A Shawnee family is planning to offer their services to a widow while at the same time raising funds for their adoption.
Matthew and Ashleigh McMains are parents of two –– a boy who is almost 4 years old and a 1-year-old girl –– but they are striving to bring that number to three. Matthew is a legal assistant and Ashleigh is a nurse.
Today the McMains and a team of volunteers will be working on the home of a local widow.
Not only will the 16-20 volunteers be helping a widow, but they also will be raising funds to offset the cost of the McMains’ family adoption. The McMains are in the process of adopting a young child from Haiti.
“We thought is was a neat way to raise funds and we liked the opportunity to help someone else,” Ashleigh said.
Ashleigh said James 1:27 in the Bible talks about how Christians should look after orphans and widows.
This project appears designed to achieve just that.
Ashleigh said a man at Heritage Church who often does handyman work for those in need suggested the name of a specific person they could help. She prefers not to share her name.
The family and volunteers have gone around gathering sponsorships for the project.
“Though Lowe's and (White's) Ace Hardware said they wouldn't be able to help, Chick-Fil-A will be providing lunch for the crew,” Ashleigh said.
She said they just had to budget and move forward.
Donations will help with supplies for the project, as well as the adoption cost.
“We'll be doing some landscaping, painting, taking down wallpaper and fence repair, among other things,” Ashleigh said.
The McMains have been working on their adoption since August 2014 –– almost two years.
They were told that the process typically takes about three years to complete.
Ashley McMains said the idea of adoption came after the couple struggled with infertility with their second child.
“My brother has adopted from Ethiopia and China,” she said. “We thought it was a great display of God's love, so we started the process.”
Now they are at the stage of waiting for a referral, Ashleigh said.
She said her and her husband were in Haiti last July. Though nothing is set in stone, McMains said the adoption agency told her that they have a little girl under two years old in mind for the couple.
“Apparently the government has to make the referral, so we're just waiting on them now,” she said.
It could take up to a year.
According to its website, lifesongfororphans.org, Both Hands helps families fundraise for their adoptions. A family gathers a team of volunteers and Both Hands coaches them to coordinate a service project fixing up a widow’s home.
This fundraiser is similar to raising sponsorship dollars for a 5K race, but instead of running, the team is serving a widow. The funds raised help an orphan be adopted into a forever family, the site states.
Both Hands’ staff guides the family through managing the entire project and Lifesong’s staff manages the family’s fundraising account. The website states no funds are deducted for operating costs. All of the funds received help an orphan be adopted into a forever family, a widow is provided with free labor and all of the volunteers serve their community: both hands –– one for the widow, one for the orphan.
Since 2008, Both Hands has completed more than 500 projects across the country, raising an average of $12,800 per project and has emerged as one of the leading adoption fundraisers, the site states.
For more information, visit Lifesong for Orphans at lifesongfororphans.org/adoption-funding/both-hands/.
To make a donation, visit BothHands.org/project/McMains-5199.
This article was written by Vicky O. Misa for The Shawnee News-Star. The article can be found HERE: http://www.news-star.com/news/20160611/family-mission-helps-widow-orphan
We are only able to do what we do because of support from donors like you. We believe in the importance of adoption and are committed to doing everything we can to help bring families together. That’s why Both Hands doesn’t take out any administrative fees from donations to our projects. Let’s bring even more orphans into their forever families.