In case you haven't been following, China is in the midst of a record period of cold weather. Even areas of the country that are semi-tropical, including the area of southern China where from which Madeline hails, Guangxi province, have been griped by a freakish record cold snap, huge snowstorms and freezing rain. It goes without saying that the orphanages there are suffering. Most don't have much more than space heaters (and in this far south, central heat isn't required), and record snowfalls have crippled transportation and caused widespread power outages. Orphanages are running out of food and diapers, and their dedicated staff members have braved the elements for hours without proper coats and boots to care for the children.
There are several fine charities that work with the hundreds of thousands -- actually, I believe there are probably millions -- of children in Chinese orphanages, both the ones who are waiting to meet their forever families, and those who will never be adopted. Half the Sky Foundation is one of the best. It's a charity formed by the parents of adopted Chinese children in the U.S. Half the Sky provides training to orphanage workers and pre-schools for institutionalized children and pays for a high school education for older children (the Chinese government only pays for primary school for orphanage children). Kevin and I have supported Half the Sky for a few years now. I give through the Federal Combined Charities program, and we've also given contributions in honor of family members. When my dad died in 2006, a group of my adoption community friends gave a large donation in Daddy's memory.
Half the Sky is raising much needed funds to help the orphanages with this weather crisis. If you click on the link above, you'll see references to the Little Mouse Emergency Fund. If the spirit moves you, please give to this fund and give generously. There are also links on the home page to regular updates from the executive director, Jenny Bowen. The stories she tells are truly heart-rending. Please consider making a gift today.