The United Methodist Church does not have “adopt-a-child” programs that promise photos and letters from “your child.” The denomination believes there are more effective ways to help children in need around the world.
Moreover, “adopt-a-child” programs can be expensive and detrimental to children.
Adopt-a-child programs cost money: to advertise, to coordinate a process to help you select “your” child, to send you photos of “your” child and to hire translators to translate “your" child’s letters.
Adopt-a-child programs can hurt children. A missionary who volunteered at an orphanage recalls that when an “adopted” child received toys or clothes from a sponsor, other children became jealous and sad because they weren’t “special enough” to have a sponsor.
The United Methodist Church offers The Advance, a designated-giving channel that supports ministries for people of all ages around the world. One hundred percent of every donation through The Advance goes to the project the giver chooses. Donations through The Advance to a children’s ministry support many children instead of just one.
These ministries, unlike many personal adopt-by-mail programs, are designed to support both the child and the entire family structure.
Basic to this program are the following objectives:
1. To enable institutions to provide services such as food, medicine and education.
2. To promote the “support,” not the “adoption,” of children.
3. To ensure that 100 percent of all contributions through The Advance goes directly to the ministry designated by the contributor.
4. To keep administrative and promotional costs well under 10 percent and funded through one Great Hour of Sharing (for the United Methodist Committee on Relief) and the World Service Fund.
To learn more about The Advance and to support children around the world, go to www.advancinghope.org
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