The idea comes from James 1:27. True religion is taking care of the widows and the orphans."Chad Davis
RINCON — A local project is going to have international, even heavenly, implications.
By sprucing up an Effingham County’s widow’s home with a group of about 20 volunteers Saturday, Chad and Laura Davis will generate funds that will be used to fund the adoption of a special-needs Chinese girl.
“The idea comes from James 1:27,” Chad said. “True religion is taking care of the widows and the orphans.”
Tennessee’s JT Olson developed the concept of helping widows and orphans simultaneouosly. He fostered it by creating the Both Hands Foundation, whose purpose is to help Christian families fund adoptions by coordinating a service project.
“Almost ten years ago, I served on the board for Bethany Christian Services in Nashville and was responsible for an annual golf fundraiser where we sent letters asking for sponsorship while we golfed,” Olson says on the Both Hands website. “A few days before the event, my friend sent my sponsorship letter back to me and scribbled on it, ‘JT, if you were working on a widow’s house I might sponsor you, but you’re just golfing. Nice cause, but not my money.’ ”
The gentle rebuke stayed fresh in Olson’s mind moved to the forefront when a friend told him of his intention to adopt four children from Moldvoa. Olson wanted to help him raise the $65,000 to cover the cost.
“Long story short, we gathered about a dozen of our friends and found a widow’s home to work on,” Olson said. “All of us sent out letters asking for sponsorship while we worked, with the proceeds going toward my friend’s adoption. We ended up raising about $55,000.
“Soon after, another friend asked to do a project for his adoption.”
Olson’s life hasn’t been the same since. The former orphan founded the Both Hands Foundation a 501c3 organization, in 2008.
He explained, “Mark Twain said, ‘The two most important days in a person’s life are the day they were born and the day they find out why.’ That day I found out why.’ ”
Both Hands doesn’t get involved with connecting prospective parents with orphans. The Davises, who have one young daughter, are using CCAI, the leading international adoption agency in the world.
“Even before Catherine was born, we just had a heart to adopt,” Laura said. “We started looking into it before she was born. We have both been to Africa and seen orphans around the world who need homes here in he U.S. and overseas.”
Chad added, “God blessed us with a healthy child and we just felt like the appropriate response is to follow His command in James 1:27, which is to take care of the orphans and the widows. That doesn’t mean that everybody has to adopt but that is the calling that He has placed on our hearts.
“We felt like we would be disobedient if we didn’t follow through with it.”
The Davises have accepted the challenges that will come. They know ahead of time that the child will have special needs.
“You just have to trust God,” Chad said. “We would be paralyzed if we operated on the ‘what ifs.’ We don’t have to see what He sees.
“We just have to trust Him and so we are moving forward with it. If it is His will, He will provide and that is it.”
The Davises and their team sent letters to friends and family members seeking sponsorships.
“It’s just like a 5K race,” Chad said. “Will you sponsor me while we work on this widow’s house? We are going to bless the widow but all the money that is raised — 100 percent of it — will go to the adoption.
“That’s the way we will get the funds needed to get the child here to the United States. The ministry really is one hand for the widow and one hand for the orphan.”
The repairs won’t cost the widow a penny. The labor is free and materials are donated by area businesses.
“We’ve gotten donations from Lowe’s and Compassion Christian Church,” Laura said. “A variety of places, South Fork Provisions, The Rusty Pig and Chick-fil-A are helping. Everything is donated to make this happen.”
Sherwin Williams and Liberty Janitorial are also sponsors.
The Davises and their team will clean and paint their widow’s house to make it more attractive to sell. She can’t afford the payments without her husband’s income.
“We’re going to get it up to speed,” Chad said.
People not on the Davises’ team can donate to their adoption cause by mailing a check to Both Hands Foundation, P.O. Box 2713, Brentwood, Tenn. 37204 (Memo: preference Davis 9265).
“This is a really good organization and — if people are looking for a fund-raising project — Both Hands is a really good ministry to partner with,” Chad said.