Caring for orphans and at-risk children is innate in any compassionate person. If you are a Christian, God clearly mandates to care for orphans in the Bible.
However, I think that many people ignore the call to care for orphans and at-risk children because they are not ready or able to adopt or give foster care. If adoption or foster care are not an option, then what can a person do?
Here are a few suggestions. Be warned, after reading this, you might not have an excuse to not care for orphaned and at-risk children.
Make it a priority to pray.
Praying for orphans will open your heart to God’s compassionate heart. God will show to you ways that you can care for these children.
Donate money to an adoption fund.
Two adoption funds that I am familiar with is ABBA Fund and Lifesong for Orphans. A fund such as these raises money to give interest free loans. It can easily cost 20 to 30 thousand dollars for a private domestic or international adoption.
Provide items to a foster family or a family who has recently adopted.
In our case, we were not ready for an eight-month-old foster placement. Thankfully, several families provided many necessary items. Foster children usually arrive at their foster home with very few, if any, clothes, toys, etc.
Provide respite for a foster family.
Foster care is exhausting. In addition to caring for the child, the foster family is responsible for getting the child to parent visits, counseling and doctor appointments, possibly court hearings, etc. A babysitter for a foster child had to meet certain requirements set by the state.
Volunteer as a CASA.
Court Appointed Special Advocate. A CASA volunteer advocates for a foster child for as long as the child remains in foster care. In many cases, the CASA volunteer is the only person that has the child’s best interest in mind.
Volunteer at a children’s home.
Many children are in group homes because the family placed them their. Some of these children rarely see their families, yet they are never legally available for adoption. Even though they are safe and cared for, they can benefit greatly by having a family “adopt” them.
Mentor a child.
Many schools have a mentorship program. Even if a child has one parent, they are still at-risk. The meaning of the word—Orphan is “fatherless.” How many children do you know are fatherless? A mentor can provide encouragement and support that might be missing from home.
This is not an all-inclusive list. There are many ways to care for orphan and at-risk children without adopting or providing foster care. The question is whether you notice that these children need you.
I am a longtime Austinite. Married my beautiful wife over 25 years ago. Adopted our son September 2012. Currently a writer and loving it. Previous jobs and careers include project management, missionary, and pastor. I enjoy sports (both watching and playing), traveling, reading, digging in dirt and hanging with my friends and family.