Sunday, April 18, 2010

Orphanage donation letter

I wanted to post to say thank you to anyone who received my letter in email or saw it on FaceBook and then came here to find the paypal button (which for the record is at the top right hand corner - it works... someone already tried it out!).  I didn't want to post the letter here as it talks directly about the BabyHome and the people there and to the Russians, this is a private matter and having my impressions plastered on the WWW for anyone to see could be interpreted differently than I mean for it to be.  I posted my email and FaceBook note less than 2 hours ago and I have already received 2 very generous donations.  I am moved by the generosity of both people and their families and the notes they sent along with their donation.  I can not imagine nor wait to see the look on the Directors face when I tell her that the people in Canada want to help her little home and the children.  I also thought of something that I can do to say thanks.  I will make sure that I print out a photo of the donation and send it along with a personal note for anyone who may want to post it in their place of work to illustrate the good will and way that the business or the individuals there chose to get involved.  I am already so moved by how you have supported me along the way and how you are chipping in now to help.  You are making a difference - I can promise you that.  You will see it in the eyes of the children and the Babushkas who lovingly care for them. 
From the bottom of my heart, thank you.  For anyone wanting to read the letter and donate, please contact me through my profile email address and I will send it along to you privately. 
Thankyou... from the bottom of my heart. 
Stacey & Corbin too...

EDIT: now that I'm private, here is the letter I sent:
The Difference

On December 27th, I took an audible deep breath before stepping inside the solitary cream-colored brick building that is home to 20 orphaned children under the age of 4 in Siberia. Before entering I looked at the playground. A swing hung broken, the wooden merry go round didn't look very merry and the fence is in need of repair. I turned away and climbed the three small steps to the vestibule inside the first set of heavy wooden double doors. It smelled like bleach and the halls echoed with the clicking of our patent black winter boots as we made our way into the heart of the orphanage. We passed a room filled with 14 cribs - it's where my son sleeps. One blanket each lay folded neatly at the foot of the crib. The 'groupa' room where the children spend the bulk of their time playing, eating and learning is across the hall. Tiny potties are lined up against the wall for communal use - they are industrial and worn - but clean. I watched them eat lunch where each child was dressed with a long bib to protect their thread bare, mis-matched, orphanage clothing. The bib itself is about as old as dirt and looks like it was issued right after WWII. I asked the facilitator about the tights and shorts... what gives? She told me it's a hang over from the Soviet Union. In short - she doesn't know. It's not normal here in Russia either... but it's the orphanage, it's the way it is. I remember the books they read looking tired, torn and worn, and that there weren't many toys but what they had was respected and cared for. This is what I expected... it's not summer camp in Canada. What the orphanage lacks in amenities, they make up for in the love of the caregivers.
What I didn't expect was this: I either carried with me or bought after arriving, medicine, children's vitamins, diaper cream, head circumference measuring tapes, thermometer, toothbrushes, shampoo, laundry soap, cookies, bananas and clothing. The way they were received would have made you think I had handed them a winning lottery ticket to the 6/49. The director thanked me heartily especially for the diaper cream, measuring tapes and thermometer... they have never had a thermometer. They asked if I could bring more next trip and I promised I would. And I will. This time, I will buy there what they need rather than lugging it thousands of miles in my suitcase. I am hoping that the labels that my facilitator wrote on in Cyrillic will be clear enough to have the baby Tylenol not gather dust on the shelf while babies run fevers that have gone unchecked until now.
After 2 paragraphs, I'm getting to what I'm asking. If your heart hurts just a little for the kids without moms and dads as you've tucked your child in and said a silent prayer for those who go without a goodnight kiss, if you consider for a moment that many of these children develop rickets because the food they eat is what we would consider 'left overs' comprised mostly of watered down potato stew, if you give pause for a moment the next time you are at the Starbucks drive through window as you order your Vente, extra hot, half sweet vanilla, extra foam, skinny latte for the 5th time this week... I'm asking that you help me donate to Corbin’s orphanage and send a little bit of hope and comfort to these children left behind that deserve so much more. They deserve a family and they deserve to be loved... but unfortunately, as the song says, money can't buy me love. (but it does buy a lot of medicine, vitamins and supplies). And finally, if I haven't laid the need on thick enough, I would also like to mention that I've bought more entertainment books than I can remember, sponsored skip-a-thons, Terry Fox runs, Spell-a-thons, hockey fund raisers, girl guide cookies and the list goes on so I feel like I have earned the right to be in the ask column this time around. This one really matters... it's for kids that have nothing - not those that "need" new uniforms. I have a blog where you can donate by clicking the paypal button at the tip right hand corner (My blog address is If you don't have a paypal account, I humbly provide my address: EDIT TO REMOVE  and will amalgamate all the donations and let you know before I leave what we collectively have raised to donate.
From my heart I thank you. I promise to bring pictures of what I can home for you. I will photograph the director receiving the supplies and anything else that will help to illustrate what we can help do. I am donating a significant amount to the baby home that by virtue of it's remote location and small size is overlooked by foreigners and local public. I am one of the very first to adopt a child from this destitute little town – they get by on Soviet scraps – we can do better.

“The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world's problems."
Mahatma Gandhi

1 comment:

JennStar said...

What a very cool idea. I'd love to take a peak at your letter. I've been collecting items on clearace to donate, mainly clothing items, but also a few toys that I'm not quite sure how we'll get there when our time comes. LOL!