Category Archives: News

Spotlight Volunteer Ann McCamy

Ann McCamy joined the James Connection volunteer team in early 2020. Inspired by the relationship her sons had with their sponsored child, she wanted to help facilitate more of those precious connections. So she took on the rewarding, though often daunting, job of managing our bi-annual letter drive.

“The most rewarding thing is seeing the letters going back and forth”, reports Ann. “I'm especially touched by exchanges between kids here in the U.S. and kids in India. It's just really sweet to see children who are just learning how to write make this kind of effort to communicate with someone they will never meet face-to-face.”

Yes, Ann is the one who works tirelessly behind the scenes to make sure every child at Angels’ Place gets a letter, even if she has to write some herself. She also recruits volunteers, like her aging home-bound neighbor, to fill in the gaps when sponsors don’t write. “Grandma Evelyn”, as her neighbor is fondly known, is thrilled to have the opportunity to serve and was overjoyed to receive her own special letter from an older child she had written this past year. For Ann, these moments of sweet connection make the challenges worth while.

From her own personal experience as a sponsor, Ann understands how meaningful these letters can be, not only for her family but the children in India as well. “The smiles tell the story”, she says, recalling pictures of the children beaming with joy as they hold their newly delivered letter like it was a precious treasure.

Ann wants sponsors to remember, “It’s a beautiful thing to provide financial support, but also realize that the photo on the fridge is a real child who would love to build a relationship with a real person in America who cares for them. Writing a letter really doesn't take a lot of time, but it means a lot to your child.”

Our next letter drive is coming up in August. If you are a sponsor, please, consider taking just a few minutes to write your child. You will surely make his or her day! You don't even have to wait until August. Write anytime you feel the inspiration and we will hold your letter to send when the batch goes to India.

If you are not yet a sponsor and want to learn how to become one, visit our Ways to Help > Sponsor Page for more information.

A Letter from Sawmi

Sawmi is one of our greatest success stories! Read her personal testimony below of how her life has been transformed by the work we do at Angels' Place.

Hello Everyone!

As the day for my college graduation is getting closer, I would like to thank everyone of you who has been with me through this journey. Without the help of each of you, I would not be where I am today. I would like to tell you all how grateful I am for everything you have done. Also, I would like to tell you a bit about my time here at Ohio Valley University as well my plans for the future.

I will graduate from OVU on the 8th of May, 2021 with a BA in Business. I am fortunate to have the love and support of my sponsors the Minsker Family, who will be by my side to witness the fruit of their investment in me over the past few years. They have been there for every important moment of my college life. This achievement is not just my achievement alone. I share my success with every person who supports the work of James Connection.

After graduation I plan to pursue my MBA at Oklahoma Christian University with a focus on either Human Resource Management or Health Care Administration. I will be working hard to prepare myself for future job placement. My long-term goal is to start an organization to help my community in India and Angels’ Place where I was raised. However, right after college, I will be looking for a job more in line with my degree so I can gain practical experience first.

I’ve had my share of challenges over the past four years. Everything was new for me. New friends, new food, new language, and different studies. I had to switch my major several times to find the right fit for my interests and passions and finally decided on Business. With time, I’ve made good friends and learned to adapt to all the new things. Through the process, I learned a lot about life and people and I’ve grown into a more mature and understanding person.

I love being involved in campus life. During my time at OVU, I was part of the Student Government Association, Steppingstone Student Chapter, Alpha Chi, the Social Club, and with my best friend’s encouragement, a club called Kappa. Being part of these groups, I have learned a lot about friendship and college life. I’ve grown to appreciate how much the university helps us, as students, grow spiritually. I also became aware that many international students did not get involved in social activities on campus. They didn’t have a place where they could build friendships on a deeper level, learn about each other’s cultures, and support each other while being far away from family and loved ones. So, during my Junior year, with the help of our International Director, Sally Massy (who was like a mother to every international student), I started a new club for International students within the larger Social Club. Being able to do that for all my international friends is one of my proudest achievements and brought me great happiness.

I know deep down in my heart, no matter what I do with my life, God had a purpose for me by bringing me to the United States and OVU. I want to continue to use my voice to make the world a better place. Above everything, I am excited and looking forward to how God will shape me and use me for his purpose in the months and years to come.

Love,
Sawmi

The Children are Back!

We are happy to report that the children have returned to Angels’ Place. Throughout the months of quarantine, Angels’ Place provided rice and dal to the families of the children, so that they would have nourishment while away from the orphanage. Their return has progressed gradually, and as we wrote earlier, the older children came back first in order to resume school as soon as possible. The younger children have now also returned, and Angels’ Place now has 145 children, who all are eating well, learning, and receiving regular health monitoring.

Angels’ Place continues to observe public health protocols. Students and staff wear masks at all times, practice disciplined hand washing, and maintain social distancing. The children's temperatures are taken regularly to monitor for any signs of fever. Also, admittance to the grounds is restricted and closely monitored. The Coronavirus has not significantly affected the area of India where Angels’ Place is located, which is relatively rural and remote, and this is a significant blessing. We remain in constant communication with the staff, and they report that the children are healthy and active.

The James Connection continues to work hard on behalf of all aspects of supporting the children at Angels’ Place. The production of lemongrass remains ongoing, and DoTerra continues to purchase the lemongrass oil. Members of the team in both the U.S. and India are also investigating ways to expand our service to the children as they transition into adulthood. Angels’ Place has steadily built programs in vocational training to provide job skills and prepare the older children as they begin their independent lives, and we look forward to growing these efforts.

Throughout the time of the quarantine, Angels’ Place staff have maintained the facility and kept in contact with the children, to ensure their well-being. We thank all of our supporters for making it possible to sustain operations, provide food to the children, and nurture their health, education, and spirit through this difficult time. These children all had great needs before the pandemic, and your generosity has made it possible for us to help see them through the additional strain of a health crisis. Your sponsorship has kept them fed and kept the orphanage in excellent condition to welcome them on their return.

If you would like to learn more about the many ways to support our work, visit our Ways to Help page.

Our New Vocational Director

This year Angels’ Place added a new staff member, Sangi Duhlian. Sangi’s primary responsibilities will be overseeing the new vocational program at Angels’ Place and providing academic counseling and mentorship to support the learning of the children there. She was contacted about the position in early 2019, and the opportunity to help the children held immediate appeal. She began her new position earlier this year, and we are delighted to report on the expansion of the staff and the program growth that comes with it.

Sangi comes to Angels’ Place with substantial credentials in education and work experience. She holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in social work, and completed a second master’s degree (MPhil) in December 2018, right before coming to the orphanage. Her years of education and work include participation in multiple conferences, where she has explored issues of social services and health care in rural India.

Her position at Angels’ Place follows a family history of service to the community. Sangi says that she grew up in a family that always puts faith into action. Her grandparents and parents are “always accepting and helping the needy,” and she continues by saying “they always believe in the principle that when you serve the needy, you serve God.” In her childhood, her father would bring her to spend time with orphans and destitute children, and as she grew, the wish to serve continued. In college and then in her graduate studies, she has pursued study of social work in order to help those in need, especially women and children. “I started developing a strong determination for working for society and giving back to the community to weave change.”

It is wonderful to add Sangi’s sense of generosity and caring to the community of Angels’ Place. In our next article, we will talk more about the program where Sangi will be working.