This month, Frances Jaye is investing in Bethany Christian Services. We will be donating 2% of March sales to support Bethany's mission to demonstrate love and compassion by protecting children, empowering youth, and strengthening families through quality social services.
In 1944, Marguerite Bonnema and her friend, Mary DeBoer, agreed to care for a baby girl who needed a safe home. Over the next few months, they took in five more babies. That fall, with help from Andrew VanderVeer, they founded Bethany Christian Home as a nonprofit organization. In 1945, they moved the home to a residence on 13-acres in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where Bethany’s headquarters now stands.
They began with a state license to provide child care. In 1951, Bethany obtained a child placement license and began serving as an adoption agency, finding families for 25 children. That same year, Bethany began providing pregnancy counseling services for 59 expectant mothers.
Today—across the country and around the world—Bethany partners with churches and communities to strengthen and preserve families, find families for children who need them, and to support refugees and immigrants who have fled danger. They believe everyone deserves to be safe, loved, and connected.
The People They Support
Vulnerable Kids in the U.S.
When children are in need of a family, Bethany responds. In the U.S., Bethany protects vulnerable children through essential services, including pregnancy counseling, foster care, emergency care, and adoption. Bethany believes family is the essential human care structure, and they work to provide every child the support, safety, and connection they deserve.
Refugees and Immigrants
For refugees fleeing danger, the search for safety can be extremely challenging. And too often, people become numbers in a system that can feel impossible to navigate. That’s why Bethany guides, protects, advocates for, and supports refugees. In the U.S., Bethany offers resettlement and continued support services in strategic locations.
Bethany believes that children thrive when they belong to a loving family. Rather than placing vulnerable children in orphanages, Bethany finds a family for them in their own country. Bethany also supports families struggling to stay together by providing the resources and training they need to lead their family to self-sufficiency.
What Will FJ's Donation Do?
FJ's donation will be put towards the Client Assistance Fund, an ongoing initiative since 2006 that breaks down financial barriers for families working towards reunification. Bethany often get requests for things like car seats, help with groceries, auto repairs (to help transport kiddos to and from school, appointments, etc.), home repairs to make the environment safe for children to return to (like plumbing, heating and cooling, installation of a fire detector/carbon monoxide detector, etc.), and several other needs like childcare assistance so parents can have adequate supervision for children while they work. Addressing these needs is very important to the process of reuniting children with birth families. Many families care and love for their children, but simply do not have the resources and support to provide safety for their kids. The Client Assistance Fund relies on the support of donors in the West Michigan area, and FJ is excited to directly impact the birth and foster families in Ottawa and Allegan County who will benefit from this initiative.
Visit the Bethany Christian Services website to learn more about their organization.