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Social (Justice) Media
by Julie Cramer
Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013
We twitter. We pin. We post. We instagram. We ride the media formerly known as the “worldwide web” like seasoned surfboarders. Now Orphan Outreach has a new way for you to connect your social media savvy with social justice: online child sponsorships.

“It’s as easy as going online and seeing which one grabs your heart,” said Beth Galway, who coordinates the sponsorship program for Orphan Outreach. “When people go on mission trips, they meet all these kids and then they come back and ask, ‘How can I help? What can I do?’ This is an avenue through which you can connect your oversees experience with a stateside action step. All money given to a child goes to that child. A sponsorship costs $36 a month, and once a child is sponsored, they won’t show on the website.”

Currently 550 children total are registered in the program, and 300 remain in need of sponsors. Beth and her team interview each child, gathering information such as their names, birthdays, grades, favorite subjects, what they want to be when they grow up, and prayer requests. Then they build each child’s online profile. The system allows donors to search by country (six), gender, and program. Sponsors write to their child and the child writes to them. Orphan Outreach sends regular updates to all sponsors on the welfare and progress of their child.

“Each sponsorship may cover something different such as meals, clothing, and supplies, or education and full living expenses,” she said. “It depends on the program. At the Rainbow School in India, for example, the sponsorship makes sure all the children go to school. That’s based on the program and Orphan Outreach’s commitment.”

Beth—a member of WOW (Women for Orphans Worldwide)—joined the Orphan Outreach team in 2012, after holding positions as chief financial officer and as an audit manager for PriceWaterhouseCoopers, to lend her expertise and financial oversight to helping children around the world. “It was a nice opportunity for me to come in and do corporate work for a not-for-profit,” she said. “This program is perfect for those who may not be able to go on a mission trip, like my mother who is 75. She will not go on a mission trip, but she has felt really connected by sponsoring a little boy at the Down Syndrome School in Guatemala. It’s a way to feel like you are doing something. You can make an impact. For my mother, the picture of her sponsored child on her fridge is a reminder that not everyone in the world is as blessed as we are. We are really in God’s world and we need to do our part. And it’s an easy way to get involved.”

It’s easy! Click here to see which child grabs your heart today.


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