This weekend, my family (along with many others) will celebrate Mother’s Day. It is a time to honor those amazing women who love, encourage, and care for children. Of course, with Father’s Day right around the corner as well, the subject of family is center in our thoughts this time of year.
Family has always been a central component of my life—and my journey into minimalism. In fact, my introduction to minimalism stemmed from the realization that all of the stuff I owned was actually keeping me from more important things, like spending time with my family.
I was recently asked on Facebook how I define success. I responded with this statement, “Success to me is faithfulness to God, my family, and the work I’ve been placed on this earth to accomplish.” Clearly, family is never far from the top of my priorities.
I think we can all agree that family is important. But if you want to hear it from the experts—kids, of course—check out this quick (and super cute) video:
But around the world, many kids are still longing to be part of a family. Millions of orphaned children are growing up in institutions rather than in a loving family environment. In November 2015, my wife Kim and I, along with a few other individuals, decided to change that.
With the support of the Becoming Minimalist community, we founded The Hope Effect, a nonprofit organization on a mission to change the way the world cares for orphans.
In developing countries, orphans are commonly placed in institutional care, which research shows has damaging effects such as stunted development and delayed learning abilities.
At The Hope Effect, we know there’s a better way. We know that children belong in families. That’s why we are working tirelessly to bring family-based solutions to orphans around the world.
Our model of care mimics the family unit, with two parents and no more than 6-8 children in a household. This type of loving, family-style environment provides opportunities for children to flourish and thrive.
The Becoming Minimalist community has been instrumental in the growth and success of The Hope Effect, and I am so grateful. You have literally contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars. Because of your passion, we are providing family-style care to children in multiple locations in Mexico and Honduras.
- In Chihuahua, Mexico, we are helping expand foster care to provide families for many of the 1,500 children currently living in institutional care in Chihuahua City.
- In Santa Rosa, Honduras, we are providing transitional care to children who are waiting for foster and adoptive families to become available.
- And we are close to obtaining government approval to pioneer our unique model of orphan care in San Luis Río Colorado, a small town in Sonora, Mexico, on the U.S.-Mexico border.
You can learn more about all of our projects here.
This is possible because of you—you are changing the way the world cares for orphans!
And if you’d like to continue to partner with us, you can make a difference in the life of a child… for just one dollar a day.
I’m excited to introduce our Dollar a Day Team—a new opportunity to provide loving, family-style care for orphans in need. What exactly does one dollar a day accomplish? Just one dollar a day opens up a home for an orphan currently in institutional care. One dollar a day provides continued family-style care for that child.
One dollar a day gets a child into a family.
I believe this work is critical—that’s why I am doubling your impact in the month of May! I will match the donations of the first 50 people who join the team, for the first entire year. Minimalism has provided me with so many benefits, including opportunities to practice generosity. Will you join me during the month of May?
The Hope Effect is a 501(c)(3) organization, so your donation is tax-deductible within the U.S. And because we know you want your donation to be used for the reason it was given, you can choose to direct 100% of your gift for orphan care work.
Thank you for embracing the mission of The Hope Effect over the last several years. You are making such a difference in the lives of children in need.
Together, we are changing how the world cares for orphans.
My husband and I would be happy to adopt some of these children, but the cost is prohibitive. If something could be done to change the system so it wouldn’t cost so much, that would be very helpful.
The children you pictured on your post are cute, healthy little girls that anyone would want. The truth is, many of these children have significant problems and do not look as “cute” as the ones pictured. The foster care program uses the same tactic of advertising with cute pictures when the reality is much different.
joshua becker says
The cost of adoption is prohibitive for many. That is one of the reasons only 1% of orphaned children worldwide are adopted into families. That’s one of the reasons for The Hope Effect’s existence. We provide families for children who are not adopted. And yes, that is a cute picture of girls. They are among the children we are currently caring for. Of course, I may be biased, but I think all children are beautiful and deserving of a family.
Jenny Sliger says
HI Joshua – just saw your huge involvement in The Hope Effect. I think all your core values are right on target. I am just wondering why you feel called to reach the orphans in Mexico and Honduras instead of right here in the states? No judgment – just wondering. I’m sure the numbers are staggering wherever you choose to reach and kids are trying to survive anyway they can. I also think it’s terrific you are putting action to your calling! Thanks so much!
joshua becker says
Sure Jenny, thanks for the question.
In 2015, when we decided to start a nonprofit organization with the proceeds from my books, we explored a number of different options – each centered on orphan care because of my wife’s story. Among the needs we discovered, we explored ways to help adoption here in the US and the foster care system in the US (both we continue to financially support).
But our pursuit revealed a problem in developing nations that few people talk about: decades-long research that shows institutional care for young children has damaging effects (stunted development, delayed learning abilities). Most developed nations have overcome this with foster care. But many developing nations have not. This was what we felt called to address. Only 1% of orphaned children worldwide will ever be adopted, so how we care for the remaining 99% matters quite a bit. The Hope Effect raises awareness and has created a reproducible model of orphan care that mimics the family unit (2 parents + 6-8 children raised in a home).
Our passion in this regard does not overlook the needs here in the states. The reality is we need people passionate for children in the US, the UK, Australia, Mexico, Honduras, and everywhere else. There is much work to be done in every corner of the world. Hope that helps Jenny.
laura ann says
Jenny S: We help several group homes in my area, one is an older girls group home, other is boys and girls several miles from me and another in Miss. Homes of Hope in Purvis Ms. near Hattisburg. I know the couple who are house parents (3 sets parents there) as they used to work in one here. I feel if you are in a city large enough for group homes they need to be helped by local folks. Some churches spt them also and businesses hold fund raisers. Some can afford to spt overseas homes also, but most of us cannot go beyond local, esp. retirees (us) w/ medical expenses and/or working couples with debt. and college bills.
If you had a UK link Joshua I would happily make a donation.
joshua becker says
The link above does work internationally. We have supporters from all over the world. If you run into any issues, you can contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.