Words by: Jonathan Garcia Photos by: Rachel Benavides
The CarePortal is a platform created by the internationally known organization, The Global Orphan Project, that connects Child Welfare workers to local churches and agencies to help families in crisis by submitting a request for help online. Pastor of Emmaus Church and Pastoral Ambassador of the CarePortal in South Texas, Joel Perritte, recently fulfilled two families need of beds that were destroyed by Hurricane Harvey.There are tons of children and families in dire need of major necessities in life—ranging from mentoring, groceries, and even a bed to sleep on. But, due to unforeseen hardships, it is impossible for the family in that household to provide for their children. This sometimes results in the Department of Family Protective Services having to relocate the child and be put in a foster home. But, one platform aims to aid families that are going through this tough crisis.
“Through the CarePortal, we received an e-mail request submitted by a case worker and we were able to help that family get some new beds,” Perritte said. As a Pastoral Ambassador, Perritte’s area covers all of South Texas. He oversees requests that are submitted around the Coastal Bend.
Local churches receive requests from Child Welfare workers who submit on the platform which utilizes GEO Radius Technology. The CarePortal then sends an invitation to local churches that want to help a particular family fulfill their need and the church contact responds to the request by taking on the task or sending a message to other churches nearby to help fulfil the needs. Currently, the Department of Family and Protective Services is the agency partnered with the CarePortal, but according to Perritte the platform is increasing agencies such as the Pregnancy Resource Center.
Perritte also stated that they are getting ready to launch the CarePortal in Aransas County by tweaking the technology to help solely with Hurricane Harvey relief in hopes of spreading it worldwide. The expected launch for this new addition is set for Feb. 1, but in order to make this happen at least five local churches must be on board and according to Perritte its being close to being a reality.
He added that because of this platform, participation in child welfare has skyrocketed as people fostered or adopted children because of all this. “Just by doing this little bit, child welfare culture has grown immeasurably in my church through participation in child welfare,” Perritte said.
Those interested in helping out can enroll their church in the CarePortal on their website at CarePortal.org. Those wanting to help out with Hurricane Harvey relief and represent an agency or organization by clicking “Join a Community” under the “Partners” tab on the website and entering your e-mail to help out with relief for Harvey.