In January of next year, Scott and Kathy Gilreath will adopt Clare, a 2-year-old girl with special needs, from China.
The Richmond Hill couple, who has two young sons, decided to expand their family last year.
“We’ve been blessed with two cool kids, and we figured that we’ve still got room in our house and room in our hearts to bring home a child who’s not in a good living situation and could benefit from being part of our family,” said Scott Gilreath. His wife Kathy is a registered nurse who is equipped to handle Clare’s special medical needs.
The Gilreaths worked quickly to get the adoption ball rolling, filling out reams of paperwork and completing all of the necessary requirements for approval. There was just one problem.
“The average cost of an international adoption is $30,000,” said Gilreath, who works at Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah. “About half of that is adoption agency fees, and the other half is made up of fees from the orphanage in China, the Chinese government, social work, home studies, immigration stuff and paperwork. All in all, it’s a lot of money.”
So to help raise funds to bring Clare home, the Gilreaths turned to the Both Hands Foundation, a nonprofit Christian organization that helps families raise adoption funds by lending a helping hand to a widow in their community. The foundation’s motto is, “One for the orphan, one for the widow.”
On Oct. 20, the Gilreaths and members of the Richmond Hill community will spend the day making improvements to widow Betty Wasson’s Bloomingdale home.
Volunteers can ask their friends and family to sponsor their efforts. For each hour of work, sponsors will donate a certain amount of money. All funds raised will go toward Clare’s adoption costs.
“It’s really important to us that people come out and volunteer and get sponsored. It helps the widow, it helps our family, and it helps the child we’re adopting,” said Gilreath.
Wasson, 74, lost her husband in 1993 after 38 years of marriage. She said, “I really think it’s wonderful they chose me. All through the years I’ve tried to give to others and help others, and when you get to be my age, it’s nice to have others help you. I really, really appreciate it.”
A fire several years ago destroyed her kitchen, and Wasson, who is disabled, has not been able to repair it.
“Her kitchen floor is all torn up, so we’re looking to replace the linoleum,” said Gilreath. “We’re also painting inside of the home, doing some trim work, staining a handicap ramp outside and maybe some pressure washing.”
To donate money or supplies or to volunteer to help out with Wasson’s home improvements on Oct. 20, call Scott Gilreath at 656-1227 or email him at email@example.com. All donations are tax-deductible.
You can also find out more about the Gilreaths’ story at www.bothhandsfoundation.org/scott-and-kathy-gilreath.