Hello family and friends,
I am writing from Marganets. I will be visiting the children at the orphanage and taking some videos of my interaction with them. We will combine these with video from Emmaus Food Program and the Massage Clinic in Illichevsk. The children in the video clips will help show the results of your gifts over the past eight years. We intend to have it ready for viewing on our website in October.
During the past eight years, God has blessed me with wonderful provision through the many contributors who have shared their blessings with the children. We now help children in six different settings in three cities and one village.
Christmas Fundraiser 2010
This year, we will focus our Christmas Fundraiser on the original three outreach groups. The Marganets Orphanage, the Emmaus Food Program, and the Massage Clinic are in need of more funding during these difficult economic times. The exchange rate between the dollar and the Ukrainian currency has been our saving grace these past few years. The value of the dollar has been strong in Ukraine, but prices there have steadily increased, and the dollar buys less now. Your contributions to the Christmas Fundraiser will help to support existing programs in the following ways:
Marganets Orphanage: Every month we send money to provide clothing for the children, and at the end of the school year, graduates receive appropriate clothing to start their new lives. In the fall, we provide money for their seasonal cold prevention program. Anitoliy told me that, when the city is at epidemic status with the flu, our children remain healthy.
Over the years, we have initiated four programs to help the children better prepare for their lives after they leave the orphanage. The computer program provides skill training important to their futures. Six years ago, there were no computers. When the government provided some computers, there was no money for an instructor. The massage program, which we initiated as a normal part of their health program, is specifically for children who have cerebral palsy. The drug and alcohol prevention program, taught by a woman from a local church, instructs the children about morality, addictive behavior and spiritual development. The music program encourages the children to develop their talents to their maximum. Most of all, our continual support provides the children with better self-images and hope about their future. They feel loved!
The Emmaus Food Program for children from difficult homes, operated by the Illichevsk Baptist church, continues to be in financial straits. Aside from providing money to improve the quality of food each month and supporting the life skills program, the biggest opportunity that we have been providing for the past three years is the transportation scholarship program. We believe that higher education is the answer to breaking the cycle of poverty, and three students are now able to attend university in Odessa, with transportation costs provided by MUCH supporters.
The Massage Clinic continues to make huge differences in the lives of the children, particularly with our early-intervention efforts. The other day, one of our masseuses shared that she is seeing results that are better than she had expected. We serve ten children a day with a 20 day treatment program, with a maximum of about 65 children each year. Because of the clinic, the city and the region took notice and created a Center for Children with Disabilities. MUCH is causing the communities where we work to change their views and actions toward our children.
Last year at this time, I wrote that God has provided for the needs of the children through your giving hearts. It is not about me asking you, but it is about your responding to the gifts that God has given you to share with those less fortunate. A year has passed, and your support has continued to change children’s lives in so many ways. As our Christmas Fundraiser gets underway, the children and I are so grateful for all you have shared with us these last eight years. We thank you for being a part of our lives. If your gift is intended for the Christmas Fundraiser, please make a note of that on your check or your online gift.
Blessings of love and healing,