Kirsten Vickerman and her husband, Lance, already were parents to two biological sons when they adopted a daughter from China eight years ago.
The experience was a blessing for the family -- one that ended up reverberating in the community too.
The Vickermans' adoption journey planted a seed that grew into Heart for the Fatherless, a nonprofit that supports local families that are fostering and adopting kids. The group also raises awareness about orphan-related issues and helps with short-term mission trips.
The faith-based group takes inspiration from the Bible book of James, which describes pure religion as looking out for orphans and widows.
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"It's all over the Bible what Christians should be doing for children without families," said Kirsten Vickerman, chairwoman of the group that started out as a ministry of Calvary Chapel Tri-Cities.
Heart for the Fatherless is holding a dinner and auction Saturday to raise money for its work.
Most of the proceeds will go toward providing grants to local families to help with adoption costs. The rest will go toward the annual conference the group puts on to educate about foster care, orphan care and adoption.
This year's conference is Nov. 8-9; it's free to the public.
The Saturday fundraiser starts at 5:30 p.m. at TRAC in Pasco with live music and a silent auction. Dinner and a live auction follow starting at 6:30 p.m.
Cost is $40 per plate and tickets still are available. Vickerman said the group hopes for a firmed-up head count by today.
To purchase tickets, go to the group's website, www.heartforthefatherless.org.
Vickerman and her husband also adopted a second daughter from China a few years ago. Not everyone is called to follow a similar path by adopting or fostering a child, she said, but everyone can help a needy child.
"You're making a difference by coming to this event," she said.
-- Sara Schilling: 582-1529; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @saraTCHerald