Previously known as the Corpus Christi Foundation, the Children’s Shelter of Cebu has been in existence since 1979. According to the organization’s Mission Statement, CSC exists to “glorify God by demonstrating His love to the Philippines as we provide a loving, Christ-centered home with comprehensive medical, educational and placement services for homeless Filipino children.”
The CSC has a colorful history that begins in 1978, when Marlys Danielson Healy accompanied her father on a mission trip to Asia. When she visited the Philippines, she witnessed the heartbreaking plight of the street children in Cebu City. Returning to Minnesota, she had a new priority. She was able to convince her friends (Kathy, Paul Healy and Sandy Swanson) to join her cause and help raise the necessary funds for the project in Cebu.
In May 1979, the Healys and their friends returned to the Philippines and used the money they were able to raise to buy CSC’s first properties, which is a house and a piece of land. Over the years, CSC has benefited from friends whose word of mouth have urged others to participate in the ministry. In fact, a number of the buildings at CSC today are the concrete results of this promotion.
In 1990, CSC was operating out of two houses in different parts of Cebu City and this situation was not working well for the organizers. Thankfully, Dr. Arvid Olson was approached by Harry Schmidt, who was then in search for a program that his family foundation can support. Harry is both a real estate developer and a philanthropist. Dr. Arvid shared the CSC mission with Harry and within a couple of weeks, CSC was in talks with the latter. It was not long after that CSC was able to build new facilities using funds sent by Harry and family’s foundation.
In 1997, CSC saw the need to have its own school. With the help of Dave Jahnke and other friends in Manila, CSC received a donation amounting to the estimated $250,000 necessary to build the school.
The organization currently has three residences, with approximately 80 to 90 children of varying ages. According to the official CSC website, about 20% of their children “have special needs, including cerebral palsy, blindness, brain damage and malnutrition.”
These children reside in the homes until they are either adopted or are reunited with their biological families. CSC’s first priority is to return these children to their parents but if this is not possible, they will place the child for adoption. While a resident at CSC, the children will receive comprehensive services encompassing nutritional, medical, educational, emotional, and spiritual needs as provided by over 100 Filipino staff working hand in hand with American missionaries. These support staff include social workers, house parents, tutors, child care workers, household workers, guards, caretakers, and office staff.
The Wally Johnson Teen Home was built specifically for young people who will not be adopted. The Teen Home is not located in the same site as the main campus, which is focused on preparing for adoption. At the Teen Home, these teens continue their education in order to prepare them for reintegration into the community. These young people are not asked to move out until they are ready.
The CSC mission continues and there are a number of ways that we can get involved. Specifically, we have these options: Frontline Prayer Updates, Foster Friends, Give Now, Special Projects, Combined Federal Campaign, Planned Giving (The Luke Fund Endowment), Amazon Wish List, Vehicle Donation, and Volunteer Opportunities.
To learn more about the Children’s Shelter of Cebu, you may check out their website http://www.cscshelter.org/.