Inspired Ideas, Generous Hearts
We’re always amazed by how truly talented and entrepreneurial so many of our supporters are in how they raise money and give to Holt. The people below are no exception. Read about what their creative and inspired ideas to provide for vulnerable children and families around the world. Thank you for your creativity, hard work and generosity!
For her senior project, Holt adoptee Paige Worthington hosted a game night and sent out letters to raise money for children who need cleft lip and palate surgeries.
Holt adoptee Paige Worthington is a rock star when it comes to making a difference for kids in China. Back in 2008, when she was a third-grader, we featured Paige’s photo on our blog because she gave a presentation to her classmates about raising money for earthquake victims in China.
Now she’s a senior in high school and still doing big things to help abandoned and vulnerable children in China!
As she began to think about her high school senior project, Paige knew she wanted to use it as a fundraiser to support children in China through Holt.
Holt and the Holt China program have a special place in Paige’s heart. Not only is she herself a Holt adoptee from China, but so is her younger sister. She also has two cousins who are Korean adoptees through Holt.
As she began to develop her project, she decided that she wanted to raise money for kids in China who have cleft lip and palate so that they could receive life-changing surgeries.
In the past few years, she’s learned a lot about cleft lip and palate through the Holt blog and also through some of her friends who have visited Chinese orphanages and told her about the effects of the condition on some of the children that they met.
“I also know a Holt adoptee who had a cleft lip and palate surgery,” she said. “So that made it more personal for me.”
Paige learned that often, babies with cleft lip and palate can’t even use bottles to eat and instead need to be spoon-fed as infants. They also need extra special help with hygiene. She learned that correctable surgeries make a huge difference for these children.
“It’s a super life-changing thing,” she says.
One of the ways Paige raised money for these children was by hosting a Game-a-Thon. She invited friends from school to her home, where she had board games set up on both floors of her house. She charged a small fee and had a fun time with classmates while making a difference for children in China with cleft lip and palate.
For the second part of her senior project, she wrote letters and sent them out to friends and family asking them to consider donating to Holt for her cause. She even went door to door handing out letters to her neighbors.
“There was a really good response!” she says.
In total, Paige raised $2,306.41 through her senior project, all of which will be going to help children in China who have cleft lip and palate.
In the coming school year, she will summarize her project in a portfolio where it will be on display in her school library. At the end of the year, her school will host a competition for the best senior project and the winners will receive college scholarships.
Whether or not she wins the scholarship, Paige is happy because she knows her project is making a huge difference for children in China.
“I thought it was really amazing to see the collective effort that went into this project,” she says. “So many people came together to make a really big impact in these kids’ lives.”
Megan Herriott | Marketing Assistant
Twelve-year-old Patrick De Meulder sent us the following letter — in handwritten form — telling us about the lemonade stand he created to raise $100 for Holt, and why it meant so much to him.
Dear Holt International,
Hello, I am a 12-year-old named Patrick De Meulder from Tampa, Florida. I am having a Bar Mitzvah in October and I did a lemonade stand for you guys. I raised $80 and put in $20 for a grand total of $100!
The reason I chose you is that my sister was adopted from South Korea through you. That was 5 years ago and she is happy and healthy.
I am really pleased to help because you hold such a special place in my heart. I hope that this money can help some children and give them a chance for their forever family.
The day that my sister came home was probably the best day of my life and I hope that even more families can have that day too! You changed my life, and I hope that this money will allow even more people to change their lives too!
Thank you so much for all that you do and I hope that you will continue giving other families something to change their life.
Adoptive mom Suzi Gurry shares what inspired her to organize a Chicago Marathon charity team to raise funds for children affected by HIV/AIDS in China.
For over 20 years, I’ve watched the Chicago Marathon from the sidelines. After watching the 2013 marathon just a few blocks from my home, it occurred to me that the struggle and patience and perseverance of a marathon runner is much like the struggle and patience and perseverance it takes for an adoptive parent to endure an adoption process. Just like the long training runs necessary for a marathon, adoptive parents are required to suffer through a long process that takes hard work, persistence, patience, love, inspiration, heart and determination. Adoption is not a sprint, it’s a challenging, heart-wrenching, soul-searching and seemingly impossible marathon that is not for the faint of heart.
I knew right then and there that creating a marathon charity team for Holt and Adoption-Link — an adoption agency near Holt’s branch office in Illinois, and for which I served on the board — made perfect sense.
Just three of our seven runners were able to run the 2015 Chicago Marathon due to a variety of injuries, but it was still a HUGE success!
We decided to give $7,000 to one of Holt’s programs in China, a group home for children living with HIV. Rose McBride, Holt’s senior director of international programs and development, helped us with the donating process. Rose first suggested donating to this program because I am a supporter of Holt’s Peace House in Beijing, China, a medical facility that helps orphans who need surgery and physical therapy before they are able to be adopted, and I have traveled to China with a Holt crew. Another reason why donating to children affected by AIDS was especially meaningful was because it was a point of pride for Adoption-Link’s founder, Margaret Fleming, to direct positive attention towards children living with HIV/AIDS when the world was not yet so welcoming and compassionate about the issue.
I am immensely proud of the success of our marathon team, but even more inspired by the birth mothers, interim caregivers, adoptive parents and children who motivated us to get there. I’ve learned that when inspired hearts unite for a common good, absolutely anything is possible. We ran from the heart, and we made it!
Suzi Gurry | Chicago, Illinois
Holt recently led an ambassador trip to China to help find families for children living in an HIV group home. Read about one special sibling pair who have just two weeks to find a family.
Adoptive mother Becky Lawson shares about the Etsy pillow shop that she and her daughters started to help children in North Korea.
“Pillow Talk” began last spring out of my desire to give meaningful personal gifts to both graduates and brides. My first pillow said “treasured.” It was made for a special female graduate in our church. She had survived much heartache in her short life, and I wanted her to know as she went off to college that she was treasured by God, by her church family and by her adoptive family. Next I made a “beloved” pillow for a wedding gift. After the great response, I toyed with the possibility of selling some. I talked to my daughter Joy and she was on board. I wanted her to develop her creative juices and computer business skills. My other daughter Faith was away working at a summer camp, but when she returned she was willing to learn to do the embroidery stitch. With the help of a niece who is also a savvy businesswoman, Pillow Talk was officially born in July.
As far as the process, it’s a joint effort. We all talk about different designs for pillows, Joy writes out the template for the design, and I cut and sew the pillows. Both Faith and I hand-sew the writing and the border. Joy handles the online orders, photographs the pillows and keeps the Etsy store site current.
I first learned to do embroidery and crewel work as a teen. Faith taught herself to crochet, but I taught her the stitch used in the pillows.
The purpose in starting the business was twofold: to do something fun with my girls that would not only enable them to earn money for college and a car, but also for them to learn marketable skills and to help others — particularly orphans. We feel very strongly that Christians have a responsibility to care for orphans and widows. We chose to give to Holt International because we know of the heart they have to care for orphans. We went through Holt to adopt Joy and because of this, we decided to sponsor a child through them ever since. We continue to be blessed to see how God opens new doors for their ministry. We have designated the money from Pillow Talk to help them care for needy children in North Korea. It means so much to my girls to be able to give back and help other children.
From her daughters:
“Adoption has meant family for us,” Joy says. “Blood is not everything when it comes to family.”
“One day,” Faith says, “I hope to start an orphanage in China.”
Becky Lawson | French Camp, Mississippi
No plans of opening an Etsy store? No worries. You don’t have to be a creative genius to give to children and families in need. Shop our Gifts of Hope catalog for ready-made gift ideas this holiday season. Every gift is an inspiration. And we are endlessly grateful for your generous heart.