COVID-19 in Korea: How the Pandemic is Affecting Sponsorship Programs

Lee, Yoon-Joo, director of overseas adoption programs at Holt Korea, and Paul Kim, director of Holt’s programs in Korea and Mongolia, share how the pandemic is affecting the children, families and individuals in Holt’s sponsorship program in Korea — and how Holt sponsors and donors are helping to meet their most urgent needs.

While well-baby check-ups have resumed, they are conducted on a staggered basis, and any social activity and contact between the foster mothers and children in care while at the clinic is prohibited.
While well-baby check-ups have resumed, they are conducted on a staggered basis, and any social activity and contact between the foster mothers and children in care while at the clinic is prohibited.

How has COVID-19 affected Korea and what is life like there right now?

PK: Korea has gone from one of the first countries in the world outside of China to be impacted by COVID-19 to a leader in fighting the spread of the virus. The nation is currently experiencing the third wave of infections, and the authorities have tightened existing regulations. Continue reading “COVID-19 in Korea: How the Pandemic is Affecting Sponsorship Programs”

Last Christmas Was a Good One!

Last Christmas, children around the world experienced a huge holiday celebration! They attended parties and received presents and ate special meals. None of these experiences would have been possible without the generosity of Holt sponsors and donors.

Children living in impoverished communities or orphanages around the world often miss out on Christmas and holiday celebrations. For children and families who barely have enough to survive each day, treats, parties and gifts wrapped in colorful paper are impossible luxuries.

But every child deserves to experience the joy and celebration of Christmas. That’s why every year, Holt sponsors and donors go above and beyond to bring Christmas to children all around the world.

When sponsors and donors give $25, a child receives a hand-picked gift, festive meal, treats and a special party with their family and friends! It’s a fun-filled day — giving them wonderful memories that they will cherish all year. This year’s celebrations may look a bit different due to COVID-19 precautions, but Holt staff and partners will work hard to make it just as special!

Take a look at last year’s joyous holiday celebrations around the world!

Continue reading “Last Christmas Was a Good One!”

For My Korean Sisters

Holt adoptee Kate Pyle shares what inspired her to launch a campaign raising over $16,000 for the Holt Morning Garden shelter for single mothers and their children in Korea.

A single mom and her son who stayed at the Morning Garden shelter.
A single mom and her son who stayed at the Morning Garden shelter.

My name is Kate Pyle and I’m a Holt Korean adoptee. At the beginning of September, following a six week campaign, my wife, Laurel, and I raised $16,450 for three women at the Achimddeul “Morning Garden” shelter in Daejeon, South Korea. It was the first time Laurel and I had ever fundraised. Soliciting donations is never easy, but even in this bizarre time in history, we were successful! We both believed in the cause, in Holt and in ourselves.

So why did we do this? Let me tell you a little story. Continue reading “For My Korean Sisters”

Back to School, Around the World

All around the world this year, school will look different due to COVID-19. But whether children are physically in a classroom, or learning from home, your gifts will help children continue to learn and stay safe from early marriage and forced labor during this time of global crisis. Here are the current back-to-school plans in each of the countries where Holt kids live!

Whether a child is the daughter of migrant workers in India, lives near the Red Stone garbage dump in Mongolia, or has Down syndrome in Vietnam, education is vital to helping every child overcome poverty and reach their potential in life. It is also a cornerstone to the help that you provide through Holt.

But what about this year? What does back-to-school look like during a global pandemic?

 

Continue reading “Back to School, Around the World”

Project Gifts of Hope

Through Holt’s Gifts of Hope catalog, English professor and adoptee Tara Robbins Fee helps her students think critically about — and find solutions to — the problems affecting our world.  

Tara with her family.
Tara with her husband and children.

I am a professor of English, wife and mom, and Holt adoptee. I spent my childhood in rural South Jersey, reading Nancy Drew mysteries and Little House books and happily running around in the woods behind the house my parents built. Growing up, I rarely thought about the five months I spent in Korea before the day I arrived at JFK airport in New York City, the day depicted in our family photos, where my mother reaches out to hold me for the first time. That was the moment that I understood as my family origin story. Continue reading “Project Gifts of Hope”

My Son’s Second Mother

Adoptive mom Angela Crisanto shares a tribute to her son’s “second mother” — his foster mother — in gratitude for all the love she gave him while in her care in Korea.

Kai with his foster mother in Korea.
Kai with his foster mother in Korea.

For so many months, we had wondered about the family who was taking care of our son.

Before we adopted our older son, he had lived in an orphanage in Vietnam. We were so relieved that in Korea, there were more foster homes to take care of the children — including for our soon-to-be younger son, Kai. Continue reading “My Son’s Second Mother”

Thankful for Silver Linings

Last year, while grieving the loss of her mom, adoptee Lee Henggeler discovered a box of adoption paperwork that helped her reconnect with her  through the journey she took to become a mother. It also sparked an idea for a journey she herself would take to honor her late mom. This story originally appeared on Lee’s blog, thecampsarehere.com.

Lee and her mom when Lee was a baby.

Deep loss can bring you face to face with what was missing when you thought you had everything …

A DARK PLACE
(written February 4, 2020)

On April 2, 2019 at 9:24 pm, a woman I had never met called to tell me my mom was dead. My husband, 4-year-old and I were driving on I-95, all our belongings in a moving truck, less than an hour from Charleston, SC — uprooting and relocating after eight years in Washington, D.C. to spend more time with Grama CeeCee. But just like that *snap* she was gone, and with her all of the time we had every intention of spending — and there was nothing we could do. Continue reading “Thankful for Silver Linings”

Favorite 15 Stories of 2019

In 2019, we shared some amazing and inspiring stories from and about adoptees, adoptive families, sponsors, donors, and children and families in our programs around the world. It has been an incredible year at Holt — a year that you shared with us as you read, commented on and reposted our updates, stories and videos throughout the year.

Early last year, we merged with the adoption and child welfare agency WACAP — combining our resources and knowledge to help even more orphaned and vulnerable children both in the U.S. and in countries around the world. Throughout the year, Holt’s extraordinary donors made it possible to reach more than 280,000 children and families in 14 countries with everything from school supplies and bicycles to lifesaving food and critically needed surgery. Continue reading “Favorite 15 Stories of 2019”

A Dispatch From The 2019 Korea Gift Team

While traveling on this year’s Korea Gift Team trip with Holt, adoptive mom and donor Seri Boettcher kept a travelogue to tell her friends and family about the programs she visited and the children, families and individuals she met. 

Holt staff member Amanda Baca holds a child in care during the 2019 Korea Gift Team trip.
Holt staff member Amanda Baca holds a child in care during the 2019 Korea Gift Team trip.

Holt Morning Garden Shelter

We travelled back to Seoul yesterday afternoon after a VERY moving morning in Daejeon (where we spent the night) at the Holt-sponsored Achimddeul Mother and Child Shelter. It seems with every Holt trip I’ve taken, there is one day that just hits me emotionally and I truly did not anticipate it would be this day on this trip. Continue reading “A Dispatch From The 2019 Korea Gift Team”

Children Who Deserve a Chance

Amid an orphan care crisis in South Korea, Holt sponsors and donors help care for children in greatest need­ — and support a long-term solution.

In South Korea, a 1-year-old sits in a crib. Surrounded by other children, in identical cribs, she lifts up her arms as her caregiver walks past. Her caregiver lovingly picks her up, then places her on the floor to play with the toys that she shares with everyone else. She cries, desperate for one more moment of attention. 

She’s healthy, developing well, “a lovely child,” as her caregivers describe her. But she will most likely never have a loving, permanent family of her own. 

Because she was abandoned. 

Continue reading “Children Who Deserve a Chance”