On this blog, we share stories and updates about our work around the world. With reporting from Holt staff in the U.S. and overseas as well as contributions from adoptive parents, adoptees, sponsors and supporters, we strive to represent the heart, life and experiences of our extended “Holt Family.”
You Are Invited to Holt’s Annual Gala and Dinner Auction in Portland, Oregon
Holt’s dinner and auction event in Portland, Oregon is coming up on October 16th. The event will benefit homeless and at-risk children in Vietnam and will be held at Montgomery Park at 5:30 p.m.
There are more than a thousand children and families in Holt’s Vietnam program. Our services in Vietnam help keep birth families together, reunite children with their birth families, and support children in foster care. Our work in Vietnam also provides services to single mothers, nutrition programs, medical services and adoption.
“The word “yes” is a powerful word. My husband Jay and I said “yes” when we were asked to volunteer in 1996 for the Holt Portland auction,” says Char Woodworth, event chair for this year’s auction. “Working on the auction, working closely with wonderful, dedicated friends and Holt staff, and then seeing the event come together as a wonderful party to help children, what a gift! Working for Holt gives our lives purpose, meaning and fulfillment. You will have a wonderful time at the Portland event – remember to say “yes’ to making a difference in the life of a child!”
Come, join the fun at this year’s dinner and auction in Portland….and help children in Holt’s care in Vietnam. Click here for more information and to RSVP to the event.
To volunteer on a committee, donate auction items, host a table, or be a Gala sponsor, please contact email@example.com
Can’t attend the event?…..make a difference by sponsoring a child in Vietnam.
Just five days shy of *Maggi’s 4th birthday, any plans being made to celebrate her special day came to an abrupt halt. Instead, Maggi and her family fled their home in a panic, as tropical storm Agatha swept across Guatemala – taking the family’s already rundown home with her. Leaving over 150 people dead, several missing, and thousands homeless, Agatha was the second of back-to-back natural disasters to strike Guatemala last May.
On June 3rd, Maggi – extremely malnourished and anemic – spent her birthday in an encampment for families who had lost their homes in the storm. Sadly, this wasn’t the first time helpless and innocent Maggi had experienced such devastation. The tropical storm was the last of many distressing events to befall Maggi’s family, who had already been suffering from extreme poverty and malnourishment.
In response to this crisis, and the needs of children like Maggi, Holt International immediately began identifying and helping families who had lost their homes. Working in Guatemala since 1986, Holt currently provides family preservation services for desperate children and families in this area. Many of the children affected by the natural disasters, including Maggi, are now in Holt’s child sponsorship program and need continuing support. Read More
Volunteers needed for this special team
All year long, children await the arrival of Christmas. It’s a time of magic. A time of joy, celebrated in the cozy embrace of family. At Holt’s Ilsan Center in Korea, the children celebrate Christmas with a very special family – a family of Holt volunteers.
This year, join Holt’s annual Christmas Gift Team as they share in hugs and prayers with the Ilsan residents. Enjoy homemade gifts, as well as songs and skits performed by the children. You’ll experience the culture, taste the cuisine, and marvel at the extraordinary beauty of Korea. But most of all, you’ll help create a magical, joyous Christmas for a special group of children!
“People tried to get my attention, to smile at me, hug me, sometimes even to kiss me on the cheek,” wrote Debbie Dunham, a 2008 team member and Holt adoptive mom, for the Winter 2009 Holt International magazine. “I, who had helped supply the simple gifts distributed earlier, had just received the greatest gift – the gift of pure Christmas joy.”
Share in the joy and spirit of Christmas! Also, explore Holt’s history and see Holt’s vision in action – through parties at Ilsan and the Jeonju Baby Home, as well as a visit to the Holt Suwon Gounddeul unwed mothers’ shelter, and a lunch to honor foster mothers.
Gift Team Details
* Travel dates: November 30th – December 6th
* Estimated cost: Approximately $2,800 to $3,300 per person. Includes airfare, hotel, ground transportation in Korea, most meals and the project fee. The range in total cost represents varying cost of air travel, depending on departure city, and the type of hotel accommodation chosen by each team member.
* Gifts: Staff in Korea will purchase gifts for the parties before the team arrives; we will deliver and present the gifts.
For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
University of Oregon graduate Ally Tritten is currently in Thailand working with Holt Sahathai Foundation (HSF) as an intern with IE3 Global Internships. Ally, a family and human services major, will work for HSF for six months, helping to find homes for 200 children with special needs. The children are currently in government-run child institutions in Thailand; some of them will eventually be placed into Holt’s Waiting Child program.
Holt established a partnership with HSF in 1975. HSF serves a large number of vulnerable children through a variety of programs including adoption, pregnancy counseling, foster care, educational sponsorships and outreach services for children in hospitals and orphanages. Many of these programs help birth families stay together through counseling and assistance.
The following is an update from Ally about her first week in Thailand:
September 15th, 2010.
Bangkok, Thailand – Well, it’s been just over a week since I arrived here in Bangkok, and I already love every minute of it. I’ve been quite busy these last 10 days, meeting the staff at HSF and orienting to the diverse range of services HSF, as a highly recognized child welfare agency, offers. I have had the amazing opportunity to observe meetings with adoptive families and participate in a home visit, where I helped assess the potential of a family to bring their child back into their home. I also visited Pakkret’s Babies Home – one of the orphanages in Bangkok – where I, along with Pi Malee and Pi Tuk, two HSF social workers, helped identify the children in HSF’s special needs project.
We then went on a trip to explore an agricultural, self-sufficient center. This center is used as a model for maintaining a steady income through ones own resources and property. The goal of this project is to keep rural communities intact and prevent overpopulation in the big cities throughout Thailand, as well as maintaining close relationships with friends, family and community members. It was a fascinating experience in every aspect.
On that same day, Pi Malee, Pi Tuk and I visited the neighboring village occupied by HSF foster families, and we enjoyed observing the love and energy that surrounded each child being cared for. Read More
Give a Gift of Hope to a girl in India
By Brian Campbell, creative services director
Bangalore, India – Traditional music blasts out of a makeshift shrine to Ganesha – a deity worshiped in the Hindu religion. It’s festival season here in India and people from all over have traveled to Bangalore to be with family and participate in the celebration. Families have scraped together their meager wages and purchased idols and treats for the elephant god – the Hindu god of success.
The guys from NewSong and a group of school-aged girls in Vathsalya Charitable Trust’s (VCT) child sponsorship program – a program that keeps young girls in school when families cannot afford their education –make their way through the rough alleys. Today, these girls will invite NewSong into their humble homes.
One girl, *Seveta, momentarily pauses to observe the half-clothed children running through the alley and women washing clothes in pans filled with dingy water. The alley smells of waste.
“I’m ashamed to show these men my home,” says Seveta to Mary Paul. “It’s much too small for them.” Mary Paul just smiles and encourages Seveta to carry on, but only if she is comfortable. Seveta rocks her head from side to side – a common gesture of agreement in India.
Arriving at her home, Seveta disappears through the small, dark doorway and, without hesitation, Eddie, Russ, Billy and Matt follow Mary Paul inside. Measuring about 7 feet by 10 feet, this tiny, one-room home – shared by Seveta, her parents and sister – is tidy and clean.
Seveta’s sister attends college, but her parents could not afford Seveta’s education. Her father suffered from alcoholism, and her mother became the principle provider for the family. With Holt’s help, VCT provided Seveta with books, paper, a uniform and other supplies needed to attend school.
The guys are impressed with Seveta’s story and her willingness to work so hard. Read More