This family hopes to 'make ripples' and help orphans in China

CINCINNATI -- When Rachel Baker met her youngest son, Jay, his world was the size of the government-run orphanage in which he had spent the first five years of his life.

He was one of China's more than 600,000 orphaned and abandoned children, many of whom are rejected by their birth families due to physical or mental disabilities and grow up without ever finding a permanent replacement.

"There's all these other little Jays that don't have a family, and many of them won't have a family," Baker said. "We would adopt all of them if we could."

In lieu of expanding their small family to a family of hundreds of thousands, Baker and her 12-year-old daughter, Audrey, brainstormed a way to make a small but meaningful change in the lives of China's orphans.

Audrey designed a T-shirt that illustrated their mission: A gray shirt with a water symbol above the slogan "Making Ripples."

"I cannot impact the world myself, but what I can do is cast a stone to make a ripple that'll make little changes," Audrey said.

All T-shirt sales will go toward ensuring Hope Station, a nonprofit focused on providing care and therapy for Chinese orphans with special needs, can visit Jay's old orphanage and help the children there.

"They provide therapy, music, art," Baker said. "They'll hold babies all day that are usually in cribs."

It costs about $100 for Hope Station to make a daylong visit to an orphanage. With three days left to go, the Baker family's fundraiser has already raised enough money to finance 15 days of special care in the lives of children who may receive very little.

"We're on a mission to see how many times we can send them out there to go play with the kids and give them a fun day," Baker said.

"We see updates on Facebook of kids in his orphanage that used to be his friends," Audrey added. "We realized that they may never get a home, so we just want to make their lives better."

Anyone wishing to purchase a Making Ripples T-shirt can do so online.

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