How a Goat Changed a Family’s Life in Uganda

Ten-year-old Gloria holds on of the goats that her family received as a Gift of Hope!

Every year, a goat is one of the most popular Gifts of Hope given to children and families in need! And it’s no wonder why. Not only are goats cute and fun, but they can change the life of a child and family living in poverty.

Just ask 10-year-old Gloria!

Gloria lives with her mother Gorret, twin sister Angella, and two younger sisters in rural Uganda. And for most of Gloria’s life, they struggled to get by.

Gorret with her twin daughters, Gloria (left) and Angella (right).

After Gloria’s father left their family, they couldn’t pay rent, afford school supplies and even struggled to buy enough food. Her mom, Gorret, didn’t know what to do.

Meeting Gorret now — a woman petite in stature but strong in conviction — it’s hard to believe that she ever felt uncertain about the decisions she makes for herself or her daughters.

“I felt so bad when my husband left,” she shares. “I had so many children and no money to pay rent. I felt very desperate at that time.”

Without her husband’s income, she knew the burden was now on her to support her children. So she decided to move herself and her girls from the capital city of Kampala to her home village. She immediately looked for work, and quickly found a job with another children’s services organization working in her community. But unfortunately, not long after she started, her job was terminated and she once again found herself without any means to support her family.

Gorret prayed for help. 

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How a Lemonade Stand Provided Bikes to Three Kids

lemonade stand to give a bikeWhen siblings AnneDee, Jett and Hiro had a lemonade stand this summer in Oregon, they decided to use their earnings to give a bike as a Gift of Hope to a child in need. But they never knew just how successful they’d be!

This past summer, 4-year-old Jett rode a bike for the first time. She pushed off with her feet on the street outside of her house in Oregon, balanced on the seat, and began pedaling. And that was it! She could ride a bike!

Her older sister, AnneDee, was so happy and proud that she cried.

Riding a bike is a big deal — a childhood milestone. But it’s an opportunity that so many children around the world don’t have. And in many places, riding a bike is more than just a fun way to play and get exercise — it’s a safety issue.

 

Especially in rural areas, and especially for girls, getting to and from school can be dangerous. Many girls walk miles and miles to get to school. It takes a long time, and can leave them vulnerable to predators.

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Can a Sewing Machine Actually Help?

sewing machine in CambodiaWhen Narin’s dad lost his job because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Gift of Hope of a sewing machine saved their family.   

Narin’s family was empowered, independent and thriving.

At the beginning of 2020, they were doing well. They had food to eat, a stable income, the children were going to school, and 16-year-old Narin finally had the medical care he needed — all thanks to the generosity of Holt donors.

But then the coronavirus pandemic began. And their family plunged once again into crisis.

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Should We Buy a Ger?

These children in Mongolia needed a new gerWhen Mongolian adoptee Melissa gave a ger as a Gift of Hope to a child and family in need in Mongolia, it began a special connection to a child living in her birth country.

Hello, my name is Melissa and I am your sponsor. When I was younger, my name was Davaasetseg, which is very similar to your name, Battsetseg. I do not know if you were told this, but I was adopted from Mongolia at the age of 3…

These were the first lines of the first letter I sent to my sponsored child, Battsetseg, just last July. A year ago, I never would have guessed I would be corresponding with a child from my birth country of Mongolia! But it all started last Christmas, when my family decided to give a Gift of Hope…

In my family, like many, part of how we celebrate the holidays is by giving and receiving gifts. Last Christmas, we received Holt’s Gifts of Hope catalog, and looked at all the different kinds of gifts you could give to a family in need. We saw an image of a young boy proudly standing in front of a ger, which prompted my mom to ask, “Should we buy a ger?”

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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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How a Cleft Lip Surgery Saved Baby Rebekah

Rebekah with an unrepaired cleft lip, at the time she came into care at Holt's medical foster home in China.
Rebekah was so malnourished, she weighed just six pounds when she came into care at Holt’s medical foster home in Beijing.

Born in China with a cleft lip and palate, baby Rebekah was so malnourished that she could have died in her orphanage. But then she received a Gift of Hope that saved her life.

She was just a week old, and tiny. The caregivers at the orphanage looked into her big, bright eyes and gave her the name “Xiu.” Beautiful.

When baby Xiu came into care, she also had a deep cleft in her lip that made it hard for her to suck on a bottle. She barely ate, and barely grew. When she left the orphanage, at 2 and a half months old, she weighed just six pounds. Continue reading “How a Cleft Lip Surgery Saved Baby Rebekah”