Sustainable Generosity

After three and a half years working full time doing fundraising for an orphanage in Haiti, I want to do things differently.

I don’t want the Vulnerable Project to be a 501©3 organization.  That means that we’re a charity and we depend on the good will of others.    We depend on others to donate their goods or their funds in order to keep operating.

I don’t want to do that.

Why?   A couple of reasons:

  • I believe a business model that works towards sustainability and generating income does more good and for a longer period of time than an organization funded solely by donations.
  • Especially if you can create a business model that generates jobs in the underprivileged areas, you are doing twice as much good.

So, am I expecting The Vulnerable Project to be self sustaining and profitable immediately?   Ha!   I wish but I know things don’t happen that fast.   It’s going to take time, it’s also going to take the help and generosity of others who care about vulnerable children to get this truly off the ground.

How can you help?    Three ways:

  1. Organizations that already work to employ people in poverty stricken areas – I’d love to discuss the possibility of selling your goods on The Vulnerable Project’s website.    Let’s talk about whether we can set up a mutually beneficial arrangement.   Good for your workers, good for your organization and good for The Vulnerable Project?
  2. If you work for a company (or you “are” a company) that has a product that is marketable online and want to help vulnerable children and their families, I’d love to talk about how we could do that in a way that would be good for you, for The Vulnerable Project and for vulnerable children and their families.
  3. Make a donation – yeah, I know that it wouldn’t be tax deductible, but if you have anything that has value that could be sold online, donate it to The Vulnerable Project, we’ll sell it and use the funds to help jumpstart the organization.    Talk to me if that’s a possibility.

Tomorrow I’m going to lay out again what our goals and plans are, so that you can see a bit more in detail what we’re hoping to accomplish.  In the mean time, if you know anyone who can help with any of these, let me know.


Tom Vanderwell

Apparent Project

P.S. The Apparent Project is run by friends of mine and employs a large number of vulnerable parents in Haiti who can then keep their kids out of orphanages.

National Adoption Month – Orphan Sunday

November is a month devoted to awareness of the cause of the orphan.    There are many things happening – many churches are doing special services.    Saturday and Sunday, I’m speaking at two different events talking about how a church, how your church can support and encourage adoptive parents who have their kids home.

As part of that, and also as part of the blog series that I did on my personal blog at, I wrote a handful of articles about the church and it’s relation to and impact on the orphan crisis.

DSC01262If you want to read them, here they are:

Why it’s important that the church “do something:”

The first rule in orphan care:

Take care of your own?

Take the battle upstream – orphan prevention:

It’s not for fun, it’s a calling:

Social Justice – it’s not just for college kids anymore:

I’d be grateful if you’d take a few minutes, maybe one a day for the next week?   And read through them and if you find that they resonate with your feelings or insights into the orphan crisis, share them with others?

Thanks in advance,


We’re back!

Bill Cosby QuoteSince about a month ago, The Vulnerable Project site has been very quiet.   It’s been quiet because I’ve been working on other things.   Things not totally related to The Vulnerable Project, but things related to the church.   You can read them at

But we’re back and I’ll be writing more and doing more soon.   So stay tuned!


Waiting for God’s Answers……

We are an impatient society.   I don’t want to check Facebook when I get home, I want to check it now.   Or at the next stop light or while waiting at McDonalds.

I don’t want to plan and wait and organize and think.   I want to come up with an idea and do it now.

I don’t want to save up money, I want to buy it now……

But then it comes to the big issues:

  • Why is there cancer?
  • Why is there poverty?
  • Why is there evil?
  • Why is there malnutrition?
  • Why does greed sneak its way into places it shouldn’t be?

And why are there no easy or quick answers to those questions?

And those are just some of the places where we ask, we wonder and we don’t know.

And then David, in Psalm 62:5, gives us a possible answer to that.

He says, “ God, the one and only—I’ll wait as long as he says.”   (The Message)

God is the one and only.   Not our work, not our organizations, not our mission trips.   God is the one and only.

It’s not us who are going to solve the poverty problem.   God, the one and only, will use man to solve the poverty problem.

It’s not us who are going to bring justice to all of the oppressed.   It’s God, the one and only, who will use man to bring justice to the world.

It’s not us who are going to combat evil, malnutrition, greed and corruption.   It’s God, the one and only, who will solve those problems and will most likely use his people to do so.


And then the second part, the Why and the corresponding “When?”

Why, God?   Why do You allow these things?   And when are You going to make all things new?

We see so many things that aren’t right in this world.   So many things that hurt, that injure, that leave scars and we wonder, “Why God?”

And we acknowledge that God has a plan, He has a long term plan but we question the timing.

King David has an answer,  “God is the one and only, He’s everything I need, so I’ll wait as long as He says.”

I’ll wait as long as He says – even if that means a 50 year old father of 2 dies from cancer.

I’ll wait as long as He says – even if that means that children suffer longer than I’d like.

I’ll wait as long as He says – even if that means that corrupt people remain in positions of power.

I’ll wait as long as He says – even if I don’t want to.


But I’ll also realize that God intends to use His people to fulfill His purposes.

So I’ll say, “Here I am, use me.”

Use me – when you want.

Use me – how you want.

I’ll wait for You.


God’s plan is supreme because He’s the one and only.

We need to wait for Him.   And while we wait, we need to work for Him.

And only Him.


Because He’s the one and only.