We envision a world where orphanages are empty and homes are full.

Statistics show that every child living outside of the structure of a family is at higher risk for exploitation and/or trafficking than a child with a family. At the same time, adoptions can be emotionally and financially draining for all involved. Adopting parents often take a second or third job. Fundraisers, car washes, and yard sales are typically part of the narrative of a family trying to save enough money to bring their children home and complete an adoption. A special project to Operation Underground Railroad (OUR), Children Need Families Foundation (CNF) was created almost overnight, in response to this tremendous need for support. CNF is a preventative project of OUR, to further combat the exploitation of children by helping them to find the most stable and healthy environment for growth, a family. CNF facilitates funding for adoptions and is committed to working in the countries from which OUR and law enforcement partners rescue children.

As the parents of seven children, Katherine and Tim Ballard (founder of OUR) did not realize they still had additions to be made to their household. During a trip to Haiti, Tim met a brother and sister who were meant to become a part of their large family. Just months into the adoption process, Katherine felt inspired to help more children unite sooner (rather than later) with their adoptive families. After the three year process, she learned first hand how waiting children and families were kept separated not only by distance, but by expenses, government approvals, legal fees, and forms.

Katherine is passionate about adoption. She desires all children to have the stability of a loving family-whether that is through a kinship placement, domestic or international adoption. Katherine and the CNF team work together to fulfill the mission of CNF and prevent further exploitation of children and youth through adoption efforts. Katherine often speaks on behalf of CNF and presents individuals and families with their grant award.

Children Need Families has assisted 140 families, awarded 145 grants and collaborated with 7 agencies. A total of 223 children have either “come home” or are in the process of “coming home” because of donors, volunteers and partners of CNF. They continue to offer support in all aspects of finding homes for children. 


Each year Maeband chooses a non-profit for our Charitable Campaign. At that time, we donate to the charity of choice $1 for every Maeband pregnancy belly band sold that year. As a company, Maeband has donated to Operation Underground Railroad several times in the past and highlighted their efforts by donating to them for our 2020 Charitable Campaign. They rely 100% on donations in order to do their work saving children. In donating to OUR, we became aware of their special project, Children Need Families. They have inspired us to choose them as the recipient for our 2021 Charitable Campaign. For every Maeband sold in 2021, we donated $1 to CNF to further assist children and families. We invite you to join us in supporting them by sharing their information, following and supporting them on social media, attending their events, becoming a volunteer or sponsor.

Children Need Families! Every child deserves the security of a stable, loving family. As a project of Operation Underground Railroad, CNF is committed to efforts that benefit at-risk children and youth across the globe. Those efforts include adoption grants, collaborations and outreach.

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