What is Orphan Sunday?

On Orphan Sunday, Christians stand for vulnerable children and families in their communities and around the world. We are a people called to defend the fatherless, seek justice, and show mercy and compassion. We do this not out of a sense of duty or guilt, but simply because He first loved us.

Why Orphan Sunday?

God is vested, deeply and personally, in the plight of the vulnerable child (i.e. Deuteronomy 10:18; Psalm 68:5-6). He calls His people to share this passion and bring to each child the love of Jesus Christ in both word and deed (Isaiah 1:17; James 1:27; Matthew 25:40). On Orphan Sunday, the Church is reminded of this truth and invited to act upon it.

What does an Orphan Sunday event or activity look like?

Each local Orphan Sunday event or activity is created by local believers in their local church. So, events vary as much as the people and churches involved. Events may include sermons and Sunday School classes on God’s heart for the vulnerable child, prayer gatherings, fasts and simple meals, student-led fundraisers, foster family recruiting, or live concerts.

It is important to consider the call to action for any event – what are you asking people to do?

We encourage every observance to not only raise awareness, but also call Christians to active service in ongoing ministry to vulnerable children and families.

What resources can we draw from?

The Orphan Sunday website holds an array of ideas and resources for local events, customizable graphics, and a Field Guide to start your planning.


Whom does Orphan Sunday impact?

As Christians respond to God’s call to care for vulnerable children and families, lives are transformed. Certainly, children and families are changed forever. But it doesn’t stop there.

Individual Christians are drawn beyond a self-focused religion to vibrant, sacrificial discipleship. Their churches grow, too, as the community sees God’s heart and mirrors it. Finally, a watching world is changed as it sees the Gospel made visible in Christian adoption, kinship and foster care, and wraparound care for families.

Who leads the Orphan Sunday campaign?

The Orphan Sunday campaign is led by the Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO), a global alliance of organizations, churches, networks, and advocates committed to the Gospel, vulnerable children and families. CAFO unites more than 200 trusted organizations, 800+ churches and 50+ global networks.

What is expected of me as an Orphan Sunday Coordinator?

Effective Coordinators are passionate about seeing collaborative communities of care surround vulnerable children and families at the local level.

The Orphan Sunday Coordinator will work hand-in-hand with orphan care advocates and leaders in their sphere of influence to increase the depth and breadth of Orphan Sunday, integrate Orphan Sunday campaigns with local churches and organizations’ ongoing ministry, collaborate to merge Orphan Sunday networks with CAFO Global Network members, and identify and engage emerging networks in nations without a CAFO Global Network member.

The Orphan Sunday Coordinator key responsibilities are:

  • Engage orphan care advocates in their sphere of influence (regional, national, or local).
  • Collaborate to maintain an advocates list in their sphere and share with Global and Regional Coordinators as needed.
  • Collaborate to recruit, onboard, and coach new advocates for Orphan Sunday campaigns.
  • Coordinate all communications concerning Orphan Sunday with advocates in their sphere of influence.
  • Gather and share Orphan Sunday success stories with CAFO.
  • Integrate Orphan Sunday activities with CAFO Global Network members where they exist.
  • Collaborate creatively in the process of resource contextualization and translation of Orphan Sunday resources, when necessary.
  • Encourage local churches and advocates to move events beyond awareness and into action.
  • Collect reports of every Orphan Sunday observance in your area of influence and report them periodically to your Regional and Global Coordinators.

The Orphan Sunday Coordinator must develop the following regular activities:

  • Respond to email and phone inquiries about Orphan Sunday campaigns.
  • Collaborate in designing your regional, national, or local Orphan Sunday campaign.
  • Reach out to churches, ministries, and NGOs in your sphere of influence and encourage them to participate in Orphan Sunday, register their involvement, and connect them to appropriate national networks and resources.
  • Participate regularly in local and global sessions to connect, share, and learn with other Coordinators.
  • Encourage local churches and advocates to move events beyond awareness and into action.
  • We expect every Orphan Sunday Coordinator to be a committed follower of Jesus Christ, an effective communicator with a passion for sharing the good work God is doing, and an able facilitator of collaboration among team members and participating churches and organizations in their communities.

May I help a church or community group plan an "activity" instead of an event?

Absolutely!  CAFO recognizes every activity and event carries value and moves people closer to the awareness of what the Lord is doing worldwide to help vulnerable children and families.

Where can I find resources to help me?

Great question!  We have a wonderful library of resources available to you.


Are there experts I can rely on?

Yes!  Orphan Sunday is led by a team of volunteers around the world.


Interested in being a Regional Coordinator?