"So Jen, super neat quotes and stats, but seriously we/I can't adopt right now or maybe ever. So what do you have to say to me?"
Dude I know what you are thinking! I've been there. So this post is all about what you can do to help the orphan, the widow, the needy right now. (And guess what some of the things you can do DON'T require money)
1) Sponsor an orphan. For a little more than $30 a month you can CHANGE a child's life. Your money will help this child get food, clean water, shelter, and many times SCHOOL. So, not only are you caring for their physical needs, but you're giving them a HOPE for the future. We love our sponsor daughter and pray for her each night, write her letters, and talk about her. I love seeing how my kids are learning to have a heart for those that don't have what they have.
I can wholeheartedly put my name behind each of these organizations:
HELP (Help End Local Proverty)
2) Throw a garage sale party. I love this one, because it is SO easy. Just talk to a bunch of friends and get a bunch of your crap together. Hang out for a Saturday morning and SELL SELL SELL. Then donate the money to your favorite organization. Or, donate it to a family you know is trying to raise money to adopt. We did this with our community group and donated everything to HELP. They have a great website called Garage Sale for Orphans. You can even see where your money is going.
3) Buy Christmas presents this year that can help the world's poorest. Trade as One let's you buy jewelry, shirts, purses, scarves, chocolate, coffee, and even spices from around the world. You can be confident to know that the money goes directly to the people who made the product.
Whether it's a unique gift or an everyday product like fair trade coffee or chocolate, your spending can connect you to a story of hope and dignity for the poor.
That's what it means to trade as one.
4) Sacrifice one of your Christmas presents or ask your kids to and buy a present for someone in need. Participate in an angel tree and know that you are giving a gift to a child or family who wouldn't get one otherwise.
5) Donate gently used toys and clothes to your local fostercare agency for foster parents and children to use.
6) Contact your local fostercare agency and sign up to become a CERTIFIED babysitter. You see, foster parents cannot just call up a babysitter for a much needed night out. They have to have CERTIFIED babysitters and it can be really difficult to find one without a couple weeks notice! This could be a HUGE blessing to a family who is really needing to feel blessed. In most cases, all you need to do is fill out a background check and take a short class.
7) Get a group together and collect new teddy bears or other stuffed animals. Give them to your local fostercare agency. Imagine that the moment a child is taken from their family they are given a new stuffed animal to hold onto.
8) If you know a family who is in the process of adopting, organize and provide dinners when their little son/daughter comes home. We do this when our friends have a newborn, but sometimes forget to do it when families adopt.
9) GO! Go on a mission trip to love the poor, the widow, the needy, the orphan. Adam and I are going to take the money we have saved for our 10 year anniversary cruise and go on a mission trip together instead.
10) Talk! Spread the word. Talk about James 1:27 with others. Talk about what we (the church) are doing right and what we are doing wrong. Talk to your pastors about an orphan ministry. Talk to your friends. Find other blogs and twitter accounts. Spread the word. I know for me personally I was just NAIVE to the orphan crisis and really had no idea what an epidemic it had become.