Close your eyes. Imagine you're in a land far away. You are in India. And you are a little girl. Your family is starving. And the only way they can feed your brothers + sisters is to sell you on the streets. You are sold. Terrible things happen that you try to forget now that you have been rescued. Now that you have found a home + hope. This is the true story of many girls. 

The girls at the Homes of Hope Orphanages in India have lived in my heart since 2010 when I first learned of their stories as a reporter for Lumina News. Back then there was only one orphanage which housed, fed, educated + cared for girls who had been rescued from the streets. Today, there are five orphanages + more than 1,000 girls have found hope through the nonprofit—a 501(c)3. 

Although the girls live across the big pond, it was a local man—Paul Wilkes—who founded + continues to direct the Homes of Hope right here in Wilmington. Here's an excerpt from a story I wrote about Paul + the girls years ago: 

"Wilkes has written 20-some books about religion. He said he hopes to live some sort of life that reflects that, but once in a while, he said, doors are pushed open and like Wilkes said of Wilmington, 'This is the place. This is the place, where if I concentrate on it I can make an impact on this little girl’s life. I can help her. I can’t save the world but I can help her and the girls she lives with.'"

Read the full story here

To donate to Homes of Hope, visit

Photography by Brittany Castillo