Tender Tennessee Christmas

For her 50th birthday last year, my wife Susan had an unusual wish. She asked family and friends to contribute $50 a month for a year to help support her work with the Peace Camp for kids at United University Church in Los Angeles.

Her birthday wish sounded at first strange because many people are used to keeping their lives private and independent. But her wish turned out to be an inspired idea. Many people responded with enthusiasm and extraordinary generosity. More importantly, Susan now has many more people invested and engaged in the work of Peace Camp. Given an invitation, it seems people do long to be more involved in other people's lives and projects.

With this in mind and with my own 50th birthday coming up on September 13th of this year, I thought I would create another community project where all of you would be invited to participate.

Susan and I for several years now have been hoping to take our lovely godchildren, Paulina (21) and Bryan (21) and their amazing 3 year old son Jason to visit our families in Tennessee for Christmas. These children are like the children we never had. They live in a studio apartment behind us and our lives are intertwined and interdependent in many ways. We have been godparents to Paulina for nearly 10 years, but given our tight budget we haven't been able to travel much with our godchildren.

Our parents every year sponsor our trip to visit them for Christmas. But neither Paulina or Bryan, or little Jason have ever been to our families' homes in Tennessee. They haven't even met my parents who really can't make the trip from Tennessee to California any longer due to age and health. They also haven't met many of our siblings or nieces and nephews. This would also be Bryan's and Jason's first trip outside of Southern California! Paulina did once have the opportunity to receive a scholarship to participate in a mission trip to Mississippi.

So my birthday (and Christmas) wish is simple: If all of you contributed $50 or more this trip would become a reality. We would of course be extremely grateful and would share our adventures through pictures and stories on Facebook.

  • Michael Ullman 
    • $110 
    • 92 mos
  • Christophe Ruscher 
    • $25 (Offline)
    • 92 mos
  • Riaz Naseer 
    • $50 (Offline)
    • 93 mos
  • Kristin Kumpf 
    • $150 
    • 93 mos
  • S Lawrence 
    • $50 
    • 93 mos
See all


Carlos Stouffer 
Los Angeles, CA
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