Over the past year, local churches in Kansas have donated a car, installed a bathroom, built bunk beds and more for families in need.
Care Portal thanked those churches Saturday evening at its second annual BIG Event. The annual event — Build, Invest, Grow — served as a family-friendly celebration with worship, testimonies and entertainment.
“The BIG Event is a fundraiser to help sustain our ministry, as well as celebrate what God is doing in the community through local churches,” said Jocelyn Busick, regional manager for Care Portal in Reno County.
Families and churches from Care Portal’s nine-county region in Kansas were represented at the event.
Care Portal is an online tool that connects child-welfare workers to churches where people are willing to help. It's based on the idea that if every church does a little, a lot can get done.
For three years, area churches have worked with both Saint Francis Community Services and the Kansas Department of Child and Family services meet some of the needs of their clients.
When a child-welfare worker identifies a need — a crib, money to pay for car tags or help with an electric bill — they access the Care Portal online and submit the request. Then the Care Portal quickly sends out an email to churches, where a contact person connects with the congregation to see if someone can fill that need.
Joe Knittig, CEO of the Global Orphan Project, which owns Care Portal, spoke at the event. He commended local churches for their support. Through the Global Orphan Project, he said he’s seen a movement across the world of churches standing up to fill their role in taking care of children in need or without homes.
“I don’t want Care Portal to be the hero,” he said. “Care Portal is a tool for local churches that want to say ‘Not on our watch. Not in our community.’”
That wave has washed Kansas over the past three years. Regional Manager Hallie Cable launched Care Portal in Kansas with 15 churches. Care Portal spans across 16 states with over 1,500 churches nationwide — 210 of which are in Kansas.
“Care Portal in Kansas is leading the charge of those 16 states,” Knittig said. “With the help of adopting churches like those here, I truly believe in three years time there will be more homes open than children needing a home.”
Members of Care Portal and partnering churches are also planning trips to Haiti and India to visit counterparts through Care Portal and the Global Orphan Project. While Cable asked local church members to pray on the trips, she said she has two larger hopes for Care Portal.
“More than coming on a trip or anything else, our prayer is to have more churches,” she said. “We ask you to help us with that because I hope to stand at this annual event one day and be in every county in Kansas, but my biggest prayer is for more homes for children in need.”