Daily Point of Light # 2386 Mar 27, 2003

The mission of Warm Blankets Orphan Care International is to restore the lives of orphans in partnership with churches, corporations, organizations and individuals who have a passion to help needy, parentless children. As Co-Founder and Executive Director of Warm Blankets Orphan Care International, Craig Muller has a knack for start-ups. He is the former CEO of CultureWorx, Inc and founder and past President of MotivationNet. Muller co-authored the recently published employee recognition guidebook, Oh Behave.

Craig lives in Illinois with his wife Barb and their three children, Garrett, Abigail and Caleb. In 1999, the Muller’s along with Bob and Marybeth Hoyler, also of Illinois developed a passion and commitment to use their own money to fund projects dealing with orphans in the most desperate third world countries of India, Cambodia and Central America. Their mission has grown as they have formed partnerships with other orphan care organizations. One of these partnerships, the most significant to date, is with Ted and Sou Olbrich of Cambodia. Together, they have built 43 Orphan/Church homes, with more already in the works.

Muller, through Warm Blankets is able to bring a myriad of solutions to the orphan crisis in Cambodia with his unique business acumen and technology background. He raises funds from individuals, corporation and churches, as well as secures grants – with 100% of the money raised for orphan care going directly to the orphans. Through his contacts, he also raises much-needed in-kind donations such as diapers, food and medicine, toys, paint and many more supplies, which he ships by container to the Mullers.

The core strength of Warm Blankets is their use of futuristic technology to maintain orphan records – a requirement in orphan care for government, medical and sponsor agencies. Warm Blankets has developed comprehensive methodologies and software to facilitate these requirements; in turn, they train Nationals to use the technology and maintain the records – teaching them skills that will help them sustain a long-term career. By using innovative Web technology for each church/home to capture images of the children, caregivers and environment, they are able to put a face to the orphan crisis for the entire world to see via the Internet – to encourage prayer and donations. Another key advantage is the ability to update sponsors on their adopted homes. Whole home sponsorship is the model they have developed for fundraising, so that every child is cared for equally, and their technology gives sponsors an inside look at their home and children – there are pictures of each individual child and their caregivers on each of the 43 church/home Web sites. This is no easy feat given the lack of systems and infrastructure in Cambodia.

Warm Blankets doesn’t deal in adoptions – an often-asked question. Their mission, along with Ted and Sou Olbrich, is to keep children in their native land, growing up in and appreciating their own culture; and to reunite children with extended families whenever possible. To that end, their training of orphans in computer skills and technology helps ensure a future for these special children.