USA (OHI/MNN) — Professional
golfer Brad Bryant is putting his money where his heart is.
Dr. Jerry Haag, president of the Florida Baptist Children's
Homes, explains, "Brad Bryant is
a professional golfer on the Champions Tour. Brad and Sue have a passion for
adoption. It's deeply personal for them, as they adopted one of their sons a
number of years ago. They've been generous, and they've been very supportive in
helping to fund adoptions for others over the years."
Adoption: it is one of the answers to the global orphan crisis. Best estimates are that there are nearly 140
million orphaned children throughout the world. In the U.S. there are roughly 26,000 children
who age-out of the foster care system each year. This means that all of these children move
into society at 18 years of age without having a family to call their own.
According to Florida Baptist Children's Homes, these children
experience much higher rates of homelessness, unemployment, public assistance,
and incarceration. The Bryants want to
be part of the solution. After a long
friendship with the Bryants, Haag says, "This past year, Brad and Sue came
to us and said, 'We want to commit 10% of all of his winnings this year
on the Champions Tour to go to Uniting Hearts.'
Brad went a step further. "We had a press conference on the
Champions Tour with the Golf Channel and
a number of other media
outlets, and Brad challenged
everyone there. He said, 'I'm going to commit 10% of my earnings to
UnitingHearts.org. I want to challenge the other professional golfers, as well
as each and every person, to go to UnitingHearts.org and give a gift to help
offset the cost of adoption."
Why create a fund? Adoption
costs can be prohibitive, and the Bryants wanted to help remove that obstacle
if possible. "We've seen that as a
barrier because the cost for adoption is high. But what a tragedy! I mean, one day when we get to
heaven, to say, 'Well, we wanted to help
families adopt, but money got in the way.' That should never be a barrier for us in being able to place a child in
a forever family."
Florida Baptist Children's Homes has 14 locations across Florida
where they have various program services for abused, neglected, and orphaned
children. In 2011, they served over 17,000
children and families with those services, which include adoption services,
residential care, emergency shelter care, foster care, Caring Families,
Sanctity of Human Life, and Orphan's Heart, which is their international
The Uniting Hearts Fund will focus on supporting activities
designed to promote more adoptive homes for orphaned children. Each family that participates is an active
part of Gospel outreach, says Haag. "We know that God has adopted each and
every one of us. What a beautiful picture. What a beautiful story. What a
beautiful, meaningful way that we could reach out and adopt other children
in the same way that God has adopted us."