I recently wrote about leaving a legacy. About how the decisions we make today will define the stories that are told about us in the future. And about the importance of living a story that inspires and motivates others whenever it’s shared.
It’s one of the reasons I am so passionate about minimalism. The less we waste our lives chasing things that don’t matter, the more intention we can direct towards things that do matter—those things that leave a legacy worth sharing.
Today, we have a unique opportunity to do just that. Today is Giving Tuesday, a global movement celebrating generosity. Every year on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, people all over the world come together to give back and make a difference.
This Giving Tuesday, I invite you to change a life. And even more than that, I invite you to leave a legacy of hope for orphaned and vulnerable children around the world.
The Hope Effect
If you’re new to this blog, allow me to provide some background information. In 2015, with the tremendous support of this community, we launched a nonprofit organization called The Hope Effect. Our mission is big: To change the way the world cares for orphans.
Millions of children across the globe are growing up without the love of a family. And less than 1% of orphaned children will ever get adopted. So how we care for the remaining 99% matters quite a bit.
In developing countries, most of these children are being raised in large institutions, commonly referred to as orphanages.
But for decades, it’s been abundantly clear that institutional care has profoundly detrimental, long-lasting impacts on children. In fact some of the first studies on the harmful effects of institutional care on a child’s developing brain date back to the 1930s!
Those who spend their formative years in orphanages often miss out on the important personal connections and individualized care that a loving family provides. As a result, their development is stunted, and their ability to learn is either significantly delayed or lost altogether.
To picture this, just imagine how a family environment helps a child develop. Think of all the interactions that a child has with his or her family: encouraging them to smile, speak their first word, or take their first steps. Without this individualized attention, affection, and stability, a child will fall behind in almost every stage of proper development because the brain is less likely to associate positive behaviors with positive outcomes.
As a result, many of these children eventually age out of orphanages, only to be confronted with a future of crime, prostitution, or trafficking. In fact, studies show that kids who grow up in institutional care are 10 times more likely to fall into sex work, 40 times more likely to commit a crime, and tragically, 500 times more likely to take their own life.
This is literally heart-breaking! And almost nobody is talking about it.
But we know there’s a better way.
That’s why The Hope Effect is working to change the way the world cares for orphaned and vulnerable children. We are providing innovative, loving family care that ensures every child has the opportunity to flourish and thrive.
We work with state and local governments, from beginning to end, changing how the world cares for orphans. If necessary, we advocate for these children and help governments understand the negative impact of institutional orphan care and the benefits of family care.
We are also involved directly in working to solve the problem. We are involved in all stages of family care solutions—recruiting, evaluating, training, placing children, and providing support for families.
Currently, we’re pioneering and expanding family care in several locations in Latin America and Southeast Asia. Children are receiving the loving care they need while learning what it means to be part of a stable, supportive family.
Kids like Ernesto*, a baby boy from Sonora, Mexico, are growing and thriving as they are surrounded by the love of a family.
Ernesto was abandoned in the hospital as a newborn. He was taken from the hospital and immediately processed into an orphanage. For the first few months of his life, he was without the love of a family.
Picture this, after spending just six months in the orphanage, Ernesto was already showing signs of developmental delays. He rarely smiled or expressed emotions, and he didn’t babble or even attempt to communicate with others.
In many parts of the world, Ernesto would likely remain in the orphanage for years, continuing to fall behind, and ultimately facing an uncertain future. But thankfully, there was a better option for Ernesto.
A few months ago, he was welcomed into the loving arms of a family…and his life changed forever. Surrounded by the love and care of a family, Ernesto immediately began to thrive.
But don’t just take my word for it. You can hear from Ernesto’s new family and witness his transformation with your own eyes:
What an amazing illustration of how a family’s love can profoundly impact a life. This is the work that The Hope Effect, founded through the amazing Becoming Minimalist Community, is accomplishing all around the world!
And on this Giving Tuesday, you have a unique opportunity to give hope to more kids like Ernesto. Won’t you join us?
Change A Life. Leave A Legacy. Giving Tuesday.
I’d be honored if you would join us today to change the lives of orphaned and vulnerable children… and leave a legacy of hope around the world.
This Giving Tuesday, we’ve set an ambitious goal to raise $200,000—that would be our single largest fundraising day ever.
The funds raised will be used to expand The Hope Effect into new locations in 2024. Every gift will help more children experience the love of a family.
Plus, on Giving Tuesday, you will double the impact of your gift. Every donation, up to $100,000, will be matched dollar for dollar by a generous team of donors.
And because we know you want your donation to be used for the reason it was given, you can direct 100% of your gift directly to orphan care! That was my commitment when the nonprofit started and it remains my commitment today.
Think of the legacy you can leave. When you support The Hope Effect, you’re not just helping children today. By helping societies change from institutional care to family care, you are creating a ripple of positive, lasting change across the globe. You’re fostering generational change and giving hope to future generations.
You are leaving a legacy.
Will you join us today? The Hope Effect is a 501(c)(3) organization, so your donation is tax-deductible within the U.S. If you have questions about The Hope Effect, send us an email. We are always happy to chat with anyone who would like to learn more.
Thank you so much for supporting The Hope Effect’s mission and vision over the years. Together, we are changing the way the world cares for orphans… because every child deserves a family.
*The child’s name has been changed to protect his privacy.