This is what God our Father sees as authentic and pure-hearted religion: To take care of orphans and widows in meeting their needs and countering their despair, and to refuse to participate in the filthiness of sin in the world. (James 1:27, NIV paraphrased by Deb)
There are millions upon millions of orphans all over the planet. In the reality of this cruel world, orphans have little chance of survival, and what lives they have are usually marked by abuse, neglect and abandonment, exploitation, starvation, disease... Any human being with a heart must be moved by the fate of helpless children lacking any caring parent to provide and protect; as a mother, I can barely handle even thinking about the lives that most of these children lead. Small wonder that God in His Word has made it abundantly clear, over and over, that the righteous, His people, are commanded to shoulder the roles of provider and protector on behalf of the disenfranchised. But there are so many in need; the problem is so huge as to be overwhelming. I am a single mom who can barely deal with one child. How can I confront the needs of millions?
Willow quoted Mother Teresa as saying that "we cannot do great things, we can do only small things with great love". Many of us give sacrificially but even in our sacrifices, our resources meet only a few tiny needs. But if each one of us does even just one thing, that's a lot of little things adding up to something bigger. And if we each do our one little thing with love, all of us together will become something even greater still!
There are many organizations dedicated to the care of orphans, and probably the majority of them are reputable and provide incredible positive impact on behalf of the people that they serve. My family have been fortunate enough to become aware of Ugandan Lambs, and we personally know many of the people that work with and for them. Ugandan Lambs is unique in that it is designed to provide for the children of one extended family whose older members have slowly been destroyed and killed by AIDS. Ugandan Lambs really focuses on keeping the children's lives as stable and family-oriented as possible, for they are not sent to institutions but rather remain together with siblings and cousins in their village, cared for by surviving relatives (many of whom are AIDS widows). Ugandan Lambs provides education for the orphans, so that they become self-sufficient adults who can break the cycle of poverty and dependence and are then able to reach out and care for orphans and widows of future generations. My parents have sponsored one particular young man for several years, whereas my choice has been to offer gifts that meet needs for the group of children as a whole. If you are a believer and God has impressed upon your heart His command to care for orphans (or if you are an unbeliever but still have compassion for orphans) and you are looking for a responsible organization to support, we heartily recommend Ugandan Lambs. Please feel free to explore the website (it's http://www.ugandanlambs.org/) and contact them for more information. If you have a different organization that you choose to support, we are excited and encourage you to continue in that.
I should have mentioned this first and not as an afterthought, but remember: Prayers are free. Find even just a name of an orphan and intercede for him or her daily.