Friday, June 13, 2008

Orphan Train means different things to different folks

While doing a routine search on the term orphan train, I made an interesting discovery. The term is currently in use today to reflect various charities that deal with orphanages throughout the world.

The term first came into play with a series done by PBS, where they documented the work of Charles Loving Brace and his efforts to lessen the burdens created by homeless children in New York. The series is a wonderful glimpse into the good and bad experiences these poor waifs endured.

Since Charles Loving Brace began the practice of placing orphans in homes far removed from their hometowns, other countries soon followed suit. As the plight of orphans has always captured the hearts of generous, empathetic folks, the term has been assigned to other charitable endeavors. Instead of taking orphans on the train to new places, orphan trains now bring much needed services to needy orphanages. The Rotary Club started an Orphan Train project in which they provide all sorts of services from seeing that children are examined by optometrists and given needed eye ware to providing vocational training.

It amazes me that there are so many good-hearted folks willing to help orphans in far off locations and yet, it's also very sad that these orphans have such a hard life. Kudos to those that make a difference.

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