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:
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.
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.
Every year, over 6,000 young adults age out of orphanages in Korea. As “orphans,” they face stigma and discrimination, and have no support or guidance. But one organization is now working to change that — providing love, and hope, beyond the orphanage.
Myung Hoon plays the viola beautifully.
Beautifully enough to win second place in a solo competition with musicians who learned to play the instrument years before he did. Beautifully enough to earn a scholarship to New York’s prestigious Manhattan School of Music. But no matter how beautifully he played, for a long time, Myung Hoon never felt like he was enough. Like he deserved what he achieved.
We are starting 2019 inspired and filled with gratitude — all because of our donors! Thank you to every child sponsor, every donor, every advocate and every person who donated their time, money or social media platform to help a child in need this year!
Sick children received critically needed medicines and surgeries.
Boys and girls learned they could go to school — in some cases for the first time! They received uniforms, books and supplies.
Children in orphanages received the one-on-one care they need to grow and thrive. Hundreds joined adoptive families. Many finally felt loved and accepted, joining foster families and group homes free from stigma and ridicule.
Single moms received job skills training, parenting help, free daycare support, and some even received new homes! Many more finally felt like they had a team of support wrapping them in encouragement and hope for the future with services like community savings programs, microloans, livestock training, counseling and much, much more.
Some women — and many children — fled or were rescued from violent situations.
Any child who loses their parents suffers unimaginable grief and heartache. But for one population of children growing up in China, the reason they lost their parents adds a whole other level of loss, heartache and isolation — even within their own families. They are not just orphans. They are AIDS orphans.
It was as if time stood still.
Everything sat undisturbed — preserved in the moment their son left his childhood home for a new life in the city.
A couple of bikes stood leaning in the doorway, covered in dust. A calendar remained open to November 2016, the month their son moved to his group home. Becca noticed a hat with a flower hanging on the wall.
“I wondered if this was his grandmother’s hat,” says Becca, now mom to the boy who once lived in this cold concrete block home. Becca wondered if his grandmother wore this hat while working in the fields that surrounded their family compound.
Here and there, Becca also caught glimpses of the child her now teenage son once was. The child who left Spiderman stickers and hand-drawn pictures taped to the walls, rollerblades and tiny shoes by the door. The child who created an elaborate chalk drawing of a guitar on the window, and lines on the wall to prove he was growing taller.
While traveling on the Holt Mongolia Vision Trip, adoptee Robyn MacKay visited an orphanage that she and other donors support in Mongolia.
It was a perfect sunny day when I stepped off the bus in Darkhan City, Mongolia, about four hours north of the capital of Ulaanbaatar, close to the border of Russia. I was on Holt’s second Mongolia Vision Trip and we arrived at the Sun Child Orphanage, a program that we had not visited on the previous trip. As soon as we entered the gate onto the grounds of Sun Child, I knew something special was happening. The children greeted us inside the gate and approached us one by one, with hugs, smiles and English phrases such as, “Nice to meet you.” Continue reading “The Sun Children of Mongolia”