Would You Like to Make Someone’s Day with a Book?

Written by Kay on . Posted in How You Can Help A Child

In addition to supporting work for orphans in China, I like to try to focus on my community when possible. Recently, I’ve heard of a need that a local children’s home here in South Carolina has to fill their library with current and appropriate reading material for teens. Most of the teens are there because of a difficult home life, and immersing themselves in the magic of a good story can be therapeutic. I know I used to do that! book3

If you are an author, or simply someone who’d like to donate a book or even an entire series for this outreach, please use the CONTACT ME button on my home page and shoot me an email. I’ll give you an address that you can ship the books to. And thank you!

About the children’s home: This home for children is a private nonprofit treatment agency specializing in caring for emotionally troubled children, adolescents, and families. We are accredited by the Council on Accreditation. The home provides an array of programs to meet the increasing demands for quality children and family services.

Dear Disappointed….

Written by Kay on . Posted in A Bratt's Life, How You Can Help A Child

heart

Dear Disappointed, I received your email yesterday. First, I thank you for reading my work and then taking the time to search me out on the internet, find my contact button, and grace me with your words of chastisement. While at first I was so upset that I had to pull off the road and convince myself I would not be sick, your message gave me something to think about for the rest of the day and into a sleepless night. I felt it would be appropriate to answer you here. First, your words after reading my novella, The Bridge:

I loved the story.  Simple and sweet.  Reading afterward, it was disappointing to see about your work in a Chinese orphanage.  How many children have you helped in the country in which you were born, raised, educated and benefited from taxpayer support?

Now, please forgive me if I can’t remember all that I have done, but before I answer your demand for a list of ways I’ve helped fellow Americans, can I just ask what is it that you expected me to do during my time in China? Did you expect me to simply enjoy the people’s land, rake in their money, eat their foods, and party myself to death? I apologize that when a situation of orphaned children presented itself, that I went out of my way to use my time, talents and compassion to make their lives just a tiny bit better. I guess that taking on the advocacy and supporting the surgery of little Le Men and Li Li should never have happened? Where would they be now? Most likely gone from this earth instead of adding unmeasurable joy to the forever families they finally joined.  And the girl we called Princess….her body deformed by the ravages of her disease but her eyes always pleading for someone to touch her, someone to love her. Where would she be? I know where she wouldn’t be—and that is in the arms of another volunteer who she now calls Mom.  And if you really want to see me fired up, what about the little girl named who was in an accident that resulted in her losing her leg, then her family. She was left to languish in an orphanage in China, forever branded to be discriminated against for the fate thrown her way. Without me and my team, and all the miraculous things that happened between, she wouldn’t be a part of an amazing family right now who love her for who she is–and who don’t look at her as a disabled child, but simply look at her as their amazingly resilient daughter.

Truly, if you read my memoir, Silent Tears, you’d see that my work in China resulted in children living a better quality of life because of the ways in which we helped the nannies, the facility, and therefore those who were in their care. Diapers, bedding, toys, even better milk for the babies! You’d also see that when we arrived, two to three children shared one bowl of congee (rice as you most assuredly call it) for every meal. The bowls were emptied and the children still cried in hunger. With our resources, we were able to make sure every child had a bowl of their own and went to bed with a full stomach. But then, I suppose since you weren’t there to see their streaked faces crying silent tears of abandonment or hunger, that it doesn’t touch you in the way that it did me. But I’m grateful others were able to ‘see’ it through my words and step up to do what they can from afar, even though the children aren’t in their country. For does it really matter where a child is if they need our help?

As you can see, I feel very passionate about the children I left behind in China. Just as I do any child that God puts in my path.  I suppose it wouldn’t kill me to admit that upon my return to the states, in addition to online volunteering for numerous organizations that support children in China, I physically worked full time (two years) for a non-profit organization that focuses on helping children build strong character, confidence and spirit.  Also during that time I spear-headed several outreach programs including one I called Zip Up A Smile in which we collected enough welcome bags of items to be used for an entire year at a (American) children’s shelter, sometimes the only thing a child has of their own after being jerked out of their homes.  I also headed another called Zip Up the Warmth in which we collected and handed out over 100 warm coats and backpacks to (American) children living in an low income neighborhood. Or maybe I should mention the two years I spent as a CASA Volunteer in which I acted as the voice of the child, even venturing into meth-infected neighborhoods and taking unpaid time from work to attend court hearings and events for my children (cases).  I gladly used my own funds for gasoline, clothing, hygiene items and gifts for (American) children assigned to me.  But most valuable was the time that I gave them—children who felt neglected and abandoned to sink or swim in the broken (American) foster system.  

I could tell you more that I’ve done to help in my “own” country—but really, what would be enough to balance out your disappointment in me? What most don’t know is that I suffer daily from a debilitating chronic condition that causes me great pain. I have for decades, yet I’ve refused to let it overcome my goal of making a difference in any small way I can. I encourage you to read my memoir, Silent Tears, to see if maybe a glimpse behind those walls makes you change your mind about being disappointed in someone who dares to try to help. Yet, really, if you don’t read my work and get it that I am passionate about advocating for children, whether they are Chinese or American, red, white, brown or black, then really I have nothing left to say, except just maybe one little question for you.

What have YOU done to make this world a better place?

Silent-Tears

 

 

Will You be a Dream Maker this Holiday Season?

Written by Kay on . Posted in How You Can Help A Child

Many of you know that I work with an amazing organization to support children in China.

Well, this holiday season, we would like to share with you the dreams of the children of….

An Orphan’s Wish.

Click on any image below to learn more about the dreams in our Holiday Catalog this year, or to give.

With each donation made, a card will be sent to you to let family, teachers and friends know you have honored them this season.

$15 donation to the General Fund for Pajamas, Sleepers and Blankets 

A gift of $15 to our General Fund can be used to purchase items like Pajamas, Sleepers and Blankets.  This Holiday season you can help ensure that our precious children like Chester are all snuggled in their beds with warm pajamas, sleepers and blankets. Their dreams will be so much cozier. (Click Here)

$25 donation to the General Fund – Holiday Celebration and Meal

   Your family can truly make our celebration come alive with a donation of $25 to our General Fund! Can you imagine how the kids will giggle as they help decorate the tree or when they give thanks for an extra-special meal? The memories of this joyful celebration are sure to fill their dreams with happiness and cheer. (Click Here)

$50 donation to the General Fund – Gifts for Christmas
   What child does not dream of opening presents on Christmas morning? Just imagine the joy of Teagan and her friends when they receive their special gifts. With your donation to the General Fund, we will make sure our children will receive safe, age-appropriate and fun toys that are sure to brighten their days and fill their nights with sweet dreams. (Click Here)
$105 3-Month Holiday Sponsorship
With a gift of $105, you are giving the gift of joy by becoming part of the AOW village. Our sponsors are our village – together we raise the children in our care and give them roots to grow and wings to fly! As a sponsor, you will receive for 3 months reports on our precious children and will be able to measure how your generosity has truly changed the lives of our children. This might just be the best gift of the year! Once we receive your donation, we will contact you via email to choose the child you would like to sponsor. (Click Here)

$250 donation to the General Fund – Teachers Training and Education Supplies
  Our children, despite their special needs and challenges, dream of what they will be when they grow up: doctors, teachers, policemen, firemen and of course the occasional ballerina or fairy! We strive to provide all of our children with an education. With your generous donation of $250 to our General Fund, we can continue to train our teachers, purchase many needed school supplies and allow our children to dream BIG for their future. (Click Here)
$500 Donaton to the Emergency Medical Fund
  Children sometimes arrive at An Orphan’s Wish in a life or death situation. Little Kirsten arrived this year in dramatic circumstances and in need of immediate life-saving surgeries. She was hospitalized several times after surgery to address life threatening complications. The doctors nicknamed her “Lucky” and lucky she was indeed to survive by the Grace of God and to have come to AOW when we had funding for her serious medical needs thanks to AOW’s generous donors. Would you please join us in replenishing our Emergency Medical Fund so that we can continue to provide critical medical help for our little ones?  (Click Here)
Again, I do hope you will choose the children of AOW to bless with your annual family holiday gift. To learn more about AOW, you can go to our website. And if I don’t say it enough, I am VERY thankful for you all! I hope you have an Amazing Christmas Season!

~Kay

It Takes A Village…

Written by Kay on . Posted in How You Can Help A Child

Meet Peter.

I stare at this face and try to determine how he is feeling. Sad? Angry? Left behind? Wary?

Whatever emotion it is, this is how he looked when he arrived at the AOW House of Love last July. While most 11-year-old kids are busy with school activities, sports and other hobbies, Peter was leaving his second home in his short life and arriving at his third. Peter was born with Spina Bifida and as a result he cannot walk. His parents relinquished him at the age of 7, and of course Peter still struggles with that and is cautious about opening his heart again!

But House of Love was prepared for that. Before Peter arrived, they prepped Brad that he would soon welcome a room buddy that had similar needs, and that the staff was depending on him to help Peter settle in. Brad took that challenge to heart and when Peter arrived, he immediately began to bond with him and within a few weeks was rewarded with a new best friend who’d decided to trust again.

With his newfound independence of a wheelchair and a crash course and subsequent talent for playing Wii, Peter is doing much better. Not only does he have a healthier and happier outlook on life and his future, but he is participating in chores and learning responsibilities to make him feel a complete part of the House Of Love.  Surprisingly for a boy of his age, he also loves school and the unique access to an education that being with us gives him.

Peter is getting almost everything he needs right now to make his life better. I say almost because unfortunately, it costs for An Orphan’s Wish to be able to facilitate this amazing home. Each child needs sponsors to help alleviate the costs, and Peter still needs 4 more. If you’d like to be a part of helping Peter reach his potential while staying at the AOW House of Love, and your family budget can afford the $35 monthly sponsorship, please comment below and/or click this AOW link. I thank you for your generosity, but I know more than my gratitude, a face that has been transformed from the one above to this one below is thanks enough.

I’ve learned over the years that the old saying of ‘It takes a village to raise a child’ is not just a cliché. In these cases it is the simple truth. As always, thank you for coming here to read this, as I know that means you have a heart like mine, to do what you can to help a child.—Kay Bratt

The Heart That Won’t Let Go

Written by Kay on . Posted in How You Can Help A Child

In early June a tiny baby girl was left fighting for her right to survive at a local hospital in China. Possibly only living on borrowed time, her path touched that of a woman named Kirsten, our director of The House of Love in Guilin. Kirsten intervened and the fragile girl was examined by a doctor. With one look, that doctor nick-named her Lucky because she was still holding on, despite the odds stacked against her.  Born at 33 weeks at just under four pounds, Lucky was also suffering from duodenal atresia, a life threatening medical condition that required immediate surgery for her to survive much longer.

On June 21 financial help was secured from New Hope Foundation and Lucky received her first surgery. Because of severe post-op complications, she underwent surgery a second time on July 6. For the next several weeks, Lucky fought for her life by gaining strength and overcoming other challenges until she could be released into our care at The House of Love (An Orphans Wish) in mid-August.

It was there that she was reunited with Kirsten, her guardian angel and the one who refused to give up on little Lucky. Since then Kirsten has devoted unlimited time and energy to fight for this little girl, and Lucky is improving because of such dedicated care.

Lucky has now been named Kirsten, in honor of the love and care she is receiving. Will Little Kirsten make it? No one knows her fate, but we do know that she has been placed in the hands of those who want to do what they can to give her the best chance possible to live out her life.  She has a long road to go and we want her to continue to recover and heal at The House of Love. However, in order for this to happen, Little Kirsten needs 8 sponsors. While love makes a lot of difference in the prognosis of these children, there are still responsibilities to be met and even though the house is about at capacity, we want to make sure Little Kirsten can stay. What does your donations as a sponsor cover? It covers basics just like our own children need; housing, caretakers, meals, basic medical care, preschool/education, toys, and even clothing. For some kids sponsorships cover additional medical testing if needed, or physical therapy.

With the help of sponsors for Little Kirsten, she will continue to thrive and grow. If you feel you are meant to be one of those who help this little girl through this crisis, please click here to become a sponsor and yet one more needed guardian angel for Little Kirsten. And let me know on this blog or Facebook if you willl!

As always, thank you for your continued support for these little hearts that won’t let go.

A Great Month in July!

Written by Kay on . Posted in A Bratt's Life, How You Can Help A Child

So I’ve been especially busy this month. Besides all the personal (boring to you) stuff that has been going on at our house, I was able to make time to fill my spirit with works that feed my passion.

Earlier in the month I spoke to a women’s group in Peachtree City. We talked about ‘Finding Your Sweet Spot’. I love to give this talk because I had to learn about it the hard way but my journey is a good model for others. I searched for many years for something to fill that empty hole in my heart. When I learned what my gift was (writing), and then found my passion (advocating for children), then brought them together to fulfill a need, (supporting the children of China), I soon found my own Sweet Spot. It is that part of my life that gives me satisfaction. I shared that message with the Peachtree Ladies and in turn, they supported my work by donating dozens of cute onesies to our AOW House of Love in China. Thank you, ladies! (I also got to meet some adorable children as a big plus!)

Then last weekend I got to attend Our Camp China for the second year in a row. Last year I was their guest speaker but this year was even better because I got to work with over 60 children! (Luci in the photo above was super sweet and wanted me to sign her copy of my book!) Anyway.. I was the Service Project Coordinator and helped with many crafts, but my project was helping the children with friendship bracelets. Each child made two identical bracelets; one for their own and one to send in a card to a child in an orphanage in China. This was a great way to help the children learn about needs outside of their own little world, and building compassion in our children will only result in a better future!

Jayme was a pro….she actually helped teach the others how to do the bracelets!

Maggie was my little Origami teacher. She is the craftiest kid I’ve ever seen! I wanted to put her in my pocket and sneak her home with me.

So as you can see, I had a lot of fun. Even with the hours of cutting and knotting thread I couldn’t have picked a better way to spend my weekend. I do hope I’ll see all the same faces next year plus a few more newbies! This year we had families from 12 states…..let’s add yours next year!

I hope you’ve all had a great summer so far.

 

 

Looks Who’s Walking!

Written by Kay on . Posted in How You Can Help A Child

Meredith is a little girl who is currently a resident of our AOW (An Orphans Wish) House of Love. She is now walking. Everywhere! Also, Meredith is available for adoption on the shared list for LID families only. If you’d like to know more about her please email

 advocacy@anorphanswish.org

To see more photos of her and hear about her latest accomplishments, please go to our blog here! An Orphans Wish Blog

Thank you for helping us to support these beautiful babies!

Do You Got Sole?

Written by Kay on . Posted in How You Can Help A Child

If YOU’ve got SOLE

UPDATE: Thanks to all of you generous people, we’ve met our goal of 100 pairs of shoes and are still going. At last count we were at 130 pairs. I will be sending the shoes to China soon and before you know it they will be on teeny tiny cute feet! Thank you all SO much for your generosity!

We need your help! So far we have 32 pairs of our goal to gather 100 pair to send to the House of Love.

At the AOW House of Love we have children in need of good shoes. If you would like to donate a pair, you can find more information on the website here, including sizes and types of shoes needed. There is also an address listed where you can send the shoes directly to ME!

Thank you for helping little ones like the sweetheart below.

Getting involved is easy:

You are invited to participate by purchasing and mailing quality, unused footwear in kids’ sizes 1-13 to

Mail Donations from the USA to:

Kay Bratt/An Orphan’s Wish
C/o AID Company
250 Laurel Heights Rd
Clayton, GA 30525

Mail Donations From Australia To:

Audrea Dupuy
29 Wairuna Ct.
PINE MOUNTAIN 4306

The deadline for participating is June 30th

Show these special kids that you got sole…. and celebrate your summer knowing that you’ve blessed a precious child with each joyful step.

Chester and Jacob Need Sponsors

Written by Kay on . Posted in How You Can Help A Child

As a volunteer director for AOW (An Orphans Wish), I am committed to bringing awareness to all of my readers. This month I want to highlight Jacob and Chester and let you know that they both need sponsors. At the House of Love, our kids received specialized care so that they can thrive in a loving environment and be prepared for the next phase in their lives. If you can give $35 a month to support one of the AOW kids, please follow this Donate Now link to become a sponsor or even help with a one time gift. Your generosity is what keeps the home going. Now! Let me show you two angels who are waiting for sponsors!

Born in May of 2002, Jacob has cerebral palsy and came to the house wheelchair bound. But now, he is walking with a walker!

And little Chester is fairly new to AOW and is in need of 7 sponsors. He is from Guilin and was born with anal atresia.

 

*An Orphan’s Wish is an all volunteer foundation, which means our overhead costs are extremely low. Over 98% of every donation we receive goes directly to our programs which aid these children. We are so grateful for every donation we receive. We provide all of our donors with quality and timely reports and value your trust in us to be good stewards of your donation.

Will Needs Sponsors

Written by Kay on . Posted in How You Can Help A Child

Will came from Desheng to An Orphan’s Wish House of Love.  A healthy-looking little chunk who will need club foot correction surgery. It’s great that these children have a shelter to come to when they need to be surrounded by love and be given a new start. But they need sponsors. We need 7 sponsors for Will. The $35 a month helps care for him, buy supplies and fund his surgery and recovery. Does Will have a place in your life? Please let me know if you can be a sponsor for him, or click this link to An Orphans Wish to get started. And Thank you for supporting these children from China!