Frequently Asked Questions
Kinship United is a non-profit Christian mission, dedicated to the rescue and care of orphans and widows in the developing world. Our mission is to unite people separated by war and tragedy, rebuild loving families for orphans and widows, and create networks of local churches and rescue centers. We provide holistic care to orphans in the context of a family environment; through our effective Kinship Project model, they are raised to be Disciples of Christ and leaders in their generation.
1. Family reunification and Kinship Care: It is in the best interest of an orphaned child to stay in a family, either with a remaining parent or extended family members, who can care for them. When there is no biological family willing to care for the child, the community of a Kinship Project, located in or close to the village where the child grew up, provides the best environment for care.
2. Orphans and widows together: It is best for children to have emotional and physical needs met by adults who love them. Where appropriate, the Kinship Project pastor and his wife share this job with local widows in the community, so that at least every 5 children have one adult caregiver.
3. Healing and restoration: Children with trauma or attachment issues can find healing through emotional bonding with a caregiver, especially a widow, and through the therapeutic experience of joining in worship services. We do not promote individual child sponsorships, as that can impede the attachment process to caregivers. Rather, we encourage whole Kinship Project sponsorship.
4. Accountability and transparency: A Kinship Project provides the best care for children when the caregivers are completely open and transparent with other church leaders and staff, and those who contribute financially.
5. Cooperation, not competition: Kinship United can help more children more efficiently when we cooperate and coordinate with other ministries in the field, emphasizing local needs, local resources, and local ownership of outcomes.
1. Government agencies, sponsors, the medical community, and other agencies require an enormous amount of documentation in caring for orphans. Kinship United has developed comprehensive methodologies and software to facilitate these required processes.
2. Our goal in all countries is to train nationals to do the work necessary to create and maintain records. This gives older children job skills. It is a wonderful way to get people in a position that serves the Lord while they are learning job skills that may start them on a life-long career. To do this, Kinship United has both domestic and international personnel who train locals at the local level in the competencies necessary to make the overall operation as self-sufficient as possible. The by-product of the training is that we can sometimes complete the work at a significantly reduced cost.
3. We have developed software solutions to make it easier for non-English speaking nationals to gather critical medical, demographic and epidemiological information in the field and send it back to the USA.
4. Kinship United supports individuals and teams that go into the field to train indigenous persons in the skills needed to maintain the infrastructures required to care for the children and support the work of the churches.
As a Christian organization, Kinship United is non-denominational and works with many different churches and denominations. The organization is grounded in the scripture verse of James 1:27, which reads: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” Our emphasis is on working with organizations that plant churches to be used both as a church and a home.
Religious affiliation is in no way considered a criteria for helping orphans and others in need. Children from all faiths are welcomed and accepted into Kinship Projects. Relief efforts, such as humanitarian food aid and urgent medical treatment, are provided as part of Kinship Projects when possible and are given to suffering humans regardless of faith, nationality, and beliefs, except where governmental restrictions prevent us from doing so.
Orphans live completely dependent upon our ability to serve their needs (i.e. housing, schooling, food, loving care, etc.)…just like your family! You can help them by contributing your time, talents, and resources. Sponsors help the most in these areas:
2. Programs and special projects: By choosing areas of need, such as the building or funding of projects related to septic systems, wells, vehicles, kitchens, emergency medical funds, bunk beds, etc., you affect the most basic issues of the boys and girls in the Kinship Project(s) you help.
3. General operating funds: Without faithful donors or grants to cover our operation costs, our growth will stagnate. Our core system and infrastructure depend on it. This is the hardest money for Kinship United to raise. We send 100% of all designated funds directly to children’s programs and homes. That is made possible by givers who know the importance of tight controls and accountability that is maintained through the General Operating Fund. Operating expenses is not the most glamorous place to give, so we want to acknowledge the people and organizations who contribute their time, talent, and resources so that others are blessed with a chance to serve the orphans and widows in specific ways.
4. Prayer: Kinship United has a formal prayer list for orphans that may be obtained by request. In addition, we ask that you pray for the church pastors, field personnel, and villagers whose response to the Holy Spirit brings a childhood to a child who might not have had one otherwise.
It is vital that you understand and are confident that 100% of the money you send is going directly to the Kinship Project or designated area you choose to support. None of it goes to cover overhead costs; your contributions are purely dedicated to your Kinship Project or designated giving area. Kinship United is committed to giving you the opportunity to see the extraordinary return on one of the greatest investments you will ever make. To make this possible, we work with other generous contributors and foundations that provide support for Kinship United.
Once in a while we receive more contributions for a given area of need than can be wisely applied. When this happens, we apply those funds where they are most urgently needed.
Yes, your gifts to Kinship United are tax-deductible. Kinship United is a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization recognized by the IRS. All gifts are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. Whether or not your gifts are deductible on your tax return may depend on your financial situation and the tax forms you use.
Based on pilot programs developed in Cambodia, Kinship Projects follow a strict model where the children’s home is designed for multiple uses. The buildings are designed with the children’s safety as our primary concern. Sleeping and privacy quarters for the children and caregivers are separate from public areas used for church services, music, or worship. In addition, the facility may serve the local village in other ways, such as serving as a community training center. In some cases, the Kinship Projects have been used as temporary medical treatment centers for surrounding villages.
Children from all faiths are welcomed and accepted into Kinship Projects. No child who needs help is ever turned away from a Kinship Project because of their spiritual beliefs.
In the areas of the world where the incidence of orphans is high, the value of life and human rights is low. Poverty is rampant and corruption is common. This combination of circumstances sets the stage for the unthinkable practice of child trafficking. In many of the countries in which we work, the selling of babies for “adoption” to US citizens is a multimillion-dollar business.
According to one of Cambodia’s largest human rights organizations, the League for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights (Licadho), the moneymaking potential in foreign adoptions is so great that it has inspired a network of unofficial ”recruiters” who scour neighborhoods in search of young children. These recruiters often manipulate birth mothers with lies or false promises, in addition to cash, in order to get them to turn over their children.
For Kinship United to be effective, we have to be above reproach about caring for true orphans. In order to keep children in their native land and growing up in their own culture, it is important that we give long-term care where needed, and when possible, reunite families.
After over twenty years of reviving villages and restoring childhoods with devoted contributors like you, we’ve received some of the highest reviews and ratings from major watchdog organizations, such as Charity Navigator, Better Business Bureau, ECFA, Christian Service Charities, Excellence in Giving, and GuideStar.
Yes, absolutely. Simply sign-in with your username and password to view your account information on our website.
Yes we do. We know you’re busy, and we’ll assume all of the responsibility for the final draft of your presentation in PowerPoint or online and prepare it for your approval. We have on-staff communicators who are trained in photography and videography with sophisticated equipment in our overseas locations.
Definitely. No more answering services! Everyone has a phone on their desk so you should never find yourself talking to a machine. Except perhaps at lunch time!
Yes, we are a 501(c)(3) charitable organization recognized by the Internal Revenue Service. All of our financial information is readily available and easily accessible on our Financial Integrity webpage.
Yes, you can! Kinship United has traditionally organized several mission trips a year that visit the areas where we are rescuing orphans. We strongly recommend that you travel in one of those groups for safety and logistics reasons, though private trips can be arranged. Keep in mind that any persons having direct contact with the children are required to fill out an application and to submit to a background check. Please allow plenty of time for this process to be completed.