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
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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”

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.

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On Her Darkest Day

The day Erika left her two sons at an orphanage felt like the end of her world. But when generous donors gave her a way to pick up the pieces of her life, she started a path forward that led her back to the light — and back to her kids.

 Last year Erika was accepted to a vocational training program that is helping her earn enough income to give her kids a stable home.
Erika, 23, blow-dries a client’s hair. Thanks to sponsors and donors, last year Erika was accepted to a vocational training program that is helping her earn enough income to give her kids a stable home.

Erika’s stained clothes draped loosely off her already tiny frame. Her hair was snarled and knotted — her skin dirty.

She held one little boy in one arm and clutched another’s hand. Both boys, like their mom, were thin and messy.

They dipped through the doorway of a two-story building on a street stacked with single-room homes in southern Bogotá, not far from the hilly area where Erika grew up. Continue reading “On Her Darkest Day”

The Best Days

Three times a year — for Christmas, International Day of the Child in June and for back-to-school in August — child sponsors have the opportunity to send a personalized card or bookmark to their sponsored child. Sponsors also make special donations to buy presents, throw parties and give special meals to kids. Holt’s on-the-ground staff and kids want you to know how much joy, lightness and excitement you give them during these special celebrations. Read just a few of our favorite updates from 2018 parties!

“Kids were extremely happy to see the photos of their sponsor and excited to share their birthday cards with their classmates and teachers.” CHINA

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Because of You, Phal and Her Siblings Have a New Home

Poverty is complicated.

It’s never the same from one family or child to another.

And, while it can be defined by not having enough — material goods, resources, support, opportunities — there are no perfect, broad solutions that help every child escape.

Keeping kids in school helps. Providing advocacy helps. Giving food and medical care helps. And for some families, that support is enough.

But some children need more. They need the individual attention, love and willingness to go the extra mile that parents usually provide.

Poverty also has some ugly, horrible cousins: abuse, neglect, loss.

But every child deserves the chance to reach their full potential. Every child deserves the love of a family to help them grow and reach their dreams.

Phal when she was 10. I received this photo in a sponsorship update on Phal, and it broke my heart.

I want to tell you about Phal. We shared her story in December in an urgent plea for help. And you responded so generously. I finally have a happy update.

Phal is the saddest child I have ever met. Continue reading “Because of You, Phal and Her Siblings Have a New Home”

Watching Her Grow Up

Linda and Jim Vail have sponsored You Jun since she was 9 years old. Now 18, You Jun wants to say thank you for supporting her all these years.

When Linda and Jim Vail first “met” their sponsored child — when they received her photo in the mail and first read about her life — she was 9, and in crisis.

You Jun’s mother hadn’t been in her life for years, her father struggled with substance abuse and died the year before, and not long after, her uncle passed away too. She and her grandmother were the only ones left.

“The little girl and her granny depend on each other,” her social worker wrote in a sponsor report from 2009. “They lead a hard life.”

You Jun and her grandmother live on less than one acre of land near the Chinese border with Burma. They grow rice to feed themselves — selling any surplus to pay for necessities. But it has never been enough to afford school for You Jun. Continue reading “Watching Her Grow Up”