A Note From The Founder
This is a very exciting, revolutionary time for The Orphan Society of America (OSA) as we fulfill our vision of Empowering Individuals Orphaned by Violence. We are so proud as we continue to assist parentless youth who have been traumatically orphaned as a result of parental loss/es due to spontaneous, non-natural deaths such as suicide, homicide, war, natural disasters, and sudden death accidents.
Through a formal research assessment commissioned by OSA, we learned that orphans of violence who experience the death/s of his/her parents at such formidable ages almost always face a plethora of unparalleled obstacles: financial, psychological, educational, and employment difficulties are just the tip of the iceberg. Now OSA is here to help.
Mirroring many grassroots charities, the creation of OSA is embedded in personal experience. I am an orphan. My mother was murdered in front of me, and soon thereafter my father passed away as a result of a lifelong battle with juvenile diabetes.
On the heels of the death of my parents during my teen years, I was fortunate — very fortunate — that my grandparents welcomed me to live with them and gave me love and opportunities for such goals as college and graduate school. Without their help, I would have been totally lost.
In their kinship care, I still struggled with feelings of loneliness, guilt, anger, shame, and a sense of worthlessness in the world. As I matured, though, I came to think of my oneness as a badge — a peculiar privilege that I felt I needed to act upon positively and outwardly by helping other orphans like me, not by enabling their plight, but by empowering them to use their personal woe to help themselves and others.
While both deaths of my parents were earth-shattering, my mother’s murder was particularly traumatic. Like many orphans who witness a violent crime involving a loved one — or even learn of it without having been an eyewitness — we not only grapple with mourning a massive loss, but we are subjected to testifying in a scary court procedure.
OSA will ensure that orphans of violence in America will know there are resources available to them, including scholarships, financial relief, and other programs to support and connect them. It is our vision at OSA that each and every orphan of violence, despite early trauma, through our organization and other organizations like us, can achieve their personal and professional goals and go on to lead happy, full and enriching lives.
Many thanks for reading this note and welcome as we ask you to join us in strengthening our vision of Empowering Individuals Orphaned by Violence.
My very best,
Tarah Epstein Baiman