Give Yourself A Pat On The Back!

30 11 2010

When was the last time you really made a difference in the lives of others?  If you participated in our 30-Day Challenge, then you made a real difference every day in November! Whether you checked out our blog daily, caught up over the weekends, or looked back towards the end of the month, your involvement has changed the lives of thousands of children.  Our estimates indicate that you, as part of our community, helped over 6000 children this month!   Below are the highlights of what our community accomplished during our 30-Day Challenge. After you read today’s final stories about Gabrielle and TLC Ministries and complete your 30 day challenge- Celebrate and feel free to pat yourself on the back!

1) Remember Song?  Well, because of his story on our blog, he found a family!  After reading about Song, a family has come forward and has begun the process of adopting him.  In only a few short months he will be living with a loving family.

2) Together our efforts helped ensure that the International Adoption Simplification Act passed Congress.   Your emails and phone call to Congress helped eliminate two big barriers which were preventing children from becoming part of an adoptive family.  Passage of the International Adoption Simplification Act helps over 2,200 children next year alone!

3) Although we haven’t yet been able to ensure the Help Haiti Act passed Congress (please keep calling your Representatives!), together, we raised enough awareness.  CNN’s Anderson Cooper joined in by doing a story about the Help Haiti Act!

4) Well over 100 individuals wrote on the Facebook page of Kyrgyz President Roza Otunbayeva, asking for her to advocate for the 65 Kyrgyz children who are still waiting to be with their forever families. We showed so much support that she responded! Check it out here.

5) Together we helped raise over $600 for Haitian Roots, $2 at a time.  How?  Simply by commenting on the SixSeeds blog!  Haven’t done this yet?  There’s still time.  Click here to raise $2 for Haitian Roots by reading the blog and commenting.

6) By suggesting to your friends that they should ‘Like’ Joint Council on Facebook, we expanded our community by 87 people!

7) Thanks to your social networking, our photo contest is off to a great start!  There’s been a record amount of submissions so far!  To learn how to submit photos, click here.

8.) With your help we’ve raised over $5,285 which will be used to  to continue our efforts to ensure more children live in permanency, safety and love!  Haven’t donated yet?  Click here to do so.


9) Be The Answer shirts are being worn by fathers, mothers, children, and child advocates in states all across the USA.  Purchasers of these shirts are showing their Be The Answer pride from the California coast all the way to New York City!  Want a t-shirt?  Check them out here.

10) Joint Council received over 95 stories for the 30-Day Challenge!  Sixty of these stories were viewed over 17,000 times on our blog.  Together, we raised awareness.  Together, we have shown the face of children who found a family through adoption.  Together, we gave voice to children who wait alone. Together, We Are The Answer!

Although the 30-Day Challenge will end, the needs of children will not.  So what’s next?  Here’s a quick highlight of what we already have planned for December…

1)      A $20,000 matching grant for every donation made in December.  Your end of year tax-deductable donation will go twice as far in December!  More details coming soon…

2)      A blog post from Joint Council’s President & CEO regarding his recent child advocacy trip to Russia.

3)      Joint Council advocacy trip to Ethiopia, with daily blog posts and updates from our travels!

4)      Rebecca will be working with orphans at TLC in Johannesburg, South Africa.  Stay tuned for her posts and video blogs!

And this is just the start…check out our blog throughout December to see what we as a community are doing and how you can join in!  Because as you know, Being the Answer for Children doesn’t end in November – it’s a year round commitment! Don’t forget to read the final 2 stories of November.

As always, thank you for your continued participation and support of Joint Council and the children we all serve!

Hoping for a Family: prospective parents attend AMETZ Conference

27 04 2010

On Sunday, April 25th, over 150 families, all hoping to give a loving family to a child in need, attended the AMETZ Conference in New York City.  The AMETZ Conference is for many, the first step in the long education process needed to become an adoptive parent.   Families heard presentations on domestic infant adoption, adopting a child from U.S. foster care and intercountry adoption.

Rebecca Harris discussing the Hague Convention

For the fourth consecutive year, Joint Council presented at the conference on intercountry adoption.  This year over 40 families participated in the presentation by Joint Council’s Tom DiFilipo and Rebecca Harris along with Susan Orban of Children’s Home Society and Family Services.

All of us at Joint Council extend our thanks to AMETZ for their continuing partnership and all that they do to educate and support adoptive families.

Tomorrow’s Leaders

26 04 2010

Joint Council at American University and the University of Richmond Law Schools

Joint Council’s Tom DiFilipo recently spoke to law students at American University Washington College of Law and the University of Richmond School of Law.

On April 18th, Tom along with Professor Patricia Maskew and Tina Leone of the U.S. Department of State had a robust discussion on intercountry adoption with second and third year law students at American University.

On April 6th, Tom, at the invitation of the student organization SPEAK, presented on Joint Council’s efforts in Haiti to over 40 law students at the University of Richmond Law School.

In addition to working with these law students, Joint Council has provided 6-month internships to 22 graduate and undergraduate students in 2009 and 2010.   We value these and other opportunities to cultivate and  influence tomorrow’s leaders in a way that serves every child’s right to a permanent and safe family.   Thanks go out to Professor Maskew, SPEAK and all of our interns for caring about children…now and in the future.

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