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A Record-Setting Night of Hope for Orphans and Vulnerable Children
by Ronne Rock
Posted on Tuesday, May 02, 2017

“From the bottom of my heart, there are no words to express my gratitude for what you have done to care for orphans and vulnerable children.”

~ Mike Douris, Orphan Outreach President


It was an evening filled with celebration and inspiration, as a record-setting crowd gathered for the 4th annual Children’s Hope Dinner benefiting Orphan Outreach. Former First Lady Laura Bush was keynote speaker, and Akola Project founder Brittany Merrill Underwood was honored as the 2017 Children’s Hope Award recipient. The event netted more than $350,000 for Orphan Outreach’s ministry work with orphans and vulnerable children in some of the world’s most impoverished and oppressed countries.

“We are simply overwhelmed,” says a jubilant Tiffany Taylor Wines, Director of Marketing & Development for Orphan Outreach. “The support we have received from so many for this annual celebration has truly been life-changing for thousands of children and families around the world.”

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Nearly 600 supporters cheered as Bush shared a compelling message about caring for and empowering young women, orphans and vulnerable children. Her words symbolize the same commitment Orphan Outreach has held as it celebrates 10 years of service, working in Central America, Eastern Europe, Africa, India, and the United States. “I see the work of Orphan Outreach, and how you provide food, clothing, and an education. You’re preparing them for a fulfilling and successful life. For that, I’m grateful,” she shared. “Thank you for committing yourself to making life better for children around the world.”

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(above: Jimmy Westcott, Brittany Merrill Underwood, Carol Seay)

Underwood and Akola Project continue to transform the lives of women in Uganda and Dallas, Texas, through a social impact model that provides both job training and a sustainable income. The women not only craft exquisite jewelry, but the community-led program teaches financial literacy, community development, and small business management.

Partnering with national ministries that effectively serve girls and women has been a priority for Orphan Outreach for a decade. “We believe true rescue must include education, mentorship, and counseling,” shares Rey Diaz, Executive Director. “That’s why our mission is to glorify Christ by offering physical, emotional, educational, and spiritual support in every country we serve.”

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The Children’s Hope Dinner was founded by Dallas philanthropist Jimmy Westcott after a heart-wrenching mission trip to visit Russian orphanages. Westcott felt led to help raise awareness and urgently needed funds in support of Orphan Outreach’s work. Every aspect of the event does just that. Each ticket purchased provides six children with one month of essential resources – from education and counseling to a daily meal. “Our goal is to help transform communities by serving orphans and vulnerable children well,” says Wines.

Watch the inspiring video celebrating Orphan Outreach's 10 years of ministry to orphans and vulnerable children, and President Mike Douris' insightful words on what it means to truly serve orphans well.

Want to be part of the next decade of serving orphans well? There are so many opportunities! Sponsor a child, invest in a specific ministry, invite your church to get involved!

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