Partner Spotlight | Starfish Project

The Following is an excerpt from a Blog Post on, a current FIND Partner.



Sure, there is the obvious of 'a roof’.  This kind of shelter could range from a home in the suburbs, to Buckingham palace, to a dry spot under a bridge. A roof is so important that in the US people often spend 30%-50% (or more) of their income on it.  Paired with food and water these are the three things we need to live.

But beyond the idea of a ‘roof’, what does shelter mean?

The first think I think of when I think of shelter is safety.  I am a very paranoid person - I double check the doors every night, always keep an eye on who is around me, and avoid walking alone at night… pretty much anywhere in town.  

But safety goes even farther than that.  There are people who I go to for shelter as well, people I feel safe with, people I can say just about anything to without them being shocked.  

After safety I think of comfort.  If I am going home after a long day, or running across the park to get out of the rain, it when I get to shelter that I can relax.  It is a place to be warm when it is cold, a place to be dry when outside it is wet, and a place to be shaded and cool when the sun is out.  

The world can be a harsh place sometimes and we all need shelter.  We need an ear to listen, we need a hug, and sometimes we need people to help us forget about our troubles for a while and just laugh with.  

Then, even more the comfort, shelter provides freedom.  It allows us to make decisions about when and how we will interact with the world.  It isn’t jail, we have the freedom to leave, but we also have the freedom to stay or come back.  Shelter gives us the choice.

With this freedom of shelter we can be ourselves.  Home is where we don’t have to hold up an image or try and impress anyone.  It’s a place where people know our faults and accept us anyways.


Starfish Project and Shelter

Back in 2006 Starfish was just starting to make relationships with women working on the street. During this time creating a shelter was top priority as the had no place to go once they left their place of exploitation.  The original shelter started that year has now grown to 3 shelters in 3 different cities in Asia.


Some of our shelters started out as a place to live and work but eventually the shelters were separated from the workshop and thewomen live and work in separate places, similar to most jobs in the US.  A shelter, depending on the city, might be a house or an apartment, where the women live, cook, and relax together. 

Women leaving a life of exploitation need the ‘roof’ shelter brings but they need the other aspects of shelter even more:

  1. Safety 
  2. Comfort and the ability to relax
  3. Freedom to learn how to make their own decisions and learn how to be themselves

The process of really understanding these areas takes time but that is what shelter is all about.  At Starfish we have mentors living with the girls and councilors on staff to work with them through these struggles. 


To support this process you can do 2 things: 

  1. Shop 3 of their products on the LGH Store HERE
  2. Visit their site, read their blog posts, and tell others about their work! HERE

Dave Hansow Interview | Dubuque University

A Social Entrepreneurship Class from the University of Dubuque recently reached out to LGH. After watching our film Moving On, they desired to know more and to partner with us. Below you will find a condensed 10 min interview with the Entrepreneurship Class and Dave. Our hope is that our story continues to inspire you in your story. 

As a Huge Bonus, this class is in the process of creating a "FIND Fest" Day on behalf of LGH in Dubuque. Festivities (fundraising efforts) will include a 5k, Dance-a-Thon, a Moving On screening, and a LGH Fashion Show. 


February 25, 2014 by David Hansow

Watch 3 Movies Right HERE

Some of our favorite films this year have been created by friends of ours.  These films will never make headlines, nor be seen in theaters. But... it doesn't make them any less impactful, nor entertaining. 

We know this list could be much longer, so we just chose films you could watch right now, right here, for FREE! So... pull up a chair and enjoy these three films below: 

1) Purpose Film 

Website  + (Categories: Action Sports, Faith, Finding Purpose)

Why We Like It : Not only do we know some of the people involved with this film, but its also about finding our purpose in life, and then actually living it out. You'll meet some of the most amazing athletes in the world and hear first-hand what a relationship with Jesus has meant in their lives. Even if you don't have a faith, we think you'll enjoy the cinematography, and message of living life to the full!


2) The Jolly Roadshow

Website: +   (Categories: Faith, Travel, Worship, Craziness!!!) 

Why We Like it:  So.... be warned - this is a group of crazy people. But, crazy in the best ways! Once again, this film was made about some close friends of ours, and have been affected immensely by their faith and example of choosing wander and joy, even amidst pain. You'll go on a 30 minute journey across the country as they bring the Jolly Roadshow to a town near you! 


3)  The Journey (Series) 

Website: (Categories: Faith, Travel, Non-Profit World Change) 

Why We Like it: I know this may seem selfish, but part of why we like it is because Light Gives Heat is in it! haha... but for real, each of the short films below tell an individual story that is beautiful and life-changing. Although each film does explore faith, it also highlights what people around the world are doing because of what they've experienced.  Each film is simply a response to a need they saw. Our hope is that it inspires you to do the same!




What's Next?


If you are interested in learning more about where LGH is heading, have comments, or questions, please write

We would love to talk to you, dream with you, or strategize with partners like you. 


- Dave and Morgan Hansow 

February 10, 2014 by David Hansow

The Find - Spring 14' Winning Organizations

Coming March 1, 2014

Behind the scenes we have worked tirelessly finding only the best Organizations from around the world, and stories of some of the most amazing World-Changers we've ever encountered. This Spring we will highlight 5 amazing stories. This will include all new video content, new product lines from each of the countries (above), and much, much more. We can't wait for you to meet them and for you to take part in changing the world alongside each of these amazing Groups. 


Below: A sneak peek at just a couple of the organizations we are partnering with in this coming season. 






February 04, 2014 by David Hansow

We love this!

RWANDA from MAMMOTH on Vimeo.


This is the reason we have fallen in love with East Africa. Some of the most amazing footage, fun, and beauty we've seen in a long time. 


January 16, 2014 by David Hansow

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

This year we have been truly honored to continue curating and producing media, products, and ultimately movements that create a sense of hope for the future, and builds an understanding that people all around the globe are using their creativity to make the world a better place.  

As many of you know, 2013 held more change than the past 7 years combined for Light Gives Heat. First and foremost, our season of operating solely in Uganda has ended. But, almost every family we employed over the last 7 years have now been rehired by an entirely different organization - and we couldn't be more thrilled with the opportunity. 

As with any end, comes a new beginning! Although we know the general public has known LGH primarily as a company that creates incomes in Africa through the SUUBI and EPOH projects, we have always been about much more.  And in 2014 we get to pursue wholeheartedly these new ventures unlike ever before.

As we head into January, the LGH Board of Directors and Staff will be meeting in our annual strategic planning meeting - discussing and dreaming about what 2014 holds for Light Gives Heat. We are excited beyond belief about the possibilities and dreams we have for where LGH can impact in the coming year. 

We could never have imagined that a little idea my wife and I had while adopting our daughter would have turned into what LGH is today. It goes without saying; we are humbled and grateful. Our charge to ourselves and to you is to remember that  "The one's who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do!" 

Dave & Morgan Hansow 
Co-Founders of Light Gives Heat

PS. Enjoy a sneak peek of what we've been working on behind the scenes for 2014!  More to come soon.  
December 23, 2013 by David Hansow

Zina Nicole Lahr

Zina Nicole Lahr 


In Zina's short 23 years on this planet, she accomplished more relationally, creatively and impact-fully than most of us will in our entire lives. Seriously she was the most beautiful, sweet spirited, and innocent people we've ever had the privilege of knowing and working with. Zina worked on our film Moving On (animation sequences) alongside our good friend Austin Blasingame - but our roots with Zina go much deeper than work.  During her middle school years Zina was a part of a Young Life group that I (Dave) brought leadership to. As you can imagine, Zina was a quirky young girl even in her teens, full of wander and creativity. 

Having the burden, and yet immense privilege to do her funeral - I was so struck how easy Zina made it for me to speak about her with such awe. Truly, she had lived such a beautiful life that speaking highly of her and using her life as an inspiration for everyone in attendance was a beautiful, and easy thing. 

Below is the program that I put together for her service - full of her drawings, sketches, and writings... and below that, you will see the Eulogy that I spoke during her Memorial Service. I hope it does something to inspire you. To impact you. To make you view your own existence slightly different.  

Grace and Peace,

Dave Hansow 


Zina Nicole Lahr - Message 

I want to be really clear with all of you. My family loved Zina like many of you do and so what I am about to share isn’t meant to make this any easier, simplify it, or give us a cookie cutter answer - the reality is, we live in a broken world that can be very difficult at times.

I don’t believe there’s an answer sufficient to explain why something like this happened.


But today I want to share for just a couple of minutes, the question I believe Zina would be much more interested in: what’s next.

How do we live in response to Zina’s beautiful example?


I’ve known Zina since her middle school years and I can confidently speak for almost everyone in attendance today in saying she was without a doubt one of the most unique, creative, compassionate, and “present” individuals I’ve ever met. Everyone Zina came in contact with felt like they were her close friend. She had this amazing ability to let her life speak louder than her words.

It was a gift.

She was a gift.

I believe I know why she had this ability. And I want to share with you her secret.

She knew who she was. I mean... truly knew who she was.


I had the immense privilege this week of looking through her journals and sketchbooks. And I want to tell you something; for years, the single theme that has resounded over and over is the fact that she longed for her true home, and this was not it. That this planet, this life, it was only temporary.


Multiple times she referred to the fact that she felt like this life was like a “foster home”, a temporary place she lived in while waiting to get to her real home.  Friends - we’re talking about the fact that even in her teens, she grasped in a very real, tangible way that heaven was her real home. Incredible. And yet, in her longing for her true home,  she lived this life in a very passionate way.

I want to ask you a question -

Did you respect Zina?

Did you envy her in her childlike wander?

Did you ever wonder why she was able to live differently than everyone around her?

Why she seemed to always have time to be with you?

Like she was never busy - even if she was?


Here is her secret.

She understood how loved she was by God. I don’t mean it in a way that you may have heard it before. Not in a religious way - in fact, if you knew Zina at all you know she wasn’t “religious” at all.  But she was in love. She knew she was loved by her God. At the core of her being she knew that the God of the Universe had a place for her and a home.


So that brings us to today. What next? What do we do with our lives in response to such a beautiful example?


First of all - Grieve. It’s a tragic loss. It was too early for us. Maybe not for her, but for us.


Secondly - Create space in your own life to figure out your own existence. Zina had figured out in her short years what got her up in the morning. It was her passion for relationships and her creativity that got her up. What’s yours? Make the time to figure that out.

Lastly - We all now have a choice.


To become bitter or better.  
Closed or Open.

To become more like the people we know we were meant to be. It’s in our pain that we come to a place where we admit that we’ve reached the end of ourselves, we’ve given up, we’ve let go. In our pain, we get this opportunity to allow God to take all of our trauma and hurt and disappointments, all of those fragments lying there on the ground, and turn them into something we never would have been able to create on our own.*

We lose our life, only to find it.

May we be a group of people, because we saw the beautiful example of Zina, who live life differently.
May we pursue life.

Really pursue it.  

And in that response, may we never forget the way Zina lived life to the full.


Closing Statement and Prayer:

Now we all have a choice.

To become Bitter or Better.

My question to you is - Once this intense grieving is over, how will we respond to Zina’s Life?

May we be people who:

- Take a good hard look at our own lives.
- May we slow down and take time to understand the holiness of relationships.
- May we be a people who pursue our passions like tomorrow isn’t promised - because of course it’s not
- May we be a people who live our lives as if it we're a work of art. That we would work on this great work of art, called our own existence.

- And lastly, may we listen to the words of  Zina, and never forget “That sometimes our very lives speak louder than truth.”


(*reference: Rob Bell; Drops Like Stars)


December 10, 2013 by David Hansow

Laptop Case Giveaway

Over the years we have experimented with tons of new products. Most of the time the reason a product doesn't to manufacturing has to do with cost of goods vs. retail sale price, or often it has to do with the ability to ship the product easily and affordably. As was the case for the EPOH Laptop Cases. We loved them, but could never get them to a price point that we felt confident we could sell them at. Our loss - your gain.

Contest Rules:

1) Go HERE

2) To enter: SHARE this post

3) Tell your friends on that post why you support LGH's work

4) We will announce winners on Monday, Nov. 18th


That's it! Whats better than getting to tell your friends why you love LGH + Getting a chance to win one of 5 laptop cases! 

November 14, 2013 by Morgan Hansow

Back to School Sale (online)

Event Details


A 3-Day 'Back to School' Sale. Most items in the store are 50% or more off. 


1)  Because we need to make room for new product lines + We like to thank our loyal customers and supporters once in a while! 

2) Because LGH is currently sending 57 Ugandan women in Uganda Back to School!  Business School to be specific, and we want to celebrate by holding our 5th Annual 'Back to School Sale.' As Light Gives Heat begins to help support that endeavor and assist others artisans across the globe, we have a need to raise money for those efforts. Your purchase over these 3 days will help ensure we can continue to send women back to school and continue to press forward in our mission to serve Artisans and Organizations around the world. 


Monday, Sept 9 - Wednesday, Sept 11 


Right Here at (our entire inventory is on sale!) 

September 08, 2013 by David Hansow