Holt’s Work Continues Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic

Over the past several weeks, Holt International, like all organizations, has experienced the consequences of the coronavirus outbreak and the critical impact on our programs, our staff and partners, and the children and families we serve together with you around the world. As the world watched what was happening in China, this felt very personal to Holt. With the health and safety of both children and families our utmost concern, we made the heart-wrenching decision to suspend travel for more than 20 adoptive families who were ready to bring their children home. In both the U.S. and China, Holt staff responded quickly to support and assist families and took immediate measures to ensure our partner orphanages had the medical and other supplies needed to protect the children in their care.

When the virus began to spread to Korea and other countries where we work in Asia, we took immediate action — sending masks and other supplies to our partners in those countries. Thankfully, as of today, we have received no reports of any children in our programs contracting the virus, and we continue to pray for the health and safety of all children, families, staff, partners and supporters around the world. Continue reading “Holt’s Work Continues Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic”

They Are Safe, Because of You

A few months ago, we shared with you the story of Thak Kan and his family in Cambodia.

Eleven-year-old Thak Kan and his family had trouble sleeping every time it rained where they live in rural Cambodia. The roof would leak. The house would flood in heavy rain. But what worried them the most were the poisonous snakes and scorpions that crawled through the holes in the walls of their house seeking dry shelter. Thak slept on the ground with his parents and three younger siblings. And he was scared of snake bites.

Thak Kan and his family stand in front of their old house, which had holes in the walls and floor that let in snakes and scorpions.
Thak Kan and his family stand in front of their old house, which had holes in the walls and floor that let in snakes and scorpions.

Thak Kan’s family was one of the poorest families in their village in rural Cambodia. They could hardly afford food, much less the materials to build a safer house. But when, on Giving Tuesday, we asked you to help build new safe homes for families living in dangerous conditions, you responded with overwhelming kindness and generosity.

You helped provide home repairs and new houses for some of the most vulnerable families living in some of the worst conditions — including for Thak Kan and his family!

Continue reading “They Are Safe, Because of You”

Holt Partners With Vitamin Angels in Uganda

In partnership with the nonprofit Vitamin Angels, Holt’s nutrition team helps bring vital supplements and medication to vulnerable women and children in rural Uganda. 

A health worker administers vitamin supplements to a child in rural Uganda.
A healthcare worker administers vitamin supplements to a child at a child health camp in rural Uganda.

In October 2018, Holt’s nutrition team launched a partnership with Vitamin Angels, a nonprofit organization that provides vitamins and deworming medication to mothers and children under age 5 who are at risk of malnutrition. Continue reading “Holt Partners With Vitamin Angels in Uganda”

The Least We Could Do

When the Poliakoff family travels on Holt’s heritage tour to Vietnam, they meet a family whose quiet heroism in the face of poverty inspires them to help build a safe new home for the family and their children.

The second morning of our Holt Vietnam heritage tour, we set out at 9 a.m. from downtown Hanoi in our tour buses to visit families receiving services through Holt’s family strengthening program. I’m not sure that any of us knew what to expect. What we encountered that steamy July morning changed my understanding of Holt’s role, of families living in poverty, and of ways that our American families could make a real and sustaining difference. Continue reading “The Least We Could Do”

I Won’t Give Up On Her

In the summer of 2016, Holt sponsor and then Holt employee Billie Loewen met a very sad, hungry girl in a remote village in Cambodia. She immediately signed up to sponsor her. Four years later, she receives an update that makes her heart soar.

In the first week of every month, I pull open the Excel spreadsheet with four years of monthly budgets. I open the Chase app and Wells Fargo and drift quickly over the charges, looking for anything amiss. The single line with a shortened title, “HOLT INTL CHILD,” and associated charge — $38 — always catches my eye.

Most months, paying bills is the only time I think about what it costs to sponsor the beautiful, shy, heartbreakingly sad little girl I met in a village in Cambodia on a scorching hot, dusty day in 2016.

Tiny, impossibly thin with straggly hair turning yellow from lack of nutrition, and a broad face with deep, serious eyes, 10-year-old Phal captured my entire heart the moment I saw her.

It’s been four years since I met her, and I think about her a lot.

Photos of Phal over four years of sponsorship reports. Her first photo is in the bottom right corner. Her most recent photo is top left.
Photos of Phal over four years of sponsorship reports. Her first photo is in the bottom right corner. Her most recent photo is top left.

Continue reading “I Won’t Give Up On Her”

10 Ways Holt Donors Changed Kids’ Lives in 2019

You did some truly amazing things in the lives of children and families this past year.

As Holt sponsors, donors, volunteers and advocates, you gave your time, money and energy to make sure as many children as possible could grow up with the love, stability and opportunity they deserve. And because of you — because of your kindness and generosity — 283,212 children and families in 14 countries around the world received the life-changing care and services they needed in 2019!

Seriously, you’re amazing. And we’re so incredibly thankful for you.

Just to give you a glimpse, here are 10 specific ways that your heartfelt giving changed the lives of children and families in Holt programs last year:

You helped kids. LOTs of kids!

Continue reading “10 Ways Holt Donors Changed Kids’ Lives in 2019”

Empowering Women: The Key to Strengthening Families

Holt-Sunny Ridge’s “Empowering Women, Strengthening Families” program has changed the lives of moms who previously thought placing their children for adoption was the only solution to their desperate situation. Program director Nancy Crouch talks about the program in this article.

For many women, impending motherhood is a momentous event, often filled with laughter, joy, baby showers, nursery decorating, and bright hopes for the future.

But for women going through tough times who don’t have family or friends to support them, being a mother can be incredibly overwhelming — just to get through each day. They don’t think they can take care of themselves, much less their children. And sometimes, to give both their child and themselves the best chance to survive and thrive, they make the decision to place one or more of their children for adoption — even if they don’t really want to. Continue reading “Empowering Women: The Key to Strengthening Families”

For Children in U.S. Foster Care, What Does Permanency Mean?

Holt Senior Vice President Greg Eubanks talks about the ongoing crisis in the U.S. foster care system and what can be done about it.

In the US, some 690,000 children live under the foster care system as of 2017. Around 269,000 of these kids entered the system for the first time that year. These kids can be as young as newborns and as old as 20. Approximately 124,000 of them are waiting to be adopted, while the remainder look forward to reunification with their biological parents. Continue reading “For Children in U.S. Foster Care, What Does Permanency Mean?”