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Preview: Secret Santa Gets Healthy

Secret Santa Gets Healthy

Have a Secret Santa from across town or across the country and show your solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Lwala, Kenya while participating! Read the site for more details and join in the jubilation!

Updated: 2014-09-30T22:49:50.914-07:00


Wrapping up the Inaugural Secret Santa for Health!


So, did everyone receive their gift for Christmas? Did everyone figure out who their Secret Santa is?? If not, post here and I will reveal the answers to any last mysteries! If you want to say what you received, that would be great, too. And did it fit in with something you said about yourself?

Thank you so much for joining in the fun and helping others. Your donations make a huge difference. Please e-mail me with any suggestions you have for improving the experience!

Leave those comments, folks, inquiring minds WANT TO KNOW!



Just a reminder that, if you want to, I would love for you to send me pictures of your present so we can have a post-Christmas big reveal on the website! If yours is already wrapped or sent, I am also asking (as a back up) that if you think about it, you snap a picture when you receive and open your gift and send it along to me, too! Just a quick, simple picture.

I just think that will help build the community and let you get to know others with whom you're working to generously serve others. I thank God for all of you!!

(And just a reminder in case you haven't gotten your gift...don't stress about it. I've talked to many of you about this and NO ONE is in it for the gift they are receiving. It's to help Lwala! But the gift is just a simple surprise at the end! Simple, thoughtful and inexpensive are great!)



Hi, friends! Have you had a chance to get your gift yet? If not, do you have an idea? I set a goal of December 4th for gifts to be wrapped and shipped so everyone would get them well before Christmas. Of course that leaves a couple days of breathing room in case that date really won't work for you. We're nearing the end...let's finish well!

I was thinking...would you mind taking pictures of the gifts you receive (or the gifts you're going to give if they're not wrapped yet!) and send them to me? After Christmas, I might could post a few and reveal to more of us who had who for Secret Santa and share gift ideas. What do you think? Would that be fun to see?

Hope you all had a blessed Thanksgiving! Talk to you soon!

Get ready for your Secret Santas!


Yay, the fun time is here! You'll be receiving the name of your Secret Santa today! :)

They are being chosen by using a random sequence-generating website. Everyone participating is listed with a number by their name. When I receive the random sequence I will match those numbers up with the numbers assigned to each name, and we'll give in descending order with the last person on the list giving to the first person to create a loop. If this sounds confusing, don't worry about it! Just thought some of you might want to know how I was doing it. Ha!!

Woo Hoo! Thanks, friends, for partnering in something like this!

ELECT to help others this Christmas! Sign ups will be end Tuesday!


Am I so clever with my play on words? Well, it's just a reminder that election day, Tuesday, is going to be the last day to sign up for the 2008 Secret Santa for Health. Check here for details on how to sign up; but it is so easy it's basically this:

--e-mail me
--pay $10 donation that will be sent to LCA
--answer a few questions so your Secret Santa can buy you a gift
--buy a gift for your recipient

That's it. Thank you to everyone who has signed up! You encourage me so much with your generosity. By the end of the week, everyone will have the name and info for their recipient!

Learn more about the clinic


The staff members at the clinic are doing amazing things. Check out this link to learn a little more about what they are trying to accomplish and what your support will help provide!

Mission of the LCA

If you are considering signing up to be a Secret Santa, I encourage you to go ahead and do it! I am sure you won't regret it! Time is running out, so sign up today. And ask a friend or co-worker to sign up with you and double the fun. Please feel free to ask me if you have any questions.

One Man's Dream: How the Clinic got started


The Clinic started as one man's dream--a dream that people wouldn't suffer and die from treatable diseases because of lack of access to basic health care. After that man and his wife both died of HIV/aids, though, his sons found their calling.

The documentary Sons of Lwala tells the story of how the clinic went from dream to reality.


After watching it 5 times, I still find it inspiring and look forward to continuing to share it with others. If you would like to see this inspirational movie, let me know!

And continue to sign up for Secret Santa! It's only $10 (plus a small gift to your recipient) and there's just about one week left to join! Thanks!

You People Rock!


Thanks to so many of you for joining in the fun and showing love to others! It has been so exciting to see several friends sign up for Secret Santa. (Sign up here!)

Also, thanks to several of my good friends who have posted about this on their own blogs. If you would like to post about this or would like the blue and red button on your blog, feel free to do so. I think that would be awesome. Spread the word...the more the merrier!

Finally, a couple people have asked if they could just donate the entrance fee and not participate this time in the gift exchange. The answer is....of course you can! Now, don't misunderstand--I'd love for everyone to have/be a secret santa and get in on the delight of gift exchanging. But, if you're one of those people (and we all are at times) who can't add one errand on to your plate, I will definitely and gratefully accept your donation on behalf of the Lwala Community Alliance.

More coming soon....

What is this all about?


In July I hosted a screening of the documentary Sons of Lwala in Plano, Texas where many people came together and helped raise money for the non-profit Lwala Community Alliance. It was fun and successful, not to mention deeply impacting. I realized that there are many fun ways to join together with others and still do good at the same time.

I was wondering if we could do something more at Christmas. However, I realize people are busy around the holidays and thought perhaps we could do something mostly online. So "Secret Santa for Health" was born.

The idea is that friends and family across the country can join to be a Secret Santa--to both give and receive a gift from someone else who is joining to support the clinic in Lwala, Kenya. To join in the fun, I am asking for a $10 donation, which will be passed along completely to the LCA. So, we'll each buy and send a gift, receive a gift, and together, I pray, we'll give a big gift to to the LCA this Christmas. Please consider joining us!

Clinic receives an award and Nancy gives some answers!


Congratulations to the clinic in Lwala for being voted the Best in District by the Ministry of Health! What an accomplishment for a relatively new clinic. The workers there, who are all Kenyan, and almost all local from their community, should be so proud of their work. If you'd like to read more about the award, here is the article.

Also, I've heard back that some people who are interested in signing up for Secret Santa have been a little confused and I'm sorry for not giving clear directions. I'll try to clear things up, but if you have any more questions, please ask!

--This is like having a secret pal, but for Christmas it's Secret Santa! You really will buy and send a gift to the name you receive and really will get a gift from the person who receives your name.

--The support to Lwala is the $10 donation to enter.

--Signing up is easy: just leave a comment for me at the end of the sign up post:
here. That way we'll have just your name and I'll know to look out for an e-mail with your info. E-mail me the small questionaire (to help your Santa pick out a gift for you) here so that it's just between you, me and your Secret Santa.

I hope that clears some things up. Thanks for your support!

What your $10 donation will provide


I know that here in America, we are kind of skeptical that we can really make a difference. Especially when we only have $10 to put towards something. I want to assure you that this is not the case in Lwala, Kenya. Your $10 donation will provide for AIDS testing for 10 people! What a difference timely testing could make in so many lives. All from a small donation AND having a good time in a gift exchange. Who says helping can't be fun??

In future posts, I will share more about the AIDS epidemic in Western Kenya AND also about some of the successes the clinic in Lwala is already having. They are doing a great job over there! I'm only hoping we can put a few more tools in their capable hands.

Thanks for reading this and considering helping others on the other side of the world.

Here's how to SIGN UP!


It's fun and easy to sign up for Secret Santa for Health. Simply follow these steps:
  1. Secret Santa for Health is a $10.00 donation, with all proceeds going to the Lwala Community Alliance. You can make this payment directly to me if you are local or you can pay by paypal or check, so it's simple for everyone!
  2. To sign up you must leave your name as a comment on this post by clicking on the word comments right at the end of the post *and* send me an e-mail here. You can sign up anytime during the month of October. When you e-mail me, please cut and paste the short questionnaire below, so your Secret Santa will know a few basic things about you to aide them in selecting a gift for you! This won't be shared with anyone besides your Secret Santa!
  3. You will receive the name and info of your Secret Santa for whom you are to buy a gift sometime in early November. Please have your gift purchased, wrapped and shipped no later than December 4th to insure holiday delivery for everyone.
  4. There are only a couple gift-giving "rules": a) Please make your gift in some way health-related. You can be creative with this one, physical or mental health, etc. Healthy snacks, books, anything that strikes you as health-related, so we honor the Medical clinic in Lwala. b) Without having to spend a lot of money, just try to make it a gift you'd be happy to receive. This can easily be done in the $10-$15 range, right? It sure could for me!
  5. That's it! Have fun with this!

Secret Santa for Health questionaire:

  1. Name
  2. Address
  3. Blog website if you have one
  4. Favorite colors:
  5. Favorite scents:
  6. Favorite treats:
  7. Healthy habits I already have:
  8. Healthy things I'd like to try/learn about:
  9. Anything else your Secret Santa should know:



Have you heard the story of Lwala, Kenya...a rural community in western Kenya where solidarity and hope are pushing back poverty and disease? I invite you to learn more about the amazing story that is probably so unlike many tales of Africa that you have heard before.

Learn about the Ochieng family...a father's dream and his sons' vision and determination to carry it through. A dream that preventable disease would not continue taking lives of their friends and family members simply because of lack of access to basic healthcare.

It is a heart-warming, moving story that calls us to stand up in solidarity. Read more at the website of the Lwala Community Alliance. All proceeds from Secret Santa for Health will be going to support their worthy goals of health and education.