How Can You Help?

 Written by: Amanda McGinley and Nick Runyon Photography by: Whitney Runyon

Written by: Amanda McGinley and Nick Runyon
Photography by: Whitney Runyon

So now what? Where do we go from here? Shannon L. Alder said, “My father taught me that you can you read a hundred books on wisdom and write a hundred books on wisdom, but unless you apply what you learned then it’s only words on a page.” I think this quote encapsulates our answer. We must apply what we’ve learned.

As you can see from our past articles, there are many different approaches to end the orphan crisis, yet not one of them seem to be the perfect approach. Maybe the perfect answer is still waiting to be discovered, but it seems unlikely when dealing with such a complex issue. So the big question remains, how do we help? How do we make an impact in such a worthy and needed cause?

Do something. Yes, now that you've been made aware of all the possibilities to be apart of the change, do something. Decide right now that you are going to play your part. I guarantee you have something to offer. You may already know your part or still be figuring it out, but either way begin your journey by learning as much as you can. The more you educate yourself, the better you will be at avoiding past and future mistakes.

Here are just some of the ways you can get involved:

  • Find an organization that is combating poverty, but make sure they are doing it in way that is empowering people and not making them dependent on aid.
  • Support an organization, but make sure they are holistically and ethically working toward their mission. You can support them financially or with your time. Learn more about the ethical organizations we support here.
  • Get involved in foster care. There is a huge need for stable foster families and respite care families.
  • Sponsor a child’s education, but make sure the education sponsorship is empowering the child and not making them dependent on aid.
  • Consider adoption, but take the time to make sure your adoption is ethical and that the adoption is in the child’s best interest.
  • Support someone who is adopting either financially, emotionally, or with your time.
  • Get involved in political change. Advocate for change in the foster care system or maybe even work toward a political career that would allow you to pass laws that protect children.
  • Use your knowledge in health care or become a health professional. This talent can save countless lives that keep families together.
  • Use you talents and knowledge in business to bring economic development to an area.
  • Become extremely knowledgeable about a culture and work with host country nationals to bring stability to the family system of that place.
  • Become a journalist who uncovers corruption that is tearing families apart.
  • Become a teacher in a place where education could lift up a community.
  • Get involved in lifting up families at home or overseas.
  • Become a mentor to a child

No one method or one person will solve this problem. The opportunities and avenues for getting involved are endless. Whatever your skills and passions, opportunity exists for you to help end the orphan crisis. It is going to take all of us working together in all of the different ways. No matter what method we use to address this crisis, we must always strive to do what is best for the child all the way down to an individual level. With this focus, and our collective action, we will have an incredible impact on the crisis.

What defines a person? What defines a culture or a generation? If you look back over history, you will find that, it is not how we deal with success but how we deal with tragedy. The way we deal with tragedy will define our future and our legacy. The orphan crisis is a tragedy, and the way we move forward with helping these children could be the very thing that defines our generation and the lives of ones to come. May we always move toward a solution with a resolve and integrity that is worthy of the lives we are working to defend.