Cleft Healing Homes for Orphaned Children in China

Organization Information:

Organization Name:
Love Without Boundaries Foundation
City & State:
Organization Website:
Organization's Mission Statement

Love Without Boundaries Foundation is a worldwide group of volunteers dedicated to improving the lives of orphaned and impoverished children in China. We provide humanitarian aid in five key areas—medical, education, nutrition, special assistance, healing homes and foster care—enabling children to receive a family through adoption or to become self-sustaining members of their communities.

Submission Information

Impact Essay

A tiny baby is born in rural China with the birth defect of having a cleft lip. Due to cultural beliefs that the child is unlucky, she is abandoned and taken to a crowded orphanage. Alone and bewildered, the baby tries desperately to drink the bottle which has been propped in her crib, but due to her cleft lip, she is unable to suck properly. The caregivers wish they had time to feed her by hand, but it can take a baby with cleft up to two hours to drink one bottle, and they have far too many babies to feed. Days and weeks go by, and the tiny baby becomes weaker and more vulnerable—until she finally gives up. Her life has ended before she even had a chance to know love.

Her story doesn’t have to end this way. Through the kindness and compassion of people around the world, we rewrite the stories of children who are orphaned. Microsoft has played an integral part in doing just that.

Love Without Boundaries Foundation is a worldwide group of volunteers dedicated to changing the lives of orphaned and impoverished children in China. Founded in 2003, LWB now touches the lives of over 1,500 children a year. We provide life-saving surgeries, loving foster care, and real hope to some of the most vulnerable children in the world.

LWB is a virtual foundation, meaning we have no main physical office. Over 150 volunteers from eight countries (and 38 states in the U.S.) work each day from their personal computers to coordinate our programs and bring essential services to those in need. Because of our unique make-up, we rely completely on being able to communicate with each other, our donors, and our staff in China through technology. LWB uses Microsoft Office 2007, purchased through TechSoup. We utilize every aspect of this powerful software program to keep our foundation running smoothly, to increase and connect with our donors, and to follow the children in our care to make sure as many as possible have their lives changed forever. The impact of Microsoft to our foundation cannot be overstated. While we run varied projects throughout China, we want to focus on our cleft healing homes for this contest to show you exactly how Microsoft has helped save lives.

After realizing how many orphaned children with cleft lip become labeled “failure to thrive,” LWB decided to take action to help change their odds. We knew that the key to helping these children was to give them the one-on-one attention they need, since taking a bottle is so very difficult. We opened our first cleft healing home, the very first outreach home in China devoted exclusively to vulnerable babies born with cleft lip and palate, in Anhui Province. We accept babies who are in need of intensive care, taking in infants from any orphanage. The babies receive love and nurturing, as well as rich formula from cleft bottles that make it easier for them to eat. Our nannies care for only two to three babies each and have been specially trained to feed these children so they can gain the weight needed to qualify for surgery. Following their operations, now fully healed, these babies then have the best chance possible of finding adoptive families. In its first year, our healing home helped save the lives of 36 of these beautiful children. But building a home for orphaned children, training staff, raising donations, and following each child closely to make sure they receive the best care possible is not an easy task from overseas. That is where Microsoft Office has helped us enormously.


EXCEL: Outfitting a new healing home from the ground up requires keeping track of hundreds of details. Our budget for the home was prepared in Excel, and this program made it easy for us to see how much we had left for each phase of development. Our supply lists were also done in Excel, so that we could track our inventory of diapers, bottles, and more. On opening day, after checking our spreadsheets many times, we knew we were ready to accept our first babies for care. Some of the children who entered our home were six to nine months old and weighed just six to eight pounds. After arriving in our home, all of a child’s information, including their birth dates, orphanage information, monthly weights, special notes, etc., is all recorded in Excel.

OUTLOOK: Coordinating projects between multiple countries requires a great deal of communication, and Outlook provides the best email program possible to our volunteers and staff. Almost everything we do is done by email due to the time difference between China, Europe, and the U.S. Outlook allows us to easily create folders on every child and orphanage, and email also helps us keep our overhead as low as possible since it saves on postage costs.

WORD: In order to keep our donors updated on the status of the children in our cleft healing homes, we send them monthly progress reports, which include both text and photos. Word allows us to create reports that our donors absolutely love. These “.doc” files also serve as a valuable history of each child’s life, which we can pass on to adoptive families in the future. Our goal for every child in our home is to find a permanent family through adoption, and the files we create each month will be part of priceless life stories for children who were once orphaned.

ACCESS: Tracking each child’s progress, especially those who are waiting for surgeries and who have special medical conditions to consider, is a full-time job. Access provides us with powerful database capabilities which we use extensively to follow every child’s progress.

POWERPOINT: Our cleft healing homes could not run without essential funding, and funding only happens when the message that people really CAN make a difference in the lives of orphaned children is heard. Our volunteers use PowerPoint to create presentations about our programs which encourage people to get involved. We have raised thousands of dollars through these presentations. PowerPoint allows us to have the best visuals possible to tell a child’s story.

PUBLISHER: LWB has a monthly newsletter that goes to our supporters every month that is created in Publisher. Once we began using Microsoft Office, our newsletter subscribers grew from 2,000 to almost 10,000. In addition, all of our PR materials, such as brochures and program glossies, are made in Publisher, as well as gift cards that people can purchase to support our programs.

Microsoft Office has truly allowed our foundation to better impact the lives of orphaned children. We believe so fully that every time a child’s life is saved, the world changes forever. That child can grow up to be a doctor, or a scientist, or a mom or dad. Everything changes when a child who otherwise would have passed away…. LIVES. Thanks to the wonderful Microsoft donation program, LWB’s quality of service to both the children in China and our donors is first-rate. Thank you, Microsoft! You are forever a part of each precious child’s story of hope.

Submission Category
Optimize Mission Delivery