For most people, the word orphanage conjures cold Dickensian images of cruelty to children -- and yet whenever I write that children under five should never be kept in institutional care, I hear from people who vigorously defend such facilities.
Of the 2.2 billion children that populate the world, 163 million of them are parentless. It's a staggering number -- and one that continues to grow with the persistence of disease, poverty, and warfare.
Temporary food supplies, emergency shelters, transient family situations, and short-term fixes have been a reality in Haiti since the earthquake. For children, "temporary" has become a devastating perpetual condition.
Sentebale, an organization that supports children in Lesotho, was founded by Prince Harry and Prince Seeiso in 2006. The princes directed attention towards the problem by playing in the inaugural Sentebale Polo Cup.
All you have to do is make a conscious decision to slow down long enough -- not so easy this time of year, I admit -- to simply talk with your children about the grandparents they no longer have in their lives.