Right now, I’m selling three of the Lost ARG prints. The proceeds from those sales will go to benefit three different organizations. I want to talk briefly about the auctions.
The Walt’s Kidnapping auction is going to benefit China Nest of Hope Foundation. One of the main things this organization does is run an orphanage in Beijing, China. I’ve worked with the orphanage, in varying capacities, since 2002. Most of the children at this orphanage have been abandoned because they are girls or have some sort of physical/mental handicap. (At any given time, at least 90% of the kids, at the orphanage, are girls.) This is primarily due to China’s one-child policy. Most couples want a healthy son for their child. What is sad is a number of the so-called physical handicaps can be dealt with easily, but the parents don’t know that so they abandon their baby.
It’s hard to get accurate figures, but some have it that there are upwards of 15 million orphans in China. The older they get, the harder it is for them to be adopted. Once they hit age thirteen, they can’t be adopted and are sent to work in factories.
China Nest of Hope provides a loving home for the orphans in their care. Through my various trips to China, I’ve watched some of these kids change in their temperment because of the orphanage’s environment. I’ve helped connect people to the orphanage and watched them adopt a child, that was in some cases “thrown away”. These “discarded” children are now living a life that was beyond imagination in places all around the world.
The orphanage also raises money for scholarships so kids in their orphanage that aren’t adopted, once they reach age thirteen, can then go to school instead of working in the factories.
I want to add that China, as a whole, is great. The people are absolutely wonderful, and it is beautiful when you go out to the countryside. With a population of over a billion, you are going to have a lot of orphans. The numbers may have some think that it doesn’t make a difference, but for that one child that is adopted out it makes all the difference in the world.
I thought it made sense to link Walt’s Kidnapping with the orphanage because of Walt and seemingly being orphaned at times.
The Ben Linus auction is going to benefit The Hospital for Women and Children in Koutiala, Mali. The link here is a bit more obvious. 1 in 15 Malian women die in childbirth, the worst rate in the world. 25% of Malian children die before they reach age five. The idea for the hospital was born out of tragedy. A pastor’s wife died in childbirth, and she easily could have been saved if she had access to modest medical resources. These resources are hard to come by in many African nations. (I know this first hand from overseeing a weeklong medical clinic in Nigeria almost a decade ago.)
I’ve had the chance to hear the pastor tell his story of losing his wife and how the hospital came to be because of that. It’s an amazing story. The Hospital for Women and Children opened up a few years ago, and since then over 2,000 babies have been born there. The mortality rate of mothers there is at a level more in line with the world standard.
Benjamin Linus’ mother died while giving birth to him. It’s been central to who he is and his work on the island. For these obvious reasons, I thought it made sense to link this print with the hospital.
At the end of this post I’ve embedded a video of a young couple, Dusty & Julia Reynolds, from the church I work at in Omaha. They share their story of moving to Mali so Julia can work in the hospital and Dusty can start a business for economic development in the area.
The Polar Bear auction is going to benefit the Open Door Mission. The Open Door Mission has a goal of breaking the cycle of homelessness and poverty. On any given night, there are 2,000 homeless men, women and children in Omaha. Open Door Mission can provide safe shelter to 320 of them. They serve 1,500 meals a day and provide preventive measures to 250 families living in poverty.
I’m becoming more sensitive to the issue of poverty and homelessness. One big reason is the average age of a homeless person is 9 years old. People usually think that people are homeless because of their own choices, and thus it justifies their indifference toward the problem. I use to think that, until I found out more facts about it. No child deserves this kind of life. I think of children like my own sons trying to fend for themselves on the streets. It is an injustice.
The link between the print and organization? What is a polar bear doing on an island, and what is a child doing living on the streets? It doesn’t make sense, either of them.
Even if you don’t win any of the auctions, or already have these prints, I ask that you take some time to read about these organizations. The smallest bit of support (financial, volunteer, prayer) can make a difference. An example is for $1.92 you can provide someone with a meal at the Open Door Mission.
If you have any questions, please let me know.
Thanks for taking the time to read this post. Here’s the video about Dusty & Julia Reynolds.