BY CINTIA AUSTIN
We live busy lives, and often forget the empty void that is in the heart of every orphan child. While many of us grew up in loving families, orphans yearn to find that family to call their own. Here are 10 actions you can take today to help them.
1 – Pray for an Orphan
One of the first things that you may learn when you decide to help orphans is that there is many more orphans that you imagine (132 million according to UNICEF). One of the easiest things you can do at this moment is to pray for an orphan child or for the needs of all orphans. There are so many children waiting for adoption, and you could choose one kid and pray for her until she can find a family. If you search online, you can find waiting lists that give you information on specific children in your area for whom you can pray.
2 – Send a Box of Love to Orphans
I have been in many institutions in Brazil and during those volunteer visits, the one thing that I have noted is that kids often came to the orphanage with only the clothes that they were wearing, and nothing else. Often the only personal belonging that children have in these shelters is a toothbrush. Imagine if you suddenly lost all of your personal belongings and the only thing you are left with is your toothbrush! Why don’t you do something now to bring a smile to the face of a child? You can send a gift box for a child in an institution or in foster care. Why not send this box to the child you are praying for?
3 – Share Their Story
The older a child gets it becomes more difficult to find a family that will adopt them. So, it is time to start moving! You can use your Facebook, Twitter and blog to share the child’s story and picture (of course only if you have received permission from the adoption agency). You also can talk to your friends and family. You never know whom God chooses to become that child’s family.
4 – Become a Host Family
After helping a child to find a family, you may feel that you are ready to get personally involved. You want to give hugs, kisses, tell bed stories, and make a kid feel loved by your family and by God. At the same time, you don’t feel ready to take all the steps needed to become a foster or adoptive family. Maybe it is time for you to think about become a host parent. It is not so hard, and it is not expensive to become a host family. To learn more about hosting programs go to the Hosting Programs section here on my blog.
5 – Help Families Stay Together
Do you know that not every child placed in an orphanage qualifies for adoption? The truth is that most kids in orphanages do have parents that love them but just can’t take care of them. There are many reputable organizations you can support that fulfill this mission. Some organizations work for children that still live with their parents, children that, without a financial sponsor, would be placed in an orphanage and be separated from their parents.
Other organizations work for the benefit of those children who do qualify for adoption. The sponsorship usually ranges from 20 to 50 dollars per month and you will be paying for food, medical care, school fees and sometimes shelter. Often you receive the blessing of being able to communicate with the child that you sponsor. To learn more about ways you can support these organizations with your financial generosity, please click here.
6 – Give Your Financial Support
Some orphanages are suffering from overcrowding and as a result do not offer the best environment for children. During my visits to many orphanages, it became clear that many of these institutions are under-staffed and many of the workers have little training, and overall most receive very low wages. Stop and think about this for a moment. Yes, there is a critical need for more orphanages. There is also an urgency to the need to give better training to volunteers and workers in orphanages so that they are ready to meet the emotional and physical needs of children placed in their care. As a society we must make sure that those who make it their life’s calling to help children in these institutions are also treated with dignity. These financial and training needs are met if we as a society choose to do a little effort to help those who help the children in need. Today you can help an orphanage–with your financial support!
7 – Sponsor A Family Ready To Adopt
Even if all orphanages in the world were excellent institutions, nothing can substitute the love of a family. I can’t count how many times I have heard this phrase: “We want to adopt; the problem is that we can’t afford it”. If you think that adoption it is not for your family, what about helping a family that is ready to do it? There are many organizations that give grants to adopting families. You can share this information. You can also provide financial help to families that are ready to adopt.
8 – Consider Foster Care!
In the USA there are more than 300,000 kids in the foster-care system. In the United States if a parent is found to negligent in the care of their children, the local or state government steps in and temporarily removes children from the custody of their parents. These are actions to protect the health, welfare, and well-being of the child. This also allows the parents to go through legal court mandated processes so that they can regain the custody of their children.
When children enter the foster card system, they are temporarily placed in the custody and care of accredited foster families. During this temporary placement, the foster parents gain legal guardianship over the day-to-day care of those children. Most U.S. State governments will train you and compensate you for being a foster family. Being a foster family is an opportunity to make a positive difference in a child’s life forever.
9 – Give the Greatest Gift: Adopt!
After trying everything possible to help the child to live with her birth family, sometimes the legal courts decide this is impossible and then the child become legal to adopt. Adopting a child it is a very important decision. Adoption is a lifetime commitment to that child. If you feel that God has placed the calling in your family’s heart go for it! It is a long journey in which you should take one step at time and letting God be your guide.
Surely it is worth it!
10 – Your Legacy: Change the Life of a Child!
If you do any of the suggestions, I’ve shared with you, you will make positive impact in the life of a child. The public, your community, friends and family probably are not aware of the needs of vulnerable children in their local communities. Help and share information on this topic. You can speak up, write, and share with others! You can teach others in your church about the needs of orphans. Today you can DO something to help!
Thank you for reading this blog post. Please help spread this message–a world of orphans needs you and me!