Christy Lynn Wilson

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Dec. 6, 2013—It is certainly something to be thankful for. During Thanksgiving weekend, Family Christian, America’s largest Christian specialty retail chain, and its customers raised $278,673 to help build a neonatal orphanage in Haiti.

“Just look at what our customers did,” said Family Christian President and CEO Cliff Bartow. “Their generosity and desire to do good are inspiring. Together we can now look forward to seeing these resources used by our God to rescue the lives of some of Haiti’s most vulnerable as He sees this project all the way through to completion.”

The monies raised through The Haiti Challenge will be used to begin building a new neonatal orphanage in partnership with God’s Littlest Angels, a ministry that has been serving the children of Haiti since 1994.

In Haiti, one in five children die before the age of five. Sixty percent of those do not reach their first birthday. For children born prematurely, the situation is even more bleak. In addition, Haiti has the highest rate of maternal deaths in the Western Hemisphere, leaving many Haitian newborns without a mother.

“The situation for Haitian preemies—and particularly orphaned preemies—is especially dire. But God continues to amaze us with how He provides for the children we serve,” said Dixie Bickel, co-founder of God’s Littlest Angels. “We are grateful to Family Christian and its wonderful customers for their incredible generosity. Lives will be saved because of it.”

“Together, Family Christian, its customers, and my reader friends used this past Thanksgiving weekend to send a message: Orphans matter," said No. 1 New York Times best-selling author Karen Kingsbury, ambassador for The Haiti Challenge.

Groundbreaking for the new neonatal orphanage will happen in February. Family Christian will continue its efforts to cover the entire $500,000 cost of the building project by inviting customers to donate directly to the Haiti orphanage at as well as through other projects in the future. When complete, the facility will be able to serve more than 75 babies at a time. Once children are nursed to good health, they will transition either back to their birth family or into an adoptive family. To date, 100 percent of the orphans in this program have found a home with “forever families.” Not one has ever aged out of the program.

Updates on the project will continue to be available at


Family Christian is America’s largest Christian specialty retail chain, providing Bibles, books, videos, music, and gifts to those seeking Christian encouragement and spiritual growth. As a nonprofit ministry, Family Christian gives 100 percent of earnings to support Christian organizations and causes. It operates a first-of-its-kind business model so that its charitable donations can increase as earnings increase.