So You Want to be A Child Advocate?

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

Many of you have expressed to me that you’d like to reach out and help a child but for some reason adoption or foster care is not right for you at this time. That’s okay! There are so many ways to be a child advocate other than bringing a child into your home. Here are some ideas to share with you:

o Serving as a foster care respite provider–give a foster couple a weekend alone with no children, or host the foster child(ren) for the holidays.
o Serving on a citizen’s review panel in your county
o Participating in Secret Santa and other events–sponsor foster children for Christmas!
o Operating a clothing closet or food pantry
o Sharing information about foster parenting at your place of work or worship, and other areas of the community
o Becoming a Court-Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) I knew a woman in China who when she lived in the states was a CASA and she loved it! She said it was the most rewarding years of her life.
Contact your local DFCS office if you are interested in volunteering for any of these activities.

You can also coordinate projects in your neighborhood, church, school or mom’s club. Here are a few that I have done over the years. (I always like to name my project because people like to be a part of something that sounds official!)

Zip Up A Smile
My friend, Candee and I coordinated this project in China for the local children’s hospital as well as here in the states for a local children’s shelter. Put together gallon-sized Ziploc bags with snacks, toothbrush/paste, shampoo, soap, small toys or books. Punch ribbons through the top and pass out to children in need. We gathered enough for the staff of the children’s shelter to hand out for one year of admissions, and it was wonderful to know that on that child’s arrival to a scary place, they’d be handed a small bag of cheer. It is so easy and fun to coordinate!

Zip Up the Warmth
This was a project I coordinated through my company to gather coats for children in one low-income apartment complex. We worked with a non-profit organization that was familiar with the kids, got index cards with each child’s name, gender and size. Each child received a new coat and a backpack the week before Thanksgiving.

Operation China Warm-Up
Gather sweaters for children in an orphanage and send overseas. You can even be the drop-off and then locate a non-profit who will ship the goods for you.

Don’t just wait for someone else to step up—the children of the world are the responsibility of everyone. Reach out and you will be the one who is blessed! If you do any of these, please write me and send me details so I can share and inspire others with your story!

Operation China Warm-Up

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

baby-sweaterMost of us do not have to worry about our children staying warm this winter. However, now that the temps are beginning to drop, my mind is constantly straying back to those many winter days I spent walking through the rows of babies in the orphanage– babies who were dressed in three layers of clothes and then strapped down in their cribs with no ability to move, roll over or work the numb muscles. Sound sad? Yes– it does but it is true. One need I remember having each year was for warm sweaters for the infants, toddlers and other children.

If you would like to pick up a sweater or two and mail it to me, I will be sending off a box of sweaters to two orphanages. I cannot say which, as one was the orphanage I wrote about in Silent Tears; A Journey of Hope in a Chinese Orphanage. You may not know exactly where it is located but I can promise you that the children will benefit from your gift of warmth.

Please only send sweaters with buttons or zippers, as these are the most convenient for the orphanage ayis to use. Size 6 month and larger needed. You can email me at kaybratt70@hotmail.com for the address to mail your donation to.

Maria’s Big House of Hope

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

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Our family has always played the lottery game–you know the one, the “What would you do if you won the lottery?” My answer for as long as I can remember has been, “I would open a big facility in China where I could take care of orphans the way they should be cared for–with love, patience and helping them through whatever issues that brought them there.”

I’ve never won the lottery and am still not able to follow that dream but I remember the day I was surfing the net to find current news about China and it’s orphans. I came across the Show Hope website and when I opened the link titled Maria’s Big House of Hope, a chill went down my spine.

It was described exactly how I’d always dreamed I would spend my lottery money on. Here is a tidbit of the description– read how wonderful it is….

Show Hope is proud to officially announce the opening of this exciting project that will provide love and care for orphans throughout China who are in desperate need of surgeries and special medical attention.

Located in Luoyang, which is in the Henan province and has a population of around 6 million people, this caring facility will be a beacon of hope to the people of China and the world. Henan is one of the poorest provinces in all of China. The state-run Luoyang orphanage takes care of nearly 700 children and ends up with most of the “special needs” orphans from all around Henan. Maria’s Big House of Hope is a 6 story building that will be equipped with everything needed to care for orphans with special needs. Every child in this facility will be 5 years old or younger, and these will represent some of the neediest orphans in China.

The Fourth Floor is the one I would want to be a part of:

The fourth floor is dedicated to hospice care for children who are terminal. This floor contains 28 beds. Other rooms include a medical room /intensive care room, main emergency room, and isolation room. Every new child will be brought to the fourth floor to be evaluated, registered, and diagnosed. They will then be sent, depending on how severe their ailments, to the corresponding floor. Robin and Joyce want to make the children as comfortable as possible before they pass.

If you are looking for a way to help China’s orphans, please consider donating to this amazing mission. This isn’t my organization and I am not linked to it in any way. I have never even met anyone that is affiliated with it, but because I have been on the front lines of the orphan’s battleground and seen the need first-hand day in and day out, I believe in this house and what it would mean to the children. If you do too, you can donate HERE.

Thank you.
Kay

In Memory of Baby Hope

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

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Remember little Baby Hope from around 5 weeks ago? This is what I wrote:

“Baby Hope was found outside her orphanage with some formula, 150 rmb and an IV indwelling still attached to her head. Obviously, my original theory was almost right on. The parentswere given the news at the hospital that their little girl was very sick and they made the gut-wrenching choice to abandon her in the hopes that someone would be able to help her.”

Three families [actually four] stepped up right away to sponsor her for foster care. But though we tried to do what was best for little Hope, she has died from heart failure.

What makes me the most sad is she never got to bask in the arms of a forever mom or grow up feeling like she ‘belonged’ to a family. I am thankful for those few weeks of foster care but am still sad for the tragic short life she lived. I am also sad for her parents who probably believe they have left her in the care of the government and that their daughter will get the medical help she needs. They won’t even know she is gone–but perhaps her mother will feel it in her heart.

To those of you who stepped up and sponsored her, thank you so very much for at least giving her a foster mom for a short while.

Kay

Another Bamboo Baby Gets Sponsor for Foster Care!

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

Following is a letter from one of our Bamboo Baby Sponsors:

Hi Kay,

Hope all is well with you! I just wanted to give you an update and share with you how God has once again orchestrated His plan in my life!

I was feeling a little disappointed that I didn’t get to be one of Baby Hope’s sponsors. i was mad at myself for not responding more quickly.

However I did email Pearl River Outreach and she got the ball rolling for our family to sponsor a different child and lo & behold, we were given a precious little one, Jayden, who was born with a cleft lip and palate. I was immediately drawn to this little one and so understand her needs because of our own daughter who also was born with a cleft lip and palate. When we received her picture…oh my goodness…talk about falling in love…I feel so honored that we are able to help her with her physical needs and also very importantly, her spiritual needs. We are praying for her daily and asking for God’s blessings upon her and asking Him to provide her with a family.

So in a nut shell, through all these various steps (and perhaps, missteps) God has given to me and my family the child He wanted us to sponsor…how cool is that? I just love how God works and how He uses people to help bring together His plan! So, thank you! Your initial post about Baby Hope brought us together with little Jayden!

I just wanted to let you know…

Blessings,

Chris
jayden2

What Can You do?

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

Many reader write me and ask, “What Can I Do To Help?”

There are many ways you can make a difference in the life of a child. It doesn’t have to be a child in China but if that is where you feel your passion or connection, than that is where you should focus.  After spending time working in a Chinese orphanage for several years, I always answer that the best way to help is to sponsor a child for foster care. For only $35 a month, you could help keep a child out of the orphanage and instead place them in the loving arms of foster parents. For me, just seeing the difference in vitality and personality between fostered children and institutionalized children was huge– and to see how fast a child could open up and flourish once placed was amazing.

Maybe you cannot afford $35 a month? If not, what about sharing that sponsorship with another couple or with your Sunday School class or your book club? It is also a great project for students to sponsor a child. To learn more go to Pearl River Outreach. They have a list of children just waiting for sponsors.

http://pearlriveroutreach.org/index.php

You can also join the Mifan Mommy Club! We are an online group of individuals who provide rice, milk and other projects for disadvantaged orphans in China. For only $9 a month, you could make a huge impact. Go here for more information:

http://mifanmommyclub.blogspot.com/