An orphan is a child who has lost or been abandoned by both parents. Throughout the history of the United States, churches have traditionally reached out to find care for orphans before the government had the resources to become actively involved.
Christians point to many verse in the Bible that discuss taking care of orphans. One verse of prominence is James 1:27
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."