Gifts for orphans this holiday season

When choosing gifts to give those you care about this holiday season, don’t forget children without families

EASTON, Md., December 13, 2011 — This holiday season as you choose gifts to give to those you care about, don’t forget the millions of children who will spend the season without families.

Oftentimes, we throw up our hands at a problem so big, but there are places where you can donate that will have a direct impact on the lives of orphans around the world.

The Red Thread has compiled a lit of a few that ensure your donations will have a big impact.

The Miracle Foundation

The Miracle Foundation provides a home-style setting for orphaned children in four locations around India.  The organization has tangible ways for donors to make a difference in India, which has 25 million orphans (about the population of Texas).  For $25 you can provide a child with a school uniform.  Fifty dollars buys five children plates and utensils.

The Orphan Foundation’s mission is to help orphans find adopting parents and assist orphans, including providing financial support for adopting families (through qualified adoption agencies), education on financing adoptions, financial and educational assistance for orphaned children with special needs, and financial support for orphanages for the purpose of providing educational support for orphans who will remain with the orphanages throughout their non-adult years.

Rising Star Orphanage

Rising Star is a home and school for children whose parents are affected by leprosy in India.  A donation as little as $5 can buy enough chewable vitamins for all the children at Rising Star, while $15 provides a child with all the school supplies he or she needs for the year.

IOC Mission

Over 1.5 million children have lost one or both parents, and over 700,000 orphans are living in sub-poverty conditions in Afghanistan.   International Orphan Care (IOC) provides education, healthcare, nutrition and vocational training so that these children will be healthy and productive members of their community. The mission of IOC is to provide the orphans of Afghanistan with HOPE (Help the Orphans be Productive and Educated). IOC supports schools in Herat and Jalalabad and medical clinics in Deh Sabz and Dogh Abad and donations go directly to supporting these efforts.

Shoes for Orphans Souls

Helmed by the esteemed Buckner International, an organization that focuses on children in need worldwide, Shoes for Orphans Souls provides footwear for kids.  Since many waterways are contaminated, a simple cut from a rock or stick can develop into a major infection and even kill children who must go barefoot.

To date, the organization has distributed more than two million pairs of shoes to children in the U.S. and in 74 countries around the world.  Twenty-five dollars provides a pair of shoes for a child.  If you’re feeling more ambitious, you can do a shoe drive holiday party where you ask all your guests to bring a pair of shoes for children.




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Andrea Poe

Andrea Poe is a veteran journalist, whose work has appeared in thousands of publications, including Town & Country, Marie Claire and Entrepreneur.  She is the author of several books and her work has appeared in many others, including anthologies and college textbooks. 

Andrea serves as editor of the Travel & Food section at The Washington Times Communities.  Her love of travel has led her to cover everything from remote villages in the Andes to her hometown of New York, from Paris to Pittsburgh, from Beijing to the Bahamas.  No matter where she travels, she likes to uncover the unusual and share with readers those often-overlooked aspects of a place and its people.  She dubs her column Raven’s Eye as a nod to her illustrious (and, yes, infamous) relative, Edgar Allan Poe, a writer who knew more than a little something about the quirky and unique.  

Andrea is also mother to Maxine, who was adopted from Vietnam in 2006, and is the inspiration for The Red Thread column on adoption at The Washington Times Communities.   Andrea is currently at work on a book on international adoption.

In addition to her work as mother, writer and traveler, she is the founder and president of Media Branding International, a consulting firm that helps individuals and organizations craft and promote their image in media outlets around the globe.

Find Andrea at andpoe@Twitter, on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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