Every Child Counts

As a small child, I once asked my father, “What is the worst thing in the world?” He thought about it for a moment and then slowly replied, “A child… cold, hungry, and afraid; completely alone in the world. That is the worst thing.”  I have never forgotten his words. As the Chairman of Love Without Boundaries, each day I see stories of children experiencing the worst thing in the world – child after child enduring the unthinkable, with little hope for the future.

But then I see a worldwide community of people coming together and changing the lives of these children. Step by step, they make the impossible possible. Through their passion, fortitude, and creativity, they steadily change the worst thing in the world into a better thing – and sometimes the best thing in the world. 

LWB’s 2017 Impact Report describes the multiple projects and places worldwide where we are currently helping children and families. As you look at the faces, stories, and numbers, we ask you to consider investing some of your time and love in these children.  We know you will not be disappointed.

Dan Ellsbury, MD  
Chairman, Love Without Boundaries

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”
Anne Frank

Healing Success

Griffin has proven himself a “tiny warrior,” overcoming the most difficult beginnings. Abandoned in critical condition with an often deadly infection called NEC, he was severely malnourished and clinging to life. Without emergency medical care, he would not have survived. 

After spending two months in the hospital, Griffin came to our Heartbridge Healing Home weighing just over 5 pounds at 3 months of age. With lots of nurturing care from our nannies, by the end of 2017 he had more than doubled his weight and was charming everyone with his sunny disposition. His transformation was only possible because of our supporters, and we give thanks that his whole future is now ahead of him.

Key Numbers 

623 children helped medically, with 210 surgeries (84 cleft, 79 general, 47 heart)  
100% of rural families who applied to our Unity Initiative for needed surgery received assistance
7 countries where LWB provided medical care: Cambodia, China, India, Mongolia, Myanmar, Uganda, and Ukraine

Foster Care Success

Because we believe so strongly that no child should grow up in an institution, LWB remains fully committed to providing family-based care for orphaned children like Kenley. Born prematurely, Kenley was critically ill before entering our foster care program in China. With her very own mom and dad to watch over her, Kenley truly bloomed. Rather than spending her days in a crib, like far too many orphaned children, Kenley took daily walks with her mother, charmed the shopkeepers at the local market, and began playing each day with the neighborhood children. Even more importantly, she formed a deep and secure attachment to her foster family. The emotional connections formed in foster care can impact a child for a lifetime. When Kenley was chosen in the fall of 2017 for domestic adoption, her early childhood bonds helped ease her transition to her permanent, forever home.

Key Numbers

15 programs (13 in China, 2 in Cambodia)
201 children in foster care
32 adoptions
6 children in Safe Haven foster care reunited with family

Education Success

Peter is 18 years old and lives in the rural countryside of western Cambodia with his single mother and two sisters. Because of the immense poverty in this region, families often send their children to work instead of school. Over 95% of children here never graduate. Peter knew this pressure well, as his own sisters had dropped out at an early age to work in a factory. Our team kept encouraging him, however, that the surest way out of poverty is through education. Peter set a goal for himself to not only graduate high school but to one day attend university. He’d wake every morning at 5 a.m. to do odd jobs and help his mom before walking over an hour on muddy roads to the nearest school. He’d work again in the evenings and then stay up late every night doing homework and studying. We were honored to provide educational support and tutoring to Peter, and this determined young man became one of the few in his town to pass the national college entrance exam. Peter is now a first year student at the University of Management and Economics on a full LWB scholarship. He’s inspiring a whole new generation of children that with focus and hard work, they too can achieve their dreams.

Key Numbers

735 children enrolled in LWB education programs
School enrollment for children in Sokhem Village rose from 8% to 80% in just one year
19 full college scholarships offered to Cambodian youth
100% of children working at a local dump site now enrolled in school
1st NGO to bring high speed internet and wifi to Rangsei Village
Of the 36 high school students LWB supported in Cambodia, 29 are the first in their family to reach their current grade

Nutrition Success

When LWB began work in remote Sokhem Village, Cambodia, we quickly learned of a multitude of challenges faced by the children here, including extreme poverty and chronic hunger. Families in this village struggle daily, often living without access to water or electricity. Many of the children are “left behind” as their parents cross the border searching for work, leaving them even more vulnerable to undernutrition. When we first met 10-year-old Finley, her height and weight didn’t register on a growth chart, and she was suffering from Kwashiorkor, a severe protein malnutrition evidenced by her physical stunting and blonde hair. After receiving a daily hot lunch through our school nutrition program, Finley gained a remarkable 11 pounds over a ten month period.

Key Numbers

62,000 bottles of nutritious formula for orphaned babies
50,000+ hot meals served to hungry children
2,640 specialized cleft bottles distributed in China
400 chickens, 14 beehives, and 2 cows gifted for sustainable nutrition
100% of babies and children in Sokhem Village, Cambodia now receiving improved nutrition

Special Projects Success

There are many special projects that LWB takes on each year to impact the lives of orphaned and rural children. One of the projects we were most grateful for this year was our “Bring Water, Bring Hope” campaign, to help children in a remote Ugandan village. The children here live high on a mountain and have to walk several hours each day, down a dangerous rocky path, to get water. We researched many ways to help a make a difference in their lives, and village leaders agreed that rainwater harvesting could have a big impact on their community. We set a goal to provide 100 family water units to children in the village and were thrilled to exceed that goal. In all, 114 family water tanks were installed. One mom of eight told our team that all her children had to work so hard to collect water, not only for their own large family but for their elderly grandma. Now she has new hope for her little girl. “This one is not going to spend her life fetching water, ” she said. “This one’s coming to study.”

Key Numbers

4,500 toys distributed to orphanages
2,500 shoes given in rural villages
2,300 clothes for orphaned children
1,150 solar lights for families without electricity
1,000 warm coats delivered to kids in need

Julia Bennett is one of the amazing LWB volunteers who give their time and talents each day to make sure that the children in our programs get the best care possible. Julia is mom to five wonderful children: Alyssa (9), Brooke (7), Josiah (5), Drew (5), and Michael (5). When her son Josiah was born with cerebral palsy, Julia and her husband then opened their hearts to special needs adoption. Drew and Michael came home from China shortly after, giving them instant triplets. Julia says that raising kids with physical needs and from hard places has given her a firsthand look at how resilient children can be. Julia’s dedication to helping children around the world was clearly evident this past fall when Hurricane Harvey seriously flooded their home in Houston. Even as they were evacuating to their second story to keep safe from the rising waters, she was emailing to say she was still watching over the Cambodian  school program she manages. Julia says, “The truth is that volunteering with LWB is such a great reminder that so many of us all around the world overcome great challenges every single day. We were made to help one another, and I think it brings real healing to be able to help others even in our own time of need.”

Key Numbers

149 volunteers
9 countries  (Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Ireland, Singapore, Spain, UK, USA)
799 total years of service 
54% of our volunteers have 5 or more years of service

Julia was born with bilateral cleft lip and palate and lived in an orphanage the first three years of her life. After being adopted to the US, she learned that someone had  sponsored her cleft surgery in China. She decided she wanted to “pay it forward” to help other children like herself. Julia raised funds by selling candy at sporting events, and with the proceeds she was able to sponsor operations for two orphaned babies. Determined to help even more children received the surgeries they need, Julia has continued her efforts with our online fundraising platform. Julia says, “My community is not just my hometown, but also my brothers and sisters living in orphanages in China and in other parts of the world. I hope I can bring a smile ("weixiao") to their faces. It is my goal to keep helping these children.”

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While LWB is not an adoption agency, we passionately believe that every orphaned child deserves a permanent family of his or her own.  We encourage every orphanage we assist to file paperwork on the kids under their guardianship, and we advocate for those children to be chosen for adoption. We were overjoyed to see so many of the children in our programs find permanent homes in 2017, both domestically and internationally.  Little Hazel, who received heart surgery, healing home care, and specialized nutrition with LWB, is just one of the beautiful children who is orphaned no more.

LWB’s projects have the primary purpose of impacting the lives of children, but the ripple effects into the local communities are broad as well.  In Cambodia, for example, we’ve hired widows and single mothers to serve as foster moms, cooks, and nannies, allowing them to work with dignity in their own villages and provide for their families.

“My name is Som. I’m 46 years old. I have three children, all boys. I would like to tell you about my story and the progress that LWB brought to my life. My husband left us when my children were quite small, taking everything we owned and leaving me with nothing. I had to work hard on the cassava farm every day to feed my sons, but many days we still don’t have food to eat. It was so hard to find a local job because of the poverty in this region. My children don’t go to school because they have to follow me place to place as I search for work. I finally decided I had to take the risky chance to cross into Thailand, even though I knew it could be dangerous. We packed up and were ready to leave when I learned LWB was interviewing for foster moms to care for children. I’m so excited to work with this job because I’ve always loved children, and the director told me my warm care could change their lives.  I’ve also seen my own life transformed, because now with a stable job, all my children can finally go to school and get the food they need to be healthy. I would like to say thank you to those helping our poor community and for believing in me to be a foster mom. I promise to watch over the children carefully and love them as my own.”

We’re proud of how LWB uses donor funds. From our most recent audited financial statements:

While we love looking back on what was accomplished this past year, LWB’s always moving forward with fresh and exciting projects for children around the world. We’re working on new collaborations in 2018 for every program area, following three guiding principles which never leave our minds:

Be authentic: We’ll never try to wow you with smoke and mirrors on what we’re trying to accomplish. We value honest communication with our donors, and we pledge to “keep it real” when it comes to our work.

Be ethical: Working with vulnerable children means we have to carefully consider how all our actions impact their lives. For any new project, the needs and safety of the children always come first.

Be passionate: There are lots of people in the charity world who seem to have forgotten why they got involved in the first place. That’s not LWB.  We work every day to bring hope to hurting kids because we believe with every fiber of our being that regardless of where they’re born, their lives have immeasurable worth. Until no child is hungry, cold, or alone...this crucial work must continue.         

Be bold with us. Your donation to LWB is a direct investment in a child’s future. What are you waiting for?  Let’s change lives together.

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