have access to the internet. For many people, they don’t have the luxury of owning a computer and internet access due to their financial limitations. Or health issues such as sight might make that option prohibitive.

Thank goodness that there are people like Mike who have put a personal touch to taxes.

Taxes on the Go takes the worry out of getting your taxes done if you can’t leave home.

Contact Mike at Taxes on the Go 502-640-8782. He will also prepare taxes at his office.

FYI—If you live in Louisville, you might want to check out ValuMarket’s Curbside Direct, Louisville’s original online grocery shopping platform that allows customers to buy all their favorite grocery items online in a safe and convenient way. Or check with your local area store to see if you can call in the day before to get your order delivered.

WOW Continues to Evolve after 20 Years

WOW Continues to Evolve after 20 Years

WOW Continues to Evolve after 20 Years

We Survive has provided youth lead leadership experiences through youth mentoring for 22 years.  By engaging the youth in a creative experiential learning process they become active participants in the planning, promoting and presenting of programming empowering youth to take leadership roles.


Find the Beauty in Everything painted by Sharon McKean

Creative Expression offers a journey to good health and healing which is an important part of life.  It allows participants to open up to his or her inner most thoughts and feelings.  Once you begin to create, you can begin to connect to your inner self.

We Survive’s Women Offering Wisdom (WOW) Program  has provided Creative Expression opportunities through health and wellness programming since 1996.

Sharon Wells was a young high school student who loved to write and became involved with the WOW Program after one of her submissions was chosen to appear in a WOW Publication in 2000.   Sharon is married now (Sharon Wells McKean).

“We Survive’s WOW programming provided tools that helped us create transformational and inspirational societal changes with our health and wellness educational programs.  Writing, art, publishing, radio interviewing/moderating and creating media pieces (magazines, books, pamphlets, press releases, etc.) was a wonderful learning opportunity. We learned the importance of gathering creditable information from various sources through interviews and research allowing us to develop our own educated opinions on various topics while enabling us to share valuable information with our community. These experiential activities helped me become a more effective communicator and leader.” ~~ Sharon McKean

Sharon is an avid volunteer with We Survive.  Over the past 5 years she has been working with promotions of We Survive programming and has been active with LIGHTFEST Re-Ignited.

Sharon wanted to do something positive to connect with people and utilize her skills as a writer, educator.   A year ago, Sharon came up with the idea to start an online health and wellness education community.

The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) recognizes March as MS Awareness Month.   Having Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Sharon felt that March was a perfect time to begin the health and wellness community.  Sharon helped launch and has runs the online community which began on March 1, 2016.  It is now her “pet” project.

You can visit this community on Facebook here.

Read more about The History of the WOW program.