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Family Receives Beds, New Stove Through Ambassador Program

It was the baby that first caught Kathryn Dillow’s attention. The adorable newborn couldn’t have been more than a month old. As Kathryn observed the baby and her mother, she decided to strike up a conversation. She learned that the mother, Michaela Champlin, and her husband, Kendrick, were committed to homeschooling their four children and used second-hand or free school materials in order to stretch their budget.

That was over a year ago. Since then, Kathryn became the Nebraska State Ambassador for the Home School Foundation and the Champlins found themselves needing a better place to live.

“Our apartment was too small,” Michaela said. “The kids needed a place to play, and I wanted to grow a garden.” After a while, the Champlins found an older home with four bedrooms and a large backyard. It was a great fit for their family, except that it lacked kitchen appliances. The entire family also needed beds. Still, the Champlins pressed forward with their move in November, sleeping on air mattresses and using a slow cooker and a single burner to prepare meals. The transition was difficult, especially with Michaela being five months pregnant and Kendrick working two jobs.

When Michaela shared the details of her situation, Ambassador Dillow asked if the Champlins would be willing to let the Home School Foundation’s Ambassador Program help. Michaela said yes. A call for assistance was sent out across the Nebraska homeschool community, triggering an overwhelming response. In less than a month, every member of the family had a bed and bedding supplies, including the baby that was due in February. Additionally, money started coming in to the Nebraska State Ambassador Fund. By the second week of January, there were enough funds to purchase the Champlins a used oven. But with Kendrick’s work schedule and Michaela busy homeschooling the children, there was no time to shop for it. 

So Ambassador Dillow set out to find an oven for the family.  Unable to find a decent used one, she explored options to purchase a brand new stove and was blessed by meeting Jeff Whitehead, Menards Cabinet and Appliance Department Manager.

Ambassador Dillow and Jeff Whitehead

Upon hearing about the Champlins’ need, Jeff responded with a heart of compassion and helped Ambassador Dillow find an affordable new range and secured the best possible pricing for the purchase. The delivery of the oven was delayed one week, however, for a more important delivery—Ami’Shaddai Bryont, the Champlin's fifth child.

“Sometimes you become so focused on meeting the everyday needs that you can’t think beyond that," Michaela said. If you hadn’t helped us, it would have been too much to do it on our own.”

Ami'Shaddai Champlin

“The Champlin family is settled in their home,” Ambassador Dillow told HSF recently. With beds, an oven, and a big backyard, it’s easier for them to focus on homeschooling and enjoy everyday blessings. I’m truly amazed to be part of a community that helps one another like this. I encourage anyone who wants to help homeschoolers to explore the Ambassador Program.”

Homeschooling is a commitment; one of love, time, effort, and money.  Families who choose to educate their children at home shouldn’t have to choose between meeting their families’ needs and homeschooling.  That’s why the Home School Foundation is here.  If you are in need or know someone who is, please contact us at info@homeschoolfoundation.org.

Join the HSF Ambassador Team wherever you live!  Visit homeschoolfoundation.org/volunteer.

Helping families homeschool through hard times

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