Orphan’s Heart relocates to Lakeland to impact more children in developing nations
Apr 25, 2014

LAKELAND (FBCH)–The headquarters for Orphan’s Heart, an international organization meeting the needs of children throughout the developing world, has relocated from Miami to Lakeland.

Orphan’s Heart meets the needs of children in these developing countries: Guatemala, Columbia, Cuba, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Haiti, Honduras, Uganda and Tanzania.

In 2013, Orphan’s Heart mobilized volunteers from throughout Florida and the United States to impact more than 44,000 children and families. Orphan’s Heart was founded five years ago by its parent organization, Florida Baptist Children’s Homes, which is also headquartered in Lakeland.

“Our vision through Orphan’s Heart is to meet the pressing needs of hurting children throughout the world.  Whether it is feeding a hungry child, digging water wells for families to have clean water, caring for orphaned children, building homes, making medical care possible and providing for the poorest of poor, we are committed to making a tangible difference in these lives,” said Jerry T. Haag, president of 

Orphan’s Heart and Florida Baptist Children’s Homes. “To have the headquarters based in Lakeland will allow us to meet these needs even more effectively.” 

Among the major projects for Orphan’s Heart in 2014 is a community transformation in the Dominican Republic. The project was made possible because of a partnership that Haag and Orphan’s Heart Chief Operating Officer Ron Gunter developed with Danilo Medina, president of the Domini­can Republic.

The project consists of 100 homes, a church plant and a community transformation center for the poorest of the poor. This project is slated to be completed in 2015, and Orphan’s Heart is looking for more indi­viduals and churches to come alongside them to make this work possible. 

Gunter agrees that the work of Orphan’s Heart will be even greater because of the transition of its headquarters to Lakeland. 

“...Coming to Lakeland will allow us to work even more closely with a huge volunteer base in the Central Florida area, as well as our support services such as finance, marketing and development,” said Gunter.

Last year, nearly 1,000 volunteers mobilized to locations served through Orphan’s Heart. Among them was Jeanette Lethers, a Lakeland resident who traveled to Guatemala 12 times during the past two years with Orphan’s Heart to its Malnutrition Center in San Juan. Lethers, along with the Orphan’s Heart staff and volunteers, cared for up to 100 children daily. 

“I am thrilled that Orphan’s Heart is right here in Lakeland. It gives our family the chance to give even more time and resources to an organization that has literally changed our lives,” said Lethers.

Orphan’s Heart was founded in 2008 to help meet the rising needs of children in developing nations. Since that time, the international organization has proudly worked to meet the physical needs of children and families, and in doing so, showing them the transforming love of Jesus Christ. For more information about how Orphan’s Heart is meeting the needs of children, visit www.OrphansHeart.org or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/OrphansHeart.

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