2007 Ukraine Trip
Linda & I went to Odessa this year a bit later in April, from April 18th to May 8th. There were more trees in bloom. The Chestnut tree is the official tree of Odessa, and it was beautiful! The Rape seed fields were so beautiful as well as the roses, poppies, and many other flowers.
At every orphanage and shelter we talk with the Directors to find out their immediate needs and see what UAC can do to help. Then when we return, I write a report and send pictures of what we found out to Clara Pascal. At the Mental Hospitals, we talk with Directors and/or Head Doctors. I always feel like I am an ambassador from America when we go over there.
We worked in several orphanages this year doing crafts with the kids in Orphanage #4, #7 and Lastichka (TB Clinic). We took crafts supplies to #34, Slobodka and Shelter #2. In Lastichka we fabric -painted muslin squares which were put together to make one large hanging. We also took Polaroid pictures of all of the 100 kids and each one could make a frame to put it in. The pictures were usually of 2 kids (friends), so we usually took 2 pics of same kids so each one could have one. I even brought powdered sugar to make frosting to put on cookies we bought there. Along with milk and juice we bought, we had a party for the kids.
At #4, we worked with beads, making necklaces and bracelets. Linda and I were busy adding the clasps for the kids. We also made “Spirit Sticks” with sticks, leather, beads and feathers, as well as braided mystery leather bracelets. Many of the kids are so creative. We took stamps, paper, and pencils to a new orphanage. #7 has kids with Cerebral Palsy and Polio, but could stamp the paper and Linda was helping adding to their pictures with drawing little pictures to go with the stamps. This was an orphanage one of our translators, Luda, had found needed help. She also took us to a shelter for kids right off the street. Here they are evaluated on where they should be sent, but may stay here for up to 6 months. We saw many boys and girls knitting and crocheting. It still surprises me to see many boys crocheting.
We took blankets the ladies here in Tuolumne County had made to several orphanages to pass out. Belgorod and Slobodka got some this year. We send a lot over before Christmas which are passed out to several places. Several local dentists had donated toothbrushes to us which we passed out to many orphanages. Linda and I went shopping and bought toothpaste, shampoo, soaps, laundry detergent and copy books and pens to pass out. We also took juices and fruit to many places to hand out to the kids. The stores are so fun to shop at as they are different than ours. I had sent stuffed animals over earlier, so we passed these out to the kids in Slobodka Mental Hospital. The kids remember that we had brought them before and were so pleased.
All in all it was a successful trip. With the donated money we had collected, we were able to buy many needed items for the kids. It is so fun to pass out goodies to them and interact with the children. We do have a language barrier, but with our wonderful Interpreters and the art of communicating without words, we get along fine. I have been studying Russian here so understanding is getting a bit easier. We work hard over in Odessa, helping wherever we can, when we are not with the kids we are shopping for them. Then it is back home to start talking to groups again to raise money for the Orphans of Odessa. My group of ladies are always busy creating hats, scarves, sweaters and blankets for me to send over. We also try to collect toothbrushes/toothpaste for them. If anyone is interested in helping us please check out my website for pictures or UAC’s website. Mine is www.mtnladyarns.com and UAC’s is www.uacukrainerelief.org . If you are interested in adopting Ukraine kids and/or hosting them for a visit, check out the www.frontierhorizon.org website. If you are interested to donate contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org . Thank you
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