We are glad that you are interested in what it could look like to care for children in crisis. We recommend that you use this page as a way to learn from the experiences of others who are already engaged in this issue. While the resources below are not exhaustive, they do help shed some light on ways to get involved in various phases of helping with the orphan crisis. The page is broken down into four main ways of engagement: Prevent, Provide, Partner, and Parent. Check out each one and see where you might see yourself getting involved.
As the community of God, we have a Spirit in us that leads us to help and care for those in need. The main thrust of orphan prevention is to help families stay together by providing care and equipping them to overcome the desperate situations and cultures they live in. This can be done by providing childcare for a single parent so they can work or get education in order to sustain their family. This can be done by basic hygiene education, skill-training, or micro-grants for upstart businesses. This can also be done by fighting against the sex-trade that leads to many parentless children every year. There are many ways to get involved in orphan prevention! Here are a few options...
Your very own community - Do you know a single parent? You can guarantee that they need help in any number of ways: babysitting while they go to work or school, automotive repair/upkeep so they’re able to travel to work or school, help with home projects, etc. Just pay attention and see how you can help.
Embracing Hope Ethiopia - http://www.embracinghopeethiopia.com - In Ethiopia, a country with immense poverty and joblessness, many mothers are forced to give up their children simply because they cannot feed and support them. Embracing Hope Ethiopia is coming alongside those mothers and families by providing daycare so the parent can work, get education, or get specific skill-training in order to support their families.
TENT - http://tentindia.org - Like Ethiopia, India is also an area where desperation is driven by poverty and joblessness. TENT’s goal is to provide training and education so individuals are able to earn for themselves, support their families, and share the gospel.
We know that there are many other ways to get involved in “orphan prevention”, but hopefully now you have a few good options for a starting point.
Want to talk more about this? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
James 1:27 tells us that “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress...” Every child comes with great needs. In a single parent or parentless home, providing for basic necessities can be very difficult, and at times impossible. These needs include food, shelter, clothing, education, medication, etc. Here are a few options to get you started in providing for the fatherless...
Sponsoring is a great way to start. By a small donation each month, you can help provide food, clothing, and education to children in need from many parts of the world. Here are few child-sponsoring organizations that we love:
Back 2 Back Ministries – http://back2back.org/sponsor/
Children's Hopechest - www.hopechest.org
Compassion International – www.compassion.com
Amazima Ministries – http://www.amazima.org/sponsor.html
Each year, Apex also facilitates many trips to visit orphans and see their needs firsthand. For information about upcoming orphan-care trips within Apex, email email@example.com. Here are few of the ministries that we’ve partnered with:
Back 2 Back Ministries (Mexico,India, & Africa) - www.back2back.org
Heart to Honduras - http://hth.org
The Ryan Family (Latin America) - www.dreamwiththeryans.com
Each week in Apex Kettering’s Missions Cafe, there are different ministries represented and, often, the proceeds from the cafe are going to these orphan-care ministries listed above. Next time you’re at an Apex Kettering gathering, grab a cup of coffee, a bagel, and make a donation to impact the lives of orphans around the world.
If you would like to talk more about providing for the needs of the fatherless, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Isaiah 1:17 tells the people of God to “take up the cause of the fatherless.” One of the biggest needs that every child will have is the urgency to have adults come alongside them to instill basic values, beliefs, and understandings - to show them a Godly example. Whether orphan, single parent, or at risk, these children often have a deficiency of biblical love and grace. Plain and simple, they need mentors. There are many organizations that help match adults with kids in a mentoring relationship and Apex has developed great relationships with a couple of them.
Big Brothers Big Sisters – www.bbbsgmv.org - Big Brothers Big Sisters helps children facing adversity realize their potential and build for their future by developing character, confidence and a genuine friendship with a dedicated and caring mentor (“Big”). By spending quality and consistent one-on-one time and simply having fun with their “Big,” these children (“Littles”) can change the trajectory of their lives by learning to improve academically, avoid risky behaviors and establish positive relationships. Do you have a few hours a month to invest in a “Little”?
Victory Project - www.victoryproject.org - Through mentoring relationships aimed at education, entrepreneurship, and enlightenment, the Victory Project impacts the court-involved and disadvantaged boys of Dayton. They help these young men break dependencies on criminal or social systems that enable destructive lifestyles. You can get involved by tutoring, mentoring, serving meals, and helping with special events.
Kids Hope USA - www.kidshopeusa.org - Kids Hope USA is a platform through which mentors get the opportunity to spend time each week with a student at a partner school in Dayton. Mentors with Kids Hope USA will be matched up with one student for an entire school year for one hour weekly. Be a person that helps a student as they navigate life throughout the school year.
There are other ways to get into mentoring relationships in your community as well. Many foster parents and single parent families are looking for someone to come alongside them and invest in their children. Do you know a single parent or a foster parent? Ask them how you can help! Are there kids in your neighborhood that spend a significant amount of time without any adult influence? Bridge a relationship with their family and see if God opens a door for you to get involved. It may sound simplistic, but just take a look around...children and teens in need of mentors are everywhere.
If you have questions about partnering with the fatherless, we’d be happy to help.
Psalm 68:6 speaks of the adoptive nature of God by saying “Father to the fatherless...God places the lonely in families.” For the follower of Christ, we have experienced the greatest of all adoptions and through adoption, foster, and respite care, we have the opportunity to show children the great grace that was shown to us. Next to their need for Jesus, a child has no greater need than the need for a parent. Orphans face many obstacles that simply would not be there if they had parents and advocates fighting for them. Parenting orphans and foster children is not easy. It will take hard work, patience, persistence, and great love. But it IS worth it.
Here are a few resources to get you started as you think about adoption and foster care...
Local adoption & foster care:
Adoption Link - www.adoptionlink.org/
Agape For Youth – www.agapeforyouth.com
Bair Foundation - http://www.bair.org/en-us/whereweserve/ohio/dayton.aspx
Catholic Social Services - www.cssmv.org
Greene County Children Services – www.greenecsb.org
Montgomery County Children Services – www.mcohio.org/services/childrens_services
Ohio Mentor - http://www.oh-mentor.com
Specialized Alternatives for Families and Youth "SAFY" – www.safy.org
Domestic & International adoption:
All God's Children International – www.allgodschildren.org
America World Adoption – www.awaa.org
Bethany Christian Services - www.bethany.org
Children’s Hope International - www.childrenshopeint.org
Christian World Adoption – www.cwa.org
Gladney Center for Adoption - www.adoptionsbygladney.com
We know that the journey to adoption and foster care is not a small one.
If you have any other questions, please email us at email@example.com and we would be glad to help.