November is National Adoption Month, and a national media and radio effort is combining efforts within the faith-based community and beyond to raise interest and excitement about caring for orphans among over 25 million people.
In particular, the "Cry of the Orphan" campaign is working to provide families with resources and tools to help them take the "next step" in their adoption journey as research indicates that some 30 percent of American families have considered adopting, but no more than 2 percent of Americans have actually adopted.
"As an adoptive parent, I know that the first steps in the adoption process can be a bit overwhelming," said Paul Pennington of FamilyLife's Hope for Orphans and one of the leaders of the Cry of the Orphan campaign.
"As we went through our adoption process initially, we discovered there was a lack of resources and direction about adoption and orphan care written from a biblical worldview," continued Pennington, who has adopted five children. "Cry of the Orphan seeks to provide that guidance – connecting families with organizations and resources that can help them along their adoption journey."
A key part of this effort is CryoftheOrphan.org, which has tapped into the extensive resources of FamilyLife, Focus on the Family, Shaohannah's Hope, and the organizations involved in the Christian Alliance for Orphans. CryoftheOrphan.org is designed to help people learn about the many opportunities to help the more than half-million children in U.S. foster care and the world's 130 million orphans.
Along with tips and tools to help people care for orphans and better understand God's heart on this issue, CryoftheOrphan.org is also providing more ways to explore the plight of the orphan, including an updated directory of organizations involved, a Google Earth exploration tool, and facts and stories that offer inspiration and instruction on responding to the orphan crisis.
Offline, Cry of the Orphan is also reaching out with a special weeklong media blitz focused on the orphan crisis. Next week, popular radio hosts Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family and Dennis Rainey of FamilyLife Today will be among several media outlets planning to devote their daily broadcasts and combine their organizations' resources to show people how they can play an important role in responding to the world's 130 million orphans.
"Encompassing news stories, email blasts, radio broadcasts and PSA's within the national blitz, this year's campaign is projected to reach over 25 million people with combined efforts within the faith-based community and beyond," reports Shaohannah's Hope, founded by award-winning musician Steven Curtis Chapman.
The "Cry of the Orphan" Campaign is projected to surpass last year's successful campaign, which reached over 15 million people. Themed "You are God's Plan for the Orphan," this year's campaign has already been endorsed by First Lady Laura Bush.
"I have visited children in orphanages around the world," says Bush in her public endorsement of Cry of the Orphan. "And what each of these children has in common is the desire for a family to love and to call their own."
The First Lady has urged Americans to make a "profound difference" in a child's life through adoption, mentoring a foster youth, or starting a ministry for orphan children at their church.
"To learn more about how you can help orphaned and foster children, please visit www.cryoftheorphan.org," she concluded.
This year's Cry of the Orphan campaign represents the third year for this targeted awareness campaign aimed at educating and motivating Christians to action.
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