Starfish Orphan Ministry has a very simple mission. They want to help meet the basic needs of orphans all over the world. They are determined to eternally impact the lives of orphaned children for the Kingdom of God, through raising awareness of their plight and the Biblical responsibility to care for them.
One of the core things that drew us to this ministry is their heart to see God glorified in all that they do. Ran entirely by a volunteer staff, it is absolutely amazing how much God has accomplished through this ministry to date.
In 2005, Starfish Orphan Ministry was birthed in the heart of a small group of praying woman who knew they were called to help the 147,000,000 orphans in the world today. Knowing that the problem was so big that no one person or organization could ever tackle it, they decided on the name Starfish, based off of the Starfish Story and the concept of “One Child at a Time.”
In 2006, eleven women were off to El Salvador for their first mission trip with many more to follow. From there they began to grow with more and more trips and opportunities to help children in need.
As they were growing in numbers and in favor, a generous local business owner decided to help. In 2009, he gave them the money to pay their operating expenses for 2 years and enabled them to get a place of their own. This set them in a place where 100% of public donations could go directly to their missions. To make that money go as far as they could, they created an incredible fundraising plan to maximize their efforts. Their fundraising coordinator, Ashley, and many more volunteers began a campaign that was greatly affective. In one event in April, they raised nearly $20,000.
It seemed things were definitely moving in their direction until during a 5k run that May, Ashley began having headaches. The headaches got so bad she became horribly sick. The Tuesday following Memorial Day, her family took her to the hospital where she was told she had a golf ball size mass on her brain. Shortly after this, 25-year-old Ashley was diagnosed with Medulloblastoma, a form of brain cancer.
The response of her friends and family was incredible. In a season that would seem to be discouraging and a time of retreat, the opposite seemed to be happening. While Ashley was overcoming her battle with Cancer, Starfish was growing even more in the support of their cause. Volunteers from around the globe helped move starfish forward in their mission. From a hospital bed, Ashley began telling their story from a laptop. Her BLOGs became her way of staying in the fight and staying connected to the mission that was so dear to her heart. Almost as a benchmark of her recovery, a cancer free Ashley returned to the mission field in October 2011.
This year, the people of starfish are planning their most exciting year yet. With nearly a dozen mission trips planned, they are expecting to take over 200 people with them all over the globe this year. Socially Present’s goal this year is to help them accomplish all that they have set out to do. Throughout this year, we plan on not just giving financially, but helping them put the systems in place that will maximize their efforts. It is not our philosophy to just throw money at a problem, but rather strategically invest in people’s lives. We are very honored and excited to see all that God will do with this relationship this year and only seek to honor the God who has enabled us to help.
To hear more stories about Starfish Orphan Ministry, check out their BLOG
to hear more about Ashley’s story click here.
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