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:
1. Whole-Project sponsorship: (Kinship United is not a “child sponsorship” organization.) We look to individuals, groups and institutions to help fund the cost of raising the children.
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.
Most people think of an orphanage as some sprawling, dingy, isolated institution. Kinship United supports a quite different model. 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.
As the name implies, it is the complete support of a family of orphaned children and their caregivers that are part of one particular Kinship Project. The contributors agree to work together over the years to supply funds, prayer, and arm’s length nurturing for the whole Kinship Project.
Remember, 100% of the money you send is going directly to the Kinship Project you are supporting – no exceptions! Your monthly support provides:
1. Food for the children and caregivers
2. Education, including school fees and supplies
3. Operational costs related to the home, including repairs, maintenance, etc.
4. Routine medical and dental care
5. Bible education
6. Vocational training
Whole-Project Sponsors are individuals, groups, churches, and organizations that have committed to the financial, prayer, and nurturing of a Kinship Project. Typical sponsor groups are made up of people with similar interests or geographically-based affinities, such as those who might attend a certain church or belong to a club or small group. The group might also include family members or neighbors. Click here to learn more about our Whole-Project Sponsorship program.
The first step is to contact us at Kinship United. We can go over a couple of options with you, as well as provide you with materials to share with your friends and family! Among the options for sponsoring a Kinship Project on a regular basis, the two most common options are “sole” sponsorship of a whole Kinship Project and “shared” sponsorship of a Kinship Project:
1. A sponsor could be the sole sponsor for a Kinship Project: From land purchase to a completed Kinship Project building, an individual or organization could do it all. In this case, you or your group buy land, build, staff, rescue children, and fund the entire project. Cost: $60,000 start-up plus travel and teams cost and an ongoing management cost of $1,500 per month. Kinship United assists in the contacts and management of the process.
2. Shared Sponsorship Effort: You or your group concentrate on care for orphans and widows. In this case, Kinship United will work with partners to find the funds to build a new Kinship Project building or upgrade an existing Kinship Project building. With our partners, Kinship United supports the initial infrastructure until the Kinship Project can support the typical maximum capacity of 40 children. Once children are brought in, you or your group step in. The Lord calls for His people to care for other people; this is discipleship, not sponsorship. It quickly becomes a situation where your life is changed through the lives you change.
Multiple families might join each other to care for a Kinship Project. The cost ranges from $500 to $1500 per month. Short-term trips for small projects help cement the relationship and allow for special projects, like fans in the church, concrete pads for play areas, land mine barriers, lighting, screens for windows and doors, agriculture projects, eye glasses, inoculations, English lessons, vocational training, and more!
There are groups that have a shortfall on a monthly basis until they establish a full contingent of givers and participants that cover the total commitment for their Kinship Project. We will help you find a group that fits your desires to serve. Contact the Kinship United office toll-free at 877-577-1070 or email us at email@example.com.
We understand that circumstances arise and, sometimes changes in your financial situation are out of your control. In this case, contact your Kinship Project Advisor to press the “pause” button on your monthly giving. You’ll still be a part of your group and you can press the “play” button to resume your giving when you’re ready.
If you need to stop supporting the Kinship Project all together, we will look for another small group.
Kinship United rescues and cares for orphans in some of the most desperate places on earth. War, genocide, natural disasters, and disease claim millions of lives, often leaving children behind with no one to care for them. We rescue children from refugee camps, garbage dumps, the streets, disaster areas, and worse. We provide them with emergency care and stability while we try to reunite them with their families. When there is no family, we welcome them into a Kinship Project where we provide permanent care in a family environment.
The pastor of the Kinship church and his wife usually live in the Kinship Project as home parents. We also welcome widows from the community to become caregivers in Kinship Project families. We cannot take credit for this idea. Throughout the Bible, we see orphans and widows together and the church caring for them. It just makes sense. Orphans and widows need each other. They have experienced similar loss, grief, and needs. They help each other recover and heal.
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.
You can always find your Kinship Project’s website here. Just click on the country to view its Kinship Projects and see pictures of the kids, caregivers, and community.This is a great way to better understand the children’s everyday lives.
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.
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.