Teens In Action: Blankets of Love

Uruguay1Cathy Vollenweider contacted me a while back to share about her ministry to orphans in Uruguay and wondered if it might be something of interest to share on TIO.  I was so excited to hear about her heart for Uruguay and to learn about her ministry. Her story is perfect for TIO. Stay tuned to learn about another teen’s ministry to orphans next week. And now, here’s Cat.

God has given me compassion for children in one of the smallest and most secular countries in South America: Uruguay.  In Uruguay, many children are abandoned, abused, and unwanted.  Uruguay’s crumbling family unit and hurting children are related to issues such as legal prostitution and nearly impossible adoption, leaving a huge percentage of innocent Uruguayan little ones living in orphanages and hungry for love.

In spite of the darkness that pervades, God is bringing about a glorious change through His people there.  An example of such is the Stallings family.  They moved to Uruguay from Colorado specifically to love and mentor Uruguayan orphans (go to http://www.fieldsofthefatherless.org to see more about their mission).

I am coming alongside the Stallings’s to help these little children know that they are loved, through prayer and through a project called Bracelets4Blankets.  The Lord, by His generous grace, is using this project of selling friendship bracelets to raise money so that the Stallings’s can give winter blankets to the orphans that they have relationships with.

Uruguay is in the southern hemisphere, so their winters go from June to August.  Time is limited to complete this project!  Bracelets are $5 each.  All donations will go to the Stallings’s ministry, who will use it to give blankets to the orphans.


To read more about my passion for Uruguay: either keep reading, or follow this link to my blog (both posts are different).  If you would like to give $5 to help keep these orphans warm this winter, follow this link. After donating, click the yellow button that says “Return to the Bracelet Project” (or something like that) to be redirected to a blog page containing an order form, where you can tell me your preferences for the bracelet (or follow this link to go directly to the project’s page – it explains in more detail how the donation/ordering process works).

Uruguay3So, why do I have a passion for Uruguay, specifically?  I really have a hard time with this question, and it is something that I have wrestled with myself.  I have asked, “why? Why does my heart ache for those in a far away country that I had not heard of before?”  And I’m still not sure of the answer, but I do know that the passion He has given me is real.

The Lord simply put a passion for Uruguay on my heart.  In February of 2013, I had been praying intensely about the direction in which God wanted my life to go.  During a conversation with my older brother, he wondered out loud why mission trips to Uruguay are unheard of, and as we began searching for the answer to this question, the people of this little country captured my heart.

I have never been to Uruguay; merely a year ago I had only vaguely heard of it.  Yet I have a compassion and broken heart for the people of Uruguay like I have for nothing else.  The only way I can explain it is that this is a God-given passion.

Sometimes, the hurt that I have for Uruguay seems unbearable, and sometimes I feel like giving up.  Those times, I hold onto what Christ did for me, and I remember that my life is “hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:1-3), and that my fingers are His anyway.  How could I stop them from doing the work He has given me?  So I make bracelets.  Please join me in this work – I know that united we can accomplish anything, and I believe that God will do something amazing beyond imagination.


Does anyone have questions or comments for Cat? Were you inspired by the story of a fellow teenager doing what she can to make a difference in the lives of children? Thank you, Cat, for the article!

Leave a comment


  1. Dad

     /  February 14, 2014

    How about bringing pictures of the bracelets to the home-school group, explaining the purpose and taking orders.

  2. That is a great idea! Here is a link to a video that also helps explain my heart for this project and the impact it has had in Uruguay: http://bit.ly/B4Bvideo

    I am so excited for this project, and I appreciate your support!

  3. I really love this project! I will definitely be ordering a bracelet or two! 🙂 I do have a question: do you need help making bracelets? And are there any specific supplies (pony beads, thread, embroidery floss, etc.) that could be donated to this project?

    • Thanks so much for your comment, Sarah! It’s so encouraging to hear that readers are actually planning to take action on these posts. If Cat doesn’t see this in a few days I’ll shoot her an email to let her know it’s here.

    • Sarah, I am excited about your interest in this project!
      I could absolutely use help making bracelets, and yes, supplies will need replenishing! Donations of friendship-bracelet-making material would be welcome, and it would be a huge help.
      Let’s talk more about these possibilities! If you email me at heart4uruguay@gmail.com, we can figure out details of how these things might work. =)

  4. Sarah Phillips

     /  January 16, 2015

    Wow! I was browsing and found this post again.. I almost forgot this was where I met Cat! I don’t know if you know, Leah, but I did end up teaming up with Cat, and we raised over $1,000 for Uruguay! 😀 The Lord works miracles, doesn’t He? Thank you for having Cat post! Otherwise, I would never have gotten to have that experience!

    • I knew you were considering teaming up with her, but I didn’t know the rest. How encouraging! Thanks for sharing.

  1. Teens In Action: Project 27 | Teens Interceding for Orphans

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