2021 June Heartbeat
Mad Dog Memories Missing a Beat
They’d rumble in every June, astride quaking Harleys and dressed in denim, leather and tattoos – until Covid canceled the 2020 and 2021 events. For 10 years, Beijing’s Mad Dog Motorcycle Club (MC) put on what grew into one of the city’s biggest – and certainly most fun – charity events. These bikers might look rough and tough on the outside, with their roaring Harleys, inked-up bodies and leather jackets, but underneath all that toughness and swagger the club members have hearts of pure gold. We have nothing but respect for these bikers, who share our compassion for disabled orphaned children.
Prior to being shut down by the pandemic, the Mad Dogs put on a first-class event to raise support for the children of Shepherd’s Field Children’s Village (SFCV). The annual event has been celebrated for its great food and drinks, including burgers, pizza and a huge selection of craft beers. Live music – featuring 10 bands – easily drew the masses from morning ’til night, while a variety of games amused young and old. The annual raffle was always a highly anticipated crowd favorite, boasting more than 60 prizes.
One of the best, best, best memories from this event was always when the Mad Dog M/C members rode their Harleys out to Shepherd’s Field to spend the day playing and hanging out with the kids! Even though Covid has prevented them from putting on the popular charity event in 2020 and again this year, we still want to give the club members, event sponsors, musicians, volunteers, and the folks who came to the event a huge shoutout for all that they’ve done to provide support for special-needs orphans. You are forever part of our big SFCV Family, and we’ll never forget you. Hopefully, 2022 will bring us back together for another memorable event!
How Do You Celebrate Children’s Day?
Children throughout China eagerly look forward to it, as do kids from around the world. In 1949, the Women’s International Democratic Federation declared International Children’s Day to be celebrated on June 1. That day is set aside to enhance the protection of children. But in China, it’s also celebrated as a day for kids to have fun with family and friends.
Some schools host field trips to a park, museum or the zoo, while others have a half-day – or all day – off. Some students even put on a dramatic performance! Many parents celebrate their child by doing a family activity together, eating a favorite meal or snack, or giving gifts. The most important focus, however, is always to spend quality time with your kids and celebrate their lives.
Children’s Day at Shepherd’s Field
At Shepherd’s Field, our children spend months preparing special performances for honored guests and staff. They love acting on stage! However, performing may not be the highlight of the year – a McDonald’s Happy Meal or some Kentucky Fried Chicken usually brings even more joy! After that, staff and guests close the day by playing outdoors with the kids – laughing, running and wheeling around. This June 1, wish someone you know Happy Children’s Day – 儿童节快乐! (értóng jié kuàilè)!
My Memories of Children’s Day
“My favorite holiday that we celebrated at Philip Hayden Foundation (PHF) was International Children’s Day on June1. Interning in the Little Lambs School allowed me to see how hard every child worked for weeks to rehearse and practice their performances. They really wanted to show off their talents to PHF guests, staff and volunteers. Every time the children left the stage after their acts, you could see how proud they were to be in the spotlight. More than 200 people were celebrating their accomplishments! One of the highlights of Children’s Day preparation is watching all the kids’ eyes light up when selecting their fancy Shepherd’s Field Fashion Show outfits to show off to the audience.
“My absolute favorite memory from Children’s Day is being barraged with water balloons by Molly during the annual water fight – an event where everyone can let loose and feel like a kid again. Even though I was able to appreciate all of the children’s gifts and accomplishments daily while interning at PHF, Children’s Day was still the most exciting day, since it marked the culmination and celebration of all their work.” – Annie Beckman
Catch One of these Shooting Stars
Levi Brings Smiles
If you’ve been around Shepherd’s Field at all and met him, you’d know that Levi is a funny little guy. Gentle and always smiling. Now going on eight years old, he’s recently been living with a foster family in China who also have several other children. Levi is energetic – he loves to play games, and craves toys that make loud sounds. He also likes listening to music, spending time alone and relaxing. Levi needs some time to warm up to strangers, but once he does – get ready to play! He has a very bubbly personality, and will laugh at just about anything. In fact, his contagious laughter makes him drop to the floor, out of control.
Levi started chemotherapy for retinoblastoma in his left eyeball late in 2014. In May of 2015, he had a retinal laser photocoagulation for his left eye under general anesthesia. A few months later in July, he underwent a removal of the left eye and had an artificial eye implanted. Levi has had regular, routine exams for the past five years, and continues to be healthy. Let’s find sweetie/silly Levi a Forever Family who will always love and cherish him.
Luke just turned 14, and is truly a special child – you can’t help but have a warm heart when he’s around. Like most kids, he loves playing games with others, but he also likes to take a break and read. He’s wise, kind-hearted and far beyond his years – a bright boy who is even known for his poetry. At Shepherd’s Field if you visited Luke’s house, you’d see him helping the ayis or holding and playing with his little brothers and sisters.
Like millions of other children, Luke’s been unable to attend public school – but he still loves his studies. Unlike other kids, Luke has a congenital heart condition and has received multiple surgeries throughout his life. He’s otherwise healthy, but he has to limit what kinds of games and activities he participates in. This young teen deserves the world. With your help, we’ve been able to provide necessary surgeries and continued healthcare for him. Will you now help us find him a Forever Family?
For more information, or if you or someone you know wants to adopt a child mentioned in this newsletter, please contact us at [email protected].
Therapy Training Nears Completion
It’s graduation time! Last November, the Philip Hayden Foundation began hosting an online therapy training course. PHF partnered with therapists at LIH Olivia’s Place to plan and teach the course. Our first class has nearly 80 therapy caregivers. These represent 1 orphanage and 5 Chinese non-government organizations (NGOs). All the participants work directly with children who have disabilities.
Practical Tools Improve Kids’ Lives
Each participant has completed 60 online lessons and a mid-term exam. There are just 3 live sessions left, followed by a final exam. Lessons are in four areas of therapy. ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) was the first topic. ABA provides tools for working with kids with autism. OT (Occupational Therapy) and PT (Physical Therapy) teach caregivers how to improve mobility. Speech and Language Therapy improve communication skills, so that kids can understand and be understood. Let’s give a big shout out to the teachers and students who have worked so hard!
These practical lessons provide caregivers specific tools to improve the life of the children in their care. Because 98% of the children in orphanages have disabilities, this training is crucial. Your donations make this valuable training possible, changing the lives of orphans in China.
Madison Adoption Associates
If you or someone you know wants to adopt a child mentioned in this newsletter, please contact us at [email protected]. Contact Madison Adoption Associates for more information on adopting Levi or Luke!