I wanted to share something that has been on my heart for a while. It involves giving. As I have grown up, I’ve always found it easy to give financially, to bring a meal, to offer service to those I know or am personally connected to who are in need. How could one not come to the aid of a friend? It’s easy for me to give to those I know and love.
Our family has personally been blessed by the generosity of our community. When my mom was diagnosed with brain cancer, a neighbor who loves to cook brought meals to my parents once or twice a week for three years. Yes, folks, 3 years! I can’t begin to think about this without tearing up. People stepped up and helped our family in countless other ways as well during that very difficult time. To this day I am thankful.
I also think back to when we adopted each of our children; friends and our church family were right there by our side. They brought us meals and offered us help. Whenever we have needed support, people were there to give it.
Through social media, I’ve seen many step up and support those in their extended circles, giving mightily. I’ve literally seen tens of thousands of dollars raised in just days to support families in the adoption process and families whose children are facing medical crisis. I’ve literally been brought to tears at many of these acts or generosity and compassion.
Yet, all of this has left me wondering…what about those who have no one to advocate for them and to support them? What about those whose faces we don’t see on blogs and in Facebook posts, those who don’t have someone crowd funding for them, those whose names and outcomes we don’t know and will never know? What about the child who sits in an orphanage who is lacking in proper nutrition or the child in need of life saving medical intervention where none is to be had? What about the vulnerable family who is struggling to stay together for whom no one is advocating? Those who are unnamed often go unnoticed. It is easy to overlook those whom we don’t know personally.
I struggle with this. It makes me sad.
I’ve seen many organizations that help bridge these gaps and meet the needs of those who are underserved struggle to raise money to provide these essential services. It is, quite honestly, harder to get people to give to those they don’t personally know, those whose stories we feel less connected to.
Should we only give to those in our inner most circles and to those whose stories are known to us?
In Acts 1:8 the Bible talks about witnessing “in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” This text speaks to witnessing to people in their present location, Jerusalem; then to their local area; then it extends out that and finally encompasses the world. I believe we can look at giving in much the same way.
I am so thankful for the generosity I have seen extended to my family, my Jerusalem. I am in awe when I see our community rally together to raise funds for individuals and families in our greater community, our Judea and our Samaria. I’m asking you today to extend that giving to the ends of the earth. I’m asking you to step up with me and to take a stand for those who have no one to stand up for them.
So, how can we give? There are many wonderful organizations out there. I’d like to tell you about one of the organizations that is near and dear to my heart.
HOLT INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN’S SERVICES
The first is Holt International Children’s Services. When you mention Holt, most people think immediately about adoption. Yes, Holt is an adoption agency, but perhaps more importantly, Holt is a social service organization that helps provide aid to orphaned and vulnerable children. Holt’s programs include family preservation services aimed at reducing the abandonment of children; aid to extended family members supporting orphaned children; financial support of vulnerable children in order to enable them to remain in school; pre and post operative care of orphaned & vulnerable children with medical needs at places such as Holt’s medical foster home in China, Peace House; creation and support of foster care systems within multiple countries; and a myriad other programs.
To sponsor a child: https://holtsponsor.org:4443/sponsor/holt.photolisting
Gifts of Hope Catalog: http://www.holtinternational.org/gifts/
HOW YOUR GIVING MAKES A DIFFERENCE
Donations to Holt International help support orphaned and vulnerable children, children we don’t personally know, whose names and faces and individual stories will likely remain forever unknown to us. Funds are used in areas such as providing nutrition, providing training of caregivers, and providing early medical intervention that may be the difference in a child’s overall lifespan or quality of life. Some of the nutritional support and early medical support may be the difference between a child being operable or inoperable. It may buy a child just enough time that they are able to be placed in the home of a family who is able to love them and to address their longer term medical needs long term. The impact of your giving is far reaching both in terms of the numbers of children served and the duration of the impact.
STAND WITH ME
Some of you are aware that we adopted our children using Holt. What you may not realize is that once upon a time, our youngest daughter was a child who was medically fragile. She was born with a congenital heart defect that required surgical intervention and specialized nutritional support. Through the generous giving of several complete strangers, our daughter was able to receive the care she needed in the form of a loving foster family and medical support via Holt’s sponsorship program. Charlotte is now a healthy and thriving!
Though Charlotte is known and loved by us now, she too was once a stranger. Several families who never met Charlotte made a conscious decision to financially support her each month. There are many other Charlottes out there. Programs like those provided by Holt International stand in the gap and help kids like Charlotte and Rini. Some of those kids will someday find adoptive families; some will not. Better still, some children served will be able to remain with their families of origin! Whether or not these kids are in the adoption program really isn’t the point. The point is that they need someone to stand up for them. Will you be that someone? I ask you to be that someone.
Please give. Thank you!