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By Her Example

For Ginny Moffat, helping to unite children with their families through Holt’s Families Not Finances campaign is a continuation of her mother’s selfless service and generosity.

“It’s not like she sat us down and said, ‘Now girls…’ ” Ginny Moffat says, remembering her mom, and how she instilled the values of generosity and service in herself and her sisters. “It was more like we saw that she would be tired from work and from us, and that she was still writing letters to a girl [she sponsored] in Greece, or meeting with people at our kitchen table who needed help, or taking us to camps where migrant workers picked crops to bring them clothes and food … It was her actions.”

A large gift from Mary Elizabeth Hurff’s estate is helping to unite children with their permanent, loving families.

And while Ginny’s mother, Mary Elizabeth Hurff, passed away in fall 2019, her actions during her life still have a profound impact on Ginny. A single mother to three girls at just 28, Mary worked tirelessly to still earn her master’s degree and then her doctorate. She eventually taught in universities and worked for the Public Broadcasting Service. But throughout her life, whether in the early seasons of single parenting and tight finances or the success she found later in life, she gave back — volunteering to teach at-risk children to read, helping friends in need and doing service projects with her girls.

“She is the one who taught us to give back,” Ginny says, “who taught us to help others.”

And today, Mary’s legacy lives on through helping to unite children with families through adoption.

This year, Ginny gave a $100,000 gift from her mother’s estate to Holt’s Families Not Finances campaign. With the intention of never letting money stand between a child and a loving family, Families Not Finances funds adoption grants to help cover as much of the cost as possible for eligible families to adopt children with special needs, as well as care for children while they wait. Ginny’s gift from her mother’s estate, made in her mother’s honor, plays a critical part in kickstarting this new campaign as the match that doubles other donors’ gifts, and will provide the grants for more than 10 children with special needs to be adopted.

As Ginny considered where to donate her mother’s estate, Holt immediately came to mind.

Ginny meets babies new to the Special Baby Care Unit at an orphanage in Nanchang, China.

Ginny has helped children and families through Holt for nearly 30 years. A long-time Holt sponsor and donor, she’s also traveled to visit Holt’s programs in Guatemala, Thailand, Romania, China and Vietnam. And in 2006, she adopted her daughter from China — another reason why Families Not Finances stood out to her.

“My daughter is from China, and she has a club hand,” says Ginny. “This draws me to kids with special needs and from China … I gave mainly to this special needs fund because I could easily imagine a family that has the love to give, but not the money to [fund] the adoption. There’s something that captures me with helping children with special needs have families.”

A cause, she knows, her mom would have been passionate about as well.

“In a large way,” Ginny says, “[I’m continuing my mom’s legacy] through Holt and through feeling like I can make a difference in the lives of children — a permanent difference in the lives of children and families. And that feels really important to me.”

smiling girl with Down syndrome waiting to be adopted

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