Orphan Power

This campaign was originally posted on Indiegogo!

View Campaign
$30,442 of $5,000 raised

Orphan Power

Thank you to all our donors, we have met our fundraising goal.

Hey there! This is John Marshall. After hitting our initial fuel assistance goal in less than 14 hours, we’re continuing towards our stretch goal! $35,000! A huge THANK YOU to everyone who contributed or shared so far. I know Rick and Clifton are blown away by the worldwide support. To get their orphanage clean, reliable energy and get off the miserable, local grid has been a long-time dream for them. And we’re getting there.

SOLAR POWER! The last frontier of self sufficiency!!!!

An Austrailian solar company, along with an Indian supplier and volunteer labor are keeping the costs as low as possible, ensuring that the plugs, lights and fans keep running with clean, renewable energy. It will save the Shipways a huge amount of money and eliminate the crazy on again/off-again electricity they now have.  No more sweating all night in the suffocating heat. No more $1100 power bills.

I say we cut the chord. Let’s rally the world. I believe in my heart that these kids, these people, are worth every penny. ORPHAN POWER!!! Thank you all for your generator generosity. No matter what happens, I know the Shipways will be beyond grateful.

At 2 AM on September 1st, the Lohia Head Power Station in Khatima, India was destroyed. Flood waters ravaged the facility, gutting the main transformer banks and burying what was left in several feet of silt and mud. Clean-up will be a long slow process.

Less than ten miles away, The Good Shepherd Agricultural Mission lost power. The Mission is a large orphanage for 100 children from all over India. Founded in 1952, The Shipway family has been running the Mission for more than sixty years without grants or government support. But they can’t run it without power.

Along with the needs of everyday life, the Shipways have a school to run, piles of laundry to keep up with, and fans to keep spinning. It may sound small but with temperatures still reaching 90 degrees and mosquitoes on the prowl, a night without an overhead fan is more than most people can bare.

The government has been able to restore some power but it is not nearly enough to get everything done! Luckily, the Mission has an industrial-sized generator to keep the electricity flowing; but fuel is expensive. It costs $80 a day to power the whole compound. Faced with the possibility of months without adequate electric service, the Shipways have no choice but to fire up the generator and pay the fuel bill.
Which is where we came in!
Knowing the Shipways, I knew they would not ask for this kind of help. But having lived with them for the past six months, having fallen in love with their amazing children, I asked on their behalf.

And we did it! In just a few hours, we raised enough to keep their generators running. Now comes the fun part. While Rick and Clifton are thrilled to have the extra money, they will be speechless when we hand them an entire solar energy system. A stable, clean, renewable source of power for the orphanage will change all of their lives. 

I’m telling you: stable is key. I only lived through ONE NIGHT without power during my six-month stay at the Mission and it was TERRIBLE! If it doesn’t sound like such a big deal to you, I wrote a blog about it entitled, “A Kind of Hell.” Read it if you dare!

So what do you say? If you know the Shipways, you already know the work that they do. If you were a part of our School Desks for Orphans project, you know what an amazing difference we can make when we work together. Truly, every little bit counts. With the short-term crisis solved, now let’s find a long-term energy solution. 

Thanks for taking a look and considering this. Whether you contribute or not, please share the video with your friends. Sharing the campaign is a huge help.

A special thanks to Elizabeth Mitchell for permission to use her beautiful version of Harry Dixon Loes’s “This Little Light of Mine.” Let it shine!

Project Update!


It’s been almost six months since we last updated. We just wanted to let everyone know that our new solar systems are now installed and running amazingly well! Our kids are loving not having the fans go off a dozen times a day!!!

We changed our plans a little and decided that we would purchase four independent 1KW solar power units for our four hostels in need. These systems have three large panels, an inverter and 4 giant batteries to keep the power flowing 24/7!

We have also purchased and installed 16 independent security lights for around our hostels/compound to keep our kids safe at night. The best part is they switch on and off all by themselves!

We are so grateful to everyone who has helped out with this campaign. Here is a little video of a few of our kids singing “This Little Light of Mine” with the Mission Deputy Director Clifton Shipway on guitar. I hope the joy and enthusiasm of these children puts a smile on your face. Thanks for making this all possible!