part of the journeys was not the long travel time or the living conditions while in country. The hardest part was leaving behind all of the children whom we had grown to love during our total nine weeks stay at the Detsky Dom (Children’s Home).
We are dedicated to reaching out to the children left behind. There are hundreds of thousands of orphans living in institutions throughout the former Soviet countries. Economic conditions are dire and orphanage directors have very few resources to provide for the children.
One of the ways we can help is to encourage knitters to donate warm knitted items to the children. Our children’s Detsky Dom is located south of Russia in the northern part of Kazakhstan where winter comes in September and stays until April. Temperatures are as low as forty below zero for most of the winter. Warm sweaters, vests, socks, mittens, hats and scarves are desperately needed there. Many of these items cannot be purchased in the markets and the children simply go without. (For instance, the only socks we found at the only clothing shop in the village were thin polyester ankle socks.)
On our last trip, we carried several suitcases full of donations and hand knitted items for the children. Although it was August and oppressively hot, the children were thrilled to receive warm woolen items. I will never forget their beaming smiles as the caretakers distributed the clothing to them. The children were giddy with excitement.
There is a great need for warm items for the older children. Although orphanages receive donations from adoptive parents, most parents adopt very young children and it is for their groups that donations are made. Also, while the young children outgrow their clothes and leave them behind for the next group to wear, older children have reached their full growth and take their one or two outfits with them when they leave the orphanage to enter the world alone.
If you would like to knit for the children left behind, please join our charity knitting group by sending a blank email to: Mittens_for_Akkolfirstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are so inclined, please give serious consideration to adopting a child or sibling group. Our children waited six and nine years and never gave up hope that their new parents would find them. We know lots of great kids who are still waiting for their forever families. If you would like to learn about adopting internationally, please send us an email at email@example.com.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and for considering helping these children.