***Today is a guest blog post from JT Olson from Both Hands***
If you live or work in the world of adoption, you have undoubtedly heard the bible verse that summarizes so much of what the adoption world is all about…James 1:27: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” It seems that we tend to focus on the orphan from that verse, but not the widow. We have found a great way to connect the two and it turns out to be a great model for adoption fundraising. If you have ever found yourself thinking that you would love to adopt, but just can’t afford it, then you should read on.
About twenty years ago, I served on the board for Bethany Christian Services in Nashville and was responsible for an annual golf fundraiser. It was the kind that you send letters out asking for sponsorships while you golf. A few days before the event, one of my friends sent my letter back to me and scribbled on it, “JT, if you were working on a widow’s house, I might sponsor you, but you’re just golfing. Nice cause, but not my money.”
I’ll admit I was a bit surprised, but I called him, and we had a good laugh about it, but his comment never left me. A few years later, one of my friends came up to me in church and told me he was adopting four orphans from Moldova. Since I had adopted, I knew it was expensive. I asked how much he needed to raise. He replied, “About $70,000- $80,000.” He had no clue how he was going to do it, but knew it was God’s calling. I told him, “I think I have an idea that just might work.”
Long story short, we gathered about a dozen of our friends and found a widow’s home to work on. All of us sent out letters asking for sponsorships while we worked, with the proceeds going towards my friend’s adoption. I had no idea it would be so successful, but we ended up raising over $70,000!!
Mark Twain said, “The two most important days in a person’s life are the day they were born and the day they find out why.” That day I found out why. Soon after, another friend asked to do a project for his adoption and that is how the story of Both Hands began.
Fast forward 13 years and I think our numbers say it all. We have done over 1,000 projects in 44 states and have raised over $13,000,000 for adoption and orphan care expenses. The great thing about doing a Both Hands project is that there really is no downside. Even if you don’t hit your fundraising goal, you still have the privilege of serving a widow and that will put a smile on anyone’s face. In the process, you have a great team building experience with your family and friends…and God is glorified. If you’re interested in partnering to make an impact in any way, feel free to contact us. Let’s do more for orphans, widows and adoptive families!