A Letter From Wesley


Diane & Wesley on a recent road trip to visit Prescott College

Diane & Wesley on a recent road trip to visit Prescott College


Dear Family & Friends,

On May 30th, I will enjoy my final day of High School and on the 31st I will be flying to Ecuador*!

I have been hired on for my dream job – spending my summer working as support staff with Covenant Merge Ministries (http://covmerge.org/).   I saw this as a long shot when I applied back in January, but as it turns out, I am actually the first student they have ever hired straight out of High School.  I am honored and know that my experience living in Nicaragua last year has helped to prepare me.

With over 20 years of experience and 14,000 participants, Merge utilizes qualified local leadership to design custom mission’s trips.  Groups share their unique talents and abilities in partnership with a local church/ministry.  As support staff, I will work with Merge International Staff from May 31st to August 16th.  My primary responsibility will be as a construction coordinator (I have a lot to learn!).  I will work between the host construction supervisor and teams to efficiently utilize team members to further local construction projects, find meaningful work for all team members, and obtain materials and tools as needed.  I’ll also have a great reason to continue working on my Spanish.

This position requires me to raise support to fund my round trip ticket to Quito, as well as a small living expense stipend.  In total, I am looking to raise around $4,000 for my summer abroad serving the global church.

Those wanting to help financially, can either send funds directly to me or for a donation receipt checks should be written out to:  Evangelical Covenant Church with MERGE SUMMER STAFF in the memo line – in a separate note, please indicate that your donation is for me, and then mail your check to –

Covenant World Mission                                                                                                                                 Attn:  Tanya Constanza                                                                                                                                      8303 W. Higgins Road                                                                                                                                 Chicago, IL  60631

Additionally, I will be putting together a prayer support team; let me know your interest in being a part of this via email at wesborden@gmail.com.

Many Thanks for your support,


Wesley Borden

*There are currently several missions trips booked to Alaska.  There is a small chance that my location could get changed.  When I was given my placement, I was asked if I had any interest in Alaska.  I said I was open to wherever the biggest need was.  My placement will be finalized by the beginning of April.

Posted in Blog, March 2014 | 26 Comments

The Official Press Release



Olivea won a local competition a few weeks ago that will greatly help her to help further develop her doll project.  Here is the official press release – going out today! :-)

Young Entrepreneur Winners Press Release FINAL



Contact Information:

Name: Kristina Cash

Phone: 970.217.8786

Email: Kristina@fortifiedcollaborations.com






FORT COLLINS, CO – The winner of the 2014 Global Leaders Young Entrepreneur Competition is Olivea Borden, a 10th Grader at Polaris Expeditionary Learning School. Olivea’s winning idea is a buy-one, give-one business model centered around her own creation, the Oli-Bo-Bolly Dolly. Oli-Bo-Bolly Dollies are handmade of recycled or repurposed materials. For every doll purchased in the U.S., another will be given to a young girl in Nicaraugua.

Borden, an expert seamstress, states that her purpose is to create a friendship between North American consumers and children of the third world, beginning with a partnership between Fort Collins, CO, and a community in Ameya, Nicaragua, where her family visited for a mission trip last year. To date, Borden has sold 46 dolls. Under her buy-one, give-one model, an additional 46 dolls will go to Nicaraguan girls. The dolls are currently being sold in two Old Town Fort Collins stores.

For her idea, Borden was awarded $1,000 and mentoring from the CSU Center for Entrepreneurship. She’ll also receive Business Start-Up consulting sessions from Kris Boesch, CEO of Choose People, and the opportunity to promote her idea at the CSU Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge in May.

Runner-up in the competition was Luca Ordway, an 8th Grader from Kinard Middle School. Luca’s concept was the A-Packs Solar Charger for mobile devices. His concept design would be fully functional with any regular backpack and allows the user to charge a mobile device on a clip that can connect and disconnect from a backpack.

Luca was awarded business coaching from Charisse Bowen, director of the CSU Center for Entrepreneurship, and a tour and giftbox of goodies from Otterbox and OtterCares. Other contestants were Noah Fields, Tessa Novelli, and James Zheng, who each received feedback from the panel of five judges.

The Global Leaders Young Entrepreneur Competition was created as part of the Planet Youth offerings for the Sustainable Living Fair in September. The annual fair was cancelled in 2013, due to flooding, so the Competition was postponed until February 8, 2014. The presentations were held at the CSU College of Business, in the Bohemian Auditorium.


The Global Leaders Young Entrepreneur Competition provides an opportunity for young entrepreneurs from PSD middle and high schools to exercise their creativity and have fun, while learning how to innovate business solutions to local, regional and global problems. Students completed an application describing their business idea and then gave a three to five-minute presentation to the judges.


The competition was sponsored by CSU Center for Entrepreneurship, Fortified Collaborations, EntrepreNerds, Choose People, and the Sustainable Living Association.

Posted in Blog, February 2014 | 29 Comments

Thursday April 24th to Monday May 5th





It has been a whirlwind week or maybe weeks, and after winning the Global Leaders Young Entrepreneur Contest one week ago today, I’ve been eager to see if I couldn’t find a deal on plane tickets back to Nicaragua.

And today I did! Tickets that normally run around $700, were only $457! My mom and I will be going to Ameya, Nicaragua April 24th to May 5th to pass out my 1st batch of “Give” dolls and to teach a doll making training for the sewing class at the vocational school there.


 I sent out an email to my Oli-Bo-Bolly volunteers, and I wanted to give each of you an official invitation to join us on this very special trip too.  To check on flight options from your home-towns, you will need to fly into Managua, Nicaragua.  Orbitz.com is where we found our cheapest options today.  Additional expenses will be low.  We will live like Nica’s for 11 days –  chicken busses, beans & rice, and sooo much adventure to be had!

Please email me back it you might even be a little bit interested!

Happy Saturday!


Posted in Blog, February 2014 | 24 Comments

Nicaragua Bound!


With Olivea having won the competition Saturday, she is feeling eager to get going on the next stage of her project – empowering women by providing them with a job.

The dates have yet to be set, or the plane tickets purchased, but we are looking over the calendar, and quickly trying to figure out the best possible 10 days to make a trip back to Ameya in these next 12 weeks!

The trip will be to deliver the first batch of dolls to the local girls as well as to host a training for women who currently participate in the sewing class at the vocational school, as well as others in the community who already have some sewing skills, and may be interested in making dolls too, and I (Diane) get to be the assistant! As much as our whole family would love to all come, this time we will just be sending 2 of us.

We are totally open to others joining us, so please let us know if this sounds like a trip you would want to be on.   We are currently looking specifically at April 22 through May 19th as a more narrowed down time frame and for 10 days to 2 weeks.  Only  so much communication and organization can be done from Colorado, so much work will be done on the ground once we get back in to the area.  So this trip will require lots of flexibility.  :-)  Can’t make a trip to Nicaragua this spring, consider helping make dolls for us to give away.  Simply email us back for more information on how!

Olivea hopes to take down 100 pounds of supplies with us, and so we are currently accepting donations of scrap fabric (or clothing) in good condition (3/8 of a yard and larger) especially skin colored cotton, muslin or bed linens, Buttons (2 matching – approximately 1/2″ in size or singles up to approximately 3/4″ in size) , Fiber Fill Stuffing and or Cotton Batting, Felt, Round Elastic Cording, & 5/8″ Sew on Velcro.  Please remember, part of the idea is to use what we already have – so don’t go to the store, simply look through your stash!

We are also accepting cash donations towards plane tickets and travel expenses for the two of us.  Olivea is able to use some of her prize winnings towards this trip, but doesn’t want to use it all (approximately $2,000 will be needed).

Many thanks for all of your continued support!

Love Diane (on behalf of Olivea too – who is actually on a school trip this week studying snow science! Such a cool school – they snowshoed into the woods to a hut that will be home base while they study avalanches, snow, & other so cool things to do with our Colorado winters!)

Posted in Blog, February 2014 | 26 Comments

A REALLY Exciting Update From Olivea

Today was amazing! I still am a little bit in shock! Thank you to each one of you who has played a part in this journey. For those of you who were able to make it today THANK YOU! I was so nervous and seeing all of you helped to put me more at ease. My dad works until 7 tonight and so I hope we can go out for a celebration dessert when he gets home! Who wants to join us! 

My winnings are way more extensive than I was expecting. In addition to the $, mentorship, & encouragement, I also came home with an envelope filled with resources & other local gifts! I also have been invited to participate in the Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge May 23-24. I feel like a whole new world has just been opened up for me. With that said – if you are a seamstress, looking for work, I’m hiring! :-)


My talk from today…

Hello & good afternoon. My name is Olivea Borden.
I am the owner of Oli-Bo-Bolly & am a sophomore at Polaris Expeditionary Learning School. I am grateful today to have the opportunity to tell you about the why, how, & what of my new creation – The Oli-Bo-Bolly Dolly.
The Impact of my company at its core, is the gift of sheer joy to children. It’s helping kids around the world know that someone knows they exist – that they are loved & that each has a purpose in this great big planet of ours. It gives North American children the opportunity to give the gift of a doll to a child who otherwise might never have the pleasure to play with one. The Oli-Bo-Bolly Dolly is handmade out of recycled or repurposed materials, so this concept also has a direct impact on our environment.
My idea is based on the idea of “Buy a Doll, Give a Doll”. It is a very simple concept. Companies like Toms shoes have been doing it for years. I could see my company becoming a non-profit, reinvesting all proceeds to the cause. My dollies could easily be sold in a variety of in person, online, & retail settings. In fact, I currently have 2 Old Town Fort Collins businesses offering to sell my dolls in their stores.
My Purpose is to create a partnership between North American consumers & children of the third world, beginning right here in Fort Collins, Colorado & in a community I got to live & work in last year, Ameya, Nicaragua. I believe North American children want soft but textured, crazy colorful, & uniquely made just for them dolls. I believe our culture wants to help, they just sometimes don’t know how. When given a practical opportunity to help, I think they will see it as a win, win scenario & be excited to jump right in.
In my sewing endeavors, “Make art, not trash” has been my motto for the past several years. Knowing that over 90% of all clothing in our landfills is still wearable, I will be using as many recycled textiles as possible in these one of a kind dollies. Scientific studies have proven over time that natural textiles such as cotton, bamboo, & wool compost much quicker than synthetics like polyester, & so I will use as many natural materials as possible in the craftsmanship of my dolls.
Starting locally, I have used my friend base here in the community to get going. On the receiving end I will partner with international contacts from Food for the Hungry to both identify the children & help distribute the dolls.
I have been sewing since I was nearly 8 years old. Although not limited to, my experience is mostly in children’s clothing & hair accessories. I am a Colorado State Champion Seamstress & have had my designs modeled in the Sustainable Living Fair’s Fashion Show for the past two years. I have also had a booth to sell additional creations.
My start up clothing company is called Oli-Bo-Bolly. So, when I created my first doll for my art class’s final project, I naturally called it the Oli-Bo-Bolly Dolly. As I traveled to Nicaragua for six months just afterwards, the idea of giving dolls to the many children I encountered simply grew.
Up front my expenses are quite low. I have the necessary equipment through my sewing machine & serger & I have quite a few materials on hand. Materials per doll if I had to purchase them would run under $7 each. Using mostly recycled materials though my only big purchases are stuffing, elastic, & thread. Maintenance on my machines does cost $100 each per year.
With the competition originally canceled or on hold, I went ahead on my own to continue developing my dolls, & test marketing them in the community. To date I have sold 46 dolls. As per my commitment, an additional 46 dolls will be going to Nicaraguan girls. The biggest problem that has surfaced from my original idea is with supply & demand. Moving forward I will need to find help in sewing. It takes me around 3 hours to produce just one doll. An idea I have is to train women in Nicaragua to also make the dolls. I had an opportunity to work alongside a special needs sewing class last year. I think this would be right up their alley & would provide a dignified wage for women who struggle to provide for their families.
Thank you for giving me an opportunity to share both my business concept & passion with you today. I know that I would benefit from your help to take this concept to the next level, as well as be able to travel to Nicaragua with my first batch of dolls – I so want to be the one to deliver them to the girls myself! They truly embody the Why for Oli-Bo-Bolly Dollies. The dolls themselves are the What. And I, with your help, am endeavoring to be the How.

Posted in Blog, February 2014 | 26 Comments

Calvary Chapel San Juan del Sur Nicaragua

Here is a short video from some friends of ours in Nicaragua.  God is using them in some amazing ways and there is a great opportunity right now to help them rent or buy a building to use as a ministry home base!   EXCITING TIMES!

Calvary Chapel San Juan del Sur Nicaragua (simply click on the link to watch the video)


Posted in Blog, February 2014 | 23 Comments

The Global Leaders Young Entrepreneur Competition

An announcement and an invitation!

The Global Leaders Young Entrepreneur Competition was originally scheduled back in September 2013. The Competition Presentation portion of the competition was cancelled due to the flooding that caused the Sustainable Living Fair to be cancelled.

They have rescheduled the presentation portion of the competition for SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 8TH, 2014 at the Bohemian Auditorium in Rockwell Hall, Room 116 in the Colorado State University College of Business from 1 to 4 pm.

I do not yet know what time I will present, but I will update our blog when I know.  I would love for YOU to be there! :-)

This contest provides an opportunity for young entrepreneurs to exercise their creativity and have fun while learning how to innovate business solutions to local, regional and global problems. The prize is $1,000 and  mentorship from the Institute for Entrepreneurship at CSU and FOUR Start-up Business Consulting Sessions with Kris Boesch, CEO of Choose People.  I know how I could put all of this to good use right away!



Directions and map: http://www.training.colostate.edu/maps/map-bohemian.pdf



Posted in Blog, February 2014, January 2014 | 24 Comments

Introducing the Oli-Bo-Bolly Dolly!

Me at a recent Craft Fair

Me at a recent Craft Fair

First, a little back story –

I have been sewing since I was nearly 8 years old.  Fairly randomly, I took a 4-H sponsored sewing class, and loved it! Shortly after that first class, also through 4-H, I was able to begin sewing with master seamstress and teacher Jan Gurnsey.

Me with Jan at the 2006 4-H Fashion Revue!

Me with Jan at the 2006 4-H Fashion Revue!

Although not limited to, my experience is mostly in children’s clothing and hair accessories. I’ve also done some quilting.  I am a Colorado State Champion (via 4-H and the Colorado Make-it-with Wool Competition).  I have had my designs modeled in the Sustainable Living Fair’s Fashion Show for 3 years, and have had a booth at several local craft and art shows.  My start up clothing company is called Oli-Bo-Bolly.  So, right before we left for Nicaragua, when I made my very first doll for my final project in an art class I was taking at the time, naturally, I called it the Oli-Bo-Bolly Dolly! And, not only did I get an ‘A’, but my teacher offered to purchase it for his daughter!

My very 1st Doll

My very 1st Doll

While in Nicaragua, I often thought about this dolly, and how I would love to make them to give as gifts to the many children I was meeting.  In the 3rd world, where most families are living on $2.00 a day or less, the purchase of a toy for a child is rarely a priority.  The gift of a doll communicates to these children that they are loved, that they have value, and that someone knows they exist.


Me with Solidad & Genesis in Ameya, Nicaragua

When I got home I began to develop this idea a little further, and I began to sew like crazy!


My concept board

In August I entered a contest – The Global Leaders Young Entrepreneur Competition, through the Sustainable Living Association with my concept “Buy A Doll – Give A Doll”.  Companies like Tom’s Shoes have been using this idea for years.  Through my one-of-a-kind Oli-Bo-Bolly Dolly, North American children can have the opportunity to not only purchase a doll for themselves, but at the same time, gift a doll to a child in a 3rd world country who might otherwise never have the pleasure of playing with or owning a doll for themselves.  The global impact at its core is JOY! I have made it to the finals of this competition, and will present my idea at Colorado State University on February 8th.


In the meantime, I’ve continued to develop my idea even further, and to date have sold over 20 dolls – which means I’ve got over 20 to give away too!


A young customer

At school this fall, I took an Earth Systems Science class.  In it, we were given the assignment to create a project that had an impact on our world – on one of our earths spheres (geo, hydro, atmosphere, or exo).  I was thrilled when my teacher, Sarah Bayer let my “Dolly Project qualify”.  Did you know that 95% of all clothing that ends up in our landfills is actually still wearable? As a result, my motto is “Make Art, Not Trash”.  My one of a kind, hand-made, Oli-Bo-Bolly Dollies are made out of recycled/repurposed textiles.  They are soft but textured, crazy colorful, and uniquely made! Because I repurpose clothing I help reduce the amount of textiles ending up in the landfill.  This in turn, helps our geo-sphere.  If you are interested in reading my full report, just shoot me a quick email back.

I have finished up my Christmas orders and am now taking additional orders.  If you are interested in ordering a doll, the cost is $35.00.  One doll goes to you and another goes to a girl in Nicaragua.  I do have 2 special dolls going to Guatemala as well, so I may be able to arrange deliveries to other countries upon request.  As my dolls are all one of a kind, you get to choose your skin tone, hair color, and clothing color or theme.  To order a doll, simply email me at Olibobolly@gmail.com

Originally, I was going to send the first batch to Nicaragua with our good friend Jane Mirandette who lives part time there and part time here in Colorado.  I now am actually trying to deliver the dolls myself! My goal is to be able to take 100 dolls to Nicaragua this spring! Splitting them between girls in Ameya and in San Juan del Sur.  I am so excited to both go back for a visit and to get to deliver the very first dolls myself!

Taking 100 dolls with me is an ambitious goal! It takes me about 3 hours to make just 1 doll. With school and other commitments, I am going to need some help! If you sew, and are interested in helping to make dresses, please let me know.  I can provide you with a pattern, all materials, and a special sewing snack! Many thanks to Margie Michaels and Laurie Wright for sewing some dresses already.  Dolls will be going to girls in Ameya, Nicaragua in their honor.

Don’t sew, but still want to help? I am taking donations of scrap fabric (or clothing) in good condition (3/8 of a yard and larger) especially skin colored cotton, muslin or bed linens, Buttons (2 matching – approximately 1/2″ in size or singles up to approximately 3/4″ in size) , Fiber Fill Stuffing and or Cotton Batting, Felt, Round Elastic Cording, & 5/8″ Sew on Velcro.  Please remember, part of the idea is to use what we already have – so don’t go to the store, simply look through your stash! Many thanks the the Richter girls and Carol Christ for their donations.  Dolls will also be sent in your honor.

I also am accepting cash donations towards plane tickets and travel expenses for me and either my mom or dad to be in Nicaragua for 10 days to 2 weeks (approximately $2,000 will be needed).

Many thanks for your support and encouragement.  Happy New Year!




BECKONS YOGA CLOTHING – Link To Beckons Web Site




Posted in Blog, December | 31 Comments

A Merry Christmas Smilebox For You!!!

A Merry Christmas Smilebox For YOU!!!

Click on link above :-)

Posted in Blog, December | 27 Comments

A Little Christmas Time Update…

Wow!  Next week, we will have been home for 4 months already! Most days this feels like a blink. Today when it’s -6 in Colorado we long for an hour or two of lying on a warm sand beach in Nicaragua.  All said and done, our favorite Beach in Nicaragua was way up north – a delightful place called Redwood Beach.  Redwood Beach


But today, this fantasy stays in our heads and we all go to school and to work…

Our transition back into life here in Colorado has been more challenging than we ever imagined, but we are finding our way.  God is present and continues to teach us so much about living a life following after Him.


Mike with Don Guido @ Redwood Beach, Nicaragua

Mike is now working for a call center doing technical support for Tivo.  Work he actually finds to have some challenges but mostly excitement.  He appreciates the eclectic mix of folks he gets to work with.  Mike continues to volunteer with Boy Scouts and in children’s ministry and is looking forward to getting back into brewing beer with long time friend Dan Seavey this next week.


A day of sailing!

Diane returned to her job as a Children’s Minister and loves Sunday mornings with the kids! This is her 8th year serving in this role and her last with one of her own kids in her scope of ministry.  All of us kids are growing up! Once again, Diane took on the position of Volunteer Coordinator for a local production of the Nutcracker giving her the opportunity to work alongside 125 different cast members & their families.  She enjoys this opportunity very much and yet is always happy to see the show come to a close.  Diane will take a week off between Christmas and New Years and really looks forward to sleeping in, many days in her PJ’s, playing board games with her kids, and drinking lots of spicy chai tea latte’s!





Eagle Scout Ceremony

Wes is a senior in high school and was thrilled to be accepted into his first choice college.  He will be attending Prescott College in Arizona in August 2014.  Other highlights for Wes are earning his Eagle Scout rank in Scouting, learning how to drive, and having many opportunities to dabble in a variety of different film projects.  Wes is excited to spend the first 4 days of his holiday break cross country skiing into the woods to a remote yurt with a bunch of his guy pals.  So much fun!  His graduation is May 22nd for those who may want to join us for the big day!


Olivea at an Art Show


Introducing the Oli-Bo-Bolly Dolly!

Olivea is in 10th grade, and our most busy Borden.  Dancing in the Nutcracker, several dance classes a week, and running her business.  She’s still sewing clothing but has put most of her focus this fall on her dolls.  “Buy a Doll – Give a Doll” has been getting a lot of her time  and creative energy.  For every doll she shares, she makes another to send down to girls in 3rd world cuontries.  The first 57 will go to Ameya Nicaraguam and she actually hopes to be able to hand deliver the first shipment this spring.




A New Hair Color!

Audrey is in 7th grade and loves being able to ride her bike to school and have friends over several days a week.  She loves to cook, and we are a far happier family on the nights Audrey cooks dinner! She has recently started baking too, and is working towards perfecting her chocolate hot lava cake! For her 13th birthday she decided to dye her hair blue.  It turned out more of a black color but she was really happy with the change.





Lots of girls getting ready for the school dance at our house!

Miranda is in 6th grade – her first year of Middle School, and LOVES it! Miranda has always enjoyed the social aspects of school, but this year is growing in her appreciation for the academic opportunities as well.  In November she wrote her first novel as a part of Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Project) and was able to do a reading from it as a part of her schools Celebration of Learning night a few weeks ago.


Elaina & Diane on Bloom – A Mother Daughter Retreat

Elaina sings in the Bennett Choir

Elaina sings in the Bennett Choir

Elaina is in 5th grade, and her normal happy go lucky self.  She has participated in Odyssey of the Mind (creative problem solving) for many years and is thrilled that this year, her older brother gets to be her teams coach.  Elaina also sings in her schools choir, and the picture above is from their recent Holiday Concert.  This fall Elaina did not participate in any after school “stuff” and had so much fun just coming home and playing with the neighborhood kids.  Building forts, rollerblading, ziplining (yep! our neighbor built one in their back yard), and just enjoying life.  Sounds dreamy right?



As a family we have had an incredibly amazing year.  So grateful for all of the friends who have journeyed along with us and all of the new friends that we’ve made.  Love that some of you have even found yourselves here in Fort Collins for a visit! We LOVE to have people in our home! After living in 1 and 2 bedroom apartments for 6 months, our house in CO feels huge! Please come and help us fill it! :-)

Praying each one of you meets Immanuel in new and deeper ways in this next year.

Feliz Navidad!

La Familia Borden






Posted in Blog, December | 25 Comments