Dwight & Linny's Story

Founders of The Gem Foundation: Dwight & Linny Saunders

Co-Founders | US Operations

Meet Dwight & Linny

Thirty-five years ago Dwight and Linny Saunders brought home their oldest son from Asia. Over the years they would lovingly gather ten more children from around the world and sprinkle a few bio kids in their pile as well.  Now, married 42 years, their six oldest have launched from the nest and they are expecting their 15th grandchild!  Of their almost 15 grands, 5 are also adopted. One of their greatest joys is that they are a multi-generational adoptive family.

Why We Started IVO

As beautiful as each adoption was, they were burdened remembering the ones left behind and Dwight and Linny knew they had to do more! So with their hearts all in and their lives demonstrating what they passionately believe they committed to making a tangible difference in the lives of waiting orphans by founding International Voice of the Orphan (IVO) a 501c3.

IVO began the ministry by providing medical care, life-saving surgeries as well as meals to the orphans. IVO has fed approximately 2 million meals to orphans and their staff around the world.

In 2013 their fourth oldest daughter, Emma, moved alone to Uganda to launch The Gem Foundation, a home for special needs orphans. Emma and her husband Josh, have dedicated their lives to serving the broken-bodied orphans of Uganda. As “The Gem” needs continued to grow IVO narrowed its focus to advocate and support the special needs orphans at the Gem.

Dwight and Linny are thrilled to partner with The Gem Foundation. It is with great joy that Dwight and Linny announce the merger of International Voice of the Orphan with The Gem Foundation. As we say goodbye to IVO we say hello to a bright future as together we proclaim that every child with special needs is a Gem from the heart of God!