Nov 122014

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.

Nov 062014

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,


Sep 232014

“Father of orphans, champion of widows, is God in his holy house. God makes homes for the homeless, leads prisoners to freedom, but leaves rebels to rot in hell.”  Psalm 68:5-6 The Message

Does he do all of this by himself?

No.   He wants his people to do it.

I’ve heard it said, “Doing God’s Will is easy – just figure out what He’s up to and do the same thing.”   (My apologies to whoever I just misquoted).

God’s up to being the Father of the orphans – so do that.  

God is up to being the champion of widows – so do that.

God makes homes for the homeless – so do that.

God leads the prisoner to freedom – so go do that.

How?  Find an organization that is already doing that, ask questions, be informed and then, once you are comfortable that they are doing that, help  them.

Because He says so.

That’s why.

Sep 182014

A friend of mine told me about this organization.   It’s exactly the type of thing that The Vulnerable Project wants to support.    Each of their employees has a chance to raise their family because of this.   Less orphans because of organizations like this…..

Watch and listen – and share……


Sep 172014

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.



Sep 122014

Kristen Howerton wrote a post on her blog about why orphan prevention matters to adoptive parents.    You can read the entire article below.    I want to expand and personalize what she said, but first, read this:

This is what drives us to do this . . . we feel incredibly blessed by our children through adoption, but we ultimately want to reduce the number of children who are orphaned in the first place.
Read more:

I’ve talked to some people who have said, “wait, aren’t you advocating against what you did when you adopted your kids?”    Absolutely not.   I am very much for adoption.   I have been very blessed through adoption – not only through my kids but through the amazing people that I’ve gotten to know and consider friends all over the world.  

But adoption should be the last resort, not the  first resort.  

Keeping families together should be the first resort whenever possible.    Anyone who has adopted knows that at some point there will be pain and emotional struggles over why their child(ren) needed to be adopted.    If that pain can be alleviated for some children, that’s a great thing.

There’s another “party” in this picture that we need to remember as well.    The biological parents will be dealing with scars from this for the rest of their lives.   Can you imagine how grateful they would be if they were able to keep their child(ren) because someone came along side them and gave them a hand during a time of crisis?

There are many many, way too many situations where adoption is the only resort.    There are no biological family members who are willing and able to care for the child(ren).   That’s when adoption is a great option.

But adoption shouldn’t be the first option, it should be the last resort.

And that’s why The Vulnerable Project cares about orphan prevention and is also pro-adoption.


Tom Vanderwell