One Less Orphan originally began in October 2013 as The Children’s Garden Recovery Home, a home for orphans from rural China who needed to be in Shanghai for medical treatment. Naomi was given charge of two orphans, one with severe complicated needs and the other terminally ill, who needed a place to live in order to stay in Shanghai. Quickly a home was assembled and more children were added.
Soon the conversations about the discrepancy between the needs of rural China and Tier One cities like Shanghai and Beijing and how to best serve those in need; helping families, sharing resources and the hardships facing families in Shanghai enduring long term hospitals stays. As more people got involved and started collaborating the vision expanded to moving beyond helping orphans to helping families so that children never become orphans. The big idea was that we could piggyback the abundant resources available to orphans and offer them to families. We talked but were kept busy with the children in the home.
In June we got a call from Kyla at ICC in Hubei. Kyla had witnessed a family abandoning their child and was pleading with them to keep her. Tearfully the family told how the child was dying and they were out of resources. The baby needed complicated surgery only available in Shanghai, could The Children’s Garden help? YES!
Since our first OLO family we have assisted several families by arranging for surgery, fund raising surgeries, pay tuition for Special Need education, set up Cindy’s Corner to bring cheer in the hospital and launched The Lucky Bunny Cleft Kit to reduce the number of orphans born with cleft lip/palate. As Family Preservation gains attention in China, we look forward to a future of helping families stay together.
Less than one year since our beginning we are thrilled at the level of support we are receiving, especially with our efforts to preserve families. We are confident that The Children’s Garden will continue to grow and serve children and their families throughout China.