Monday, March 26, 2012

Children Helping Children!

For over a month I have been waiting for the right time to roll out Altynai's Fund's next, and maybe last, major fundraiser and I have decided that the timing is right!  My heart is bursting because great things are happening for many of the waiting families and if I am going to raise any more money to help with their adoptions, I need to do it now!  Prayers are finally being answered and the need for Altynai's Fund appears to be reaching it's final stretch so now is the time for a final push to make an impact for the waiting families and children.  A little over $23,000 has been raised to date and although, I highly doubt that my loft goal of $40,000 will be reached, I hope to raise a few thousand more.  Whether that is possible or not, I have no idea, but it is worth a try! 

Of all the fundraiser that I have done, this is the one that I have been the most excited about.  Around Christmas time, Ann Bates, who is one of the waiting moms and our dear missionary friend, John Wright, presented me with a wonderful opportunity to help some former orphans in Kyrgyzstan and at the same time, hopefully raise some additional money.  Below is the write up that Ann has provided about Anya and her husband, Sergey, both of which are amazing "adoptive parents" themselves.

Anya and Sergey were not always "Big Family". But they have been blessed abundantly by children. The two live and work in Kyrgyzstan spreading hope to so many people in need. Several years ago, while helping to support the children at a local orphanage, their lives would be touched and eventually their family would grow. One family in particular touched their lives. Mom and Dad were struggling with the harsh reality of life in Kyrgyzstan. And unable to care for the youngest of their children. They did what they needed to do. The youngest children went to live in the orphanage. Anya and Sergey, while loving all the children, were drawn to this family. Over time the children spent time with Anya and Sergey outside of the orphanage. There were many struggles as they attempted to help this family stay together. But reunification was never possible. In late 2010 the orphanage that the children were living in was slated to close. The possibility of the children being sent to another town was just not an option to Anya and Sergey. So the children came to live with them permanently. All of them! Their family of four doubled in size!
Starting last fall, Anya taught the children (all six of them) to make beaded jewelry and other creations. Just before Christmas Anya sent me photographs of the jewelry the children had made. Stunning! Beautiful! I told her I would try to help sell the jewelry here in the US and the money they earned would teach the kids about Macroeconomics. Then the idea to use the jewelry to give back to their country hit me and I proposed the idea to Suzanne. Once we had agreed, the jewelry was purchased in hopes that we could use the sales to help Altynai's Fund.   

When "Big Family" found out we were buying ALL the jewelry that they had made AND that all of the future sales would benefit their fellow orphans, they were so excited. The children had never had their own money before. They went shopping for things that they wanted and were so proud to know that they had earned money on their own. For Suzanne to buy the jewelry and then use the sales to help give other orphans from Kyrgyzstan a home is truly a blessing all the way around.  

Hopefully after reading the story about Big Family and their jewelry you will see why I am so excited about this project.  It is a perfect example of children helping children.  It is also a perfect example of people changing the world ( see my previous post ) by simply believing and caring for those less fortunate around them.  The lives of the four children that Anya and Sergey have adopted have been changed for the better!  

The Jewelry goes on sale today and is showcased on it's own page on this website under the Kyrgyz Jewelry page header.  I know that the pieces will not appeal to some of you but please take some time to at least admire their workmanship and consider purchasing a piece or making a donation to Altynai's Fund as a token of appreciation for their attempt to help their fellow orphans.  Anya and I are in communication and I have promised to let her and the kids know how much money is donated to Altyani's Fund via their jewelry sales.  For those of you that have adopted from Kyrgyzstan or Central Asia, please consider sharing the page with your fellow adoptive parents.  It think that the jewelry would make fabulous Gotcha Day gifts.
As always, thanks for the following along and please keep the children, families and this fund in your prayers.  I have high hopes that this Spring will be filled with happiness and stories of the reunions that we have been waiting for. 

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