Thursday, July 16, 2009

Call to Action: Families For Orphans Act!

I received the news item below and want to encourage everyone to sign the petition available via a link at the JCICS web site at and to contact your senators and representatives to encourage them to pass the act. There are currently 291 signers as of this moment...let's get that to 1000 quickly! Then 10,000!!
We all know it would be best of there were no orphans, if children could remain with biological families and within their birth culture. But the fact is that for the forseeable future this will be impossible on a global scale. Institutions are not the answer, lingering foster care is not the answer...permanent families of any color, race or culture IS the only "next best" answer. Please support this Act!


CALL TO ACTION: Families For Orphans Act

Dear Friends and Families,

Anshula has recently come into an orphanage. She is four years old and alone. Where should she spend her childhood? In an orphanage? In temporary foster care? Or in a permanent and loving family?

The answer should be obvious: a safe, permanent and loving family. Unfortunately, the U.S. government and many aide organizations do not seem to agree. In fact, the U.S. sometimes spends millions of dollars, ensuring just the opposite. And while beloved organizations such as UNICEF keep millions of children alive, many believe it is better for children to live in temporary foster care than in a permanent family. The children of our world need your help to make a change. They need your help to live in a permanent family.

As a founding member of the Families For Orphans Coalition, Joint Council is proud to announce that the first step in making this much-needed change is upon us. In a bi-partisan effort, landmark legislation was introduced into Congress, which will ensure that U.S. government programs, policies and funding are directed towards a singular goal: a permanent family for every child.

The Families For Orphans Act (Senate Bill 1458 and House Bill 3070), sponsored by Senators Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and James Inhofe (R-OK) along with Representatives Diana Watson (D-CA) and John Boozman (R-AR) demonstrates our collective commitment to the millions of children living outside of permanent parental care and proactively addresses a global gap in the most basic of human rights - the right to a permanent family.

While the introduction of the legislation is an important first step, there is much more to be done. Now we must ensure that the Families For Orphans Act becomes the law of the United States. To do this, your voice is needed. Speak for those to cannot speak for themselves by supporting the Families For Orphans Act and joining our Call To Action.

What can you do?

Sign the Families For Orphans petition, make three simple phone calls, and get the word out! Here are the details...

1. Sign our Petition!
Sign the Joint Council Families for Orphans Petition
The Petition will be delivered to the U.S. Congress
2. Call Congress!
On July 28th, 29th, and 30th, call your three Members of Congress (two in the Senate and one in the House of Representatives).
You can find your Representative at
You can find you Senators' at
Ask to speak with the Legislative Director or Chief of Staff
For maximum effect, we are asking you to make these calls within this 72-hour window!
3. Get the word out!
Send this email to friends and family. Post to your Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, blog or website
What should you say or write to your Members of Congress?
This is an issue that is critical to children in need, so speak from your heart. Tell them why ensuring more children living in families is so important to you!
Ask your Senators and Representatives to become a Co-Sponsor of the Families for Orphans Act.
Please feel free to use the following text as a guideline when speaking with your Members of Congress.
"As a constituent of we are requesting that you support the Families For Orphans Act by becoming a Co-Sponsor of the legislation. For information on becoming a Co-Sponsor, please contact Senator Mary Landrieu, Senator James Inhofe, Representative Diane Watson or Representative John Boozman. Thank you for representing your constituents by becoming a Co-Sponsor of the Families For Orphans Act (Senate Bill 1458 and House Bill 3070)."
More Information

For detailed information on the Families For Orphans Act visit:
The Joint Council website (
For minute-by-minute updates, see Joint Council's page on Facebook

Rebecca Harris
Government Relations and Communications Manager

The Families For Orphans Coalition