People Who Move Us: Sean Lawrence – COO of Giving Children Hope

Sean Lawrence, COO of Giving Children Hope.

Sean Lawrence, COO of Giving Children Hope.

In 2010, Sean Lawrence joined Giving Children Hope, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that gathers and distributes basic needs, nutritional foods and medical resources through wellness programs and disaster response in collaboration with local and global communities.

Giving Children Hope's Sean Lawrence.
Giving Children Hope’s Sean Lawrence.

As Chief Operating Officer, Sean has a very busy schedule. He meets with board members, educates potential donors, brainstorms with staff members, travels abroad and attends events on behalf of Giving Children Hope. This is all done to help vulnerable children and their families from “Across the Street and Around the World.”

Sean has an eclectic background. He grew up as a missionary kid in Southeast Asia. Later in Southern California, he worked with his church to develop a missions program that extended as far as Japan and Rwanda. Sean also spent several years reporting on missions work and global humanitarian crises for a mission’s magazine.

Giving Children Hope was founded in 1993 by John Ditty and Juliana Reasor after encountering extreme poverty in Russia while they were adopting their son. The Russian people had been struggling to survive a devastating famine, and a lack of basic medications and medical supplies to treat minor injuries and/or illnesses. John and Juliana therefore vowed to help disadvantaged children in the worst economically impacted parts of the world. The outreach has grown to also provide immediate assistance of basic needs and health care to local children and their families living in low-income communities. Some of the programs that Sean Lawrence oversees include:

Giving Children Hope thrives on donations.
Giving Children Hope thrives on donations.

25 years later, Giving Children Hope is still sending donated supplies

  • We’ve Got Your Back: Ten years ago, Giving Children Hope created this nutrition program to provide enough food to feed Los Angeles & Orange County homeless children and up to four of their family members throughout weekends (when they do not have access to free and reduced school meal programs). Every week, 1,200 nutrition-filled backpacks are distributed in 60 schools.
  • Giving For Living: This program thrives on partnerships with donors, other nonprofits, schools and volunteers to help fulfill Giving Children Hope’s mission of wellness for vulnerabledren worldwide by delivering donated medicines, medical supplies and equipment.

    children and families. Financial donations provide the flexibility for the Giving for Living Center to respond to urgent, “in the moment,” desperate situations that usually come directly from schools. Every dollar received is maximized; $20 donated can cover the cost of over $100 worth of goods.

  • Global Operations: Giving Children Hope gathers and redistributes medical supplies and equipment to local and international non-profit partners, clinics, or hospitals in need. Medical manufacturers and hospitals donate their overstock or unused equipment; cleaned and refurbished, the items are then shipped worldwide. Depending upon need, Giving Children Hope sends approximately 40 large 40-foot shipping containers of donated medical supplies annually.
  • Disaster Relief: Even before the storm had past, Giving Children Hope was one of the first responders to the 2013 Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. They supplied water filtration systems and have since sent more than 15 shipments of food, boats, and medical supplies. Giving Children Hope has also continued to support Syrian refugees since 2012 with food, clothing, hygiene items, etc. Other crisis situations responded to include the 2010 Haiti earthquake; the 2011 Japan earthquake/tsunami; Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria; the central Mexico earthquake; and the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela.
Children are the focus of Giving Children Hope.
Children are the focus at GCH.

Most recently, Giving Children Hope helped more than 40 local families affected by the devastating California wildfires. Thanks to financial support from donors, Giving Children Hope was able to send a truckload of supplies to Malibu for families like one with two young children who had lost everything in the Woolsley fire. Their spirits were lifted after receiving gifts of donated sleeping bags, coolers and a power source. They especially appreciated the Instapot which gave them the ability to cook a hot meal.

Giving Children Hope also collaborated with Yasiel Puig’s Wild Horse Children’s Foundation to host a Christmas party for more than 600 at-risk children and their families in Lynwood. A mariachi band serenaded everyone while they enjoyed food and drinks, played games and participated in arts & crafts projects. Families received a treat-filled holiday basket from Thoughtfully and Santa Claus presented each child with a gift.

Along with their community and corporate partners, Sean Lawrence and Giving Children Hope are committed to serving children in need and their families – to give the gift of hope this holiday season and years to come.

Get Involved with Giving Children Hope   PWMU: Sean Lawrence of Giving Children Hope

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Giving Children Hope

All photos via Giving Children Hope

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