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About Blessing Hands

Blessing Hands is a public charity dedicated to helping and nurturing people by providing support systems and improving access to educational opportunities.


Blessing Hands is a 501(c)(3) public charity administered by a board of six directors under bylaws. Our headquarters is in Morehead, Kentucky, a small college town. Our founder and president is Betty Cutts, a volunteer ESL teacher, housewife, and mother who has a Master's Degree in Education. We are a faith based charity that seeks to help people help themselves and others.

History of the Program in China

Blessing Hands began in the fall of 2005 as a simple fund to provide tuition supplements for 185

Betty Cutts
primary and 31 lower middle school children in the Yangshuo County Schools, for a total of 216 children in 30 rural schools.  Teachers at a 2005 summer English camp, where Betty Cutts was teaching, reported the names of students in their classes who could not afford tuition for the coming semester.

Malan Cai, a professor at Guangxi Normal University in Guilin, China, oversaw this initial program for the Blessing Hands Fund. She had been a visiting scholar at Morehead State University and got her masters degree at Morehead. She handled funds and communication between the Blessing Hands and Gloria Wei, the Yangshuo administrator for Blessing Hands, who also worked for the Yangshuo County Educational Department. Betty Cutts knew Gloria Wei, because she was the administrator of the 2005 summer English camp in Yangshuo where she taught.

Betty Cutts spoke at clubs and small groups concerning the needs of these students and sent Internet reports and appeals for help for the children. There were no firm plans to incorporate or become a nonprofit charity. In January of 2006 the Chinese Government made an announcement that rural children in Western provinces under 15 years of age would receive free tuition. This change was announced to Blessing Hands donors and adjustments were made to the new situation for the children already enrolled in Blessing Hands, and high school students, who could not pay their tuition, were added to our rolls.

pie Chart

In late February of 2006, Founding Family Charitable Foundation gave Blessing Hands a grant of $25,000 with matching funds also offered until December 31, 2006.  This grant came because of an e-mail that was forwarded to the Foundation by a mutual friend. With these new funds, plans were made to increase the number of Yangshuo County children receiving educational aid to 282. 

In August 2006 Betty Cutts, Malan Cai, and Nina Ottinger of the Founding Family Foundation were in Yangshuo to observe the Blessing Hands educational aid program, conduct well child physicals (Nina is a nurse practitioner), and assist with an eyeglass clinic for our students and Yangshuo teachers. A team of six Americans participated in the eye clinic that was a cooperative effort involving the People’s Hospital of Yangshuo, Sister Cities of Morehead, and Blessing Hands.

Blessing Hands Internship

In the summer of 2007, our first intern, Megan Mraz from Morehead State University, spent two weeks in Yangshuo. She participated in a Friendship Art Day where our Blessing Hands students created individual paintings that were entered in an art show in Morehead, KY in the fall of 2007. The winning painting of that show was entered in the Sister Cities International Young Artist Competition in 2008. Megan also participated in a Sports Day and visited schools, which became Sister Schools to American schools. When she returned to campus that fall, she advocated for Blessing Hands students and spoke in area schools. She stayed with a local family while she was in Yangshuo. As funds and arrangements allowed, three other interns, Laura White, Anne O'Brien, and Leanna Gilliam went to Yangshuo in 2010 and 2011 and 2014. 

Qinzhou County, Guangxi Province, P. R. China

When the Founding Family Charitable Foundation grant was awarded, a large portion was allocated to the Qinzhou area. The rural schools around Qinzhou City lack the resources of the city schools. All schools that serve the higher middle school students have to charge tuition, since the government does not pay tuition for most students over 15 years of age. Betty Cutts taught middle school teachers in a English camp in Qinzhou in the summer of 2004.

 Anna Liu, who was the administrator of that summer camp in Qinzhou, later was a visiting scholar to Morehead State University before she became the independent administrator of this tuition program. One hundred and sixty students have been served each school year. Anna was known as a leader in education in the Qinzhou area, having received prizes and awards over the years for her work at No.1 Middle School, where she was the leader over the English teachers.  Her outstanding reputation enabled her to gain the trust of the rural teachers and principals.

 For years each rural school sent their students and a teacher to our tuition gatherings. At these gatherings, clothes and school supplies are sometimes dispensed. Later Anna Liu and her team visited each school to give out tuition awards to individual students. 

Pen Pal and Sister Schools programs

Blessing Hands also opened up opportunities for our students to communicate internationally through e-pal and pen pal exchanges. We encourage pen pal matches between students in Yangshuo and American classrooms through our sister schools program, which facilitates exchanges of letters, drawings, and photographs. The American schools and Chinese schools sent Sister School boxes once a year. High school students wrote email to their foreign friends. This program was suspended in 2012 due to the difficulties of communicating in different languages  between schools without internet facilities in rural areas. 

Guizhou Province In 2012 

Yaya Luo
Blessing Hands began to help primary students and schools in Guizhou Province with school aid and water purifiers in 2012. A water purifier team for the USA joined with a contractor and his volunteers in China to install water purifiers in five schools in Anlong County. A high school tuition program was begun at Anlong No. 1 High School for ten students and later expanded to 12 students. Our administrator there, Yaya Luo, is from the Buyi minority and was able to facilitate many projects to help her people. 

Yunnan Province in 2012

Blessing Hands was invited to assume a scholarship program for five Tibetan students when
Jacob Xu and Faith Zhou
they lost their USA funder. At the same time we joined with Joseph Xu and Faith Zhou to help primary students from migrant or minority groups in the Kunming area. We were especially interested in Miao children and began a program just for them in 2014. 


New proposals are planned for the future. All of these activities are designed to help poor children reach their full potential. The Chinese word for fortune (fu) is also translated as blessings. All people want to be fortunate or blessed. We want to make it more than luck but sure blessings that they receive and pass on to others. We are seeking to help students reach their full potential. They first help themselves, and then they are expected to turn and bless others in the same way.

The Blessing Hands Blog started August 29, 2005 as a report on Betty Cutts’ visit to rural schools and summer English camp experiences. You can see our history in this blog at this link. http://blessinghands.blogspot.com. When newsletters became more effective, the blog became a place to post recent newsletters and movies.