Anna Kenney

Rockford woman takes organization that helps with adoption costs national

August 8, 2012 // 0 Comments

by CINDY M. CRANMER A Rockford woman has put together an organization that is helping athletes come to the aid of abandoned and orphaned children worldwide while doing the activities that they enjoy. Rebecca Cruttenden, Team Orphans founder, expanded the organization nationwide in February. Team Orphans also partners with organized events. They are an official charity partner for the Grand Rapids marathon, half marathon and relay on Sunday, Oct. 21, as well as the 5K and 10K events on Saturday, Oct. 20. “It’s a charity campaign for athletes,” Cruttenden said. “There was nothing I could see out there as a benefit for adoption and orphans.” She added, “Anybody picks a race they want to do. It can be biking, walking, running, a triathlon. They set a fundraising goal and 100 percent goes toward child adoption grants.” They work with Brittany’s Hope, a Pennsylvania-based organization helping unite special needs children and families throughout the United States, who want to adopt but are burdened by the cost. Special needs children means kids older than the age of two, sibling groups who want to remain together, to kids who have medical or other special needs. International adoption costs about $30,000 and there are 153 million orphans. Domestic adoptions cost between $10,000 and $15,000. Cruttenden was a 2003 grant recipient when she and her husband, Tom, got their children who were three, four and five. Rosa is now 12, Andre 13 and Sasha 14. Brittany’s Hope has helped 350 children be adopted through grant assistance. About $13,000 has been pledged from 33 team members in 12 different states since February. Brittany’s Hope gives grants primarily to seven different adoption agencies. Bethany Christian Services is one of the larger agencies they work with. Cruttenden, who has raised more than $17,000 personally for Brittany’s Hope in the past two years, will compete in a third Ironman race in November 2012. “When I was in Texas for Ironman, I was excited about raising money. I couldn’t find anyone else who was doing it for a cause,” Cruttenden said. “It’s a huge, huge commitment to do an Ironman. God put it on my heart to give them a cause.” An Ironman is 140.6 miles of biking, swimming and running that has to be […]