The famous children’s author, Dr. Seuss, wrote a clever story “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” talking about a grumpy, green thing that ruins Christmas for the town of Whoville. My children loved this witty story and its main theme about how people make Christmas special, not the presents. Cindy Lou Who shares, “I don’t need anything more for Christmas than this right here. My family.”  

     As adults, we sometimes learn more from children’s stories than our actual children. I learned for the first time that the Grinch’s heart was “two sizes two small,” and he despised the holiday because he remembered growing up in an orphanage without family and receiving no presents.  

    While we are past the holiday season and have already spent January resting from presents and parties and setting resolutions and both personal and professional goals, I am still remembering the story of the Grinch that reset my mind and heart on the “why” of work we have before us at BEB.   

    80% of children around the world grow up in institutions, however, most are not true orphans and have living families. And we know that children in institutions, especially the youngest ones, are negatively impacted because they cannot form healthy attachments with caregivers.  

    In 2023, our global BEB team made so much progress for children – expanding into new countries, changing the way governments and institutions work for their children, reunifying more children with families, and facilitating adoptions. But there is so much work to be done to ensure every child has the chance to grow up in a safe and loving family.   

    Join us this year as we tell the story of how Children First Software is transforming the global child welfare system and of specific children who are forever changed with the help of this software tool. 

    -Margaret Elizabeth Mckissack, Vice President of External Affairs