With sadness, the Collette Foundation announces the passing of Amanda De Lange, the Founder and Executive Director of Starfish Children’s Service, operating the Starfish Foster Home in Xi’an, China. Team China of the Collette Foundation worked closely with Amanda in the past few years.
For seven years, Amanda poured her heart and soul into helping the lives of the children – the ‘starfishes’ at the foster home. Because of her, 168 babies with birth defects and other medical needs have enjoyed a safe environment and have had nearly 250 surgeries to ready them for adoption. In her seven years as Executive Director at Starfish, there have been 81 adoptions; so many babies and young children have found their permanent place in the world. Because of her determination and her amazing team and volunteers, so many more are ready for adoption.
Starfish Foster Home has made major strides with the Chinese government and is just two signatures away from becoming a legalized orphanage and subsidiary of a US company, which is exciting for them. As her friends, colleagues and partners celebrate her life, the work continues at Starfish. We are more committed than ever to helping the children in need in China, who cannot be placed in public orphanages for adoption due to their medical needs.
The ambassador for our China project, Nancy, has been in touch with colleagues of Amanda’s in the wake of her death and the message has been one of hope. Amanda is fondly remembered as being feisty and determined. She’s done amazing things — Starfish is thriving and poised to help more babies because of her example.
The Collette Foundation proudly remembers Amanda and thanks her for her spirit of giving and message of hope. She has helped so many, and we will work with her team to ensure her legacy continues.
The Collette Foundation is excited to work with our partner, The Starfish Foster Home in Xi’an, to help fund their new program – Operation Full Belly.
The home houses about 50 babies. That’s 50 bellies to feed a few times a day, 365 days each year. That adds up to over 54,000 bellies to fill each year… which, let’s face it, makes for a pretty hefty grocery bill.
Expenses related to nutrition works out to approximately:
- Food — $33,000
- Whole milk — $10,100
- Formula — $42,000
We are only too happy to jump in and get involved with this great project to keep the children — the home’s “little starfishes” — well-nourished until they are adopted.
Construction of the new Starfish Foster Home is nearly complete!
The Starfish Foster Home in Xian, China is now home to 48 babies. The Collette Foundation has supported the home since 2009. Starfish, until recently, operated out of two apartments in Xian, but they needed to move to a more suitable location. They have grown over the years, as they continue their mission to take in orphaned babies in need of medical care and a nurturing environment. To date, Starfish has provided medical care to over 100 babies and seen the international adoption of over 50.
The Collette Foundation, along with many other donors, helped to fund the re-building of a larger, more functional Starfish Foster Home.
The Collette Foundation specifically funded the new kitchen -
Many volunteers came together to make Starfish into the great place that it is today! The below video is a snapshot of how the construction has come together.
Starfish Foster Home increased it’s family earlier this month – adding six new little ones.
Angela, Isaac, Ryan, Kathryn and Elise were the original five chosen to join Starfish and benefit from the medical teams coming in July 2010 to repair their cleft palates. Amanda, the sixth baby, was a surprise gift from the orphanage. She doesn’t have a cleft palate. Starfish was only expecting five babies, but when the orphanage offered Amanda they of course scooped her up!
These babies will be given lots of love at Starfish in hopes of their upcoming adoptions after surgery.
Our partner in Xian, Starfish Foster Home announces it’s 27th successful international adoption! Bryan, a beautiful little one who was given cleft palate surgery in February 2009, will be living in Sweden with his adoptive parents. He was the first, but certainly not the last to be adopted from the group of nine babies that were operated on in Feb 2009.
Bryan left Starfish late last week and his nannies were very sad to see him go, but they know that he has a great life ahead of him!
Good luck Bryan!!!
A message from Brian McClatchy, our partner with Jatson Chumig School in Tibet. We are very happy to hear that all are well at Jatson.
“I happened to be Instant Messaging with Tenzin when we both learned of
the Earthquake occurring at 7:49 am on Wednesday, April 14th. It was 9pm Tuesday night EDT (Atlanta) and 9am Wednesday morning in Lhasa.
Lhasa itself did *not* feel tremors and was not directly affected.
The earthquake occurred in the Yushu region of Tibet also
called the Southern Qinghai area of China. Tibetans are flocking to both the Jokhang Temple and the Potala Palace as well as visiting monasteries to say prayers for those affected by this tragedy.
It does not matter is this area is called Yush or Qinghai. Many lives have been lost and many more people are suffering. All that can come from Lhasa are prayers for those in the area.”
Latest News: (4/14/10)
Latest from China Daily: The death toll from a 7.1-magnitude earthquake in northwest China’s Qinghai Province has risen to 760, rescuers said Friday. The latest statistics show that 243 people were missing and 11,477 injured, 1,174 severely, said a spokesman with the rescue headquarters in the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Yushu in southern Qinghai.