SOS Villages is in a #Relay4Kids
SOS Children’s Villages, Johnson & Johnson and the Huffington Post launch Relay for Kids – a virtual relay that will help provide shelter, food and medical care to children in crisis
Ethiopia is home to 5.4 million orphans and vulnerable children, as is evidenced along the streets of Addis Ababa, where it was not unusual to see groups of kids seeming to fend for themselves. I was there last summer on a fellowship with the International Reporting Project, and when we pulled into the SOS Village as one of our visits, it was strange to feel that these were the “lucky” orphans. This was the first time I had heard of the organization and was truly impressed. Technically the SOS Village kids are no longer orphans, they are taken in by their SOS Village to become part of a family and larger community. Founded in 1949 by an Austrian named Hermann Gmeiner, his vision for SOS Villages was to place children in a home where they would grow up with a mother, siblings and a community.
The village we visited that served 150 children consisted of 15 family houses each with a house-mother and two youth homes for kids ages 14-18. The house mothers we visited stressed the importance of education to ensure the children would grow up to become self-sufficient adults.
SOS Children’s Villages has grown to become the largest organization devoted to care for orphaned children and exists in over 130 countries with 545 villages worldwide. They also provide 24/7 emergency relief services for families and their children in places such as war-torn Syria. Beginning March 23rd SOS Villages have partnered in a virtual relay on Huffington Post to with stories that release funds when shared via social media.
Relay for Kids will take place from March 23 to April 24, 2015. Here’s how it works:
- Every week, the Huffington Post’s Global Motherhood will feature three blogs that will focus on helping children in crisis. Relay for Kids blog participants include: Anne Geddes, world-renowned photographer; Dr. Jane Aronson, Founder and CEO of the Worldwide Orphans Foundation; Anne Goddard, President and CEO of ChildFund International; and caregivers from SOS Children’s Villages who have worked with children affected by crisis in places like Syria and West Africa.
- Blog posts shared via social media on the Huffington Post will trigger a $1 donation from Johnson & Johnson—up to $30,000*— to SOS Children’s Villages.
- The virtual relay will conclude on April 24 with funds going to SOS Children’s Villages to help provide shelter, food and medical care to children living in crisis zones, such as Syria, Ukraine and West Africa.
- In addition, people can upload a photo to Donate a Photo* and Johnson & Johnson will donate $1 — up to $20,000** — for children in crisis.
“Children worldwide are living in extreme poverty, witnessing horrific violence and suffering the long-term impact of deprivations. Without our support, these children are at heightened risk of exposure to trauma and exploitation,” said Lynn Croneberger, CEO of SOS Children’s Villages – USA. “Relay for Kids gives us the chance to make a difference in the lives of these children. Together we can raise awareness about children in crisis and give them the chance to enjoy the safe and healthy childhood they deserve.”
Blogs must be shared between March 23 and April 24, on Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Tumblr and Google+ via the Huffington Post’s social media icons. Each share will trigger a $1 donation up to $30,000. There are no limits on how many times you can share a post.
Johnson & Johnson has curated a list of trusted causes via the Donate A Photo app for iOS and Android, and users can donate a photo to one cause, once a day. Each cause will appear in the app until it reaches its goal, or the donation period ends. If the goal isn’t reached, the cause will still receive a minimum donation.
“Johnson & Johnson has a long standing commitment to helping children around the world. Our partnership with SOS Children’s Villages is an extension of that commitment and has grown to include orphaned children, families in need, and youth striving for a productive adult life”, said Conrad Person, Director, Johnson & Johnson Corporate Contributions. “Now, through the Relay for Kids, we can work together to create a community of support for the greatest of causes, our children.”