With shows like “Who do you think you are?” popular on television combined with ease of access to records on sites like Ancestry.com, researching your family’s genealogy has sparked a lot of recent interest. Like millions of Americans, I too have been caught up in this popular pastime. Luckily for me, tracing my family through hundreds of years is possible. For others, it is not as easy to make the connection. For so many children worldwide, they are caught in the unfortunate position of never knowing their birth parents and not have a family to call their own.
Kelly Putty, founder of the nonprofit, Ordinary Hero, has dedicated her life to raising awareness to the plight of the orphan, having seen first -hand the immense need for adoptive families and sponsors in Ethiopia. Since adopting her 6th child in 2008, she has been back to this African country many times to aid and bring awareness to some of the reported five million orphans in that country and in particular to Addis Ababa, one of the poorest regions of the country. Leading by example, the Putty family will be adding a 7th and 8th child to their family this summer.
Kelly’s passion for helping comes from a very private place. She makes no secret of the unspeakable trauma she experienced as a teenager from a violent abduction and assault. She knows firsthand about pain and suffering and can relate to children in similar situations. She has a heart about as big as Africa and has been able to inspire hundreds of adoptions and sponsorships across the USA just from her testimonies. In the past several years, she has also led mission trips to Ethiopia, been instrumental in building a Life Center for Americans to stay while their adoption paperwork has been sorted out, and forged friendships with other nonprofits in the area to maximize their combined effectiveness.
She is a voice for millions of children without one, an angel for those desperately awaiting a family whom they can claim as their own, and for sure, an inspiration for the rest of us. There are so many ways in which all of us can make a difference in the life of a child in need whether it is local or international. Please check out the Ordinary Hero Website for some inspiration: http://www.ordinaryhero.org/Ordinary_Hero/Home/Home.html
This article is about an amazing foundation started by a friend of mine. I first knew Kelly Putty while living in Tennessee and before she adopted her 6th child. After adopting her son, Nathan, her eyes were opened to a startling reality of a country with five million orphans. Her life’s mission is to bring awareness to this problem and to be a voice for those without one. She challenges all of us to find the ordinary hero within ourselves.
Peggy Bolgiano Fischer has an MSW (Master in Social Work) from University of Maryland with bachelor of arts from the Pennsylvania State University. She has lived in four states, moving along with her husband, Tim, and their four children. She came to Sparta 10 years ago as a reluctant southern transplant. Since then, she has learned that living in “Jersey” is what you make of it and she considers it not only a duty but an honor to advocate for those without a voice
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