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Doves Nest Update – April, May, June, & July 2011

You may have noticed that I haven’t posted on our Dove’s Nest activities all year. Well just to bring you up to speed, I had to skip a few months because of a few personal struggles but started coming back in April 2011. So I’m going to bundle April, May, June and July into one post.

I wanted to do something special for Easter this year that I hadn’t done before. In the past, we’ve done cupcakes but this time we went for full on cakes! Grant it, they weren’t huge cakes but they were big enough to call cakes. I went to the dollar store and found some 6″ disposable aluminum rounds that came in packages of 4 each so I loaded got enough for 16 pans. Yes, I only needed 12 but I splurged the extra dollar and got 4 more just to be safe (and hoping there might be some left over for you-know-who and my family). Then I baked the cakes, and also some sugar cookies in oblong shapes like that of Easter eggs, then froze them until the morning of my trip to Dove’s Nest.

I’m never sure how many women are going to be there because sometimes they are either not at full capacity or some of the women are unable to attend. But that day ALL 12 residents were present and ready to learn some new (fun) skills!

I brought the cakes, cookies, jelly beans, marshmellows, lots of decorating icing and everybody made Easter baskets. Here are the pictures to prove it.

In May we made bookmarks. I gathered a few pictures I liked and printed copies of them on my Inkjet printer. I also printed some the pictures I had taken the previous month of some of the women doing the Easter basket cakes in case they migh want to use them for one of their bookmarks. So with pictures cardstock paper, laminate and ribbons the ladies made some very creative booksmarks. Many of them planned to use them as gifts.


In June we made greeting cards. I forgot to bring my camera that day so I don’t have pictures from our June activity but I’ll tell you, they made some awesome cards. We even did homemade envelopes for many of them.

In July we made button bracelets. We’ve done them before and the women really loved them, and did a great job too. The bracelets are fun to wear and they make great gifts. I’m in the process of getting a new website setup to display and sell some of my own button jewelry creations along with some of my daughters. I shared one of my exclusive designs with the ladies of Dove’s Nest!

A special thanks to my dear friend Linda for helping me with all of these activities! She is a true treasure and I’m so thankful for all that she does to help, despite her very busy schedule.


I just want to say how much of a blessing it is to visit the women of Dove’s Nest each month. These women are in my heart and my prayers as I am able to see how they embrace the program, and more importantly, embrace the Lord as he heals them. I see obvious changes of improvement each month I come to visit. I thank God for the work he is doing in each of them!
And the staff at Dove’s Nest is so wonderful! They appreciate every volunteer who comes to help them and they’re not afraid to express it regularly. Before I left last week I had to tell them that because of personal circumstances I have to move to Virginia temporarily for about 6 months. It breaks my heart to be away for so long but it’s necessary for me at this time. As I was leaving to go home I was handed a beautiful, heartwarming thankyou/goodbye card that was signed by everyone on staff. It just makes me feel all the more privileged to serve this Ministry, so as I told them . . . . . I’ll be back!!!

Posted 6 years, 4 months ago at 8:46 am.

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Doves Nest Update – September 2010

Last month at Doves Nest we did some cool puzzles but I didn’t get any pictures to share (sorry, I forgot my camera). But we enjoyed it and many of the women used them for gifts to their families and friends. It was one of those kind of puzzles that you can add to so some are still working on theirs.

Here are some pictures of our time together this month.
We worked on "Fairy Tale" theme ideas and more. Witnessing the discovery of talent is a beautiful thing! Praise the Lord!!!
We had fun this month with cupcakes, we tried something new!! We’ve always done cupcake decorating with buttercream icing in the past but this time I wanted to try using fondant. And just to make it more interesting, we used homemade fondant which is very easy and inexpensive to make. It’s just melted marshmallows, powdered sugar and a little bit of crisco for the kneading part.
I challenged the ladies to come up with ideas for a “Fairy Tale” theme (since I was planning to do some fairy tale cupcakes myself and needed ideas). I’m always delighted at the ideas that the Doves Nest ladies come up with and they were up to the challenge this time too . . . . no disappointments, they were awesome! God bless these women and the changes they are making in their life. God is dancing over the Doves Nest ministry!!!

Posted 7 years, 2 months ago at 8:20 am.

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Blessings in the Storm update – September 2010

Thanks again to those of you who have supported Blessings in the Storm in the past. This is a chance to help again. it doesn’t involve your money, just a few moments of your time each day. Please vote  for Loretta every day for the National Feeding Dreams Grand Champion. Here is the link. If you drag the link to your desktop you can just click on it every day to vote.


Your vote is very important!!!

You can only vote once a day so we need as many people as possible to vote. If she wins the most votes the funds would benefit the Blessings in the Storm ministry tremendously!!!  


Please read Loretta’s letter below:


From:loretta caldwell []
Sent: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 5:18 PM


Hello Christian Friends
This message is being sent to those of you that have supported and touched Blessings In The Storm Ministry in someway. 
Women and children arrive on Blessings In The Storm’s doorsteps with more baggage than they can carry.  Yet they’re empty handed; they have next to nothing.  The ministry pays rent on four (4) homes along a dead end street in West Charlotte.  We take in women and children giving them shelter and offer them a wide an avenue to healing, faith and self sufficiency. 
The ministry needs your help to continue to provide these things for the least of them.  Some of you have been very faithful with your support and I encourage you to continue to help those in need for there is an overwhelming need right here in the streets of Charlotte.  I don’t get into statistics, however, I can share with you that I receive at least five (5) calls per day from women in need. They are preparing to live on the streets along with their small children and from that five at least three of them are experiencing homelessness for the first time.  Their world suddenly comes down around them.  My heart breaks when I have to turn them down due to lack of space.  Many of you know me I am going to help in some way whether it be through emergency housing (hotel etc) or taking them food and clothing.  With that said, we are in need of your continued support.
About nine years ago I was exposed to the real face of homelessness.  A visit to the homeless shelter opened my eyes.  I recall thinking there cannot be this many women and children without a place to live.  Many people do not understand the scope of this issue. I see so much pain in children’s faces. I see the pain in their mother’s eyes for not being able to provide for them.  It’s a fact that most of them do not know the love of Jesus. They do not understand what it means to place their faith in Him, so it seems hopeless until we can love on them.  That’s when we began to share the GOOD NEWS of Jesus Christ.  When you have not heard or felt anything but bad news, you are ready to hear some good news.
Children need a back yard and a safe place to ride their bikes. They need a home where their mothers can cook and read them a bedtime story.  We don’t just bring them in; we provide parenting skills, job readiness and encourage them to go back to school. I am asking you for support so we can continue to maintain these homes.  I know the economy is tough, but the word of God says, “whatever you did for one of the lest of these you did for me” Matthew 25:40).
Currently, the ministry has five homes. Four of them we rent and one we own.  Between the five homes we are serving 12 women and 10 children on a day-to-day basis with the same needs you have in your homes.  Rent is $650 on two of the homes and $725 on the other two.  We need to pay for utilities, pampers and milk, plus all the other normal things needed to maintain a home.  Again, we are in need of your support to continue without losing one or two of these homes.  Any help is appreciated weather it is in the form of monetary donations or purchasing pampers, wipes etc.  We need your help.  Women and children might arrive on Blessings In The Storm’s doorsteps with empty hands, but this ministry ensures they leave with hearts full, their spirits strengthened and their minds equipped to get them through life’s next storm.
Recently the ministry was nominated and honored with winning the Feeding Dreams champion award for the state of North Carolina. One easy way you can help is to go to daily and vote for your Charlotte champion to win the $10,000 National Grand champion award. The winner is to be announced in December.  This award could go a long way during the Christmas holidays. The winner is based on the most votes, so cast a vote every day for Blessings In The Storm. 
You can also help by making a donation on our web site at  Click on the donation button or you can mail your donations to the address listed below. 
Thank you, in advance, for your help and your prayers as we continue to help the least of them.  May God continue to bless you to be a blessing.
In His Service,
Loretta Caldwell, Founder
Blessings In The Storm Ministry
1301 Skyview Road
Charlotte, NC 28208
704 426-0375


Posted 7 years, 3 months ago at 8:32 pm.

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Doves Nest Update – June 2010

Today Linda and I went to Doves Nest for a morning of cake decorating. Our theme was “patriotic”, getting revved up for 4th of July. It’s always fun teaching leisure skills at Doves Nest! Besides the fact that it’s fun, the women are learning something new that they can hopefully use in the future.

The staff at Doves Nest has given us some basic parameters to adhere to when we come to teach leisure skills. They want our activities to fit into their program of boundaries and structure. We do projects that can be completed from start to finish within a 2 hour timeframe. And the goal is that each woman who participates will have a finished product that is a result of what they set out to do. They can either keep what they’ve made or give away to someone. Depending on what we make, most of them think in terms of making “gifts” for others. It’s kind of hard to do that with cupcakes, but today one of the women was going to get to see a family member briefly so she put together a box of her finished decorated cupcakes to send to her children for a treat. Another woman made personalized cupcakes for some of staff members. And as you can see from the pictures . . . some got a little “taste” while working.

We love the beautiful and talented women at Doves Nest!! To read more about Doves Nest click here.

God bless!!

love . .  Deb

Check out the pictures (click on the picture to enlarge).

Posted 7 years, 6 months ago at 1:23 pm.

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Doves Nest Update – May 2010

It’s always such a blessing to be able to visit the women at Doves Nest!!!! This Women’s Recovery facility with a highly-structured Christian environment has been performing miracles in the lives women of since its doors were opened in 1992. To read more about Doves Nest click here.

For the past 3 years I have had the privilege of serving each month by providing a “Leisure Skills” class for the women in the program. It’s a 120 day program so I get to see each woman at least 3 times during their stay and watch the transitions in their lives. It’s truly amazing how God can change lives!!!

The facility only holds 12 women but there are plans to open a new facility in the fall of 2010 that will significantly increase the capacity. To find out more about this effort and how you can help, please go to the Doves Nest Capital Campaign website. There is currently a 90 day waiting period to get into this program so your help in this effort can really make a difference in the lives so many more women.

In our classes we work on handmade projects that we can complete within a 2 hour timeframe. I love to see the creativity flow and watch as these women surprise themselves with their sometimes hidden talents. We do cake decorating quite often but we also create lots of handmade items, something different each time. This week we worked on “Button Bracelets”. We had buttons and beads everywhere!! Here are some pictures some of the women with their handiwork.

I would also like to thank my good friend Linda Singerle, who helps me each month with the classes. Without her I would be overwhelmed!!!

God Bless!!

Love  . . . .   Deb

Leisure Skills at Doves Nest

Leisure Skills at Doves Nest

Click picture to enlarge 





Posted 7 years, 7 months ago at 3:07 pm.

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Blessings in the Storm update – January 2010

Please see below for urgent needs at the present time for Blessings in the Storm.

Pampers – Size 3, 4 and 6 and Pull Ups
Enfamil with Iron
Children socks (Size newborn 4, 6, 10)
Infant Medicine
(Tylenol Infant Drops)
(Tylenol Cold)
(Motrin Children)

Body wash
Sanitary napkins

Cleaning Supplies:
Lysol Spray
Laundry Detergent
Dish Detergent
Trash Bags

If you have items to donate please click on the “add a comment” link to the right of this post and provide your contact information. Someone will get back to you as soon as possible.

If you would like to contribute monetarily, please go to the Blessings in the Storm website by clicking here.

Posted 7 years, 11 months ago at 5:41 am.

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Blessings in the Storm update – November 2009

Like many of us during the holidays, I struggle to focus on the meaning of the season more than the glitz and goods and social obligations. I have a tendency to over commit and then to re-evaluate in hindsight. Not this year!

With a group of close friends, I’ve pledged to support a local Christian ministry through monthly visits with gifts and prayers, and quarterly fund-raisers. But this quarter, many, the busy holidays pose a problem: Who’s got time for another party or benefit? This season, we chose a different approach – we’re holding a “non-event,” an easy way to invite friends and family to make a big difference that demands little time or effort.

No searching for the perfect gift, no gourmet food to whip up … Just lots of Christian goodwill extended to people in dire need. I hope you’ll join me! Here’s how it works:
Your donation to our HOPE FOR THE HOLIDAYS non-event will benefit Blessings in the Storm, a Charlotte ministry that provides shelter for women and children escaping abuse, abandonment, addiction, or poverty. They arrive on Blessings’ doorstep with more baggage than they can carry, and yet they have next to nothing. They’re broke, and they’re deeply broken.

At Blessings in the Storm, they can heal in a homelike environment where rent and utilities are paid and children are well tended while mothers work hard to stand on their own. Blessings occupies four modest homes along a dead-end street in west Charlotte; but to the women and children there, Blessings is no dead end. It opens wide an avenue to healing, faith, and self-sufficiency. The growth I’ve seen among the women at Blessings is inspiring.

As a Christian organization, Blessings does not receive government funding,  relying on private donations, and has struggled to meet operating costs this year. Would you consider helping Blessings with a donation of $10 or more, or a gift card to Target or Wal-Mart? Your tax-deductible contribution will help the ministry pay rent and utilities and will allow the women to buy a small Christmas gift for their children.  Every penny goes to the ministry, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

If you’d like to donate, please go online to:

Thank you for your support!!

Posted 8 years ago at 10:06 am.

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Doves Nest update – September 2009

This has been a busy month for Dove’s Nest! The “Diversities of Gifts for Dove’s Next Capital Campaign fundraiser was held at Dukes Mansion  on Sept 19th. The event was organized by Kym Moore for the purpose of bringing more awareness to the community about Dove’s Nest and how they change the lives of the residents who complete their program.

Shante Anderson spoke about the 72% client completion rate for its 120 day program compared to the national average of 18%.  She talked about the 90 day waiting list and how so many women are being left on the outside because the facility can only support 12 women at any given time. And she told us about the Dove’s Nest Capital Campaign  for a new 90 bed facility. To learn more about it click here.

To learn more about what Dove’s Nest is all about click here.

This month we did some cupcake decorating for our Leisure Skills session and the ladies learned about making roses, rose buds, “instant tip” flowers, leaves, borders and how to put together cake decorating bags. A good time was had by all. Here are some pictures. (click the picture to view a larger image.

Posted 8 years, 2 months ago at 2:51 pm.

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Blessings in the Storm update – September 2009

Blessings in the Storm“ is a Christian based outreach ministry for women and children in the Charlotte area who have fallen victim to homelessness and worldly addictions.

The Accessory Swap fundraiser went VERY well. We had much more participation than expected and everyone enjoyed themselves while “shopping” for their new treasures. It was so sucessful that we want to plan a Clothing Swap for our next fundraiser.

It was wonderful to be abe to help Blessings in the Storm with this event. Here is a exurpt from a thank you note from Julie that went out to the participants. . .

I wanted to share with you all the story of how God had an immediate plan for that money.

I received an email from Loretta ( at Blessings) on Monday morning that she was in need of diapers and could we help her. I called her back to see if she was okay and what was going on over there. She then told me they were scheduled to have the water shut off the next day if she did not pay the water bill that afternoon. I told her that is what I was calling her for was to tell her how each of you had come to the swap and we had $$$  to bring her. She then burst into tears and said ‘this is so God’. I took the money to her yesterday afternoon and she is so grateful for all that we did to help them this weekend. So I am passing on the blessing you gave her. Thanks to you all they will have water and be able to pay rent.

Blessings in the Storm has ongoing needs and if you would like to help you can donate money on their website through PayPal at  Or if you would like to purchace items diapers (all sizes) formula ( Enfamil lipil with iron) feminine hygiene products are a constant need. I will send you emails as she informs me of other needs. If you would like to get these items to her please give them to the person that invited you to the party and we will take them to her.

There were some accessories left after the swap so we brought it with us when we went for our monthly visit and the women residents took turns choosing their new “treasures”.

Thanks to Sherri Clarke for organizing it and Julie Cross for graciously hosting it in her home. Thanks to the other volunteers who assisted throughout the entire process of making it happen. Marion Wilm, Kim Parsons, Kristi Abbott, Cynthia Mitchell, Margaret Swicegood, Dana Adams, Linda Singerle, Andrea Stevens and any others I may have failed to mention.

God is good!!!!


Posted 8 years, 2 months ago at 10:54 am.

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Blessings in the Storm update – August 2009

Blessings in the Storm is a Christian based outreach ministry for women and children in the Charlotte area who have fallen victim to homelessness and worldly addictions.

God lead our group to reach out to this ministry a couple of years ago and these women have touched our hearts in so many ways. We all go through different struggles in our lives that God helps us to overcome. But the truth is that once we overcome one struggle there is always more to come, it’s just different kinds of struggles. And God is there with us through them all. These women remind us of our former struggles and victories. They inspire us to focus on others instead of ourselves. They motivate us to strive to help each other for His glory. And they keep us focused on His presence, knowing that we are all His children and that but by the grace of God, any one of us could be in the shoes of the other.

These women inspire us! As they share with us their trials and victories it is such a blessing to see how far they have come. From weakness and confusion to confidence and purpose. Loretta has shown these women how to rely on God in their lives and God has shown them His powerful presence in their lives when they turn to Him.

The women of Blessings in the Storm are truly a family of sisters. Not all of them are able to stay on track and it’s heartbreaking for them to see one of their sisters have to leave. When we go to pray with them it’s touching that their prayer requests are for each other first before addressing their own needs.

There are lots of emotional, physical, and spiritual needs for for these women so we keep them in our prayers continuously. And I would ask anyone reading this article to include them in your prayers as well. But also give thanks for these women and for the struggles that they are experiencing now that are molding them into what God wants them to be.

Romans 5:3-4
We are full of joy even when we suffer. We know that our suffering gives us the strength to go on. The strength to go on produces character. Character produces hope.

I encourage anyone reading this post to visit their website by clicking here and donate what you can to this worthy cause.


Posted 8 years, 3 months ago at 7:20 am.

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