Our Origin


The Genesis

Open Arms Home for Children was founded by Bob and Sallie Solis of Phoenix, Arizona. After taking a family mission trip to South Africa in 2005, the Solis family felt called to do something about the plight of children orphaned by AIDS in the country.

This calling was the genesis of Open Arms and much has been accomplished by this ministry in a short time – thanks to the help of so many people who have joined this effort with their donations, hard work, and prayers.

After that initial trip to South Africa, the Solis family took their life savings and bought the 70-acre hilltop farm that serves as Open Arms Home today. Bob remembers sleeping on the floor on an old mattress in August of 2005—that mattress was the only furniture in the place! Very quickly, funds were raised to buy furnishings and an old car. The Department of Social Development in South Africa followed by granting a license to take in orphaned children and on March 16, 2006, a young two year-old boy named Sifundo was the first child to come to Open Arms. Every year, on March 16, we rejoice and celebrate our founding day.


We host events all year long to support these beautiful children. Come on out and join us!  We are just ordinary people with a shared passion for helping underprivileged kids.

The 700-Mile Walk

In August, 2008, because we had reached our capacity constraints at 31 kids, Bob Solis undertook a 700-mile walk across South Africa to raise money to build additional cottages at Open Arms. This walk successfully raised $250,000 which allowed us to house an additional 40-50 kids in the years to come.

Many people have stepped forward in our history to help make Open Arms Home for Children a place of great hope, laughter, and love. There are simply too many people to thank but we know who you are and our God does too!

As we expand the mission, there will be more history and achievements written. We, the board, staff, volunteers, and donors are privileged to be just ordinary people who are trying to provide an extraordinary place for orphaned children to live and grow up. This work is vitally important. As we make history together, everything we do is centered on our biblical motto:

“Whoever welcomes one child such as this in my name, welcomes me.”
(Mark 9:37).

“I never look at the masses as my responsibility. I look at the individual. I can only love one person at a time.”


In The Media

Nomination for an Invest in Other Award
See the nomination video here for Bob Solis.

Bob’s Personal Blog
Kept during his 700-mile walk across South Africa

Benilde-St. Margaret’s Crown & Shield Article
An article from 2009 about Bob’s 700-mile walk across South Africa

AZ Giving & Leading:
Open Arms Home for Children

A feature interview by Rick DeBruhl that aired on Arizona PBS

Who Are We?
    About Open Arms
    Origin Story

What’s Happening?

See for Yourself!

    Donation Options
    Opens Arms Angels

Reach Out!
    Contact Us


P.O. Box 2198
Litchfield Park, AZ 85340

1 (602) 920-9958


P.O. Box 165
Komga, Eastern Cape 4950
South Africa



The first annual Randall McDaniel Charity Golf Classic was a huge success. A sincere thank you to all the donors, golfers, celebrities and volunteers who had it all happen! We can't wait for next year! ... See MoreSee Less

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Nothing better than a fire outside, roasting marshmallows and being with friends and family. ... See MoreSee Less

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