The New Year is here, and we’re all looking for ways to improve our lives. Why not look for ways to improve the lives of others, too?
Here are 10 ways you can get involved with Buckner and help orphans, vulnerable children and families in 2015.
1. Collect shoes for orphans and vulnerable children in the U.S. and around the world.
With the help of our supporters across the United States, last year we distributed 184,567 pairs of new shoes to children in need. Help us do even more in 2015 by signing up to host a shoe drive in your church, organization, business or community. We provide all the materials you need, including posters, fliers, DVDs and press releases to help make your shoe drive a success! Learn more at buckner.org/shoes.
Why shoes? Many orphans receive old, hand-me-down shoes and have never had anything new to call their own. The cost of shoes is often a large burden on families living in poverty – the money they would have spent on a pair of shoes may go instead to putting food on the table. By giving new shoes, you help a child know they are loved and special.
2. Volunteer with Buckner programs throughout Texas.
Using your unique skills and talents to make someone else’s life better will make you feel great, too! We have a wide variety of volunteer needs throughout the state: you can plant flowers on our campus, drive foster youth to appointments, mentor a single parent, help a struggling child with homework, teach a class, sort donations and much more. Learn more about volunteer opportunities here.
3. Be a family through foster care or adoption.
Do you have room in your home and heart for a child who may never have known the love of family? There are many options for individuals and couples to be a family through foster care, foster-to-adopt, CPS adoptions, domestic infant adoptions and international adoptions. Scholarship support, grants and tax credits go a long way in making this option a reality for your family. Learn more about foster care and adoption through Buckner at www.beafamily.org. Or give us a call at 1-855-264-8783 and we’ll help you learn about your options.
4. Go on a mission trip.
There are many opportunities to serve orphans and vulnerable children internationally or in the United States through short-term mission trips with Buckner. Churches, organizations and individuals are finding a renewed sense of purpose through one to two-week trips delivering humanitarian aid, leading Vacation Bible School, building homes, providing medical treatment and more.
5. Sort shoes at the Buckner Center for Humanitarian Aid.
We rely on volunteers every week to sort and process shoes and humanitarian aid coming in and out of our warehouse. It’s fun and easy for adults and children, and especially great for large groups. You’ll even have the opportunity to write notes to put inside the shoes orphans and vulnerable children will receive throughout the coming year. You'll find everything you need to know about sorting shoes here.
6. Sponsor or participate in a special event.
Buckner hosts a number of special events in communities across Texas, including our annual golf tournaments, sporting clays shoots, luncheons, concerts and more! Look for opportunities to sponsor an event through your company, or to participate in an event, on our events website.
7. Serve with Project Go.
Project Go is a unique missions opportunity for college students and young adults who want to make a lasting impact in the lives of people around the world. Students can choose to spend one to two months of their summer serving in one of eight locations: the Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Kenya, Mexico, Peru, Russia or the Rio Grande Valley, Texas. Click here to learn more.
Partner with us in prayer to support the work Buckner does every day around the world. Here are some specific ways you can pray for us:
- Pray for children in foster care and in orphanages, who long to know the love of a family. Pray that God will comfort them, protect them and be near to them, and that his will for their lives would be accomplished.
- Pray for our foster and adoptive families who work so hard to love children who come from hard places of abuse or neglect. Pray that they would persevere through the hard and thankless moments and rejoice in the breakthroughs and sweet times.
- Pray for the single parents in our Family Transition Programs who are working hard to balance parenting, taking classes, working, studying and in many cases recovering from the scars of abusive relationships or past hurts. Pray that God would be near to them and give them healing, peace and guidance.
- Pray for our volunteers, whose dedicated service is so valuable and appreciated. Pray that they will continue to pour into the ministry and lives of the people they serve.
- Pray for Buckner staff members in the field who are doing hands-on ministry every day in foster care and adoption, Family Hope Centers, Family Transition Programs and senior living communities. Pray that they will have the strength and endurance to do the work set before them with joy and excellence.
- Pray for our leadership, that they would be filled with the Spirit of wisdom as they make plans and decisions for Buckner now and in the years to come.
The generous financial support of donors makes ministry possible. Consider giving Where Needed Most, so that gifts can be applied immediately to the most urgent needs throughout all our ministries. Click here to donate now.
10. Follow and share.
Buckner is on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. Follow us, and like and share the posts that resonate with you. Your support through social media will spread the word about Buckner to your friends and family, helping further our mission to transform the lives of orphans, vulnerable children, families and senior adults.
What are you going to do to help orphans, vulnerable children and families in 2015? Tell us about it in the comments below.