Saddle River, NJ - February 4, 2014 - Kidsave is seeking families who are willing to open their homes to a child without parents for one month this summer – with the idea of helping that child find a family. The children are coming from orphanages and foster care in Latvia and Colombia.
Cathee Gelman, Coordinator for the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut program explains that families who host do not have to commit to adopt. “Just giving these children the opportunity to spend a few weeks in the U.S., in a family, can dramatically change a child’s life”.
People host for many reasons, sometimes it is with the hope that they will go on to adopt the child (ren), other times it is to advocate for the child (ren) in order to find a family other than their's to adopt. In those instances the host works with Kidsave to help find a family for that particular child. Oftentimes, once someone gets to know one of these children, everything changes. Cathee explains. “If people don’t get the opportunity to meet these kids, they won’t ever find families. Hosts are never required to adopt – just to open their homes and hearts for the summer. Anyone who is looking to make a lasting contribution to a child will find this to be an opportunity of a lifetime.”
Hosting a child for a summer vacation is a unique and innovative way to help children get permanent homes. Not only do host families provide an opportunity for orphaned youth to enjoy life with a family, to go to summer camp and to meet new people; but together with the Kidsave staff and dedicated volunteers they advocate to find adoptive families for these children. The summer vacation is more than just any summer vacation because these older children have little or no chance of finding adoptive parents in their own country.
“What are your fondest memories of summer vacation as a kid?” Gelman asked, “Family picnics? Summer camp? Here’s a challenge, think back to those times without smiling. It’s difficult not to smile, it’s instinctive. But for older children who grow up in foster care and orphanages this is not the case. At a very young age, they have already faced a great deal of adversity, such as malnutrition, neglect, dire living conditions and lack of love. They are often forgotten, left to grow up without a parent’s guidance. We can change this; by giving these children the chance to one day reminisce about how they found a family who adopted them on their summer vacation – and changed their life forever.”
Couples or single adults, with or without children, are eligible to host.
If you can’t host but want to help – volunteers are needed too – and scholarship donations to support the children’s visits. Get involved now at http://www.kidsave.org/programs/orphan-hosting/.