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Adoptive parents Jane and Tom sponsored roughly 80 children through Holt over the course of more than 25 years. Although her husband has now passed, Jane continues to help orphaned and vulnerable children in Holt programs.

Jane and her husband, Tom, have always had a loving heart for children and families — a desire to help those in need of care. In 1984, the couple adopted their first daughter, Cindy, from Korea, at the age of 19 months. The following year, they adopted their daughter Beth, also from Korea, at 23 months of age. “Adoption was always our first choice,” says Jane. “We’ve always had a desire to care for children who need families.”

Before long, Jane and her family settled happily into life at their home in the Pacific Northwest. But she and Tom thought often of the children in Korea and other parts of the world whom they felt they could also help. That’s when they turned to Holt — and to child sponsorship.  

“We felt if we can spare a little, how can we not help a child who has less?”

Cindy had been adopted through Holt and had lived in foster care for three months before arriving in the U.S. During that time, she had a sponsor who contributed to her basic needs. “So we spoke with Holt and asked how we might also sponsor a child,” Jane recalls. “It didn’t matter where the child lived — or what their family situation was like — we just wanted to donate where it was needed most.” For more than 25 years, Jane and Tom did just that, sometimes sponsoring up to five children a month through Holt. Over time, they made a difference in the lives of some 80 children and their families worldwide, predominantly in China, India and the Philippines. “Many times, we sponsored children raised by a single mother. But mostly, we trusted Holt to know where the most critical needs would be,” she says. “We felt if we can spare a little, how can we not help a child who has less?”

A New Path to Philanthropy

Over the years, Jane and her husband looked forward to receiving the progress reports of the children and families they sponsored. They watched their sponsored kids attend school, single parents begin to provide for their children, and struggling families stay together through hardships. It was an altogether rewarding experience. 

But in 2022, Jane’s husband died, and she began to think of new ways to help children. She wanted to become involved in a bigger project, a mission that spoke closely to her heart. That’s when she learned about Peace House, Holt’s medical foster home in northeast China. Peace House is located in an orphanage and provides nurturing care to children who require corrective or lifesaving surgery. The medical foster home has room for as many as 14 children at a time, and they are attended to by eight medically trained caregivers (and one program manager) who provide critical pre- and post-operative care.

Chao is one of those children. When she arrived at Peace House in January 2020 at five months of age, she was in need of two cornea transplants — one for each of her eyes. She was unable to sit up on her own and was recovering from some initial surgery. But five months later, thanks to the love and assistance of her caregivers, Chao was strong enough to undergo additional eye surgery and receive the transplants she needed. Today, at 4 years old, Chao is a happy and thriving little girl! Her vision has improved. She is able to feed herself. She can count from 1 to 30, and she is able to put on some simple clothes independently. Not only that, but Chao also loves to sing and dance and has learned to play games with her caregivers and the other children at Peace House. 

“I kind of wait until the Lord pricks me in the back of the head and says, ‘This is it.’ Then I try to meet those needs.”

Last April, Jane donated $3,800 to Peace House to help support kids like Chao. “The children there often need surgeries to repair a birth defect, things that are really substantial,” she says. “So I wanted to give enough to really make a difference in someone’s life.” In terms of her giving philosophy, Jane says, “I kind of wait until the Lord pricks me in the back of the head and says, ‘This is it.’ Then I try to meet those needs. My only criteria are that the need is real.”

Jane also believes in the Christian concept of tithing — offering one-tenth of her funds to charity. “My husband and I always felt that our money isn’t our money anyway, so we wanted [to tithe] and offer a blessing to someone else,” she says. At Peace House and other places around the world where Holt sponsors and donors like Jane have offered their financial support, this blessing can be life changing. For a little girl like Chao, Holt-donor generosity has provided the miraculous gift of sight.  

Due to restrictions in China, we cannot share photos of the girl featured in this story and are using a stock image instead.

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