2022 January Heartbeat
From the Heart
By Tim Baker
Our 26th year of serving some of the most vulnerable children in China is behind us. It’s time to look forward to another new year to see how The Philip Hayden Foundation can further help and support these vulnerable children. One huge takeaway from 2021 has been identifying where and what the needs are. As mentioned in last month’s Heartbeat, state-run orphanages in the cities have been renovated. They also have increased access to medical care and therapy. More caregivers have been trained to provide specialized care to orphans with disabilities.
While this is a step in the right direction, orphan care improvement in rural areas still falls behind. These regions often lack the resources needed to provide the level of care required. On top of that, children living in poverty and unsupported orphans lack a stable upbringing. Many poor parents struggle to make a living, and cannot provide the support needed for their kids. There remains a need for outside help and support to provide for those vulnerable kids.
A Need for Community Social Programs
We have government-provided assistance, charities, and organizations that support struggling families here in the United States. These groups offer help through various programs, providing food, therapy, and specialized education. There are not as many of those community-based programs in China. Many regions of China desperately need these types of community social programs.
Supporting community-based social programs is a new way PHF is helping de facto orphans and special-needs kids in poor communities. Currently, the government provides many of the community social workspaces. But in some areas, local churches or other businesses offer space.
The costs of community-based workspaces are low in poor regions, but they are very effective. For less than $100/month (USD), PHF can fund a social worker in a rural area. This worker will support families with kids who are disabled and de facto orphans. The social worker will be the guiding support between the children and their parents and between the government and society at large. You might say that the social workers are like guardian angels who help bridge the gap, increasing stability to the children’s upbringing.
We’re thankful for those in the community who have opened their doors in providing space for this to occur. It’s definitely a team effort with all of us working together to help the most vulnerable. Thank you for being there with us to improve the lives of these kids.
Meet Our Media Coordinator – Ally!
Allison Jarvis has been the Media Coordinator for The Philip Hayden Foundation since 2018. Her first-hand experience living at Shepherd’s Field Children’s Village and passion for children with disabilities make her a valuable part of our team. Thank you, Ally!
My journey with The Philip Hayden Foundation started in 2011 when my family adopted my sisters Mia Grace and Teagan from China. Mia grew up at Shepherd’s Field Children’s Village, arriving days after birth. I can confidently say that Shepherd’s Field saved Mia’s life. My family is thankful every single day for it. Shepherd’s Field and its sponsors and supporters provided many life-saving surgeries for Mia and treated multiple infections. Her ayis loved her like their very own child. In 2017 my family adopted my sister Lainey from China, and we are still so thankful for how much her ayis cared for her when she lived in China.
I only spent a day at Shepherd’s Field in 2011, but in 2015 I had another opportunity to volunteer at Shepherd’s Field. Our team helped prepare the Vocational Center for more remodeling and loved on the kids as much as possible. I fell in love with this place and was beyond excited to write my name on the guest house wall.
There was one child at Shepherd’s Field who grabbed hold of my heart, Simeon. Simeon was born with Myelomeningocele/hydrocephalus and reminded me of my sister Mia. He had a contagious laugh and the smile to go with it. In 2016 I knew that I had to go back, so I decided to intern on the therapy team for a month.
Instead of on a surface level, I got to know each child as an individual. They were all so accepting and only teased me once and a while because I did not know Chinese. I spent time with Simeon in therapy, getting to know his more mischievous side. He loved to trick me into giving him more and more treats. Each child changed me in a way that I cannot begin to describe. They opened my eyes to the bigger picture of life and the worth of every person.
A Year at Shepherd’s Field Changed Me
The Ayis, staff, and kids at Shepherd’s Field changed me for the better, and so in September of 2017, I moved to China, intending to stay for a year. I worked under the Director of Therapy, who helped guide me through my year there. It was really the kids who taught me! They became my brothers and sisters – and boy did they pick on me like I was their sister. Hector helped me with my Chinese, Cora taught me patience, and Brody showed me what joy really looks like. All the kids showed me unconditional love, and it is a lesson I carry with me to this day.
Working on the therapy team meant that I witnessed the kids accomplish goals that they never thought they could. I remember the therapy team constructing a baseball bat that Charlie could use. Charlie has arthrogryposis and cannot grasp things well. We all went outside to try out his adaptive bat. The therapy ayis and I ended up chasing balls all over the playground while Charlie laughed at us and begged for more.
There were tough times while I lived at Shepherd’s Field Children’s Village, but it could always be remedied by walking into one of the children’s houses. We had the most supportive staff anyone could want. Shepherd’s Field Children’s Village felt like home to many people – the kids, ayis, workers, staff, interns, volunteers, and visitors!
In August 2018, the children were all recalled to their home provinces. After they all journeyed back to their home provinces, the PHF staff did not stop caring for the long-term wellbeing of each child. We continued to advocate and provide for those kiddos the best we could. And now we have widened our mission to children in Asia who need support to thrive – One at a Time Asia.
After moving back to the States in 2019, I continued leading social media for PHF to stay connected to the place that I loved so much. Over three years later, I still work for the PHF in communication and social media. If you contact PHF through Facebook or Instagram, you will reach me!
This is not just a job to me; it is a passion for advocating for orphans’ value as individuals and spreading that message to everyone around us.
– Ally Jarvis
Year End Planning
Have you moved? Prefer to receive your year-end contribution statement by email? Email Lori.Baxter@chinaorphans.org and let me know! Statements are sent out the third week in January by mail. Update your records now by visiting our self service portal at chinaorphans.org/contact-us. You will need to provide your email address to log in. You can even check your donation history while you are logged in!
If you prefer, call Lori at PHF at 866-526-3712 or email her directly. Your donations make a difference in the life of an orphan in China.
Access Your Account Online
Great News! We have updated our online donation system, and you now can access your account online. For your security, you will need to request access through a link on our website here. You’ll be asked to provide your email address, and a link will be sent to you. For your security, that link is only good for 24 hours. But you can access your account as often as you want.
Use your self-service page to:
- Update your physical address
- Update your email address
- Change your online donations
- View your donation history
- Print receipts for past donations
If you have any questions, please email Lori.Baxter@chinaorphans.org.