Technically, you send your gift to Holt International, trusting that we will properly steward your money and direct it to your sponsored child. We don’t, in fact, actually give your sponsored child and his or her family $34 in cash or check each month.
Why, you ask? Wouldn’t our sponsorship program be just as effective if we simply wrote a check each month?
Well, that’s a great question, and it is one that our sponsorship team hears often.
There are many reasons why Holt doesn’t give cash to the children and families in our programs, but the biggest reason is that we care deeply about those who we serve and we want every mother, father and child in our programs to be successful. Remember, Holt’s ultimate goal is to ensure that every child has a permanent, loving family. But while our goal for every child is the same, the way we work toward that goal is different for every child. Continue reading “How Does Your Money Get To Your Sponsored Child?”
The question our sponsorship staff encounters most frequently is, “Can I write my sponsored child?” followed swiftly by, “What can I send my sponsored child?”
We think both these questions are fantastic! They show that you take your sponsorship seriously — often sending positive thoughts or prayers to your sponsored child, and wondering how he or she is doing. Your desire to connect with your sponsored child and bless him or her with additional gifts is one that warms our hearts … and your sponsored child’s, too!
Generally, the answer is yes, you can write your sponsored child, and yes, you can send extra small gifts. But, there are a few stipulations, mostly designed to ensure your sponsored child and his or her family remain safe and successful in our programs.
Here, we’ve created a “10 do’s and don’ts” list regarding correspondence with your sponsored child.
1. Do send cards, letters and words of encouragement.
What you can send your child varies slightly from country to country, but generally, if your sponsored child lives in China, Korea, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Haiti, Mongolia or India, you can send hand-written cards or letters to your sponsored child.
Unfortunately, sponsors of children living in Ethiopia and Uganda are not able to send personal letters at this time. In these countries in particular, fairness and equal distribution of resources is critical to maintaining the positive relationships the staff have formed with families. If one child receives a letter while another does not, it could cause feelings of jealousy within the community. In order to avoid favoritism and encourage healthy working and learning environments, program staff request that no letters come to children or families in these programs at this time. However, there are some ways you can still give to your child. See #7 below!
2. Do tell your sponsored child about yourself and your family!
We encourage you to write about your family, activities you enjoy together and what life is like where you live. Sponsored children like to hear about your town, if you attend school, what you do for work, if you have pets, and other details that help them get to know you. Continue reading “Can Holt Sponsors Send Letters”
Every day, more than 7,000 children we serve around the world receive life-saving nutritious food, medical care and access to education. Their families are growing stronger and more stable with the help of vocational training, free daycare programs, medical care and counseling — even forming community groups for support and networking, and their children are learning about sanitation and nutrition.
These are Holt’s sponsored children — children who, through the generous monthly gift of Holt supporters, are thriving and learning and finding hope for the future.
One of those children is Dawit — a young boy living with his family in rural Ethiopia. He has been in Holt’s sponsorship program for a little over two years, and in that time his life and the lives of his family have changed dramatically. You can see the change in his photos, the ones a Holt social worker snaps of him every six months. You can see his face change from sunken and sad to bright and smiley.
Two years ago, Dawit’s family was very poor and did not have enough land to generate income or grow crops to feed their family. They lacked basic sanitation and enough food too eat. Dawit suffered from malnutrition, but his parents could not afford to take him to a hospital.
Then, Holt helped Dawit’s family receive a cow, which provided nourishing milk every day — with extra to sell for income. When the cow had calves, Dawit’s family could sell them and add the earnings to a savings account. Soon after, Dawit developed pneumonia, and thanks to the support of Holt, he was able to see a doctor and receive the antibiotics he needed to grow healthy. Slowly, he grew stronger and taller, and he added weight.
Now, Dawit has close, loving relationships with his mother and father, and he is especially fond of his eldest brother. He likes playing soccer and marbles and he has many friends. Dawit is in school, and in the winter his parents paid for his school fees with the income from a calf. Each day, the whole family is stronger and more stable. Dawit is on track developmentally, and he is not malnourished. He is cheerful, friendly and respectful.
We celebrate victories like Dawit’s and his family’s, but we also know there are many children who need the same support that Dawit receives.
Is there any better way to celebrate summer than by gathering with old friends for an action-packed weekend of activities, laughter and fun?
Holt’s branch assistant for our Midwest office, Laura Sykora, adopted two children from Ethiopia, and last month she gathered with six other families for a weekend-long camping trip and we couldn’t help but share their adorable photos!
Laura says, “We have a group of families that all adopted their children from the same orphanage in Ethiopia that stays in contact with each other. One of the adoptive parents got the ball rolling to do a gathering in Missouri (a central location for most families) to get kids together again and spend a long weekend camping and meeting up. We spent time swimming, roasting hot dogs and smores, went to a baseball game and on the last day all of the families enjoyed an Ethiopian lunch together. The kids were really happy to see their friends again and it was really good for parents to reunite and talk about experiences they have had with their families adjustments and how the kids are doing. All of the families were amazed with how well the kids did together and that we plan to make this a yearly occurrence.”
Every year, nearly 10.9 million children under the age of 5 die from preventable causes — nearly 60 percent are from malnutrition. Malnutrition and hunger-related disease takes more lives than tuberculosis, AIDs and malaria combined. In orphanage care, nearly 85 percent of children have significant nutrition and health-related problems.
Even for children who survive malnutrition, illnesses like anemia — which some experts estimate affects more than half of children in orphan care — can have very serious consequences for a growing child.
Anemia is usually caused by a lack of iron — a mineral critical to brain development. Brain development in children under 5 is extremely accelerated, so an iron deficiency can tremendously impact long-term cognitive and emotional growth. Studies of anemic children have shown that they have lower IQs and perform more poorly in school. Iron is also very important in disease prevention and immunity. Those who are iron-deficient tend to get sick more easily and for longer periods of time.
Today, thanks to a four-year grant from a private foundation, Holt and our partner agency SPOON Foundation are combating malnutrition head on by training caregivers on improved feeding techniques, treating and monitoring children who show signs of hunger-related illness, and fighting against the leading causes of malnutrition.
At a care center in India, one of Holt’s pilot sites, the prevalence of anemia in children dropped from 45 percent to nine percent in just six months of working with SPOON.
Watch the video below to learn more about how Holt is eliminating nutrition-related issues in children through our partnership with SPOON. Or, read more about our work with SPOON here.
Then, please offer your support! We are in a tremendous position to impact the lives of thousands of children in our care, but we need your help. Give a gift to help vulnerable children have the chance to flourish.
In Holt’s nearly 60-year history, we’ve had the opportunity to impact the lives of hundreds of thousand of children and families. Historically, most of these children were adopted into loving families — and from that history came Holt’s legacy as an adoption agency. While this is totally true, many people are surprised to learn that very few of the children in Holt’s growing sponsorship program are on a track to join an adoptive family overseas. For every child who is adopted in the U.S. in order to join a loving family, Holt helps thousands more children stay or reunite with their birth families, or join an adoptive family in their country of birth — helping to achieve Holt’s mission of finding families for children.
The hospital is really taking form! Check out the progress to the surgical wings, patient wards and outside appearance of the building. When this hospital opens in summer 2014, more than 250,000 people will have access to advanced healthcare for the first time!
Sometimes, nothing makes a point as well as a picture…
An infographic compiled by a website for healthcare administrators and those looking for research about the medical field titled “The Kid’s Aren’t Alright” combined data from World Bank, UNICEF and International Living to subjectively rank countries on the quality of life they offer children, based on per-capita GDP, infant mortality, safety and more.
When you choose a variable in the infographic, such as the percentage of children vaccinated against polio or enrolled in primary schools, watch the map transform into a color-coded index illustrating which regions perform the best and worst in that area. Countries colored red scored the worst, while countries colored seafoam green excel. There are six color-ratings possible, following a rainbow spectrum.
Naturally, at Holt, we zoomed in on the countries where we work. We noticed some immediate trends — many of which directly relate to the work we do overseas combating child abandonment, poverty and family instability.
Below, we break down how the infographic rates in countries where we work, and what we are doing to battle some of the issues most prevalent in the region.
Join us as we celebrate the precious children in our care, and give today!
Your online Birthday Gift today of $25 or more will help provide special party treats, such as: a delicious birthday meal, festive party decorations, exciting games and activities, Bible stories and songs, birthday goodies and even essentials like clothing and shoes!
Even though you and I can’t reach out in person to every child on their individual birthdays, we can celebrate every child in our care on this one special day!
Please help us make children in our care feel extra special on June 1. Give a Birthday gift today!