This week’s ROOM contributor is our Executive Director, Amanda Stafford. Amanda serves ROOM tirelessly through managing and maintaining all of our responsibilities at home and abroad. In addition to staying on top of ROOM’s paperwork and documentation, Amanda has maintained a commitment to stay on the pulse of ROOM’s work by visiting the areas ROOM serves. It is through this first-hand knowledge of the lives most affected by ROOM’s programs paired with classroom and work place experience that makes Amanda an incredible gift to our ministry. In this post Amanda kicks off our celebration of ROOM’s tenth birthday! We are so grateful for everyone who has made this birthday celebration a possibility!
Happy 10th Birthday, Reach Out Orphanage Ministries!
ROOM has been serving orphaned children from 2006 to 2016. Over the years, ROOM has grown and expanded programs beyond orphanage walls to include orphan prevention programs and family placement solution programs. We’ve expanded to include a firm presence in India as well as Honduras. We’ve served children in over one hundred orphanages in Honduras, India, Costa Rica and Nepal. Although many things have changed, our commitment to sharing the love of Christ with children and communities remains constant.
This milestone calls for a tremendous celebration!
As a special Birthday request, we are asking the ROOM family to GIVE TEN. Ten ways to GIVE TEN are detailed below. With your support, we will be able to serve more children in need during the Christmas 2016 season and beyond!
Ten ways to GIVE ROOM TEN
One: GIVE TEN minutes of prayer
Prayer is the most meaningful way to come alongside ROOM’s ministry. You might consider praying intentionally for children served in Honduras and India for ten minutes today. Alternatively, you could add these special children, ROOM team members, and our ministry as a whole, to your prayer list over the next ten days, ten weeks, or long-term.
Two: GIVE a financial commitment in any increment of TEN
Financial donations at any level provide life-changing services and care for children struggling with abandonment and extreme poverty. Making a donation in any increment of ten… $10, $20, $50, $100, $510, $1,000, $10,000… is the best way to get items like fresh produce, supplemental protein, shoes, educational materials and so much more into the hands of children in developing nations. Visit our donation page for more information and to make a gift today.
Three: GIVE TEN hours of community service
ROOM needs your time. There are many volunteer opportunities to work directly with children in Honduras and India (see #9, below), but we have a big need for stateside volunteers as well. If you live near the Concord, North Carolina area you can volunteer in the ROOM office to help with education and outreach efforts, office tasks, special projects and more. We also have some virtual volunteer opportunities to get involved administratively, regardless of your home address. For information about Stateside volunteer work, please email Amanda.Stafford@makeroom.org. You can organize a drive (see #6, below) to collect loose change or special needs items. The Sugar Project focuses on empowering kids in the United States to make a difference for kids who lack basic needs. Visit our Sugar Project webpage for more information and more opportunities.
You might also consider volunteering for another agency serving children who have been abandoned or who are at-risk for abandonment. While most foster care programs in the U.S. have few, if any, volunteer opportunities, you might consider getting involved with an orphan prevention agency in your own community. Some examples include: domestic violence shelters, afterschool programs for kids who are at-risk, programs providing support and resources for young mothers, women’s medical clinics providing resources and support during unplanned pregnancies, GED and ESL programs for low-income families, Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, Big Brothers-Big Sisters and countless others.
Four: GIVE up something for TEN days
In a Lenten spirit, sacrificing something for ten days is a great way to honor ten years of ministry because it is a physical reminder that we are so, overwhelmingly blessed with abundance. You might consider giving up that daily latte for a donation equation that looks like: $4 x 10 days = $40 donation, which can provide servings of fresh fruit for an entire orphanage for up to two months! Or, forgo watching TV or Netflix in the evenings to spend time praying, volunteering or learning more about the social, political and faith issues surrounding orphan care in developing nations.
Five: GIVE a recurring financial gift over the next TEN months
A recurring gift commitment means pledging to give a specific amount of money monthly, such as giving $20 on the 15th of each month from October 2016 to July 2017. Consistent support like this helps ROOM staff and missionaries effectively plan and budget our children’s programming and activities. It also helps keep donors closely connected to our monthly activities because you’ll be curious to see what special blessings your support makes possible. You can make a recurring donation through our website.
Six: GIVE needed items by organizing a collecTEN drive
You can organize a collection drive of needed items such as over-the-counter medicines, toothbrushes, toothpaste, hygiene items and Christmas gifts. Send me an email at Amanda.Stafford@makeroom.org for details about ROOM’s biggest in-kind gift needs, and how we might be able to ship these items internationally. I can also help provide things like fact sheets and flyers to help make your collection drive a big success.
Seven: GIVE ofTEN support to adoptive and foster parents
If we hope to help create a world where all children grow up in loving, family homes we must invest in both prevention and solution programs. Solution programs include foster care and adoption. Adopting and fostering are terrific opportunities to consider when planning your own family. These parents face many unique opportunities, challenges and struggles. They also receive many special, unique blessings. In honor of ROOM’s tenth anniversary, please consider providing special support to these parents and prospective parents. This might mean babysitting, making a financial gift to cover adoption costs, helping them meet a specific physical need in their home, or simply listening and providing extra encouragement and support to these moms, dads and caregivers.
If you have more time to invest, you may also consider going through the training process to provide respite care for foster parents in your community; or, becoming a foster parent yourself. Contact the Children’s Services division in your county for more information.
Eight: GIVE your voice by sharing ROOM’s ministry with TEN people
Education, awareness and advocacy are among this ministry’s top needs. If you are able to tell ten people about ROOM’s ministry and the special children we serve, you will decrease the ignorance and stigma surrounding child abandonment. By sharing stories about how ROOM ministers, you are also sharing a tremendous testimony of Jesus Christ and His overwhelming love for all of us. Consider speaking to your friends and family one-on-one, or during your small group, Bible study or Sunday School class. For more information about what ROOM does, be sure to visit our website and facebook page.
Nine: Give TEN days with TEN of your people by coming on a ROOM Mission Trip
You are cordially invited to come to Honduras, learn about our programs and serve ROOM’s kids in-person. Right now, Cassie Murray is planning and organizing mission trip opportunities throughout 2017 and she would love to talk to you about sending a group from your church, your family, your friends, or connecting you to an existing group. Opportunities for service trips (mission teams) and learning trips (vision teams) are available. Email Cassie at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Ten: Give the orphan crisis your atTENtion and your heart
The biggest, most meaningful way you can support ROOM’s ministry is by becoming an advocate for the children we serve. Children in developing nations who are struggling with abandonment are among our world’s most vulnerable people. They are quiet; unheard; invisible. You can be their voice. By advocating for these kids across all areas we are bringing awareness and social justice to children who are have experienced immeasurable loss through no fault of their own.
There are countless ways to get involved with ROOM’s ministry and with orphan care ministry, both globally and locally, across countless spheres of influence. These ten examples are just the beginning. How will you use your unique gifts make a difference?