Iowa Couple Hoping to Adopt Child, Aid Widow (Kelly Project)

After having two biological children and adopting two who had been their foster children, Angie and Michael Kelly decided to take a different approach.

The Kellys, of Atlantic, Iowa, began fundraising to adopt through an agency, but they quickly decided they would need more help.


“The money we’ve set aside and the money from fundraising has put us around $10,000. It’s around $35,000 to adopt,” Michael Kelly said.

The Kellys will start working to be matched with a birth mother around Oct. 1. Matches are currently taking up to four months.

They saw a chance for more help when they learned of the Both Hands project. Since 2008, Both Hands projects have raised more than $4.3 million for adoption funding and other orphan-care initiatives. The other half of Both Hands entails the adopting family helping out a local widow. Both Hands helps coordinate a service project to fix up the widow’s home.

“We had to find a widow in the community that needed assistance,” Kelly said.

They came across Edie Petty, whose husband died about three years ago. She needs help with home maintenance and improvements.

“We went and talked to her about it, and she was a bit leery at first,” Kelly said. “I think she thought she would be charged for the service. Once she understood, one of the first questions she asked was ‘Can you clean my ceiling fan blades?’ ”

The Kellys and a team of volunteers will be doing much more than cleaning the fan blades.

The volunteers will be staining the wood on the porch, cleaning the fence, painting the front of her shop and one side of her house and cleaning up the yard.

Numerous businesses have made donations as well. A carpet-cleaning company will be coming in, others have offered money and discounts for supplies, and Pizza Ranch will be providing lunch for workers.

The work begins at 9 a.m. Saturday.

If you’re interested in volunteering with the project in Atlantic, you can contact Michael Kelly at 712-254-2180 or you can donate directly to the Kelly family at

By Jacob Bryant / World-Herald staff writer


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Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress...

James 1:27 (NIV)