We've been home almost a week. Neah slept very little the first several days, and for seven days straight she ate nothing but bananas. But, yesterday, she did something really marvelous. I ran to the grocery store for a few minutes, but when I came home there was a princess waiting for me by the front door. Donning a crown, pink tutu, high heels and plastic jewels, she was bouncing with joy and delight as I came back home.
My princess has found her castle.
However, though my life is currently full of pink tulle, today I was reminded about the Forgotten Boys (see post from December 2.) I received word from my friend, Alyona, that she and her family, and their ministry team made it to see these boys for the very first time. Here is what she said:
Today we have visited Ananiev orphanage for the special need boys. It took us 3 hour drive since it snowed a lot today and the road was very slippery. Thank you very much for your alls prayers, it encouraged us a lot.
There are 110 boys int he orphanage. Most of them are diagnosed with Down Syndrome, polio, cerebral palsy or other 4 th level (stage) of sever special needs. Their age rate s 3 to 35 years old. Today we brought them 2 big boxes of tangerines, 2 big boxes of bananas, 4 big cases of soda (the director told us that the boys LOVE sweet water - soda), 2 boxes of cookies, 3 boxes of different sweets all of this donated by Joe and Janelle Fuentes of Fort Worth, Texas, underwear and 6 000 medical syringe which were donated by some Ukrainians and wonderful Christmas gifts for the boys that were given by Brooke and John Newsome.. We do hope that we will build up our relationship with Ananiev orphanage and with your all prayers and support will help the boys not just survive but enjoy the present life some...if we can call their existence in that orphanage life at all....They need a lot of support and help and most of all love and care.
OH, these kids, these kids, these kids!!! They tear my heart out---ALL of them! We don't have such circumstances in America; trust me, we don't. But, the rest of the world does and I honestly believe that we MUST respond to the needs that we are told about. I'm telling you about these boys in Ananiev , Ukraine. They need you.
You see, my little girl was recently taken out of a pretty bad situation, and is now living like a queen, but millions more are still out there, and they will never find their castle.
The best way to help orphans in Ananiev, or in Odessa Ukraine, is to help Alyona and Slavik Puzanov. I can't see myself taking my day off and spending six hours driving in snow to see lost and lonely boys. But, Alyona and Slavik did that very thing. Alyona and Slavik visit the boys' prison and buy them soap. Alyona and Slavik have camps for lost kids and adults. Alyona and Slavik do all kinds of things that you nor I would ever think to do.
But, we can help Alyona and Slavik do these things. First of all, I need someone who will help Alyona with a better way to accept donations. Can anyone help her with a PayPal button? I can send you her email and phone and you could help her get it set up. I'm no good at such things! My email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
There is also probably a way to give and get a tax receipt; that would have to be through Harvest International. Who can help out with this? It will just take learning the information and sharing it, I believe. Alyona and Slavik work with Harvest International and I believe that it is possible to give money directly to Alyona and Slavik through giving a designated offering to HI.
I see that you are asking me about sending packages to them. To tell you the truth, I have sent only somewhat small packages to Ukraine. I have sent gifts, even a little valuable, and have never had anything taken. If you send a package to an Ukrainian's home address, and do NOT specify anything other than it being a gift of clothes, there should not be any problem. I do not know, yet, what the best way to send the clothes is, yet. I'm about to find out, however, because I have already started filling a box. There's just no need for boys to sit in prison without clothes when I am constantly filling Goodwill bags with clothes that aren't being worn!
For those of you who didn't get Alyona's address to send clothes for boys (any size from 3 up, by the way, they can go to the prison boys or to Ananiev boys):
Lesi Ukrainki 64 a
The title of this blog is just copied and pasted from an email from another American who has been to this orphanage. She has been praying and praying for a way to find help for these boys. By a miracle, she found my blog, and noticed that when I wrote about The Forgotten Ones, that I was actually writing about HER LOST BOYS!!! Today, after hearing of the trip made by Alyona and Slavik she wrote me. These lines were in her letter. I don't know how it could be better said about God.
He cares. He cares about the boys.
Now, it's our turn to care, too.