The Orphan and Family Sponsorship Program of Hand of Help offers churches and individuals the opportunity to help change the world, one child or one family at a time. With the help of ministry volunteers, potential sponsors are connected with orphans at the Hand of Help Orphanage in Botosani, Romania.
We welcomed Maria M.H. in the fall of 2017, at the age of eight, together with her brothers, Cristian and Mihai. The three siblings used to live together with their parents; however, after their divorce, the court granted their mother sole custody and they were separated from their father who went abroad in search for work.
Soon afterwards, financial difficulties changed the course of their lives. An orphan herself, adopted at the age of two, the mother lost both her adoptive parents and was soon faced with complete loss of her housing, finances and place of employment. Desperate and alone, she took her children and moved to a local housing center for single mothers in need. This proved to be a temporary solution and fearing she would have to live on the street, the mother decided to ask the local authorities to find a place for her children while she would leave the country to find work.
Her desire is to be able to come back and offer her children a home. However, until then, having no other relatives that could take the children into their care, we were asked to step in and welcome Cristian, Maria and Mihai into our family. In the light of so many changes, the children have missed school numerous times and they are in need of special care and attention – not only pertaining to their education, but also emotional support and personal time dedicated to help them adjust to their new home.
Maria had some difficulties integrating in our center. Our social workers and doctors had to carefully work with her to help her cope with her mother's departure and the challenge of moving into a new environment. At first, she refused to talk but slowly she started opening up to at least a few of our staff.
During her first activities in church for the Christmas special in December, while impatiently waiting for the program to end so that she could receive her gift, she answered a question about next year's program with such serious eyes and almost utter confusion that our hearts sank: "I can't say anything about next year's program because I will not be here. My mother will be back and I won’t be a part of this." She couldn’t possibly understand why we included her in future events at the orphanage and we realized yet again the deep wounds that our children have to endure when confronted with the reality of their circumstances. We pray that God will make a way for the family to reunite soon but until then we ask for wisdom so that we can help Maria during this time.
Every day we see improvement in her communication skills and we ask God to continue to heal her emotionally. We hope that she will see in us the Father's love and that she will grow in strength and in knowledge.
To sponsor Maria M.H., go to the Sponsor Today page, and click "I want to sponsor a child", and enter "Maria M.H. - Child of the month" under the Child Name section.
How was the Orphan and Family Sponsorship Program started?
How do I join the program?
How much does it cost to sign up?
How does the child or family benefit from the money that I provide?
What is the sponsorship schedule? How do I contribute?
What happens if a parent or relative removes the child that I am sponsoring?
Will I receive receipts for my support?
Will I receive information about a specific child or family?
Can I write to my sponsored child?
Can I send gifts to my child or family?
What happens to my child or family if I am unable to send the monthly support?
Can a group, church, or organization jointly sponsor a child or family?
How was the Orphan and Family Sponsorship Program started? The Orphan and Family Sponsorship Program is an outreach project of Hand of Help. Throughout the Communist years, the Duduman and Boldea families were actively sharing the Word of God by smuggling Bibles into Romania and by their personal testimony. For these crimes, they were expelled from Romania in 1984 and came to the United States for refuge. Their labors continued as they shipped boxes of relief supples to pastors and impoverished brethren back home. Finally in 1989, the Communist Government was overthrown and freedom came to Romania. Since that time Hand of Help has shipped many containers filled with medical supplies, food, clothing, and other items which are so desperately needed. These shipments are delivered door-to-door throughout Romania to needy families, pastors, and elderly Christians who are all alone and destitute. Before his death Dumitru Duduman began construction on an orphanage in Botosani, Romania. This seemed like an impossible undertaking, but God provided the finances to complete the task. Brother Dumitru lived to see his orphanage open, but only for a short while. As the first children were received in, Brother Dumitru went to be with the Lord. The work was passed on to his daughter, Virginia Boldea. Together with her husband, Mike Sr. and her son Mike Jr. she has managed to keep the orphanage going and fight her way through regulations and governmental ordinances to running a privately owned Christ-centered orphanage in a country that was under Communist rule for 50 years. The situation has become more and more difficult within Romania with higher unemployement and higher inflation. The container loads of food and winter clothing that arrive are received by the needy brethren as God's answer to their prayer. The orphanage also is completely dependent upon help from brethren back in the U.S. Food and other necessities are shipped as they are received at our office, but many thousands of dollars are still needed to finance the day-to-day operation of the orphanage in Botosani.
How do I join the program? Go to the Sponsor Today link at handofhelp.com and/or request a sponsorship form by emailing email@example.com. We will contact you to discuss your choice of children or families that are in need of sponsors.
How much does it cost to sign up? The average monthly sponsorship amount is approximately $25.00 per month. The average cost however needed to raise a child per month is $500.00. This covers food, clothing, education, orphanage operations, teacher's salary, Doctor's salary, and general employee's needed to care for the orphans. Each sponsor has the option of deciding the amount in which they desire to support their child or family. We would like to generate enough sponsors to meet this financial need. In whatever amount you chose to benefit your sponsored child, know that each child will be cared for with the same loving care regardless. Thank you for your heart in helping the plight of the Romanian orphans and poor families.
How does the child or family benefit from the money that I provide? Your support helps the child with adequate food, clothing, basic medical care, and housing. In cases of school age children, your support may also help to pay fees, school supplies, and books.
What is the sponsorship schedule? How do I contribute? Payment begins on the month that sponsorship begins. Donations can be made online at handofhelp.com or checks or money orders can be made out to "Hand of Help" with Sponsorship Program written in the memo portion of your giving. The child's or family's name should be written in this area as well. All checks and money orders should be mailed to our Garland Texas office each month if you are not posting online.
What happens if a parent or relative removes the child that I am sponsoring? A small percentage of the children will eventually be reunited with a parent or family member. In such cases the need for sponsorship is increased, not lessened. You will be given the opportunity to continue your sponsorship of the child and his or her family, or you may select another child from those who do not have sponsors.
Can I write to my sponsored child? Yes. Our ministry co-workers will translate your letter. Your child will also be able to write letters to you. Our ministry co-workers are responsible for developing pictures which will be sent to you along with the letter.
Can I send gifts to my child or family? We have implemented a new program called designated giving. Rather than use contributor's money for shipping used clothing and Birthday items, we have found it more cost effective for sponsor's to send a designated gift amount on Birthday's and/or Christmas. We then have designated staff that take the children shopping for what they need and a small little gift. This way we are giving them a personal choice for something they need and like as well as an opportunity to be about in the community with staff. (Strengthening social, math, and economic stills.) We discourage sponsors to send gifts to the orphanage as it causes much jealousy among the children as not all sponsors are able to send gifts, this way the children are less likely to be hurt.
What happens to my child or family if I am unable to send the monthly support? None of the children at the Hand of Help Orphanage will be refused services when a sponsor stops sending support. Basic services will continue to be provided for the child while we search for another sponsor. Families that lose sponsors will be assisted through our general fund until a new sponsor can be found.
Can a group, church, or organization jointly sponsor a child or family? Yes, we encourage joint sponsorships. This method is less personal for the sponsor but the needs of the child or family are still met. Children that are placed at the orphanage on a short term basis will also need a sponsor during their stay of four to six months.