USA (MNN) – Say the word “underwear,” and you’re sure to get a few giggles.
But for Orphan Outreach, underwear is the main focus of an orphan ministry program!
And the spotlight is on this program today with their underwear roundup event called the "Undie 500" — purposefully coinciding with the Indy 500.
According to Tiffany Taylor with Orphan Outreach, there are over 163 million orphans across the globe. “They all have so many needs,” says Taylor, “but one really basic need is the need for underwear and socks.”
Taylor explains, “Any of us who have children know how quickly kids outgrow their underwear and socks. Being able to provide new underwear and socks [is important]; it’s a hygiene issue, and it’s also just a practicality issue: it lets [orphans] know that they’re not forgotten.”
Just a six-pack of kid’s underwear can cost around $5. It’s easy to donate and definitely has a lasting impact.
Hundreds of volunteers go out year-round to pass out underwear and socks that were donated. Both the orphans and their caretakers are touched.
“Anytime you can meet those orphanage caregivers with something that they really need, they’re just so thankful that people really care about their children…The needs are so overwhelming, and they can be so overwhelmed themselves.”
In all of Orphan Outreach’s ministry trips, they bring aid in one hand and the Gospel message in the other.
According to Taylor, “Everything we do at Orphan Outreach is rooted in letting these children know that they are deeply loved by their Lord and helping them develop a personal relationship with Christ.”
Churches can get involved to run collections for this unique ministry! Just e-mail Orphan Outreach saying you want to join in the "Undie 500" ministry, and they’ll send you promotional posters and logos to help out.
“We have churches doing it through their youth program, through their Vacation Bible School program, and it just allows them to let kids also know what a difference they can make by donating underwear.”
A packing event will take place in early June as volunteers in Texas prepare to send teams all over the world with underwear for orphan kids.
Taylor sums it up well. “It’s a little funny: a pair of underwear! But it’s something that’s so needed.”