There are many hosting organizations and so choosing one should be a matter of who is doing it right. From all the metrics that matter to me, that's NHFC. There are lots of ways to put kids and host families together and even if done with the best of intentions hosting could result in harm instead of good without a lot of very careful research, understanding, and prioritization. NHFC has done their work and it shows.
(1) they are focused on kids safety and well being above all else. In choosing the kids they interview, the caregivers they partner with, the families they screen and approve, it's always about how it will impact the life of the child. They will caution away from a match if they know the child's needs aren't a good fit for that family, even if feelings are hurt. They may suggest a child that is a better fit who was initially overlooked but they don't push kids onto host families either. It's about finding a good match for both but with priority being the needs of the child.
(2) They put their resources in that same priority: the kids. All of this is done to help families truly meet the kids where they have their needs:
(a) The training they require of all host families focuses on trauma-informed care and cultural respect among other details. It also build great community among hosting families who then share their experiences.
(b) They have enormous support during hosting with adequate in-country chaperones and translators, on-call medical and trauma-informed teams, fully chaperoned travel on all legs of all flights, etc.
(c) Afterwards, there is on-going support to host families on how to stay connected with their host child without overstepping relationships and structure from their caregivers in-country.
Overall, they make every decision based on what is best for the kids even if that's less convenient or comfortable for the host families in the short term. Host families are absolutely part of this process in coming alongside a child and his/her caregivers to help provide love and support, but hosting is not about a host family's convenience as the first priority.
The team is almost entirely volunteer and they're passionate and knowledgeable, including degrees and careers in child development and psychology. They have a deep respect for the caregivers and policy makers in-country. NHFC focuses on becoming partners with those caregivers who have sought out hosting opportunities for the kids in their care. NHFC provides on-going support in material and educational needs to vulnerable kids throughout world.
Review from Guidestar
Unfortunately, this organization is no longer what it used to be. The CEO who took over has been caught lying to host families more than once. Example: Summer 2015 she claimed the Riga Airport put a limit on the size of aircraft allowed to use it, which caused them to have to change flight plans. As a result, they levied a last minute fee (conveniently one day after the cutoff for the big deposit payment to be due). After contacting the airport director in Riga (who spoke perfect English), he confirmed this was a LIE, and after further research, he claimed that this organization was late at reserving tickets for the summer host session.
This same CEO was sent a cease and desist letter from an attorney, after she meddled in the affairs of a former host family who was attempting to secure a Visa fur a former host child. She was apparently mad that they refused to host the child again, before going such a route, and went behind their backs by contacting Latvian officials, claiming they were breaking a rule regarding residence information. Needless to say, she was wrong and way out of line. The child is here in America right now, so obviously she was wrong, and was basically vindictive.
Beware of the wolf in sheep's clothing. There's a reason why this organization is nowhere near the size it once was, and why so many families have left to go with other hosting organizations.
New Horizons for Children is such a wonderful program for both the orphans they serve and the volunteers who offer to host a child(ren). I have had the opportunity to host a teen girl and it was a wonderful experience. I have also seen wonderful transformations in both the children and the host families time and time again through friends, neighbors, and testimonials from others who have also hosted. What a unique way for anyone to live out their faith and dramatically make a difference in the lives of such important little people who believe that they are not worth anything, will never be loved, and are forgotten about by everyone. I have seen NHFC work very hard to use donations very wisely for scholarships for the kiddos and if there are ever any overages, they invest those funds to help more orphans by providing additional scholarships. They manage a large network of volunteers who all believe in the mission and it's really a total ministry from the heart for all of those who are involved. I am so blessed to have had the opportunity to be involved in changing lives with them.
My family has hosted 3 times through New Horizons for Children. The large group of volunteers that run everything are amazing. Everyone is very helpful and thorough in answering questions and any concerns. They do a great job to make sure you are properly trained before your host child arrives, and someone is always available to help out if/when needed. I never worried about where my money was going because they show you where every dollar goes. I will definitely host again through New Horizons and stay involved with this great organization!
I was nervous getting involved at first but after the initial contact everything fell into place and the experience was far more rewarding than could ever be expected. Organized, supportive and no hidden agendas.
We became interested in orphan hosting after a friend had hosted, and after considering several hosting groups online we chose New Horizons because we were impressed by their Christian commitment and their professionalism. We hosted a child for 4 weeks over Christmas 2013, and the whole experience has been rich and soul-stretching, truly a life-changing experience. Our host son was a gift to us and to our biological children, who all learned from him and enjoyed him. Our host son was not angelic at every moment (he is, after all, a preteen boy with lots of energy, and we were all dealing with a major language barrier) BUT the challenges he presented were mild, and we had been prepared well by the thorough training we received. Every NHFC staff member we had contact with was warm and prompt, encouraging and helpful. The staff is visionary, efficient and sacrificing--every one of them works so hard to bless these children. We hope to host again and will donate when we cannot host. We will recommend NHFC whenever we can.
We had the opportunity to host a child over this past Christmas and it was a tremendous experience. We jumped in to the process late but we were well supported and the training was outstanding. They did a great job preparing us for many of the challenges that we might experience and throughout the process they were available if any assistance was needed.
After several years of working through opportunities to extend my family, each of which ended in heart-breaking disappointment, I discovered New Horizons through one of my many internet-searches. Initially cautious, I followed the program for a year, reading, listening, and asking questions and the more that I learned, the more that I knew this was the path that was meant for me. The work that this organization does is so incredibly heart-warming one cannot help but to embrace it, the sensitivity, caring, and expertise of the staff (very few), the volunteers (many more people), and the other host families is second to none that I have encountered in my journey. Everyone is available and eager to help whenever and however needed - from answering a basic question, to providing information and guidance, to offering empathy during trying times, to providing a 24/7 pediatrician contact, to providing translation assistance, and so much more. This may not sound all that complex, but please keep in mind that New Horizons offers this wonderful hosting program from four countries to families across the entire Continental United States - not an easy feat from anyone but these professionals are just that - they are professional experts in their field!
I hosted two children from Eastern Europe this past holiday season and words cannot express what a personal blessing the experience was. While they come from a very hard place and have endured so much pain in their short lives and while we certainly had many difficult moments as we worked to build trust and respect, what we were able to give and learn from each other during four short weeks was nothing short of a miracle and will last a lifetime. I have dear friends who have commented that "I have never seen you so happy" - these children are a blessing and should never be forgotten - they are human beings who deserve to have the hope of life and happiness and to understand what that is or could be.
While people embark on this journey for many different and very good personal reasons, my desire was family and my hope is that we will permanently be a family. If this is to be, I will be forever grateful, if for some reason it is not then I will be a much better person for having had this experience.
I first heard about New Horizons for Children through friends who hosted an orphan in their home. They later went on to adopt that child. Through following their journey and financially supporting them, our family gained a deep respect for this organization. We were impressed with how well they shared their vision and how much was accomplished with the finances we donated. We have since hosted two children in our home and our opinion of this organization has only gotten better! They care deeply about orphans and sharing the love of God with them. I also love the many opportunities available to volunteer and lend support through non financial means. Whatever your financial situation is, there is a way to serve with this organization and help fulfill it's vision of helping orphans.
We started hosting with New Horizons in the summer of 2013 and then again over the Christmas Holidays. It was an experience none of us would trade. What an opportunity to show love to someone you would otherwise never come in contact with. New Horizons is a Wonderful organization. They do an excellent job training and communicating with their host families and using their finances to make the biggest difference in as many lives as possible. I would highly recommend this ministry.
New Horizon's came into my view when I was looking for a missions opportunity for my whole family to enjoy. At the time I had a 7 and 4 year old, and lets be honest, there isn't much that isn't collecting stuff for children that age to be involved in. Right from the start they were a great help. They somehow managed to be both professional AND personal, and were very attentive and quick with response any time I had a question. They encouraging, yet not pushy.The training was fun, informative, and REAL. In fact, that is probably my favorite thing about New Horizon's. They are VERY realistic and upfront about the possible challenges of hosting an orphan, and if those arise, they have a great staff to help you overcome. I turned out that our experience was VERY positive and we didn't require any support, but I know some who had to deal with some issues and said the staff was extremely helpful to both them personally, and to the children as well. I am looking forward to hosting with New Horizon's again this year and wouldn't consider working with any other hosting organization!
I don't know if our family is a donor, volunteer, or client served! We are all three. We donated our money for the services that NHFC provides to children and orphans and we volunteered our home to receive one beautiful, kind, loving child into our home for 4.5 weeks, but in the end, we felt served as clients. NHFC goes above and beyond to be sure that the children are provided with the safest, healthiest, and happiest experience possible during their stay. Host families are carefully prepared for the emotional and physical aspects of having these children in their homes to maximize the value the kids get from this trip. We were blessed with many resources for helping our host child understand things. NHFC provides medical insurance for the child, access to translators, access to a pediatrician (by phone) and social workers with training specific to these kids. We were networked with other host families to share insights and assistance and support. As a host family, we felt very well supported.
However, the true client served was our host daughter, and I never felt that NHFC lost sight of that over the donors and volunteers. All choices were made and rules put in place to protect her emotionally and physically. She arrived as a nervous, shy, quiet young teen and left with new confidence. She learned some English. She conquered a huge unknown. She heard daily while she was here that she was loved and worthy of love. She went back proud and strong and confident. We're so proud of her!
So blessed to have found NHFC. We began hosting for the purpose of extending our family. The staff was always very professional and they all love the work they do. We began hosting the summer of 2012 and on our 3rd host summer 2013 found our precious daughter. We plan on continuing as the Lord provides financially. NHFC rocks! As my kids say!
I have some friends who have participated in the New Horizons for Children winter hosting program. I was looking for something special to do last Christmas that I felt would make a difference--unlike previous years where I found myself stressed over all that I had to do during the season that had no meaning or value. We decided to give it a try and selected a 16 year old girl from Latvia to be hosted. New Horizons was great to work with. They were very organized and on top of every detail of the hosting. We received a 6 hour training and a training manual with all of the necessary details and contact numbers. Jo arrived a couple weeks before Christmas and we had the most amazing time with her! So much so, that we decided when we said our 'goodbyes' that we would have her back for summer hosting. She did come back and once again, it was a great experience. I have grown to love this girl as if she was my daughter. As God would have it, I am still able to contact her by phone and we keep in touch regularly :) She is doing great! I feel like we have touched her life by increasing her confidence, teaching her English, loving her and giving her good role models. She has broken up with her boyfriend because she said she doesn't need a boyfriend right now and she tells me she is studying a lot. These are all positive changes! The New Horizons for Children hosting program has changed all of our lives for the better.
We hosted a brother and sister from Ukraine for 4 weeks over Christmas 2012. We had an a life-changing experience! We did not have to "go overseas on a mission trip"...NHFC brought the mission field into our home. Our family was able to invest in the lives of 2 teens that desperately needed to know that someone cares and that have value and purpose. We are able to keep in touch with "Y" and "Z" and were are rehosting them in June of 2013. God has brought these 2 special kids into our lives for a purpose--and we are excited to be used by God to build his kingdom--one child at a time.
NHFC is a wonderful organization and our family would highly recommend them!
December 16th, 2012 changed our lives forever.
This was the day that "M" walked into our lives. We were blessed with the opportunity to host a precious now, 13 year-old (he turned 13 while he was with us!), orphaned boy from Eastern Europe, for 4 weeks this Winter. From the moment he stepped into our world, it was obvious that he was going to be a part of our "Forever Family".
His time with us this Winter was amazing. We had the opportunity to love him and to, in turn, be loved by him. We bonded as a family so quickly and we are grateful that we stepped out in faith and chose to host this amazing teenage boy through the New Horizons for Children Hosting Program - www.newhorizonsforchildren.org. They are truly an amazing organization. The volunteer coordinators are so invested in each and every child and family. They really want to see successful hosting happen and they do everything in their power to make sure it does.
We received thorough training and support every step of the way. We will most definitely host again through New Horizons.
We are excited to announce that we are in the adoption process, working to bring our host son home FOREVER!
New Horizons for Children is an amazing group of people! We hosted a boy from Ukraine this winter and are hosting him again along with his brother again this summer. What an amazing way to share Love and Christ and more with an orphan who has no one. I can't begin to say enough about this wonderful group, they have beyond our expectations to bring these children to America!! I would recommend them 110%!!
We hosted a group of three siblings during the summer of 2012. We knew nothing about them before hearing of the opportunity to host. It has been a very positive experience and one of the best summers we had. They offered an in depth training manual, the staff were there to answer our questions and emails all before, during, and after we hosted. The volunteer staff all have sincere hearts for helping orphans and sharing the love of Christ. We re-hosted the same kids at Christmas and are now pursuing the adoption of the kids. As a side note - we were able to entertain the chaperone that came with our kids and she was great - a sincere love for the kids was evident and we have maintained a friendship with her. Highly recommend New Horizons!
New Horizons folks have been very upfront and truthful about what to expect from hosting orphans. They can't control all things but they do try to help when there is a situation. They have been very honest in all things related to money in our dealings.
Review from Guidestar
We have hosted 2 children through the New Horizons' program. We were unsure at first how things would go, because we found them on the internet and had no personal references to go by. But we are so glad that we have found this organization. They share our desire to help orphans to find their Heavenly father and sometimes they find a family as well. They do their best to match up potential host children and American families to allow the children to have a life changing experience. They did a good job of communicating all of the details for the hosting, provided training and support before, during and after the hosting and continue to facilitate contact with the children when they are back in their homeland if it is possible. After hosting our first child, we were very excited about being a part of this program and have spoken to friends and churches about joining us in hosting children. As we are able we want to become more involved in volunteering and continuing to help spread the word about the great work they are doing to change the lives of American families and orphans from Eastern Europe.