20 Years of Lifting Orphans from Surviving to Thriving

May 25, 2022

When a newborn animal touches the earth for the first time, it stumbles and falls. When A Child’s Hope was born in 2002, we had a similar story. Our start was slow, and we grew gradually for over a decade. Now, 20 years later, we are currently working with 9 orphanages and 400+ children. We owe that to your generosity.

The beginning
Paul and Carolene Cook started this nonprofit a few years after adopting their daughter Megan from China. The adoption agency director asked the Cooks to donate funds to help an orphanage where 30 kids were living in an 800 sq. ft. room. When Paul took a trip to Haiti to see this orphanage, he knew there was more work to do than write a check.
The Cooks started arranging for volunteers to trek to Haiti and help build an adoption orphanage for children under 6 years old. After running the orphanage for a couple of years, the director of the orphanage decided to shift to independent ownership and has gone on to facilitate over 1,000 adoptions over the years. Unfortunately, Haiti soon became politically unstable in 2007 and we had to cancel most of our volunteer trips there.
In 2007, Baja, Mexico became a better option for volunteers. As we made plans to build a Mexican adoption facility for infants, we also hosted multiple service trips every year to help existing orphanages in the area, which allowed us to have a greater impact faster than building new homes. From 2007 to 2015, we did about four trips a year, but our donors wanted us to do more for the kids they had grown to love, which led to our recent period of rapid growth.
In 2018, our work expanded beyond exclusively hosting service trips when we connected with Miracle Foundation and saw the good they were doing for the orphanages they support in India. They let us adapt their Thrive Assessment, which we now use with our orphanage partners to create customized Improvement Roadmaps on the way to certification. The Thrive Assessment and our new Child Advancement Priorities (CAP) help us ensure that orphans are not only well fed, well sheltered, and well loved, but that they are also given resources such as tutoring and therapy to help them grow into successful adults. When we work with good orphanage leaders who just need extra support, A Child’s Hope can help them get to where they want to be. Today, developing orphanages is one of our major programs.
Two sisters in Baja are examples of why elevating the way homes care for children matters. Kenia and Stephany (names changed) arrived at an orphanage, and asked to work with a therapist on improving their relationship. They fought constantly, and dealt with trauma from a situation at their childhood home. After several sessions with Jennifer, a therapist provided through CAP, they began to see improvements. Today, you can find them sitting on a patio together making jokes and genuinely enjoying each other. This could never have been possible if they didn’t have access to therapy.
Help us celebrate 20 years

To celebrate our birthday, we are fundraising $75,000 for this critical Child Advancement Program. How are we going to raise that much money? There are two ways you could help us. First, we’re asking for donations of $20 for our 20 years.