Adoption fundraising can be an awesome adventure. One of our favorite stories of love comes from the Humphrey family. The Humphrey’s had two biological children, Jaxon and Ella. In 2015, they adopted Maxen who was born in China. But, this is not your usual adoption story, because the Humphrey’s biological children and also Maxen have hemophilia.
What is hemophilia?
Hemophilia is a rare blood disorder where the blood does not clot as it should. Meaning, when someone has hemophilia, the person tends to bleed for more extended periods. That can be dangerous. Also, someone with the disorder can bleed internally, particularly with their joints and muscles.
The Cost of Adoption
The family has a deep faith in God. It was this faith that they credit in helping them bring home Maxen, especially, when things got tough. One of the challenges that came up early on for the family was that they did not have the funds necessary to adopt a child from Asia. Adoptive families understand that it can be exceedingly expensive. As a result, adoptions can be as high as $40,000, to bring a child home. It means that most have to explore adoption fundraising. However, the Humphreys persisted through all of the challenges and roadblocks that arose in their journey to bring Maxen home. As they said, God provided them the funds that were necessary at the right time. Eventually, they brought him home, in large part because they carefully researched adoption fundraising.
When the parents were seeking to adopt another child after Maxen, they saw the face of a little boy who also had hemophilia. Time passed, and the Humphreys prayed for the adoption of Mason. Other boys with the blood disorder were adopted, but as the days unfolded to weeks and months, Mason remained at the orphanage. Slowly, it dawned on the family that the reason that Mason was not adopted was that he belonged with them. Ultimately, the Humphreys felt moved to reach out and adopt Mason as their fourth child.
The Journey Begins Again for the Humphreys
Unfortunately, Mason was in an orphanage in China, and he was not receiving the medical care he needed for hemophilia. He had spent most of his young, ten-year-old life in the group home, and the family felt he needed special love and attention. Furthermore, a child not receiving the care for the blood disorder is especially affected, which can mean anemia and damaged joints. It dawned on the Humphreys that they would have to kick-start their adoption fundraising efforts.
Adoption fundraising success
The estimated cost for the Humphreys to adopt Mason was about $38,000. They started fundraising for the adoption fundraiser so they could bring the boy home to the U.S. They began by creating a GoFundMe page, which is what many adoptive families do.
For their adoption fundraiser, the family realized that they needed to think outside of the box with more ideas. They saw that in their community, there was always a raffle, dinner or fundraiser happening. As a result, they needed to be different. Although they had a lot of support from their friends and family, they also needed to go beyond that group. Meaning they had to reach into the community. But, they considered how to ask for help for an adoption fundraiser without asking for money? That’s where the shoe drive fundraiser came into the picture when it caught their interest after doing some research.
Shoe drive fundraising success as an adoption fundraiser
As the Humphreys started to mobilize their friends, they began to ask people to collect gently worn, used and new shoes for this special fundraiser. They even got people who were in distant places to support their cause, and they created a system to get the shoes to them. For instance, a friend with a van who lived hours away from them, collected footwear and they coordinated to bring the shoes to the Humphreys.
They realized during the adoption fundraiser that if you only ask, many people will support the cause. One of their secrets for success in this fundraiser was recruiting a teacher or club sponsor to collect shoes on their behalf. They also recruited churches and local businesses to help them and once a week, they would drive around picking up collected shoes.
For example, they had a friend who is the owner of a Gold’s Gym, and they were able to place a collection box on site, which encouraged people to give. That also included strangers who found out about the fundraiser but did not know the Humphreys.
Success with the local news and social media
The Humphreys also understood that promotion was essential to their adoption fundraiser success. They consistently sent emails to the local newspaper in their community. It took some time, but with every big pick up of shoes, they sent them an email, and after a while, they paid attention. It was a great human-interest story, and the newspaper realized they were achieving success in their adoption fundraising.
The Humphreys made it a point also to send their local paper photographs of the shoes collected along with the pictures of the groups of people who were helping them.
Of course, it’s vital to use social media for their adoption fundraising, and they were also consistent using social networking sites. They created a Facebook page, and they kept updating their page with the family’s story.
The final lesson for adoption fundraising
The Humphreys learned that to be successful, they had to get outside of their comfort zone. They could not be afraid of hearing “no” from someone. What was the most important thing for them was the adoption of their sons, first Maxen and then Mason. We’re happy to report that the entire family is doing well and Mason is adjusting to his parents, brothers, and sister.
For more inspirational stories, tips and ideas, keep reading our blog.