The Morning Star Foundation manages various outreach programs locally and internationally. Casa Bernabé is an orphanage in Nicaragua, bordering Costa Rica in Central America. The country is the second poorest in the western hemisphere. The orphanage is in a town of 100,000 people with 70% unemployment, so even if an individual wanted a job, there’s none to be had in this region of few resources, creating intense poverty. MorningStar built a new home for about 60 kids and helps enrich their lives. MorningStar Senior Living‘s operations specialist John Jaeger joins Suzanne Newman to talk about this program. Learn more at the Casa Bernabé website and the MorningStar Foundation website.
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Welcome to the answers for elders radio show. meet the trusted experts who will give you straight answers and will health guide you on the path of later life care. Now here’s your host, founder, caregiver and CEO, Susan Newman, and welcome back everyone to the answers for elders radio network. And we are here with John Yeager, who’s the operation specialist of Morning Star Senior Living, and we are here talking about morning stars foundation and it’s outreach programs. And if you have been listening, last segment we talked about life water and about, you know, other countries and Ethiopia and you know that are hurting, that need a good water supply, and certainly you guys are amazing support of that program tell us a little bit, just as a summary, what kind of other things the foundation goes into before we get to your next program here. We created the Morning Star Foundation to kind of house our philanthropic initiatives. That’s both locally and internationally. And internationally we serve alongside lifewater international, but also Casa Burna Bay, and Casa Burna Bay is such an incredible organization that we’re honored to partner with and serve alongside with and engage our teams with and tell us about Casa Burna Bay. What is it? Yeah, so CASA burna Bay is an orphanage in PORTICA basis, Nicaragua. So Nicaragua is located in Central America, right next to Costa Rica. A lot of people north Coasta Rica is but maybe not so much Nicaragua, and that’s because they are the second forest country in the Western Hemisphere, right behind Haiti. So they’re in an incredibly tough, tough spot and that’s why we feel called to kind of press in and to do what we can to serve the people in need and are our focus is around this orphanage called Casaburna Bay in the town of about a hundredzero people. And in that town, cortica basis, there’s seventy percent unemployment. So even if an individual one in a job, there is none to be had. There’s just no opportunities, there’s very few resources and that just creates a situation of pretty intense poverty and the need, you know, for a children’s home, for an orphanage like Casaburna Bay to kind of serve the community in that way. So what are the ways that you support Casaburna Bay. Well, it all started back in two thousand and eight when Ken Yeager, who is the CEO and founder of Morning Star, he had a friend who just extended an invitation. He said, can come down in Nicaragua. There’s some things that you need to see, and so Ken did just that. He went with this friend. He he saw a lot of organizations, he met with a lot of ministries, but the one that just grabbed his heart, the one that he felt kind of called to press into, was Casaburna Bay. So he met a gentleman named Pastor Earl Bowie, and local Nicaraguan, and this is his ministry. He is from the East Coast in Nicaragua and I believe that God put him on this Earth to serve his people and he does it so incredibly well. And so when Ken saw pastor Earl’s heart to serve his community, when Ken saw what he was doing through Cosa burnaby orphanage, how he was serving these children, he said there’s something that we can do about it. As a morning Star family, he saw a great need and he knew that we had the awareness, that access in the ability to do something, and so we went to work and so over the last ten years we have built the children at Casaburna Bay a brand new home. It is just the most incredible beautiful thing and it’s a place for them to grow up and it’s a place for us to be able to pour into their futures, to pour into their hopes and their dreams. Wow, and it’s just an incredible, incredible environment. How many children are it the the community? They’re about sixty kids, kind of between the ages of five and eighteen, and they are the most beautiful, precious kids and the entire world. I mean they’re they’re just there. Over the years, I will buy, the grace of God, I am able to go down about once a quarter. So for the last ten years I’m making a quarterly trip to Nicaragua and I’ve been able to grow up with the kids in the orphanage. I’ve I’ve I truly see them as my little brothers and sisters and it’s so beautiful to see my morning Star family and then my family down at Cassa Burna Bay, when those two worlds are inter wow and they come together. It’s just it’s incredibly beautiful. Well, it’s really your expertise on helping those that can’t always help themselves, you know, and when I think about you know, what you do is senior living, of course, that is so much of that is easily transferred over to helping our youth and finding ways again to give them purpose, I’m sure, I have no doubt, and living in a wonderful community, you know, home like like Cassa Burna Bay, Burna Bay, that I just said it right, and so you know. So when you go down there and you built this home, you go quarterly, what kind of view to bring? Activities? Do you do different types of programs with them? In what other ways do you support them? I mean in our senior communities we use the word and the term life enrichment, and that’s what we try to do with our residents, with our seniors, and or enrich their life to the full. HMM. But we’re truly trying to do that in a place like Cossa Burnaby, you know, in Nicaragua as well. We are trying to pour into these children, you know, enrich their lives physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. A huge component of this. You know, ministry is a school. Education is huge. It’s so, so important and these kids are growing up or they come from situations or environments and communities where there is no opportunity to go to school. So we’re able to, you know, invest in their future through education. They get an incredible, you know education through high school and then, Lord Willing, we’re able to give them the opportunity to go to the university as well, and that is a game change that really sets them up to break cycles of poverty. They’ve been living, you know, in some in some cases, generations of very difficult things. And when they’re able to become, you know, get a high school degree, when they’re able to get college degree, they’re able to go back and do incredible things in their communities and we will do whatever we can to make sure that’s a reality for them. And I could almost conceivably see where there might be opportunities for them as they grow up, to become part of your organization. You know, you never know, and those kinds of if it’s something that they choose, absolutely there’s a there was a boy who grew up in the orphanage about twenty years ago. He went to High School, went to college, he went to medical school and now he came back and he’s the he’s the primary doctor for a clinic in PORTICA basis. But that’s it right there. You know, a child with not much, you know, hope and not much in terms of their dreams, but you know being able to pour into them. You never know what what they can do and they just need that opportunity and once they get that they’re off to the racism. But it’s a beautiful thing to say and it’s about choices when you sit back and give them the opportunity to say, I choose better for myself. That comes from a point of all the things that you poured into those children, of their mindset, of they can do, you know, accomplish or get out of the situation. Wasn’t there like a couple of hurricanes in two thousand and twenty, and how did that impact you? In November of two thousand and twenty there were two major hurricanes that hit the east coast in Nicaragua. So the first was hurricane a to it was a category for two weeks later, hurricane iota, which was a category five, hit just kilometers away. So it was just back to back and it’s hard for me to even summarize or to try to paint the picture of the aftermath, but I was able to fly down a month later, December two thousand and twenty, and what I saw again, I can’t even begin. In the middle of the pandemic, on top of it, in the middle of the pandemic, they got hit by these hurricanes that absolutely devastated the community. Pretty much everyone in perticabasis, where the orphanage is, lost their rooftop roofs were just blown away, but many communities, many neighborhoods were one hundred percent completely destroyed. Every structure, wooden homes, concrete, cement homes, one hundred percent completely destroyed, and this left thousands of people with absolutely nothing. Nothing, nothing, nothing, and our heart since then is to do whatever we can to pour into these people, to serve them, to bless them, to yes, we’ve been meeting the immediate needs of water, of food, of clothing since those hurricanes in November two thousand and twenty, but now we are doing our very best to kind of to jump from relief to rebuilding and empowering the people, you know, to be able to, you know, lift back up start living life again, because for the last two years they’ve been in such a Rut of survival, just trying to survive. Yeah, so we’re doing whatever we can to pour into them and and, you know, give them the pieces so they can live life to the full again. Yeah, absolutely. And and to think about, you know, just the impact of so many, you know, acts of God like this to be these happen. You know, it’s so tragic to think about the people that are there with nothing. I remember when it happened it was more so. We knew about what happened to Puerto Rico, but this sounds like it was way worse. Yeah, yeah, I mean it was November two thousand and twenty and that’s when our election was going on. So not many people heard of about it. And that, you know, that such a major catastrophe backtoback hurricanes. You know, that should have been done the news. There should have been, you know, hopefully, you know, people getting involved, people hearing about it, people sending down resources, but there really wasn’t that. Wow. So at Morning Star we’ve done our very best to again engage the morning star family in meeting some really really you know, dire needs. We’ve had this relationship with pastor earl and Cosa burnabat orphanage and these these two hurricanes were in their backyard. So we were able to kind of, you know, from the relationship that we had, you know, be first responders of sorts. Wonderful. And so, John, how do we reach out and learn more about CASSI Burna Bay? You can go to Casa Burna Bay Dot Org. In that C ASA CASA Burnaby, bear end a bee, Cosa burnaby dot org. Find out more about the orphanage, find out more about the hurricane relief that’s going on, read some stories, see some pictures and see some videos. And we also have some information on the morning start senior Livingcom. If you go to morning star senior Livingcom under that our hearttab, there’s information there green about cross a burn the bay and the work that’s going on. Wonderful, and so John and I will be right back right after this everyone, and we’ll close out the hour talking about the missions and the foundation of morning starts seenior living. We at answers for elders. Thank you for listening. Did you know that you can discover hundreds of podcasts in our library on senior care? So visit our website and discover our decision guides. That will help you also navigate decision making. Find US AT ANSWERS FOR ELDERS DOCUM
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Founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., Suzanne Newman proclaims often, “Caring for my mom was the hardest thing I ever have done, but it was also my greatest privilege.” Following a career of over 25 years in sales, media, and marketing management, Suzanne Newman found herself on a 6-year journey caring for her mother. Her trials and tribulations as a family caregiver inspired an impassioned life mission outside of the corporate world to revolutionize the journey that so many other American families also find themselves on. In 2009, she became the founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., subsequently hosting hundreds of radio segments and podcasts, as well as authoring her first book. Suzanne and Answers for Elders, Inc. have spent 14 years, and counting, committed to helping families and seniors along their caregiving journeys by providing education, resources, and support. Each week on the Answers for Elders podcast, Suzanne is joined by vetted professional experts in over 65 categories including Health & Wellness, Life Changes, Living Options, Money, Law, and more. Suzanne lives in Edmonds, Washington with her husband, Keith, and their two doodle dogs, Whidbey and Skagit.
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