My journey to become the Executive Director of The Hope Effect started twenty-one years ago when God dramatically kicked open the door into the world of orphan care.
Out of the blue, my wife Christie and I sensed we should pursue adopting a child from overseas. Although we felt called to adopt, how it would become a reality was a mystery to us. It would require us to overcome many challenges, not the least of which were the adoption and travel fees…which would exceed $30,000.
But within one year, through the power of prayer and the crazy generosity of an 18-year-old girl (who actually funded the adoption!), I was holding my precious daughter Sydney in my arms.
Like many people, I was unaware of the orphan crisis. Sydney opened my eyes to the millions of children who live without families in the world – many of them over the age of five.
Fast forward to seven years ago. My wife and I responded to a simple Facebook post about a little girl in need of a family overseas. We started the process to adopt again – this time with an older child who spent the early part of her life in an institution.
My daughter Mia joined our family when she was 12 years old. Every day I wake up and experience what statistics tell us – that children develop best when they are in a family environment, that institutional care of children before the age of four is devastating, and that good-hearted people are the key to change.
The Hope Effect
A few years ago, my wife and I joined Joshua and Kim Becker in dreaming about The Hope Effect, a nonprofit organization that would change the way the world cares for orphans. We are passionate about seeing orphans cared for – not in institutions, but in families.
For the last few years, I’ve served as the Executive Director on a part-time basis while I pastored a growing church. However, as The Hope Effect prepares to enter our fifth city, with exploration already underway in our sixth location, the demands of The Hope Effect are outpacing the time I can give to it while also leading the church.
I had to make a choice – a choice to either hire a new leader for the The Hope Effect or step away from my roll as pastor. The demands of leading both are just too great for my limited capacity, and I love both too much to continue to provide limited leadership to either.
The Big Decision
As you might imagine, the decision was agonizing. After many conversations with leaders from both organizations, I have made the decision to pursue The Hope Effect full time. Our last day at our church will be Sunday, September 29, and I will transition to a full time role with The Hope Effect in October.
This is obviously a big change for our family. I have been in church ministry for the last 25+ years. Simply put, Christie and I have never gone to a church without having a key to the building. But while we are saddened because we will not be experiencing the deep and meaningful relationships unique to pastoral work, we are confident in the new chapter God is writing for both of us.
I’m also excited to have more opportunities to share our passion for changing the way the world cares for orphans. Check out our website if you’re interested in having The Hope Effect speak at your event, whether it’s a church service, community event, podcast, or any other forum!
We look forward to seeing the ways God will use The Hope Effect to change the way the world cares for orphans. Thank you for being part of the journey…we can’t wait to see what happens next!
We know every child deserves a family. Every child deserves to grow up in a safe, loving, and stable family environment. And during the first few years of a child’s life, that family bond is critically important.
But unfortunately, that’s not the reality for millions of children around the world. So many kids are living without the love and care that only a family can provide. Too many young children are placed in an institution shortly after birth and spend their early childhood years in an orphanage.
Thankfully, you are changing that! Your partnership is changing the way the world cares for orphans. And you are making a difference in the lives of children like Lupita, a young girl in Chihuahua, Mexico.
Lupita’s mother worked as a house cleaner for several different families in Chihuahua. When she became pregnant, she decided she did not want to keep her baby. Thinking she’d found a solution, she made a deal with one of the families that employed her, agreeing to give the child to that family.
A few months later, Lupita was born. Her mother upheld her side of the deal and gave Lupita to her employers, who then registered the child as their own daughter. But almost immediately, Lupita’s mother was filled with regret. She contacted the authorities in an effort to get her daughter back. As the custody dispute began, Lupita was placed in an infant care institution at just one month of age.
She would remain in that institution for more than two years.
As her case dragged on, Lupita became a casualty of the system. Legal processes and paperwork delays resulted in this little girl growing up in an institution during her first critical years of development. But thankfully, Lupita’s life was about to change!
The Turning Point
When Lupita was two and a half, a family visited the institution where she was living. And not just any family – they had been trained and certified to provide family-style care in Chihuahua! They met Lupita and were immediately touched by this little girl and her story. Shortly after that visit, our team began inquiring about the possibility of this family caring for Lupita.
There were several obstacles to overcome. Specifically, Lupita had a few medical conditions that would make caring for her a bit more difficult. She had been diagnosed with anxiety, ADHD, and a heart murmur. But the family was ready to welcome Lupita into their homes and their hearts. They began caring for her, and finally, Lupita began to experience the love of a family.
And that’s not all! As the legal case surrounding Lupita continued, her case file had been buried at the bottom of a growing pile. But once she was placed with a family, her case file was finally opened and examined more closely. It was discovered that Lupita’s grandfather had been looking to take care of her, and her case was re-opened.
After receiving loving family-style care for six months, Lupita was reunited with her biological family. Her grandfather welcomed her back with open arms and was legally able to take her home. We’re so thankful that Lupita had the opportunity to learn how to bond with and trust her foster family in preparation for going home to her biological family.
What an amazing ending to this chapter of Lupita’s story…and we know a wonderful new chapter is just beginning!
Thank you for being a part of Lupita’s journey. If you’d like to make a difference in the lives of more children like Lupita, we’d be honored if you’d support our work in Chihuahua. Simply click the link below to send your gift.
Thank you for changing the way the world cares for orphans!
Big news! Thanks to you, our project in Santa Rosa, Honduras, is FULLY FUNDED!
We first told you about our work in Santa Rosa earlier this year. Along with our partner organization Legacy of Hope Foundation, we are providing family-style care for children in times of transition as they await a more permanent solution.
We knew our awesome supporters (that’s you!) would show up in a big way to care for the children of Santa Rosa. What we didn’t know is that you would reach our fundraising goal so quickly…18 months earlier than expected! Amazing!
You are making an incredible difference in the lives of so many children! A few months ago, we told you about Samuel and his journey to a forever family. Now, we’d like to share two additional stories of children whose lives you’re changing.
Mario came to our transition home when he was only a few days old. He was abandoned almost immediately after birth, and he was found covered in ant bites and other marks. Because of his heartbreaking condition, Mario was admitted to the hospital to receive medical care.
Shortly after that, DINAF (the equivalent of CPS in Honduras) confirmed that nobody was going to come forward for Mario. That meant he would be going through the abandonment process and would be eligible for adoption. Because of that, he was placed in our transition home to wait for an adoptive family.
Mario is now three months old, and we are so excited to say he is thriving and growing! He’s reaching new milestones and recently began rolling over. At his young age, the family-style care he is receiving is so important physically and developmentally. Because Mario has been in a family environment, he will be able to bond more quickly with his adoptive family.
We can’t wait to see what the future holds for Mario!
Cristofer has a very different story, but one that also illustrates the importance of family-style care. He is five years old and has been living in the transition home for more than a year. Cristofer is awaiting a foster family.
Cristofer’s parents are unable to care for him, so he needs a permanent home. But because of his circumstances, he is not eligible for adoption. While we search for a long-term foster family for him, he’s being well cared for in our family-style transition home.
As of now, Cristofer has been in this family-style environment for more than a year. He’s been receiving quality education, nutritious meals, and excellent psychological and medical care.
Thanks to you, Cristofer is the experiencing the love, support, and stability of a family. And we know that when he finds his foster family, he’ll already understand what it means to be loved and valued.
You are making such a difference in the lives of children like Mario and Cristofer! Thank you for your support and generosity…you make all of this possible.
We look forward to continuing our work in Santa Rosa, Honduras, and providing you additional updates along the way. Thank you for changing the way the world cares for orphans!
It’s no small feat to change the way the world cares for orphans…it takes a lot of passionate individuals working together toward a common goal. You’re a huge part of the team – you are making a difference through your generosity and support. And because of your partnership, The Hope Effect is pioneering and expanding family-style care in several locations in Mexico and Honduras.
But there’s another group we can’t do this without…the incredible families who open their homes and their hearts to care for children. And we have exciting news – earlier this month, more families joined the movement in Chihuahua, Mexico!
In April, we told you about our partnership with Familia LightShine, an organization aiming to expand family-style foster care in Chihuahua. We’re working hand-in-hand with Familia LightShine to get more children into families, and by joining forces we can triple the capacity to offer family-style care. Our combined goal is to expand to 50 foster families over the next several months…and thanks to you, we’re well on our way!
This month, seven additional families were certified by the government to provide foster care in Chihuahua. That means we now have 20 families now providing loving, family-style care for a total of 22 children. We’re so grateful for these families…and for your generous support that makes it all possible.
After going through the training and approval process, the seven families were celebrated and certified at an event put on by the government. At the certification ceremony, the families officially welcomed the children into their homes.
It was a wonderful celebration of family, and we are so thrilled to see the enthusiasm surrounding foster care in Chihuahua. Take a look at a few pics of the event below!
If you’d like to be a part of this life-changing work, we’d love to partner with you! Click here to learn more about our project in Chihuahua.
Thank you for all you do – you are changing the way the world cares for orphans!
Time to brag on you a bit! We’ve always known our supporters are awesome, but now we have even more proof.
A recent report from Giving USA says charitable giving by individual Americans declined in 2018. Not only that, but individual giving decreased by the largest amount in ten years.
What does this have to do with you? Well, as American charitable giving decreased, The Hope Effect’s donations INCREASED, and in 2018 we had our biggest year yet! That’s incredible – we are so grateful for your support and partnership! And that got us thinking…what makes The Hope Effect – and our supporters – different? Let’s take a look!
A Need We Can All Relate To – Every Child Deserves a Family
We all know the importance of families (but if you need some convincing – or want to see some really cute kids – check out this video). Families provide loving, stable, supportive environments for children. But currently, not every child has the opportunity to grow up in a family. Millions of children are living in institutional care, which has damaging effects on their physical and psychological development.
The Hope Effect is changing orphan care by providing family-based solutions. Two-parent, family-style care provides opportunities for children to flourish and thrive. And that’s something we can all get behind!
Rapid Growth and Success – Pioneering and Expanding Family-Style Care
The Hope Effect was founded in late 2015, and thanks to you, we’ve seen incredible growth and success! We are now working to improve orphan care in several locations in Mexico and Honduras.
In Santa Rosa, Honduras, we are partnering with a like-minded organization, Legacy of Hope Foundation, to care for orphans in times of transition. Our transition home – the only resource of its kind in Western Honduras – provides a family-style environment for children as they wait for foster and adoptive families to become available.
In Chihuahua, Mexico, we are partnering with another organization, Familia LightShine, to expand family-style foster care. Together, we’ll be able to triple the capacity to offer family-style care in Chihuahua, with a goal to expand to 50 foster families over the next several months.
And in Sonora, Mexico, we are pioneering family-style care and awaiting government approval to bring our innovative model of orphan care to the city of San Luis Río Colorado.
Directing Your Donation – The 100% Model
At The Hope Effect, we know that when you make a donation, you want your money to be used for the reason it was given. That’s why we empower our donors to direct their donation.
You can choose to put 100% of your donation directly into orphan care – getting kids into families and providing quality nutrition, education, and health care. Or, you can help with our “behind the scenes” expenses and support the awesome team of people who work hard to make it happen. And if you’re not sure which option to choose, no problem! Just let us know you’d like us to direct your gift to the area that currently has the biggest need.
We appreciate the trust our donors have in us, and we always honor our donors’ selections. We’re so grateful for every gift, and you can be confident it will help make a difference!
Engaged and Passionate Supporters – That’s You!
Our work is only possible because of you. You continue to amaze us with your support and generosity…not only in 2018, but in this year as well! Just a few highlights…
Last November, you raised $39,000 in ONE DAY on #GivingTuesday…our largest single fundraising day ever! And when we introduced our Dollar a Day Team this May, you blew our goal of 50 Dollar a Day teammates out of the water! We had 75 people commit to changing the way the world cares for orphans through their donation of one dollar a day. Amazing!
There’s no doubt about it…your generosity is changing lives and having an impact across the globe. Thank you for changing the way the world cares for orphans!
Samuel sat quietly as he processed the news. He looked through pictures of his new home, and his eyes grew wide. The moment was finally here, and it was starting to feel real.
About seven months earlier, Samuel had come into our transition home in Santa Rosa, Honduras, where we work with our partner organization Legacy of Hope Foundation to provide family-style care for children awaiting a more permanent solution. Samuel had spent most of his childhood in a poorly-run orphanage, leaving him with many effects of institutional care – including great loss and trauma.
When Samuel was just a small child, a family came to volunteer in the orphanage where he was living. The family met and interacted with many of the children, but they felt an instant connection with Samuel. In this moment, they began to pursue him – to bring him into their family. They began the long journey to make sure Samuel knew he was loved and valued by a forever family…even if he had yet to fully comprehend what those words meant.
After a time, Samuel came to live in our transition home. We are grateful that our Legacy of Hope partners were able to work closely with his adoptive parents to help Samuel begin to build a relationship with his forever family. During those seven months, Samuel created a life-book which helped him connect his past to his present and future. And because of the family-style environment of the transition home, he began to understand what it meant to be in a family.
Samuel slowly let his guard down and learned to trust. He was able to connect with his adoptive parents while waiting for the adoption to be finalized, and he started to understand that he would one day share their last name. Even on the hardest days – like when court dates were changed and there were missing signatures on paperwork – Samuel knew his family loved him and would be there for him.
A few weeks ago, Samuel went to live with his forever family. The night before he left the transition home, he had his favorite meal and made chocolate cupcakes. It was a celebration – a celebration of him, his adoption, and his new family.
Today, The Hope Effect and Legacy of Hope celebrate with Samuel’s adoptive family as they are finally able to hold and cherish this little boy – their son. Today, we celebrate the stories of all the children our transition home has served. Siblings who have been able to stay together after being removed from their family, teen girls who have been able to care for their babies and learn what it means to be a mother, and abandoned babies who have been placed into safe and loving families.
And today, we celebrate you – the incredible, generous people who make this all possible! You are changing the lives of children…children like Samuel, and so many others. We are incredibly thankful for your partnership and support. You are doing great things. You are changing the way the world cares for orphans!
*This post was co-written with our partners at Legacy of Hope.
Changing the way the world cares for orphans is hard work…but you are clearly up to the challenge! We’re so excited to share how you’re making a difference in the lives of children in need!
Today, we’d like to introduce you to Daniel, a baby boy in Chihuahua, Mexico.
Daniel was abandoned outside a church in a small town in the state of Chihuahua. He was found wrapped in shower curtains just a few hours after he was born. The church priest called the authorities, and Daniel was taken to a nearby hospital, where he remained for seven days.
In many other places around the world, a child like Daniel would be placed in an institution, never knowing the love of a family. Thankfully, you are providing another option in Chihuahua!
Our partner organization, Familia LightShine, was contacted while Daniel was in the hospital. Instead of being processed into an orphanage, Daniel was placed into the loving arms of an amazing foster family. Currently, he is thriving in this stable, caring environment, and he will soon begin a new life with his adoptive family!
This is all thanks to you! You are making a difference in Daniel’s life, and we are so grateful!
One Dollar a Day Can Change a Life!
Would you like to help more children like Daniel? It only takes one dollar a day…that’s less than a cup of coffee at Starbucks (trust us, we love our caffeine)!
Just one dollar a day opens up a home for an orphan. One dollar a day provides continued family-style care for that child. One dollar a day gets a child – a child like Daniel – into a family. We’d be honored if you’d consider joining the Dollar a Day Team to help change the way the world cares for orphans.
Thank you for making a difference in the lives of children around the world!
Every child deserves a family. Unfortunately, many orphans in developing countries are growing up in institutional care, never knowing the love of a family. That’s why, with your support, The Hope Effect is working tirelessly to provide family-style care to orphans around the world.
It’s hard work, but it’s worth it! We are thrilled when children get out of institutional care and into loving, supportive family environments. And today, we are celebrating a child in our newest location – Chihuahua, Mexico. Today, we celebrate María!
María is 10 years old, and she has been in institutional care for most of her life. She was placed in an orphanage at age three and later went through two failed adoption attempts. This child grew up not knowing the love of a mother and father. She grew up without the love of a family.
But thankfully, that’s not where María’s story ends! Through our partnership with Familia LightShine, María was placed in foster care with a loving family. And now, that family is in the process of adopting her! This is life-changing for María, and we are so excited for her. We can’t wait to see her thrive in her forever family!
You are making this possible! Your support is providing children like María the family-style care they so desperately need.
Thanks to your generosity and partnership, we are working in Chihuahua and several other locations to change the way the world cares for orphans. And you can continue to make a difference in the lives of children like María…for just one dollar a day!
Just one dollar a day…
- Opens up a home for an orphan currently in institutional care.
- Provides continued family-style care for that child.
- Gets a child like María into a family!
We’d be honored if you would partner with us! Will you join our Dollar a Day Team and help us change the way the world cares for orphans?
What can you do with one dollar a day? With one dollar, you can download a single song on iTunes. You can purchase your daily cup of coffee at McDonald’s (or if you’re a Starbucks fan, you’d only get about half a cup!). And of course, you can walk away with something from the local dollar store.
But what if you could do more? What if you could change the way the world cares for orphans?
At The Hope Effect, we believe every child deserves a family. But currently, not all children have that opportunity. Millions of orphans across the globe are growing up in institutional care, which has negative physical, developmental, and psychological effects. The good news is, you can change that…for only one dollar a day!
We’re excited to introduce our Dollar a Day Team – a new opportunity to provide loving, family-style care for orphans in need. For just one dollar a day, you can…
- Open up a home for an orphan currently in institutional care.
- Get a child into a family.
- Provide continued family-style care for a child.
We would be honored if you would partner with us to change the way the world cares for orphans! Current donations are being used to provide family-style care in multiple locations in Mexico and Honduras.
Will you join our Dollar a Day team today?