Fundraising for Adoption: 1 Organization’s Innovative Approach

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There are so many needs in the world, and it’s a remarkable thing when fulfilling one need can help provide for another need.

JT Olson knows all about this, as the founder and president of the Nashville-based nonprofit Both Hands that helps families by fundraising for adoption.

Both Hands helps families raise money for adoption by working on widows’ houses. The best way to understand the work of Both Hands is to understand how it started.

Check out the video on my YouTube channel HERE!

Both Hands’ Fundraising for Adoption: How It Started

JT was on the board of the local adoption agency in Nashville and they were fundraising for adoption through a golf fundraiser. Participants would mail letters out to people asking for sponsorship while they golfed. JT sent out his letters and was surprised to find one returned to him with no money inside. The return letter read, “JT, If you told me you were working on a widow’s house, I might sponsor you. But you’re just golfing. Nice cause, but not my money.”

Though it might have hurt JT’s feelings a little bit, what he really thought was, “Wow! What a good idea.”

JT grew up experiencing the power of community support after his parents’ tragic death. When he was in seventh grade, both of his parents died in a car accident. He remembers that feeling – when everything that tethered him in life was cut off. He also knows what it’s like to be rescued. His aunt and uncle took in JT and all 4 of his siblings after his parents’ fatal accident. The feeling of someone coming in and saying, “I’ve got you. It’s going to be okay,” stuck with him all his life. And that’s a feeling he hopes to pass on to orphans and widows by fundraising for adoption through Both Hands.

Shortly after the golf fundraiser, one of JT’s friends felt led to adopt a group of siblings from Moldova but was facing nearly $70,000 – $80,000 in adoption costs.  JT, personally touched by the cause, realized he knew exactly how to start fundraising for adoption in this case. He gathered 10-15 men, found a local widow, and had all the supplies donated to help fix her home. The volunteers sent out sponsorship letters for people to support them while they worked on this widow’s house and by the end of the day they had raised nearly $70,000.

In the 15 years they’ve been fundraising for adoption in this way, Both Hands has completed nearly 1,211 projects in 45 states, over 1,400 kids have been adopted, and over 1,359 widows have been served, raising $16.5 million.

There are a lot of obstacles to adoption, but JT reminds us that it’s important that hopeful adoptive families don’t lose sight of why their quest for adoption is worthwhile. You never know who is watching you, and there will be another adoption because of your adoption. When you navigate these challenges, it inspires others to realize they can too.

To learn more about JT and Both Hands and their unique way of fundraising for adoption, visit their website here. You can watch my full interview with JT here and if you need help discovering which of the 6 avenues of adoption is right for you and your family, enroll in The Six Avenues of Adoption course!

This blog post is provided for educational and informational purposes only. Our services are not financial, business or legal advice. The information presented here is not a guarantee that you will obtain any results or earn any money using our content. Adoption & Beyond, Inc. owns all copyrights to the materials presented here unless otherwise noted.

Steffany ave

Founder & Director

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Meet Steffany Aye, the heart behind Adoption & Beyond since its inception in 1998. Fueled by a deep passion for supporting both birth and adoptive parents, Steffany's journey as an adoptive parent has continued the foundation for this non-profit adoption agency.

Drawing from more than 25 years of dedicated experience, Steffany and her team are committed to crafting warm, thriving families through child-centered adoptions. Their inclusive services, free from any form of discrimination, reflect Steffany's unwavering dedication to the beautiful tapestry of adoption.

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