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Saturday, March 22, 2008

As Promised....

A while back I said I'd share some ideas of ways to help orphaned children even if you are unable to foster or adopt. Then the other day I promised to come back and share some online resources that relate to fostering. I haven't done either, so I am going to try and take care of both in one post!

Of course there are several programs out there that accept donations to either help other families adopt or use money to directly help children. A quick web search will bring up several such agencies.

If you want to help the children more directly and give of yourself and your time rather than just your money(although money is always appreciated too!) you could contact your local foster care agencies and ask how you can volunteer. I found several ways be searching the web for our local agencies. Some ask for donations of items, or need drivers to transport children to their appointments, or to help at outings that may be arranged for the children. I know at holidays they can always use donations of gifts, Easter baskets(this is fun for the whole family to help!) or your time at gift drives and fund raising events.

You can help the children by raising awareness within your community and church. Several churches are starting orphan/adoption ministries, you can start one in yours!

Several programs are looking for mentors for foster kids. Some have summer programs where the children stay with you while they attend local summer camps. There are so many ways to help!

You can help families that are fostering or adopting by praying for them, or helping them in concrete ways. Offering to help them as they go through the process of adoption or fostering, and helping welcome the children home and into the community and church family!

I found lots of helpful information for me as a potential foster parent as well as ways I could help others at About.com. Some of my favorite articles were; 12 Prayer Requests for Children in Foster Care and 10 Things You Can Do Now to Prepare for Foster Care Later, and 10 Ways to Help Children in Foster Care There is so much information there, you could spend days going through it all! I really recommend checking it out if you are either interested in fostering or want to help support someone who is!

Focus on the Family has a great article about how you can help support foster families. If you do a search for "adoption" or " foster care" on their site you will find lots of helpful resources.

I Care About Orphans has a FREE Orphan Care CD and family discussion guide available for download.

Family Life had lots of resources and information on adoption, orphan care, and fostering. This link will take you to their broadcast page where you can listen to several broadcasts about these issues.

This is just the tip of the ice-berg. There is so much information out there once you just start looking.

There are many ways you can help either the children or other families taking these children into their homes! All it takes is a willingness to serve!

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