This is the fourth edition in our blog series surrounding The Hope Effect’s values, based on six orphan care standards: 1) Family, 2) Excellence, 3) Spirituality, 4) Preparation, 5) Sustainability, and 6) Innovation.
We value education, self-discipline, work ethic, and healthcare as the foundation for kids to succeed in life.
Growing up, I was fortunate to be part of a large family. There were 6 children – 5 girls and me. My parents worked tirelessly to provide a roof over our heads in a quiet neighborhood with a good school just over the back fence. We were encouraged to work hard, participate in sports, excel in school, be independent, and contribute to our local community.
As I reflect on my childhood, I’m amazed by what my parents accomplished. Although we had a big family, my parents treated each of us uniquely, as if we were the only child. In my younger years, I was pigeon-toed. My feet turned in, causing me to walk funny and limiting my mobility. I still remember the long drive to the specialty doctor and shoe store to get me outfitted with braces and undergo physical therapy.
Throughout that process, I never heard my father complain about the cost of the treatment or the time it took away from his day. Instead, he would constantly tell me that I could do anything I set my mind to. In so doing, he turned those negative circumstances into positive teaching opportunities – preparing me for my future.
My dad is not one for sharing emotions, but I often wonder how he felt when I signed the papers accepting my Division 1 scholarship for cross country. I may have been born pigeon-toed, but my parents must have known I was also born to run. Without their efforts, who knows what my life would be like today.
Like many of us, I took for granted most of what I had as a child: loving parents, a supportive family, nutritious food, a quality education, and access to health care. We often overlook the significance of these blessings – especially when they have been ours since birth. But if you are a parent, you know the sacrifices and the intentional choices you make every day to mold, develop, and steer your children into the best possible future.
When a child is orphaned, this part of parenting often is lost. If an orphaned child is lucky, their basic needs will be met. But very few will reap the benefits that come from being in a family with parents who are doing everything they can to prepare them for the future.
That’s why, at The Hope Effect, we structure our care like a family so we can lovingly prepare children who enter our care with the same amount of effort each of us take with our own children. We seek to provide the best education possible, instill self-discipline and a strong work ethic, secure the right healthcare, and model the importance of living life in service to others. These are the foundational blessings needed to prepare children to thrive in the future – and we seek to provide all of them for every child.
There are only two values left! Be on the lookout for our next blog post, which will dive deeper into our value of Innovation!