All It Would Have Taken

Born without arms, George Dennehy barely survived life in an orphanage before he was adopted. Today, he advocates for children like he once was — children whose lives could be saved through sponsorship.

George Dennehy musician

Twenty-five years ago, in a Romanian orphanage, a doctor attached a death certificate to a baby’s crib. Though still alive, the tiny child was terribly malnourished and sick. The doctor filled out all the information except the exact date and time of passing, attached it to the crib and walked away. 

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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. 

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A Dream To Save

Before a sponsor starting supporting her, Mekdes wasn’t sure if she could even stay in school in her rural community of Ethiopia  — much less follow her dream of becoming a doctor.

Eighteen-year-old Mekdes dreams of becoming a doctor one day.  Today, she is close to realizing her dream. Ten years ago, however, Mekdes’ future seemed uncertain.

Though bright and driven, Mekdes faced overwhelming challenges, and her family’s economic status seemed to dictate another path entirely — a path not nearly as bright, and certainty not one that would lead to a medical profession, or even an education.

Before sponsors and donors began supporting them, Mekdes and her family struggled to overcome their dire circumstances. But, today, they have hope.
Before sponsors and donors began supporting them, Mekdes and her family struggled to overcome their dire circumstances. But, today, they have hope.

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Bringing Education To Their World

Imagine your sponsored child receiving her first school uniform or the news that he can attend school on a one-year scholarship. Imagine the opportunities that an education will provide her, knowing that going to school helps prevent gender-based violence and discrimination.

Sponsorship — and your commitment to your sponsored child — empowers boys and girls around the world to overcome poverty and achieve their dreams. 

Cambodia

At a preschool in Cambodia’s impoverished Kampot province, a sponsored girl leans on her desk. In many rural areas of Cambodia, children do not have access to a preschool education, resulting in delayed social, language and academic development. But in Kampot, children now attend one of five sponsor-supported preschools where they have a safe space to eat snacks, learn skills and prepare for life-long success in school. Students like this young girl can now pursue their dreams by receiving an early education. Continue reading “Bringing Education To Their World”

It Takes a Village: Holt Sponsors Change Kids’ Lives in Thailand

A photo essay about the impact Holt sponsors and donors have created in the lives of children and families living in one coastal community in Thailand. 

Thick, sticky mud swallows your shoes as you approach the shoreline, where about five wooden boats dock in southern Thailand. After school, the kids of this community toss their shoes aside and let the mud squish in between their toes as they run to climb up onto their fathers’ boats. Fishing is the livelihood and lifestyle of the people here. It has been for generations. Continue reading “It Takes a Village: Holt Sponsors Change Kids’ Lives in Thailand”

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”

George Dennehy Headlining at Holt

Musician George Dennehy will headline Holt’s upcoming dinner & auctions in Portland on September 28, 2019 and Seattle on November 16, 2019. Born without arms to a family living in poverty in Romania, George barely survived his life in an orphanage before a family came forward to adopt him. Today, George tours the country advocating for children growing up orphaned, abandoned and vulnerable — to show how sponsorship can save the lives of children like him.

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The Birthday They Deserve

Every year on June 1, the International Day of the Child, children in Holt’s programs receive a birthday celebration to remember.

More often than not, these children don’t get to celebrate their special day. For families living in poverty, a birthday party for their child is often a luxury they can’t afford. And limited resources make it difficult to give children living in orphanage care the extra special attention they deserve on their birthday.

But Holt sponsors and donors want to make every child’s birthday special and memorable — even if it’s not on their actual birthday.

This year, through the generosity and kindness of sponsors and donors, boys and girls in Holt’s programs around the world will receive birthday gifts, a special meal and a fun-filled day with their community! These celebrations bring such joy to kids who are growing up in poverty with their families, or have no family to celebrate them — giving them the special birthday celebration they deserve.

Check out some of last year’s celebrations below!

On June 1, the International Day of the Child, children in Holt’s programs receive a birthday celebration to remember. Kids in Ethiopia excitedly hold up their birthday cards from their sponsors.
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Six Families Receive New Homes in Cambodia

In Cambodia’s impoverished Prey Veng province, children and families live in conditions that no one should ever live in. 

Every day, these families sleep, study and eat their meals under roofs that leak, inside palm leaf walls – unstable homes that cannot protect them from the rain and wind. But because of Holt’s generous donors, many families in this community now have hope. Working alongside local partner Child and Life Association (CLA), Holt donors recently provided new homes and necessary renovations for six of the most vulnerable families in Pre Veng province. 

Through these new and safe living conditions, these families’ lives have dramatically changed.

VeunSam Oun's Family – Before
Veung Sam Oun's Family – After
Continue reading “Six Families Receive New Homes in Cambodia”

It Takes a Village: Holt Sponsors Change Lives in Ethiopia

Shinshicho — a district capital in southern Ethiopia.

Ten years ago, Holt sponsors began supporting children and families in the impoverished community of Shinshicho — a district capital in southern Ethiopia where goats and cattle still roam the unpaved roads that lead through town, few homes or businesses have electricity or running water, and donkeys are the primary mode of transportation.

Here, as throughout Ethiopia, years of civil war and drought have robbed many families of their livelihoods, while famine and illness have robbed many children of their parents. Most families in rural Ethiopia subsist on what they can grow on small plots of land, which is often just barely enough to feed their families. But in 2008, when Holt began working alongside local leaders and community elders, life began to change for many children and families in Shinshicho. Continue reading “It Takes a Village: Holt Sponsors Change Lives in Ethiopia”