Reach Out Orphanage Ministries (ROOM) was founded in 2006 by Tara Boshart Garcia, a missionary and teacher serving in Roatan, Honduras. After spending time in two drastically different orphanages, one well sponsored and the other not, she realized the needs orphanages struggle with, whether publicly or privately run. She began connecting people and resources from the United States to orphanages where children needed the most help. In 2009, ROOM was officially recognized as a legal 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
From 2009 to 2013, ROOM focused on providing basic needs support for children living in Honduran orphanages through our Orphanage Care Program. In 2013, ROOM launched the Family Placement Solutions program in Honduras, aka the “Scarlet Project,” to provide emergency health interventions and family placement solutions for infants and young children who would not thrive in public orphanages.
In 2014, ROOM expanded to serve children living in orphanages in India and Nepal, and began working with Orphan Prevention Programs in both countries. These programs equipped parents at risk for abandoning their children due to poverty by providing education, child care, proper nutrition and supplemental healthcare. These programs also connected families with existing community resources and local church communities.
Our programs in all three countries continued to operate well until the pandemic began in 2020. The pandemic devastated the orphanages and communities we support, and still continues to affect the children’s and caretakers’ daily lives. Caretakers and their family members became sick, and some passed away from the virus. Peoples’ livelihoods were affected, making the poor even poorer. The majority of local supporters of the orphanages can no longer afford to donate. The countries went on lockdown, isolating everyone.
On top of that, in Honduras in November of 2020, two hurricanes ravaged the communities we support. Hurricane Eta brought catastrophic amounts of rainfall, which caused landslides and severe flooding. Hurricane Iota followed 12 days later, exacerbating the situation. Hundreds of buildings were damaged, houses were decimated, bridges were destroyed, and communities were cut off by washed-out roads. Nearly 400,000 people were affected by these storms in Honduras.
Our funding during 2020 and 2021 needed to shift to primarily support the basic needs of the orphanages. Many costs of necessities rose, in particular the food for the orphans in India, which continues to skyrocket.
In 2022, we continue our mission to provide financial support for our programs, despite the immense challenges the pandemic and hurricanes put in our path. We are hopeful for the future and confident our supporters will continue to enable us to bring the love of God to every child we support.