By Ashley Newell
Mary Beth Brown, 17, of West Point, Georgia, has never allowed her young age to limit the impact she can have on caring for the vulnerable. Over the past seven years, she has raised over $20,000 for Stand for Orphans®!
Putting her heart and energy into her efforts, Mary Beth creates everything she sells by hand. From homemade baked goods to jewelry and candles, Mary Beth searches for inspiration all year long as she thoughtfully plans her stand. Creatively, she coordinates the items she’s selling in a thematic way. Making sure to incorporate Scripture references with her items, Stand has provided an opportunity for Mary Beth to tell others that we have been adopted as daughters and sons by the God of the universe. Therefore, we are compelled to lavish His love on others, spurring us to act on behalf of 153 million orphans worldwide.
As only the Lord could orchestrate, Mary Beth inherited a rich family legacy of caring for orphans and vulnerable children. After hearing Jean Goebel, the wife of Lifeline’s founder Wales Goebel, speak at an event in 2002, Mary Beth’s mother, Jenna, placed her faith in Jesus. As Jenna’s convictions grew, so did the faith of her family. In 2015, the Lord called Mary Beth’s aunt and uncle to adopt, which opened her eyes to the global orphan crisis. Consequently, Mary Beth knew she wanted to somehow be involved in the process. While in the adoption process, Mary Beth’s uncle received an email from Lifeline promoting Stand for Orphans and she said “I knew it was the perfect fit. I could partner with Lifeline and have access to the resources I would need to have an effective stand.” And have an effective stand is exactly what she did! Even through the years of Covid, successful stands were held. Now, as she approaches her eighth consecutive year for Stand, preparations are already taking place at the Brown home.
Although Mary Beth’s aunt and uncle initially inspired her to begin hosting a stand, the Lord has faithfully provided people along her path who have encouraged her to continue. Cultivating seeds of faith, Mary Beth’s family, friends, and church have been instrumental in spurring her on towards love and good deeds. “I am thankful for the Holy Spirit, who produces the fruit of the seeds that have been planted in me,” comments Mary Beth. Additionally, the Lord has been faithful to multiply her efforts. Inspired by Mary Beth’s stands, a friend decided to host a kickball tournament at his local school to raise money for Stand.
Mary Beth encourages other kids who want to participate in Stand for Orphans to “just start somewhere.” She continues, “Sometimes the trickiest part of trying something new is stepping out that first time… hosting a stand is so much fun no matter your age, size of the stand, or what you end up selling.” When asked what contributed to the success of her stands, Mary Beth emphasized the importance of advertising via social media, utilizing the Stand resources provided by Lifeline, and most importantly, lots of prayer. Will you join Mary Beth and hundreds of others to take a stand for orphans?
Stand for Orphans was created by kids, for kids! It is a chance for children to understand that God has given all of us the opportunity and ability to create change in the world. Kids don’t have to wait until they’re older to be a part of God’s work in reaching the vulnerable. Since 2015, children have raised $392,922.
To learn more about Stand for Orphans and to download your free printable Stand for Orphans Kit, visit standfororphans.org.