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?
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.
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.
Through services provided by Holt Sahathai Foundation, Holt’s partner agency in Thailand, a fisherman is able to provide for his family.
Nadej casts his fishing net out into the murky, green water of the Pak Phanang River in the Nakhon si Thammarat district of southern Thailand. On this day, like many others before it, his catch will not yield the income needed to provide for his wife and four young daughters. The family’s home is in disrepair. They don’t have enough to eat, or enough funds to send their daughters to school.
Desperate, Nadej casts his net out once more, hoping for assistance. Praying for an answer.
And then, a helping hand…
The Pakphanang Municipality referred Nadej’s family to Holt Sahathai Foundation (HSF), Holt’s partner agency in Thailand. Through an initial assessment, an HSF social worker discovered the family’s critical state. Caring for the family’s youngest daughter as well as her ill parents, Nadej’s wife, Lawan, was unable to help with the family’s income. Eight individuals lived in a small, dilapidated house with no windows. The four daughters were never taught proper health and hygiene practices. The eldest daughter, 14-year-old Tang, suffered from tooth decay, severely dry skin and lice. Nadej and his wife encouraged the children’s education, but also needed help with household duties. The children rarely attended school. The family lacked in many areas, the HSF social worker observed. What they weren’t lacking in, noted the social worker, was love.
“The family members love and care for each other deeply,” read the HSF family report. “The children try to help the parents reduce their burden. The parents love and accept their daughter who has special needs, always encouraging her.”
Susie Doig, Holt’s senior director of adoption services, recently wrote a short testimonial to our branch offices, encouraging the adoption staff to embrace and promote Holt’s child sponsorship program — and maybe even sponsor a child themselves. With a continual decline in international adoption across the globe, child sponsorship is one of the strongest and fastest-growing ways Holt can ensure that children in our programs remain with their birth families and receive the vital, life-saving support they need.
Child sponsorship. It’s nice. I’m glad we do it. But it doesn’t really affect me, because I work in adoptions. My focus is to spread the word about the need for adoptive families, and help families get the support and assistance they need to successfully complete their adoption process.
Back when adoption fees made up the majority of Holt’s revenue, focusing on fundraising efforts like child sponsorship felt like an elective to me. It was something that, if I had extra time, I would learn a little about it, or maybe mention it to a friend, but for the most part I kept my blinders on and my head down — focused on serving adoptive families.
Adoptive parents Chad and Becky Hinze share their experience adopting 12-year-old Paolo Miguel just days after Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philipinnes, and bringing him home to join their family. Paulo joined his family through the Philippines Ambassador Program.
How many people can say that flying into the Philippines just five hours before the most horrific storm in history hit — and living in an orphanage for the five days after — was the absolute best experience of their lives?
A photo essay and update on last year’s sponsor-funded International Day of the Child celebrations for children in Holt’s programs overseas.
Few things in life are as momentous as the birth of a child. When a child comes into our lives, we cheer and hug and pass around cigars — our faces wet with joyful tears. And every year after, we celebrate the anniversary of the day our child entered the world with parties and gifts and candlelit birthday cakes. Birthdays are more than a silly tradition. And however we celebrate them, the fact that we DO expresses to our children just how much we love them — and how grateful we are that they were born.
Every child deserves a birthday. Every child deserves to eat cake and open presents and have a whole day devoted to celebrating them.
But some children don’t have mothers and fathers and grandparents to throw them birthday parties. Others have loving families who wish they could do more on their children’s birthdays, but can barely afford to give them what they need every other day of the year.
That’s why, several years ago, Holt started a tradition of celebrating the birthdays of children in our programs overseas on June 1, the International Day of the Child. To fund these parties, Holt sponsors go above and beyond their normal monthly donation. They provide goodie bags with signed messages wishing their sponsored child a happy birthday, and give a little extra money for the celebrations. This year, donations from sponsors are also helping to provide a new pair of shoes for every child!
Below, we share photos from last year’s International Day of the Child celebrations in countries we serve around the world.
In Thailand, local staff used sponsor funds to fill goodie bags with stationary sets, sippy cups or cartoon-covered water bottles, chocolate bars and cookies. “HSF would like to convey our heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to Holt’s child sponsors for their generous donation,” writes the staff of Holt Sahathai Foundation, our partner in Thailand. “This special donation was very meaningful to needy children in our care!”
Eleven-year-old Hector smiles easily. Whether in school or meeting new people, a big grin spreads across his face as he chatters enthusiastically about his favorite things — traditional drums and singing, soccer and his favorite subject in school, science. The neighbors who live around Hector’s foster home watch Hector pedal his bike through the village with a seemingly permanent grin to match his cheery personality. Maybe Hector is riding his bike across the village to meet his friend, Scott, another pre-teen boy who, like Hector, spent much of his childhood waiting for a forever family. The two like to run and play, usually in bare feet with their jeans rolled up — Hector, the outgoing counterpart to Scott’s more reserved, artsy personality. Unlike Hector, though, Scott was recently matched with a permanent family in the United States.
If you are considering adoption, chances are you’ve thought about countries like China, Korea and maybe even Ethiopia. But what about Thailand? You don’t always hear a lot about Thailand in the adoption community. But, maybe you should, because there’s a lot to love about our program and partners in Thailand.
Here are our top 5 reasons to consider adoption from Thailand:
5. The minimum age for adoptive parents is 25.
For younger couples who want to start a family through adoption, Thailand is a great choice. Couples can have up to one child in the home prior to submitting their application, and couples with a child can request to be matched with a child opposite of the gender of the child already home. Childless couples must be open to a child of either gender. Adoptions from Thailand, while limited, have remained stable. Continue reading “Top 5 Facts About Adopting From Thailand”
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…
At a learning center Holt supports in rural, southern Thailand, children build skills using the natural environment while parents learn how to grow low-cost, nutritious food for their families.
by Jessica Palmer, Director of Adoption Services, Southeast Asia
Stepping into an organic garden, seeing fresh vegetables ripe for the picking in a lush green atmosphere, I forget for a second that I’m not in the Holt headquarters city of Eugene, Oregon. Instead, I am in a rural part of Thailand, Tha Sala, just outside the city of Nakhon Si Thammarat that serves as the southern office location for Holt’s local partner organization, Holt Sahathai Foundation (HSF). Among the many programs HSF provides for vulnerable children and families in Thailand is a learning center in Tha Sala, which is full of sensory stimulation and learning opportunities for children in the area — including many in Holt’s sponsorship program.