The History of Advocates of Love

While seeking to respond to a call given to us by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to look after orphans in distress, we were lead to the Samaná province of the Dominican Republic.

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There we found many orphans and suffering children in need – with little to no help available to them. So we formed a partnership with a local church that was interested in joining alongside us to provide the much needed physical, emotional, educational, and spiritual care to the children who are in the greatest need. Our goal was to provide 24 hr. care for those children who meet the CONANI standards, and provide community-based care for those who meet the standards set forth by our Organization.

In 2013, Advocates of Love was created, and began the first ministry and children’s home within the entire Province of Samaná. To date we are the only children’s home and ministry to orphaned and vulnerable children in the Province.

In the Beginning

In 2013 Advocates of Love began the first ministry and children’s home within the entire Province of Samaná.

To date we are the only children’s home and ministry to orphaned and vulnerable children in the Province.

How We're Structured

Our Organization Structure

To support the vision and mission, two legal entities have been established.

The US based organization, Advocates of Loves is an approved 501-3C.  Under the guidance of its board of directors, Advocates of Love provides awareness, is responsible for fund raising; oversees the operations of the Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in the Dominican Republic and approves all activities required to operate the Children’s Home.

The Dominican Republic based organization, Fundacion Defensores De Amor, is an approved NGO.  The NGO, in partnership with local churches, is accountable for the daily operations and responsibilities of the Children’s Home, community care program and children’s churches.

Operating in The Dominican Republic

Fundacion Defensores de Amor, the NGO, is the Dominican Republic entity that executes all operations.

The focus of the Foundation is to drive programs that impact the community and the children being served.

It is the intention of the Foundation that all who are served are empowered and encouraged to impact their community, strengthen the family unit and care for children in need.  The programs will be executed in partnership with the local pastors, community, CONANI, US mission partners and individuals supporting the mission field.

Meet Our Team

Michael Jay Clark

Michael (Mike) is originally from upstate New York and currently resides in Tampa, Florida. He completed a degree in Criminology from Syracuse University. Mike was the previous business owner...

Mike Theodore

Mike, originally from Tennessee, currently resides in Greensboro, North Carolina. He is the founder of Math-Aids.com, one of the largest math resource sites for teachers globally...

Pedro Suriel

A Brooklyn, New York native, Pedro now resides in Tampa, Florida where he has a hands-on role with Advocates of Love. He was born to Dominican parents and has a passion for...

Ryan Bellomo

Ryan was born in Detroit, Michigan and moved to Tampa when he was 7 years old. After graduating from Chamberlain High School, he attended the University of Florida. For 15 years his career was...

Brett Lane

Brett is originally from Los Angeles and currently resides in San Diego, California. He earned his MBA with a focus on eCommerce from the University of Phoenix. Brett is married to...

Nancy Suriel

Nancy Suriel, Advocates of Love Operations Liaison Director, graduated with a bachelor's degree in business administration with a concentration in finance. She worked in wealth management...

Visane Kongmanichanh

Visane (Vee), was originally born in Laos and came to the United States through a refugee program with a Baptist Church in Wadsworth, Ohio. His parents settled in Ohio, where he was raised...

Join Our Mission

On an as needed basis, local doctors, dentists, teachers, and other various specialties will be brought to the site to provide care to those within our care and/or custody.

When you become a part of our team, we can do so much more to change lives. Please fill out the form below if you are interested in learning more about long-term missionary work in the Dominican Republic.

Michael Jay Clark

Michael (Mike) is originally from upstate New York and currently resides in Tampa, Florida. He completed a degree in Criminology from Syracuse University. Mike was the previous business owner of Protect My Ministry, Protect Youth Sports, and Active Screening and currently works as a business consultant.

Mike serves on the board of Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He is also involved in his local church, where he is on the financial stewardship committee and serves as a deacon. Mike is the founder of Advocates of Love, Inc., and has a heart for children who are suffering and in need. Mike has been married to his lovely bride Stephanie since 2003, and has 2 daughters and a son. Mike’s hobbies include hunting and fishing.

Mike Theodore

Mike is originally from Tennessee and currently resides in Greensboro, North Carolina.

He has a Master degree from Clemson University in Electrical Engineering.

Mike is married to Ruthanne and has two children, Daniel (24 years old) and Jessica (17 years old). Mike is the founder of Math-Aids.Com, which is one of the largest math resource sites for teachers in the world. He also founded AdMetricsPro, which serves ads for other sites using his patented ad technology. Mike got involved with AOL because of the outreach to the children, he is passionate about improving the next generation. He enjoys reading, cooking and traveling.

Pedro Suriel

Pedro is currently based in Tampa but he grew up in Brooklyn, New York. He was born to Dominican parents and graduated from the New York Institute of Technology with a BS in business administration. Pedro has been an independent consultant for more than two decades in human resources and organizational change.

A passionate orator, change agent, thought leader, mentor and coach, he has been featured by many organizations. He is actively involved with his church and connecting with the local community. Pedro has been married to Nancy since 1997 and they have 4 boys, ages 11-18. He enjoys attending their soccer, football, track and basketball games, as well as boating and fishing.

Ryan Bellomo

Ryan was born in Detroit, Michigan and moved to Tampa when he was 7 years old. After graduating from Chamberlain High School, he attended the University of Florida. He worked as a lineman for Tampa Electric for 15 years, and in 2012 he retired to follow his dream of opening his own boat dealership.

He is active in his church and in the community.
Ryan has been married to his wife Jennifer since April 5, 2003. They have 3 children, Brody, Shelby, and Brenner. His hobbies include coaching his children’s sports, hunting and fishing.

Brett Lane

Brett is originally from Los Angeles and currently resides in San Diego, California. He earned his MBA with a focus on eCommerce from the University of Phoenix. Brett is married to Hillary and has two children, McKenna (11 years old) and Sterling (7 years old). Brett is the founder of SEOOutsourcing.com, which is a Search Engine Optimization Outsourcing Agency focused on helping businesses gain higher rankings at Google. Brett got involved with AOL as he has a passion for changing the lives of children that he comes in contact with. He enjoys traveling with his family, kickboxing, boxing, weight lifting, martial arts and all things related to optimizing one’s health!

Nancy Suriel

Nancy Suriel, Advocates of Love Operations Liaison Director, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in finance. She worked in wealth management for 9 years before being a stay at home mom to her four children for 12 years. She returned to the workforce as a Montessori teacher for 7 years before beginning her passionate work at Advocates of Love. Nancy is most content spending time with family, friends and her two dogs. She resides in Tampa, Florida, and enjoys the beautiful beaches in the area.

Visane Kong

Visane (Vee), was originally born in Laos and came to the United States through a refugee program with a Baptist Church in Wadsworth, Ohio. His parents settled in Ohio, where he was raised and went to school and later married his high school sweetheart, Georgia. Currently their family resides in Wesley Chapel, Florida and they have 3 children, Ricky 24, Blake 11 and Cameron 9.

He currently enjoys working in the financial field and has owned several small businesses throughout his entrepreneurial career.

Visane and his family love to help others and they enjoy doing missionary/ministry work together as a family both domestically and abroad. This has been a passion of the Kongmanichanh family and it shows in the many projects that they are involved in.

Some of the hobbies that Visane enjoys are traveling , soccer and fishing. If he isn’t working, most likely you will catch him on the water with his son Blake or chasing his son Cameron around on the field playing soccer.