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

Sean Lawrence, COO of Giving Children Hope.

In 2010, Sean Lawrence joined Giving Children Hope. The 501(c)3 nonprofit organization 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. He also travels abroad and attends events on behalf of the non-profit. 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. For several years, Sean also reported on mission work and global humanitarian crises for a mission’s magazine.

Children Giving Hope: Inspired By Global Need 

John Ditty and Juliana Reasor founded Children Giving Hope in 1993 after they encountered extreme poverty in Russia while adopting their son. The Russian people had been struggling to survive devastating famine, and a lack of basic medications and medical supplies to treat minor injuries and/or illnesses. Therefore, John and Juliana vowed to help disadvantaged children worldwide by delivering donated medicines, medical supplies and equipment.

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

All these years later, Giving Children Hope continues to send donated supplies to the worst economically-impacted parts of the world. Subsequently, the outreach has grown to also provide immediate assistance of basic needs and health care to local, low-income children and their families. Some of the programs that Sean Lawrence oversees include:

CGH Programs: 
  • We’ve Got Your Back: This nutrition program was created in 2008 to provide enough food to feed Los Angeles & Orange County homeless children and up to four of their family members throughout the weekend (when they do not have access to free and reduced school meal programs). Every week, 60 schools receive 1,200 nutrition-filled backpacks.
  • Giving For Living: This program thrives on partnerships with donors, other nonprofits, schools and volunteers to help fulfill the mission for wellness for vulnerable children and families. More importantly, 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. The goal is to maximize very dollar received. Consequently, $20 donated can cover the cost of over $100 worth of goods.
  • Global Operations: Medical supplies and equipment are gathered and redistributed to local and international non-profit partners, clinics, or hospitals in need. In addition, overstock or unused equipment (donated by medical manufacturers and hospitals) is cleaned, refurbished, and then shipped worldwide. As a result, Giving Children Hope sends approximately 40 large 40-foot shipping containers of donated medical supplies annually depending upon need.
  • Disaster Relief: Even before the storm had past, Giving Children Hope responded 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. The organization also continues to support Syrian refugees since 2012 with food, clothing, hygiene items, etc. Additionally, they have responded to such crisis situations as the 2010 Haiti earthquake; the 2011 Japan earthquake/tsunami; Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria; the earthquake in central Mexico; and the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela.

The Mission Continues   

Children are the focus of Giving Children Hope.
Children are the focus at GCH.

In 2018, Giving Children Hope helped more than 40 local families affected by the devastating California wildfires. Thanks to financial support from donors, hard-hit Malibu families received a truckload of supplies. Gifts of donated sleeping bags, coolers and a power source lifted the spirits of one family with two young children who had lost everything in the Woolsley fire. They especially appreciated the Instapot which gave them the ability to cook a hot meal.

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

Along with their community and corporate partners, Sean Lawrence and Giving Children Hope are committed to serve children in need and their families. Ultimately, it is their wish 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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All photos via Giving Children Hope

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