Sophia's Plan for Japan!

Sophia's Plan for Japan!

From Sophia Espinoza

I have been selected as the Wallowa County Rotary Exchange Student for the 2020-2021 school year, which means my junior year will be spent studying abroad!

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Recent Updates

Update #45

about 1 month ago

WE HAVE REACHED OUR GOAL!!

Following a 2nd donation from the Arenas family and an amazingly generous donation from Donald Bloss, we have met and surpassed our &5,000 goal.

We are so relieved and thrilled to be coming up on the start of the official exchange process in such wonderful financial shape and we have all of you to thank! We have been and continue to be blown away by all of the love and support we've been surrounded with over the last year.

We are hoping to keep this website alive up until Sophia takes off on her adventure next fall. $5,000 was our base goal but additional expenses could very possibly arise so donations will continue to be accepted and appreciated for as long as possible.

THANK YOU TO ALL OF OUR DONORS AND SUPPORTERS FOR MAKING THIS POSSIBLE!!

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I am so excited to spend my junior year as an exchange student and Japan is my first choice for host country (followed by South Korea & India)! I won't officially know where I'm heading until the spring of 2020 but there's an 85% chance that my first choice will be confirmed. 

This adventure does not come cheap, however. We are so grateful to have been "adopted" by the local Rotary Club who will be covering a large portion of the $1,575 application fee, among other things. Other costs include: round-trip airfare, travel insurance, passport/visa fees and an emergency fund. 

Program funds will be needed by next September, when the year-long preparation process begins, so I will be conducting an extensive fundraising campaign, both locally and electronically, until then! 

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Sophia Espinoza posted a new update:
about 1 month ago

Update #46

WE HAVE REACHED OUR GOAL!!

Following a 2nd donation from the Arenas family and an amazingly generous donation from Donald Bloss, we have met and surpassed our &5,000 goal.

We are so relieved and thrilled to be coming up on the start of the official exchange process in such wonderful financial shape and we have all of you to thank! We have been and continue to be blown away by all of the love and support we've been surrounded with over the last year.

We are hoping to keep this website alive up until Sophia takes off on her adventure next fall. $5,000 was our base goal but additional expenses could very possibly arise so donations will continue to be accepted and appreciated for as long as possible.

THANK YOU TO ALL OF OUR DONORS AND SUPPORTERS FOR MAKING THIS POSSIBLE!!

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Sophia Espinoza posted a new update:
about 1 month ago

Update #45

Happy August, ya'll!

Summer has officially arrived here...and the thunderstorms continue! I hope you are all staying cool and doing well.

As I look over the campaign, I am struck by the fact that we have less than 30 days remaining and are still more than $200 away from our goal. YIKES! As so often happens, the steam of our fundraising train seems to have ran out. That's where all you lovely friends and family come in!

Sophia has been working hard this summer- cleaning for the Lodge, babysitting, performing yard care services -and she has been consistently adding to her exchange savings account. Who will help her cross the finish line? If you're not in a position to donate, are you willing to spread the word? Sharing our campaign to your social media account (or an email) is one easy click away. Every dollar matters and we greatly appreciate all donations, big and small!

I am looking forward to sharing Sophia's progression as she begins her official exchange student process in the very near future. Your generous donations are the singular reason that this amazing experience is possible and we thank you, humbly and deeply.

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Sophia Espinoza posted a new update:
2 months ago

Update #44

Whew...I can't believe it's the middle of July and it's been a month since I posted an update! We're all working this summer and planning for my eldest daughter's college transition but I've not forgotten my Fundly friends!

Thanks to Donald Bloss, one of our beyond-Super Supporters, we are inching closer and closer to our goal. We recently received word that our official exchange process may begin next month. We're hoping to keep the donations rolling in so we can get to $5,000 by the end of summer.

We are eternally grateful for all of your support. Please feel free to pass our campaign along! Thank you!

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Sophia Espinoza posted a new update:
4 months ago

Update #43

Wow...we are under $300 away from reaching our goal!!

I can hardly believe it myself but I am so thrilled and grateful and surprised and excited to be at this stage! Last week, Sophia learned that her formal application process will begin this August. Although she has been accepted into the program, the actual preparatory process will take nearly a year and it is such a relief to know that we have the funds necessary to move forward with our plan...thanks to all of our amazingly generous donors!

I want to share one important fact: The amount that has been raised does not reflect the amount that is currently in our exchange savings account. Unfortunately, part of utilizing a fundraising website is that the exposure and payment processing comes with a cost. Fundly takes a percentage of each donation to pay for it's services so our amount left to raise is closer to $500.

Therefore, we will continue to accept donations long after our listed goal has been reached. Direct donations, such as a check, can be posted and placed directly into the account without deduction, for example. We decided on $5,000 as a baseline amount but there are always variables when it comes to something like this. In short, the fundraising will continue up until Sophia is on the plane to Japan!

Thank you all for your support!

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Sophia Espinoza posted a new update:
4 months ago

Update #42

Hello everyone!

I'm happy to report that Fundly confirmed that suspicious activity had taken place via our website and has remedied the situation! Our fingers are crossed that it's all smooth sailing from here on out.

We are so close to our goal! If you are so inclined, sharing our campaign on your social media page(s) is quick, easy and effective.

Thank you all!

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Sophia Espinoza posted a new update:
5 months ago

Update #41

I am sorry to say that we have received a couple of suspicious, faulty donations recently. Both Fundly and legal authorities have been notified. This is a new issue but one we have to take seriously. For safety reasons, we may have to close down the site prematurely. I promise to keep you all up-to-date as we move forward.

Thank you all for your support!

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Sophia Espinoza posted a new update:
5 months ago

Update #40

Hello, sunshine! We are loving the sunshine and cool breezes that have come our way. Hot summer days could be just around the corner so we will enjoy the mild days as long as we can!

We have reached yet another wonderful place in our fundraising journey! After receiving a whopping $250 from one of our regular contributors, Donald Bloss, we welcomed a new donor, Jeff Nienow, whose $5 rounded us off to $4,680. Further proof that every little bit counts! Thank you both!

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Sophia Espinoza posted a new update:
5 months ago

Update #39

Happy April, everyone!

We have been smothered in grey and rain for weeks but one bright spot came yesterday with another $35 donation from Super Supporter Donald Bloss!

Hard to believe we're so close to the $4,500 mark! I feel like we're rounding the corner to the home stretch and it's been made possible by all of our lovely donors. Thank you all for your support and generosity!

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Sophia Espinoza posted a new update:
6 months ago

Update #38

Oh Happy Day....we have been given the opportunity to crown a new Super Supporter!

Thank you SO much for your generous donation of $125, Victoria and Aaron Himes! Welcome to our lovely list of big-hearted donors!

One such supporter is Donald Bloss, whose recent $35 donation brought him a mere $5 away from the $300 mark. You're a rock star, Donald!

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Sophia Espinoza posted a new update:
7 months ago

Update #37

Thanks to Michele Baker's $50 donation, we have tipped over the $4,200 point!

We are so appreciative of your support, Michele!

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Sophia Espinoza posted a new update:
7 months ago

Update #36

Our February just got that much sweeter with another $35 donation from one of our repeat supporters, Donald Bloss, and a $50 donation from one of our fundraising event supporters (and dear friends), Tamara Hall Fuchs!

Thank you, Donald and Tamara, for your continued generosity!

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Sophia Espinoza posted a new update:
8 months ago

Update #35

We are starting off February with another $25 donation from Patty Wickholm, bringing her total contribution to $75!

Thank you, Patty, for your continued support!

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Sophia Espinoza posted a new update:
8 months ago

Update #34

We've added a new Fabulous Funder to our roster of supporters!

Leanne J. was a former JoHi exchange student from South Africa who donated both $50 and some advice on how to have a positive exchange experience. Thank you, Leanne!

Also, we're giving a big shout-out to Donald Bloss whose most recent donation brought us up (and over) the $4,000 mark! Donald's regular donations currently add up to $200+ dollars and we are very, very grateful for his generosity!

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Sophia Espinoza posted a new update:
8 months ago

Update #33

Hooray, Hooray! I'm happy to say:

The Odd Fellows of Enterprise Oregon (Lodge #153) has generously donated $250 to Sophia's exchange fund! The check was hand-delivered to our door this afternoon. (Gotta love small towns!)

Words cannot express how grateful I am for all of your thoughtful generosity. It's hard to believe that we are only $15 away from reaching the $4,000 mark! I wonder whose donation will tip the scales?

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Sophia Espinoza posted a new update:
8 months ago

Update #32

Hello and Happy New Year to you all! I hope 2019 is treating you well, so far. Have you stood firm in your resolutions?

Following our party in December, we decided to take a much-needed break from active fundraising. However, I did receive a call yesterday about an upcoming donation, which I will share with you as soon as I'm able! In the meantime, I'll be trying to find more time to focus on scholarship applications with my eldest, who will be attending university next fall!

Thank you, donors and supporters, for helping make Sophia's dream a reality. We wish you many happy days in 2019!

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Sophia Espinoza posted a new update:
9 months ago

Update #31

Wow...the generosity continues!

Mollie Cudmore just became our newest Fabulous Funder with her $50 donation. Thank you SO much, Mollie!

I am thrilled to announce that Steve Hoell, who was one of our very first donors, just joined the Super Supporter ranks with his SECOND donation of $50! You rock, Steve! Thank you for your continued support!

Given the time of year, when so many people are feeling the financial strain, I am especially humbled by the donations we've been receiving. We are grateful for each and every one of you, and are wishing you all Happy Holidays!

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Sophia Espinoza posted a new update:
9 months ago

Update #30

We have two new donors!

Dan Owsley, our point man for the Odd Fellows Hall where we held our event, not only worked out a sweet deal for the rental cost but he and his wife also donated $25 to Sophia's campaign!

Secondly, anyone who knows Leo and Audra Arenas, owners of the best Mexican restaurant in town, knows they both have hearts of gold. Audra donated a bunch of AMAZINGLY YUMMY treats to our event and Leo later gave Sophia $20 to add toward her amount raised.

We are beyond blessed to live in such a supportive county!

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Sophia Espinoza posted a new update:
9 months ago

Update #29

Our fundraising concert & dessert bar was a huge success!

With fabulous music, awesome treats and wonderful company, we were able to have a fun night and raise nearly $800!!

Pulling it off was definitely a team effort and we are so grateful to everyone who helped out, showed up and contributed. We are beyond exhausted today (cleaning the space before and after the event took 4 hours alone) but beyond jazzed about the outcome!

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Sophia Espinoza posted a new update:
9 months ago

Update #28

We are less than 5 days away from our very first fundraising event! We're feeling anxious but prepared. The weather (and roads) over here have been touch-and-go so we're crossing our fingers for a good turn-out!

If you're in the area- or looking for a road trip -please join us this
Saturday, December 15th at 6pm for a concert and dessert bar!
We'll have great music, amazing treats and warm drinks in the Odd Fellows space (above Soroptimist) so come enjoy the fun!

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Sophia Espinoza posted a new update:
10 months ago

Update #27

Happy December, everyone! We are exactly 2 weeks away from our fundraising event and are excited to start the month off with a new Super Supporter!

Thank you, Mellie Pullman, for your $100 donation! Your generosity has brought us even closer to the $3,000 mark!

We are continually blown away by all the support we receive and we are truly thankful for every single one of you!

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