Mission Statement

The mission of Orphanage Support Services Organization (OSSO) is to do everything possible to help children living in orphanages and similar institutions to reach their full potential.

Our secondary mission is to create a two-way bridge of meaningful connection between children in need in the third world and caring people here who have the means to help. We aim to change lives for the better on both sides of the bridge.

Core Beliefs

1. Every child is a child of God and, as such, is just as important as any other person.
2. No institution can replace a loving family, although they sometimes must try.
3. Every child needs food, shelter, education and secure loving relationships. If a child's family or community cannot or will not provide for those needs, it becomes the responsibility of good people everywhere to try and provide them.
4. Every child deserves to receive and give love and in fact must do so to develop normally.

Guiding Principles

Global Versus Individual
The factors that result in orphanages full of children have at their root moral, social, political and economic problems on a personal, local, national and international level. The solutions to these problems are very complex and controversial; a great deal of effort and resources are and should be spent to resolve them. The basic needs of individual, institutionalized children are neither complex nor controversial. It is on the individual end of the spectrum that OSSO chooses to focus its energy. We will go into orphanages and identify the needs of individual children and try to meet those needs.

While we hope to have an impact on institutions, communities and nations, our first priority will be to individual children. OSSO will try to provide each volunteer and donor the privilege to know, understand and love these precious children as individual children of God. This love and understanding will profoundly affect their lives, like a stone tossed in still waters, rippling through families and communities, across borders and through generations. In this way OSSO hopes to save starfish* in the urgent here and now, while changing the moral, social, political and economic tide slowly, one heart at a time.

Our goal is to help children become self-reliant. Orphanages, by nature, are income-consuming and not income-producing. It is very difficult for an orphanage, especially one with many infants or handicapped children, to become self-sufficient. When an orphanage accepts an infant into its doors, it is accepting a responsibility that may last many years, but too often they do not have the security of knowing where the money for next month’s food will come from. Many charitable organizations are reluctant to help orphanages because these organizations operate on the wise philosophy of teaching a man to fish rather than giving him a fish. It is hard to find a proper application of this principle for an orphanage that has a large number of small or handicapped children, so the needs of orphanages are often neglected. We will help the orphanages develop reliable, long-term sources of funding, providing stability and security so they can focus their energy on the needs of the children. We would like to eliminate the need for orphanages, but if orphanages exist they should get adequate funding.

Spirit of Cooperation
We will do everything in our power to cooperate with other organizations or individuals to bring about the best possible results for these children. Under no circumstances will we allow our own organization's interests or the interests of any of our members, or the interests of other organizations or individuals, supercede the interest of the children we serve. We will cultivate a spirit of cooperation and not one of competition. None of our projects or programs will be used to propagate religious or political ideas that are contrary to the wishes of the institutions in which we are working.

* The story is told of a small boy who was seen on a vast beach covered with starfish. The tide was out and the stranded starfish were dying on the sand. The boy was taking the starfish one at a time and throwing them back into the sea. A passerby, seeing the millions of starfish on the miles of shore, told the young boy to stop. “There are so many starfish,” he said, “there is no way you can really hope to make a difference.” The boy never stopped but as he watched another starfish splash safely into the surf he said, “It made a difference to that one.”