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China’s Babies and Children Need Your Help!

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Hello, all. Susan here, and this is a blog I wish I didn’t have to write, but I’m inspired to do so by the wonderful Chinese people with whom I work every day. All of them have friends and relatives in China, including one lovely young woman whose 10-month old is being cared for her parents in China. The other day, when she and I were working on some fundraising materials to raise money internally for earthquake relief, she was in tears as we looked at the pictures of the devastation. It was heartbreaking.

She reminded me about China’s one-child policy to help control their population–so almost all of the parents who lost children were left completely childless. It hurts to even think about.

fengshuibear.jpg At last, there was some good news out of their country yesterday. The Chinese government announced that it would make exceptions to its 30-year, one-child policy for some families affected by the earthquake two weeks ago. Because it happened in the early afternoon, this horrendous 7.9-magnitude earthquake collapsed many schools filled with children. The region’s Population and Family Planning Committee announced that families whose child was killed, severely injured or disabled in the disaster would be allowed to have another child. I can’t imagine a more valuable baby gift for these grieving parents.

While they can’t estimate how many children were killed, the death toll stands at about 65,100, with more than 23,000 still missing. They do know that, at this point, at least 5,498 Chinese children have been orphaned. An organization has already been established to connect parents who lost their child in the quake with a child who no longer has parents, and a couple that adopts will not be penalized if they have their own biological child later.

I’d like to make a special request to everyone who reads this blog. Please make a contribution to the Chinese Red Cross through the American Red Cross to help them in their rescue and recovery efforts. Think about your own children, hug them and hold them tight–and give generously. On behalf of the Chinese people, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

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