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Top 12 blogs of 2012

 

As a World Vision staff member, I find myself surrounded each day by stories, many of which break my heart. I'm forced to stop whatever I'm doing, gather myself, and say a prayer for someone I have never met.

Other times, my heart swells with hope, and my eyes are filled with tears of joy.

What these stories have in common is that behind each one is a person whose voice needs to be heard. Over the past year, the World Vision Blog has been filled with voices from around the world -- asking for help, grieving, or celebrating progress. These are our top stories from 2012.

5 tips on choosing a charity for year end giving

As the end of the year closes in, time is running out on tax deductible donations. Before you choose a charity to donate to, read these 5 tips to make sure you are giving to an organization that will use your money to make an impact. Be sure to get your donations in by 9:00 EST on December 31st.

Lopez Lomong: Still running

U.S. Olympic long-distance runner Lopez Lomong trotted down the aisle at Grace Community Church in Auburn, Washington, high-fiving cheering World Vision employees as the Olympic theme blared over the speakers.

He bounded up the stage toward moderator Steve Haas, who was interviewing him for World Vision’s annual Day of Prayer.

Morning tea with Kate Middleton

This week, Prince William and his wife, Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, visited World Vision's programs in the Solomon Islands as part of their Diamond Jubilee tour.

Koisau Sade, gender issues coordinator for World Vision in the Solomon Islands, had tea with the Duchess and shared about how World Vision is working to put a stop to domestic abuse there.

More than a dream

Much of World Vision's work involves meeting people's physical needs -- but what can also result is an emotional change.

When people aren't worried about where they'll get nutritious food, clean water, education, or healthcare, they're given freedom to dream about the future. On a trip to Romania, World Vision's Marilee Dunker saw this transformation firsthand.

Read on to find out how one family felt the courage to dream because of World Vision's work.

iPhoneography: Show life as it really happens.

Chances are, if you have seen photos from World Vision, you have also seen the work of World Vision photographer, Jon Warren. Jon has shot countless images for World Vision- his photos are a staple of our Blog. His skills as a photographer allow us to see parts of the world we have never been to, and give us insight into people we have never met. On a recent trip to Cambodia, instead of using an assortment of cameras and lenses as he usually does, Jon used another camera to capture portraits- his iPhone. Read on to hear Jon's thoughts on capturing images in a brand new way, and see the amazing captures from his trip.

Top 5 things you didn't know about the Olympics

In honor of the opening ceremonies of the Olympics tonight, our post today comes from Olympic enthusiast and World Vision staff member Kristin McGunnigle, who is currently in London to watch the games.

When Kristin isn't traveling with the World Vision Experience, you can find her watching a wide variety of sporting events and teams -- her favorite being the Olympics. Read on to learn from Kristin five fun Olympic facts you might not know.

My eyes have seen, ears heard, mouth still wide open

Today's heartfelt reflection comes from Collins Kaumba, a World Vision journalist in Zambia (pictured above with his wife and daughter). While his job often involves gathering stories of hope, he is also routinely exposed to the pain and suffering caused by poverty -- a reality made all the more personal to him because of his own background. Collins shares about a difficult experience that continues to affect him and makes him grateful for the ways he has been blessed by God.

Are you game for goats?

I've never been much of a "gamer" -- you know, those video game types who get a kick out of spending countless hours racking up points or battling pretend enemies. The virtual world never interested me.

I've tended to prefer investing my time and energy in things I have considered more substantial or long-lasting. But these days, you could say I have found a new respect for video games -- especially since I started working at World Vision.

A good dad, an everyday hero

We don’t always appreciate the miracle of a plain and ordinary but good life. Too often, we fail to value the dad who is simply present. He helps out with schoolwork, shows up at Little League, and brings his paycheck home.

It’s easy to assume that human lives are meaningful when something special happens to make us pay attention. We celebrate the Olympic heroes, those who make great leaps in advancing science, or the industrial tycoons who create the products for which we are willing to stand hours in line. It’s the people we read about, the people we see on television, the decision-makers who really matter. The ordinary, faithful dad doesn’t rank.

Mother's day thoughts: Tiny for the wrong reason

In honor of Mother’s Day, May 13, we asked bloggers to share their thoughts on motherhood -- and the importance of caring for children who have experienced the loss of a parent. Every day through Mother’s Day, we will feature a different blogger to remind us to appreciate mothers and care for those who are hurting. Today’s post comes from Lindsey, who is the author of The Pleated Poppy. Photos by Michelle Siu/World Vision.

Mother's Day thoughts: A mother to the motherless

In honor of Mother’s Day, May 13, we asked bloggers to share their thoughts on motherhood -- and the importance of caring for children who have experienced the loss of a parent. Every day through Mother’s Day, we will feature a different blogger to remind us to appreciate mothers and care for those who are hurting. Today's post comes from Jill, who has previously contributed to the World Vision Blog during our 12 blogs of Christmas series.

Mother's day thoughts: The gap between here and there

In honor of Mother’s Day, May 13, we asked bloggers to share their thoughts on motherhood -- and the importance of caring for children who have experienced the loss of a parent. Every day through Mother’s Day, we will feature a different blogger to remind us to appreciate mothers and care for those who are hurting. Today's post comes from Alise, who has previously contributed to the World Vision Blog during our 12 blogs of Christmas series.

When Mother's Day hurts

In honor of Mother's Day, May 13, we asked bloggers to share their thoughts on motherhood -- and the importance of caring for children who have experienced the loss of a parent.

Starting today and going through Mother's Day, we will feature a different blogger each day to remind us to appreciate mothers and care for those who are hurting. Our first post comes from Joy Bennett, who traveled to Bolivia with World Vision on our blogger trip last August.

Dealing with "First World Problems"

My friends and I have a saying that we thought was unique -- until we discovered that it already has a popular Twitter hashtag and YouTube video.

"First World Problems."

At one time, we thought we’d create a blog based off the concept and make millions that we could donate to charities to save lives. But we weren't the first to think of the idea. Woe is us. Maybe our disappoint is, in itself, a drop in the bucket of #firstworldproblems.

South Sudan: Transformation, progress in the world's newest nation

Juba, the capital city of South Sudan, has changed. Even before my plane from Kenya touched down here yesterday, I could tell that the world’s newest nation is undergoing transformation. It is definitely not where it was this time last year.