Thursday, May 1, 2008

Our Unsung Heroes: CHAPS Volunteers

Being a member of CHAPs (Children’s Hope Associate Partners) is one way our families give back. Our CHAPs program is now over 300 families strong, in 45 states across the country! Our volunteers act as reference families for Children’s Hope, sharing their adoption story and experience with people in their state. They are a welcome local source of support to those making the decision for international adoption.

Our volunteers also attend Children’s Hope adoption information meetings, greeting families with their wonderful stories of adoption, and their beautiful children! Many have met individually with couples and singles to share their story over coffee. Our volunteers have drawn on their creative talents to create library displays as well, and some have attended adoption fairs representing Children’s Hope.

Jonah and Andrea Cope at a St. Louis information meeting for prospective parents, joined by 17-month-old Lilia (adopted from Russia in August 2007) and their son Caleb
Another group of volunteers hosts CHAPs adoption information meetings. This dynamic and dedicated group hosted a total of 52 meetings in 2007, with over 300 people attending. What better way to learn of the care and commitment a family will receive in the hands of Children’s Hope than through a family that has already experienced it? The draw of a CHAPs meeting is just that - the ability to meet a local adoptive family and their children who have "been there, done that" successfully. And the impact is huge!

This past year, we have had 31 families come to Children’s Hope to adopt after attending a CHAPs meeting. Thirty one children will have the special gift of a forever family because of your efforts!

We have many, many unsung heroes, and this is my way of saying “Thank You” for your heart and dedication! Hats off to you, our CHAPs volunteers, who are making a real difference in the lives of others, by making the dream of a family a reality for both families and children. You are truly a blessing to Children’s Hope in our mission to bring Hope to Children…Keep up the good work!

God bless you richly,
Ginny Burkhart
CHAPs Coordinator


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