Gifts of Hope

Can you put a price tag on Hope? Can you calculate the worth of something so abstract?

The worth of something is, after all, relative — it changes from place to place, person to person, currency to currency. Hope is relative too, and looks different for everyone.

By definition, hope is a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.

The expectation that something is about to change.

Something is about to get better.

Hope is also a feeling — a very powerful one — that drives us to continue to push through hard situations, eager to find the light in the darkness.

Continue reading “Gifts of Hope”

Rights of Children

On November 20, the world will celebrate an important landmark anniversary for human rights and children.

The day marks the 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the 1989 United Nations treaty that — for the first time in history — defined the civil, economic, political, social and cultural rights of children. It also set goals to improve the livelihoods of children around the world.

Today, as we reflect on Holt’s nearly 60 years of serving vulnerable children and families around the world, we also celebrate the ways in which the lives of children around the world have improved thanks to the Convention and the work of dedicated children’s rights advocates.

In the same breath, we also recognize areas where more work needs to be done to reach the goals of the Convention, and how Holt can push forward — working toward a more just and equal world, where every child is valued and loved and no child is alone. Continue reading “Rights of Children”

Can Holt Sponsors Send Letters

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”

Nutrition appeal

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.

Holt International and SPOON Foundation in India from Holt International on Vimeo.

Who are Holt’s sponsored children?

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.

So, who are Holt’s sponsored children?

Let’s break it down: Continue reading “Who are Holt’s sponsored children?”

Infographic

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.

Check out the infographic here.


Produced By Healthcare Administration Continue reading “Infographic”

This is Your Last Chance to Give a Special Birthday Gift to Vulnerable Children

This is your LAST CHANCE to send a birthday gift to a child in Holt’s care!

One of the best ways to show your love for vulnerable children is to wish them a happy birthday.  Last month, we sent a letter informing you of our plans to throw one big birthday party for all the children we’re helping worldwide on June 1 — the International Day of the Child.

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!

Thank you!

Who Writes Sponsorship Reports

You open your mailbox and pull out a familiar red and yellow envelope, Holt’s logo flashing from the corner. It’s an update about your sponsored child — one that comes each season. You rip open the envelope and pull out a new photo of your child and an update about his or her life overseas. Or, you log into your email and click on a familiar link from Holt. Soon, a new picture of your sponsored child stares at you from your screen.

You examine the new picture of your sponsored child — her smile, how she’s changed from the last photo — and delve into the words, how your $30 per month is changing her life.

Maybe you even wonder about the day a Holt staff member visited your child to take his new photo and get his update, and the journey to get that update to you, the sponsor. How did it get to you, and why, in April, is your child talking about Christmas?

Here we explain who wrote your sponsored child’s update, and the long journey that report took to get to you. Continue reading “Who Writes Sponsorship Reports”

Mother’s Day Gifts of Hope

Three of Amita’s children play and talk with staff at Holt’s childcare center in India.

As kids, our moms would often fret over whether we had eaten enough. Moms took us to the doctor when we were sick. They checked our homework, worried about our education, and also taught us many lessons themselves. Lessons like kindness and how to care for others.

This Mother’s Day, salute the person who taught you compassion by giving a Gift of Hope — a gift to ease the worries of a struggling mother or family in one of Holt’s programs overseas. A gift to ensure her child will have healthy meals, afford to attend school, or be able to see a doctor.

It’s a gift to help mothers like Amita* in India.

A single mother, Amita struggles to care for her four children alone. On good days, during festivals or celebrations, Amita might earn $1.75 selling flowers. But many days, Amita is too sick from a chronic health condition to go to work at all. The whole family shares a one-room shack without a bathroom or kitchen, and when they can’t pay rent, Amita and her children sleep outside. The family has little to eat most days, and Amita’s two eldest children often skip school to look for work.

Last year, Amita heard about Holt and the services we offer families on the verge of separation. She came to us for help with school fees and nutritional support — but also to gain the skills she needs to independently support her children.

Holt was able to provide the emergency food and medical care Amita’s family needed to grow strong and healthy. Each day, all four children receive breakfast, snacks and lunch at school. Now, five months later, the children’s teachers praise the students for their hard work and passion to learn. Amita is also learning new skills through the job training Holt provides to parents in her town. It only took a little assistance for Amita to get back on her feet, and today, she is proud that she can support her family.

This Mother’s Day, help change the world for a mother like Amita. Give a Gift of Hope in honor of your own mother.

*Name changed.

Gifts of Hope Video

What would it mean in the life of your child if you not only gave him the toys on his Christmas list, but also toys in his name for vulnerable children in China?  What if, for your sister, you helped provide clothing, cribs and bedding for children in Korea?  Or a goat for a struggling family in Ethiopia?

This holiday season, you can help a child survive.  Help a family thrive.  This Christmas, you can give the gift of hope to children and families in Holt’s care…

Through Holt International’s Gifts of Hope Catalog! 

Watch this video to learn more….

Holt’s gift catalog provides an easy and convenient way to give a gift that matters this Christmas!

You can even honor your loved one by sending a card that acknowledges the gift you gave on their behalf.

Christmas is just one week away!  So get shopping, and start changing lives now!

Forward this video to your family and friends, so that they, too, can give hope to children this Christmas!

Thank you!