WHY ARE WE CHANGING THE NAME FROM WBOC TO KINSHIP UNITED?
1. CLARITY OF PURPOSE: For years we have been building local relationships with tribes, clans, villagers, and displaced refugees worldwide and helping them work together to care for the orphans and widows in their communities. Every project involves a church and dorms for unaccompanied children. Starting with a rescue effort, the next step is raising the children or placing them with family. From there we help the churches begin a multitude of outreach programs to bring people together for the betterment of the whole village. God has blessed us with ideas and techniques that have transformed thousands of lives and restored thousands of childhoods in Christ.
We have realized for some time now that we needed to bring more clarity to our constituents, field staff, volunteers, and government officials in a dozen countries. We’ve considered over one hundred names, and the idea of “kinship” has stuck in every country in which we work. Kinship emphasizes the power of togetherness and its ability to heal and empower people. Therefore, we’ve chosen the name Kinship United because that is what makes us whole. Throughout the Bible we are described as the Children of God. We are believers and stand in kinship with Christ in the eyes of our Heavenly Father. It is His will that we “love one another.” The path to serving Him in what He has called us to do is kinship. Kinship United.
Is Kinship United still a 501(c)3 charitable organization?
Yes. We maintain the same non-profit status and tax-exempt number as we did under Warm Blankets Orphan Care. Your gifts are still fully tax deductible.
Does Kinship United still have a 4-Star rating with Charity Navigator?
Yes. Our rating from Warm Blankets Orphan Care carries over, and our commitment to transparency and accountability continues.
Will the Home or Project I support stay the same?
Yes! Church Orphan Homes will now be known as “Kinship Homes” and all projects will remain the same.
Will anything change besides the name?
The new name is in response to what we have already found to be most successful in the field. Our goal is still to rescue and care for orphans and widows. We believe that when we focus on restoring an entire kinship and bringing them together with the Gospel, caring for orphans and widows is a natural, and healthy, outcome.
When will this be promoted to the public?
Our new website: www.kinshipunited.org, will debut November 1st, and you’ll start to see promotions and information in the press then.
Who do I make my check out to?
Whether you donate to Warm Blankets Orphan Care or Kinship United, we will be able to process your gift and get it where you’d like it to go.
How will I get my gift receipts?
Until January 1st, 2016, gift receipts will still be sent from Warm Blankets Orphan Care as we transition.
2. THE CHILDREN COME FIRST: The orphaned, fostered, and displaced children are growing up. They always express their gratitude for the chance to have a real childhood in a huge family atmosphere. Here’s the rub: They don’t see themselves as orphans. They have kinship brothers and sisters in Christ. They don’t want to be singled out in school and local communities as orphans. They tell us they were teased and hassled. Sometimes they felt like they were pitied even though they had a wonderful family with 25 kin in a great home. Even when they grow up, they say they are still referred to as “the orphans”.
They all love the idea of belonging to a Kinship and being the children of the Kinship. To some, belonging to a local Kinship entitled them to be part of every church home we’ve ever built around the world. For some of you who are connected to your Kinships, you’ll soon see they see you as part of their Kinship family as well. (Confession: We have to admit, we have been praying that they would feel the spirit of togetherness that the name Kinship implies, but we had no idea they would react with so much enthusiasm worldwide. Thank you, Lord).
3. BLANKETS DON'T PLAY AN IMPORTANT PART IN THE MINISTRY: Contributors and mission pastors consistently misunderstand our name to mean we give blankets to orphans. People generously ship us blankets, send the kids blankets, try to sell us blankets, and ask us for blankets. In addition, dozens of times over the years we have been turned down for funding on the basis that the funding foundation thought our main mission was to give blankets to orphans. With Kinship United, we can come together and resolve any confusion.
4. SYNERGY WITH FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS AND UN: There are places overseas where large group orphan care is viewed as negative. Governments who license our Founders to care for children need clarification that our solutions are much different than anything they see as risky or threatening. In many situations, authorities will request that we find a better way to depict our mission. They recognize our value and appreciate the fact that we are redefining ourselves so as not to jeopardize their government programs. In certain cases, the orphan care solutions they see are actually hurting more than helping. For example:
a. Poorly-funded and inexperienced care models result in institutional third world systems that have hundreds of kids in a dingy building where they are raised in an atmosphere of heavy handed discipline and persecution.
b. Some use orphanages as a way to traffic or sell children into forced labor, prostitution, or even to supply revenue though legal adoptions.
c. In some situations, displaced or roaming children are actually housed in jails.
All of these issues are non-existent in our model, which is embedded in a Christian Church where the first priority is to reunite children with their families. Where reunification isn’t possible, we care for and bring up the children based on Biblical principles. The United Nations refers to our care model as “Kinship Care” because we prioritize the value of foster family and local family adoption when that is possible.
5. RECASTING OUR VISION: One important aspect that has revealed itself strongly this year is the positive attitude of the field staff. The clarity of the meaning of “kinship” has really sunk in, and it gives all the leaders and their staff purpose. It has changed the intensity of their involvement with the villages and children. It is well accepted by the church pastors, and the name by itself casts a vision of strength.
In reality, it is we who are realizing the power of our purpose. In almost every tragic and poverty-stricken area where we serve, they already have a proverbial sense of the ancient axiom, “It takes a whole village ...” All they need is some help from the rest of the Kinship around the world so they can recover and belong to each other once more.