There’s no better way to launch a New Year than with a story of love and compassion, times two. One Clemmons family discovered that a double dose of giving could change their lives, as well that of as a local widow who was in need of a helping hand around her home.
Eric and Hannah Shipton of Clemmons are the parents of three beautiful children of their own—Ethan, Caleb, and Annabelle—but have felt led to adopt more children to share their lives. While they began the very detailed process of adopting a child from Ethiopia in 2012, the country has since suspended international adoptions. As fate would have it, they discovered an opportunity to adopt children from Liberia during the spring of 2017. But while their hope is to bring a new child—or hopefully a sibling group of three children—home to Clemmons in the spring of 2018, two trips to Liberia were required, posing a financial burden on the growing family.
Thanks to the non-profit ministry, Both Hands, the Shiptons—and Ms. Goldie Seymore of Rural Hall, a 90-year-old widow whose home was in need of some overall landscaping and minor repairs—received help and support when they needed it most. As the group’s Facebook page says, this is, indeed, a “different” kind of adoption fundraiser!
In mid-November, the Shiptons—along with about 30 volunteers—spent a fulfilling workday at Ms. Seymore’s home, with very positive and heartfelt results. “I just want to say many, many thanks for what you all have done,” expressed Ms. Seymore, following the fall workday around her lifelong home.
At the heart of the group’s mission is the mantra, “Serving orphans, widows, and adoptive families”—referencing the poignant words of James 1:27, “One hand for the widow, one hand for the orphan.” Their mission made the collaboration perfect: to assist Ms. Seymore and aid the Shiptons in their adoption journey at the same time. Set up much like how a 5K race works, the volunteer team sent letters to friends and family in the months prior to the work day, in order to raise sponsorships. Construction materials for the home repairs were donated by local merchants, as is always the case with a Both Hands project.
Since 2008, through 730 Both Hands projects in 42 states, over 800 widows have received the assistance they needed, and nearly 900 orphans—both domestic and international—are closer to joining real homes and forever families. One hundred percent of funds raised through teams and sponsorships goes toward the adoption process itself, with nothing taken out for administrative fees or supplies.
For the Shiptons, the outreach and support have brought them one step closer to their family’s dream of welcoming more children in 2018, while touching the hearts of many volunteers along the way. They hope to make a trip to Liberia in the spring.
“It is such a blessing to have had more than 30 volunteers dedicate their Saturday to home repairs for Ms. Seymore,” said Eric Shipton, who also thanked family and friends for gathering sponsors and making personal donations to help support their mission of love.
For more information on the wonderful work of Both Hands, visit them online at BothHands.org and follow the organization’s many projects on Facebook and Instagram. To follow the Shipton’s journey, visit bothhands.org/project/shipton-5646.