Children around the world need your help!
Every holiday season, as we gather with our families to give thanks, our thoughts turn to those less fortunate. This year, Adoptive Families asked readers to nominate worthy causes working for the good of children, families, and adoption awareness everywhere. We only had room to feature six organizations in the magazine, but here's the complete list of charities you selected. This holiday season, we urge you to give generously to support their efforts.
National Foster Parent Association (NFPA)
The National Foster Parent Association, the only national organization based on supporting foster parents, strives to improve the lives of foster families on a number of fronts. The NFPA provides a large amount of literature relevant to its goals, including Making Room in Your Family, a guide for birth children of prospective foster and adoptive parents; handbooks promoting families' recruitment; a quarterly publication; and a legal resource manual. In various initiatives the NFPA enhances recruitment, retention, and edification of families, support groups, cooperation of foster parents with child advocates, and instruction of the general public. In addition, the NFPA offers educational scholarships for higher education.
Donate online: http://nfpainc.org/aboutNFPA/donate.cfm?page=1
Child Focus is an organization devoted to improving the lives of foster children in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was founded by two women, dedicated to working with foster children, who envisioned improvement in foster children's education, mental health, and communities. Through coordination with volunteers and child welfare organizations, Child Focus provides a variety of services. Volunteer tutors work weekly with these children who often struggle in school. Child Focus directs donations, both monetary and material, and strives to educate the children's communities about their situation. Central to the organization is its monthly "get-together" events designed to reunite siblings living apart. Child Focus aims to start a clinic to house programs for foster children and parents.
Donate by phone: 702.436.1624, or online: www.childfocusnv.org/assets/Child_Focus.pdf
National Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA)
The National Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Association, unlike many similar organizations, provides a service specifically for the child itself, rather than for the people and organizations responsible for the child. Created by a Seattle judge who noted the lack of adequate information about many children in court cases, CASA devotes an informed volunteer to voice the child's best interest in court. Today in the U.S. more than 900 program offices in 49 states are operated by trained volunteers. These men and women are, in many cases, the only people consistently involved in the lives of these children, whose relatives and social workers may be a sporadic or nonexistent presence. A CASA volunteer stays with a child throughout his entire case, which may span years, and sees it to a good conclusion. Over 90% of funding goes directly to CASA programs.
Donate online: www.nationalcasa.org/htm/donate-1.asp
DFW FRUA Orphanage Support Program
The Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter of Families for Russian and Ukrainian Adoption established an Orphanage Support Program in 2003. So far, the program has raised nearly $10,000 has been raised in funds, 100% of which go directly to the sponsored projects. These projects are numerous and varied. One project is paying the salary of a "grandmother" in a St. Petersburg orphanage, a position that provides much-needed physical and emotional care. Another was last year's purchase of two commercial ovens for a St. Petersburg hospital. Soon, in Veritsa, Russia, an orphanage will receive new equipment funded by the program, which expects to fund two more projects this October. Financial support comes from the program's own fundraising, grants, corporate matching programs, and private donations.
Donate online: www.orgsites.com/tx/dfw-frua/_pgg10.php3, and be sure to specify "Orphanage Support Program."
Brittany's Hope is an organization named to commemorate an older adoptee named Brittany who was, tragically, killed in a car accident at a young age. Founded in 1999 by her mother, Brittany's Hope advocates for the adoption of older children, special needs children, and sibling groups. To facilitate the adoption of these children, Brittany's Hope assigns grant money to each child selected, in hopes of interesting prospective parents. These grants are on average nearly $8,000. Recipient families sign a "Parents' Pledge" to do 40 hours of volunteer work for Brittany's Hope. All of the funds donated to Brittany's Hope go directly to a child's grant.
Donate online: www.brittanyshope.org/contributions.html
Adoption: An American Revolution
Adoption: An American Revolution (working title), is a special project that will include a two-hour film, an extensive Web site and an outreach campaign to schools and communities. The film will use interviews with adoptive and birth families, adoptees, and adoption experts to explore the impact that adoption has on private and public life in America. One-third of people in the US now have someone in their family who was adopted, and many more have friends and neighbors who were adopted. In order for this project to start, final funding needs to be in place by the end of 2005. WGBH is soliciting the help of viewers to be able to reach this admirable goal.
Donate online: www.wgbh.org/support/pledge/adoption
Life2Orphans Wishing on an Angel
Life2Orphans, an organization that directs aid to orphanages in the Ukraine, is running for the third year its Christmas gift program. The organization aims to provide presents for over 6000 kids in the 42 sponsored Ukrainian orphanages.
Donate online: www.life2orphans.org/xmas_2005.htm, or by mail:
Christmas 2005 Donation
11876 NW Tyler Court
Portland, OR 97229
House of Angels
Inspired by her two adopted Romanian children, the Executive Director of Little Miracles International adoption agency took on a project to refurbish an abandoned orphanage in a small Romanian village. A trip to Romania had revealed the saddening fact that Romanian hospitals, burdened with the care of orphaned infants, could not adequately provide the children with emotional stimulation. After an intensive fund-raising campaign, in 2002 the House of Angels became the only temporary placement center for children under three years old. With the help of volunteers from the surrounding communities, the House of Angels offers children nutritious meals, good medical attention, and attentive and loving caregivers. To continue providing for these children, at least $2,500 is needed each month.
Donate online: www.paypal.com/cgi-%0Abin/webscr, and be sure to specify "House of Angels," or donate by check or money order:
House of Angels
Little Miracles International
PO BOX 19776
Amarillo, Texas 79114
African HIV Orphans: Project Embrace (AHOPE)
Of the countries ravaged by the AIDS epidemic, underdeveloped countries are hit the hardest. Many millions of children are orphaned when their parents die of the syndrome. In Ethiopia, there are an estimated one million such orphans. Tragically, this number is expected to double within five years. AHOPE is devoted to providing a safe, loving home for those children themselves infected by HIV. The AHOPE sponsorship program matches a child with one or more sponsors, who donate $30 monthly for at least 6 months. The donor receives information about the recipient of his donations.
Sponsorships can be made online: www.ahopeforchildren.org/donationform.html
The Stephen Lewis Foundation
Founded in 2003 by the UN Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, the foundation dedicates 90 percent of its funding to directly aiding the millions affected by AIDS in Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Rwanda, Uganda, South Africa and Swaziland, where the foundation maintains reliable contacts. Drawing from extensive experience, the foundation focuses its efforts on helping women, who are disproportionately infected, live and die with dignity; and orphans, many heading households. Through grassroots organizations, funding for medical supplies, education, food, and training is supplied.
Donate online: www.stephenlewisfoundation.org/donate.html
Our Chinese Daughters Foundation (OCDF)
Since 1996, OCDF has realized its goal of promoting support of adoptive families and broadened awareness of Chinese culture. Numerous and varied services are available through the foundation, including orphan and school sponsorships, adoption facilitation services, scholarships for adopted Chinese girls, and Chinese language and culture programs. In addition, the foundation also publishes books, a magazine, and a newsletter. Speakers on various topics for events can be found through OCDF.
Make a donation or a sponsorship online: www.ocdf.org
The China AIDS Orphan Fund (CAOF)
The CAOF is a volunteer non-profit organization founded in 2003. The organization maintains ties with American organizations. The Fund spends very little on overhead, leaving more than 90% of its finances available to provide support for Chinese AIDS victims and their children. CAOF distributes grants to respected private non-profit organizations to offer medical, educational, financial, and emotional support. CAOF seeks out those foster children, orphans and orphanages with the greatest need for funding.
Donate online: www.chinaaidsorphanfund.org/donation.asp, or by mail:
The China AIDS Orphan Fund
The Minneapolis Foundation
800 IDS Center
80 South Eighth St.
Minneapolis, MN 55402
The Yiyang Fund
The Yiyang Fund is an organization that, with the cooperation of Half the Sky Foundation, aims to improve the lives of children in the Yiyang Children's Welfare Institute and the Yiyang Social Welfare Institute, two neighboring orphanages in the Hunan province. Run by adoptive parents of all nationalities with children from these orphanages, The Yiyang Fund offers donors several options for support of sponsorship of a child or nanny. Nannies who are supported by The Yiyang Fund offer much-needed emotional and physical nurturing to the children. With volunteer help, an Infant Nurture Center was built, one of many projects undertaken by the Fund.
Donate online: www.yiyangfund.org/donate.shtml
National FCC Orphanage Appeal
Families with Children from China is committed to helping children in China’s orphanages through our innovative, practical, cost-effective programs. Their foster care programs make it possible for hundreds of children to live with loving families in the community. Their nurturing Grandmas, intensive care nurses, and purchases of developmental toys, incubators, and heaters improve the quality of care for children in the orphanages. Through their school fees program, they send children to community schools, from primary school through university. They provide special needs children with surgery, medical and physical therapy, and medicine. More than forty FCC chapters cosponsor the national appeal, which has helped over 100 orphanages and thousands of children. Their programs are largely run by volunteers in the United States and China, which means that approximately 97% of your contribution directly benefits the children.
Donate online: www.fccorphanageappeal.org, or by mail:
FCC Orphanage Appeal
P.O. Box 613
Norfolk, CT 06058
Care and Share
Founded in 1997 by Carol Faison and Noel Harper, Care and Share Charitable Trust is based in Vijayawada in the state of Andhra Pradesh in southeastern India. Its aim is to provide resources and the ability to use these resources to underprivileged children and their families. This is accomplished through child sponsorship, currently affording 3,500 children education, accommodation, and medical attention; numerous homes for the care of handicapped children; resources and housing for street children; and AIDS care and prevention. Care and Share prides itself on its local ties and knowledge, and also on the fact that all its programs are run directly by the program, facilitating meaningful local and personalized aid.
Donate online: www.careshareindia.org/contact.html
Worldwide Orphans Foundation (WWO)
Dr. Jane Aronson's background in treating infectious diseases and her compassion for children in orphanages around the world led to her founding of WWO in 1997, and earned her the nickname ‘the Orphan Doctor'. WWO funds a variety of programs and initiatives designed to assess and improve the mental, emotional, and physical development of institutionalized children. Among its accomplishments besides direct aid to thousands of children are training and sponsoring Orphan Rangers around the world, and creating the Adoption Education Resource Center website to provide information about common conditions of orphans. Aid and educational initiatives for orphans and those with HIV/AIDS in particular are in the works in Bulgaria, Ethiopia, China, and Viet Nam, where the country's first training session for pediatric HIV/AIDS treatment is in progress.
Donate online: www.orphandoctor.com/wwo/donate_now/index.html#,
or by mailing a check payable to Worldwide Orphans Foundation along with a donation form (Download from www.orphandoctor.com/wwo/donate_now/index.html#) to:
151 East 62nd St., Suite 1A
New York, NY 10021 Orphan Sponsorship International
Often the idea that somebody cares about a child's welfare can make more of an impression than material donations he's received. Orphan Sponsorship International (OSI) was founded in 1999 based on this principle, and now accommodates orphans at five sites in Russia, Bulgaria and Sri Lanka. An orphan sponsor sends funds—about $25 per month—and materials for food, clothes, medical expenses, extracurricular activities, and gifts. Many orphans correspond with their sponsor. Everything the sponsor sends goes directly to the child, a concept fundamental to the program. OSI liaisons at each site are sponsored separately.
Sponsor a child: www.orphansponsorship.org/sign-up.html
Sponsor a program: www.orphansponsorship.org/program-sponsorship.html
Donate to the general cause: www.orphansponsorship.org/donations.html
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