Shanon Hawkshaw & McJoyful Christmas

In June 2007, my Dad was visiting the Ukraine with Pastor Jamie Nelder and spent some time visiting the local orphanages.  My Dad was one of the most thoughtful and generous people I have ever known, but also a behind-the-scenes kind of guy.  He loved quietly helping and sharing with people, and had a huge heart.  When the doctor told us that my Dad's heart had been very enlarged, our family smiled and I remember my Mom said, "Well, we always knew he had a big heart!".  Pastor Jamie shared some stories of my Dad meeting the children and spoiling them with simple gifts like pistachio nuts.  Things that we take forgranted and wouldn't think twice about buying, were such luxuries for these kids and I know my Dad would have loved the opportunity to spread some joy in their lives.  Unfortunately, my Dad passed away unexpectedly on his way home from the mission trip.  

I love running and am so grateful for the opportunity to run and raise donations for the McJoyful Christmas project and continue to bring some joy to children who don't get to spend time out of the orphanages other than this one magical day each year.  

Here is a link to a previous McJoyful Christmas

It is so heartwarming to see the smiles on these children's faces from such a simple gesture.

Click on the picture to the left for a link to a video.

I be running in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon on October 20 this year, and it will be my 9th half marathon in memory of my Dad. Over the past years, we have raised over $25,000 for the McJoyful Christmas project, as well as contributed funds towards the renovation of a gymnasium and other necessary repairs in one of the orphanages. I am looking forward to seeing what we can together for this year's race.

Thank you.


Thank you for your support !!!

Here are the pictures I promised from the Boys' Rehab Centre in Krivoy Rog

The first picture (NelGym) shows the gym floor (which we decided to repair and paint) and the walls (which were also painted by an artist).


This decision (not to fully replace the floor in the gym) allowed us to do MANY necessary renovations. The picture (NelRoofRoom) shows one of the bedrooms where the the roof was leaking and it was fixed (and then the ceiling was fixed and the room was also wallpapered). The picture (NeldDrOffice) shows the walpaper and floors that were fixed in their Dr's office. The picture (NelFloors) shows the floors in the halway which were fixed with new linoleum and (NelStairs) shows how the stairwells were all fixed and painted.


This was THEIR decision and we were amazed how far the funds that you graciously sent were stretched! And, of course, the greatest thing is how we noticed a difference in the children, when they wake up every day in a better place :)


Thank you so much for continuing to believe in miracles with us!