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About Us

Founded by Jeannie and Tim Butler in Nashville, TN, SOWN has worked for nearly 30 years in orphan care. Supported through the years by a small but dedicated group of volunteers, they share their hope for the world and their commitment to Christ's work in everything they do. Scroll down to find out how these parents of 3 daughters found their way to  China and why we rebranded from Caring for China's Orphans to SOWN Global.

Our Story


Caring for China's Orphans (now SOWN) was founded in 1995 when Tim and Jeannie Butler adopted their middle daughter from MaAnshan in the Anhui province of China.  They were parents of one child, Heidi, and sought to expand their family through adoption. Jeannie and Tim were among the first families in Nashville to participate in China's international adoption program. 

Jeannie heard of the great need for basic necessities in the orphanages and delivered a box of basic supplies to the Maanshan orphanage when in China for their adoption.  After witnessing first hand the great need in 1995 they knew they must return and provide aid to those children still waiting for a family. 

Now in their 29th year, SOWN has made 42 trips to China is preparing to leave for the first trip to Nigeria.  SOWN is a family affair. More often than not, Jeannie has been accompanied not only by volunteers during her trips to China, but by one of their girls as Heidi, Haley and Helina have all taken part in the work.  Tim, though not a traveler, supports CFCO by doing the heavy lifting, often literally as he is tasked with getting boxes loaded for shipping, among other things! They have delivered THOUSANDS of pounds of orphan supplies; funded surgeries, medical care, and education; and had the privilege of rocking and loving countless children in the orphanages served. 

Jeannie is a sought after professional seamstress and has looked for a way to incorporate her gifts with the work. With the expansion into Nigeria and Nashville, she is able to do just that!  They look forward to the evolution of their work a weekly Sew-n-Sew group for widows and elderly women to create needed supplies for those they are serving in Nigeria.



It has long been on Jeannie's heart to expand beyond China, to find ways to connect local volunteers to global needs and to find ways to support widows and the elderly in her community. Due to changes in orphan care in China - all for the better - she has been able to open the door to other opportunities for herself and those who want to work with her to better the world.

Outside of her tremendous heart for orphans, Jeannie is a professional seamstress and has searched for ways to incorporate that gift into her non-profit work.  Her Christian faith often references the sowing of seeds. Sewing and Sowing  seemed like the perfect combination and SOWN (Serving Orphans, Widows, and Others in Need) was born. 

The updated logo is a nod to the original logo which featured a silhouette of the Butler's youngest daughter blowing a dandelion head scattering seeds around her. What could be more appropriate for our new logo and the transition to our work?

Are You ready to be part of our story?

SOWN is more than traveling to China to hold babies or play with children, though that is certainly something we do. Meaningful work in communities that need us most means 365 days each year of communicating with our partners on the ground to assess immediate needs. It is packing boxes with blanket sleepers for children living in China's coldest regions, sending emergency rice supplies to orphanages that are in areas hit by natural disaster, and  finding sponsors to pay high school and college fees for our students who are looking beyond the orphanage. The work is finding local partners who are willing to host drives or pay to ship our boxes of diapers or feminine products. And, it is the opportunity to travel and see the world. Each year we take great joy in taking small groups to the areas where we work to bring hope to those we serve. 

We hope you will be a part of our story as well.

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