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”

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”

The Greatest Gift a Sponsor Can Give

When Holt staff member Celeste Snodgrass had the chance to meet her sponsored child, it affirmed her belief that sponsors are the key to keeping children out of orphanages — and with their families.

Celeste slipped off her sandals and swung her legs out of the SUV and into the squishy, dark mud. Looking at her surroundings, she couldn’t believe she was here. Lush palm groves lined the rutty, narrow dirt road that led her to a small collection of thatched houses raised on wooden stilts. 

A child and family's home in Thailand
Celeste and local Holt staff wade through knee-deep water as they leave Panit’s home.

Continue reading “The Greatest Gift a Sponsor Can Give”

The Children We Sponsor Are Real

For Jerrod and Melissa Adair, meeting their sponsored child in Mongolia was not just a blessing. It was a dream come true.

Jerrod and Melissa with her sponsored child, her sponsored child's twin sister, mom and Holt staff members in Ulaanbaatar.
Jerrod and Melissa with her sponsored child, her sponsored child’s twin sister, mom and Holt staff members in Ulaanbaatar.

Jerrod and Melissa Adair stood on a street corner in front of a large shopping mall in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. They had traveled nearly 6,500 miles from their home in Oklahoma, and now waited in anticipation with toys in their arms. When they turned the corner, they recognized them immediately. 

“One was dressed in a beautiful red dress, and as I turned the corner, I saw they’re twins,” Jerrod says. “A double blessing!”

Each holding onto their mom’s hand, the twin sisters walked toward them in matching frilly red dresses, striped tights and white sandals. For over a year, Jerrod and Melissa had read about, and prayed for, these girls and their family. But in that time, they had developed a special connection with one girl in particular — Narantuya, their sponsored child. 

Continue reading “The Children We Sponsor Are Real”

Only One, But Still One

When 7-year-old Amelia Rose Cook learned about one girl’s need for a cleft lip surgery, she decided to help not just one but many kids — sending a ripple of kindness throughout her community, and the world.

Amelia with her mom and dad and brother, Jameson.
Amelia with her mom and dad and brother, Jameson.

I can’t remember exactly when I felt a sense of urgency to teach my children Ephesians 4:32: “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” This verse inspired me to start a kindness project in our home from the time my children were extremely young. I felt led to teach them that kindness should exude from them as natural as breathing. Kindness and love should be the very essence of our Christian lives. 

Continue reading “Only One, But Still One”

A Whole New World

As five decades of brutal war come to an end in Colombia, families have begun to heal from the violence and crime that ravaged their communities. And now, with the support of sponsors, many have begun to create a happier, more hopeful future for their children.

Yalena peeks out the side of her princess castle — a sheer, pink-and-white cylindrical-shaped tent with a miniature kitchen set and a family of stuffed animals to keep her company. Monica, her mom, grabs her foot, making her giggle and scoot back to safety. Continue reading “A Whole New World”

Summer 2019 Holt Child Sponsorship News

Read news and updates from Holt’s spring/summer 2019 child sponsorship magazine, including photos from sponsor-supported International Day of the Child celebrations, before and after photos of children in sponsorship, sponsor testimonials and more!

Making a Difference

When you sponsor, you completely transform your sponsored child’s life. Sponsors bring hope, joy and opportunities to children and their families. And sometimes, you can even see a remarkable physical change in your sponsored child – one that shows the dramatic impact of nourishing food, medical care and other tangible needs you meet through your generous monthly gifts.

Pranav lives with his family in India. When his sponsor began supporting him, he was significantly underweight, and his body was covered in post-inflammatory scars. Although he had a healthy mental condition, he needed proper support and care for better physical health. Continue reading “Summer 2019 Holt Child Sponsorship News”

Given in Faith

When sponsor Jenna Curtis got an unexpected check in the mail, she prayerfully considered how to use it. Deciding to give it to her sponsored child in Haiti, she then watched in astonishment as its impact rippled far beyond what she could have imagined. 

Jenna during one of her trips to Haiti.
Jenna travels to Haiti regularly, so she knew she wanted to sponsor a child from this country that, she says, had already stolen her heart.

Halfway through the concert, the music stopped and someone took to the stage. There with a group of high school students from her church, Jenna Curtis — a college student in her last semester — knew what was coming. She had heard this before, and already knew what she had to do.

Continue reading “Given in Faith”

From Ashes to Beauty

Given the strength to overcome her own struggles, child sponsor Karis Feezell strives to help others overcome theirs. 

Hello, my name is Karis Feezell. I am a determined, strong and compassionate 19-year-old artist who has struggled with physical issues all my life. I have cerebral palsy, Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome, and birth defects in my hands and feet. When I was born, the umbilical cord was wrapped around my neck, resulting in lack of oxygen for eight minutes until I was revived. During this incident, my cerebellum was injured, causing constant, shaky tremors. The tremors make it a struggle to control my hands, particularly opening them.

That I have these issues, and can still draw and paint, is proof to me that God is still working miracles today. Continue reading “From Ashes to Beauty”

16-Year-Old Adoptee Launches GoFundMe For His Sponsored Child

After his sponsored child, Munkh, is seriously burned in an accident, 16-year-old adoptee Zack Myers launches a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for Munkh’s hospital costs. He’s not sure he’ll meet his goal. But as more people read Munkh’s story, his Go Fund Me goes farther than he expects!

Zack with his sponsored child, Munkh (center), and Munkh’s brother in the Seattle Seahawks cap that Zack gave them when they met during the Mongolia Heritage Tour.

The relationship began at the Red Stone Informal School during Holt International’s heritage tour to Mongolia last summer. The school is located in the poorest district of Ulaanbaatar, and provides education, meals, hot showers and other supports for about 40 children, ages 6-12, each year. For these kids, the school is a welcome refuge from the many challenges of growing up in deep poverty. Continue reading “16-Year-Old Adoptee Launches GoFundMe For His Sponsored Child”