In this season of Thanksgiving, we reflect on the many blessings of the year. In a year as challenging as 2020, it is with much gratitude that we say THANK YOU to the many supporters who have helped us care for the children even without host children being able to travel this year.
When the coronavirus pandemic began, none of us could have imagined the rest of the year or that we would not be able to bring the host children to America in summer or winter.
However, we were able to work with our in-country partners to monitor the COVID-19 impacts in the respective countries, but also to identify the needs that we could help fulfill.
Latvia was the country least impacted by the pandemic. Life returned to fairly normal throughout the summer months and we continued to monitor the needs of both orphanages and foster families. Thankfully, our in-country coordinator was able to speak with caregivers throughout the country and they were faring well despite the initial lockdown and remote learning. Thank you to the many of you that checked on our Latvian children with your offers of support and prayer.Colombia was most deeply impacted by the shortage of supplies of PPE as well as cleaning products and child care products such as diapers. We asked for your financial support as we worked with in-country vendors, and you delivered!! We were able to get La Casa de la Madre y el Niño much-needed masks, shoe covers, diapers, and cleaning supplies. See some of the children sharing their thanks:
The challenges in Ukraine persist as we work with many institutions and the ongoing quarantine has been very difficult for the children and caregivers. In the early part of the summer, the needs were for some new activities for the children. The orphanage staff is accustomed to the children leaving the facility for the summer as they attend camps, but with the pandemic, this was no longer an option in 2020. We asked for your help to fulfill their wish for some new activities and games - and you said yes! We were able to gather several packages such as this and ship to Ukraine - all within a few days of sending out an Amazon Wish List.
We were even able to provide one orphanage with a pool for the children’s recreation over the summer:
The children and the caregivers were blessed and filled with gratitude:
We knew that the needs went beyond these activities and you joined us in being able to do more:
Provide funds for a special activity fund. Sumy was able to use this to take the children on a camping trip - and the funds paid for the food and drink on their outing. The kids had a blast!
Provide new clothing for the children
Provide cleaning supplies for multiple facilities
And provide dental care for children needing advanced care.
Then, when we were asked to partner with Nikolaevka to construct a “life skills” kitchen, you supported these aging out children to learn better skills for cooking, cleaning, and taking care of a kitchen as they prepare for life - alone. To date, the kitchen is under construction and we can’t wait to share the impact of this project with you as it comes to completion and begins fulfilling its purpose.
And as Christmas approaches, our volunteers and donors banded together to infuse the end of 2020 with JOY for the children. We provided 2 Amazon wish lists to provide needs and a small gift for nearly 200 children in 2 institutions. There was an overwhelming response from our faithful supporters. We have pajamas, socks, toothbrushes, hairbrushes, personal care items - as well as small games, chocolate Santas, and small stockings on their way to these incredible children.
So, while we didn’t get to have the children physically travel this year, we WERE able to stand arm in arm with all of you to serve some of the greatest needs from afar.
It is with the greatest of thanks from each of us!! We hope that you will continue to partner alongside Project 143 as we look forward to 2021 and hope to serve our children through hosting programs, but also beyond in the ways we were able to find and realize in 2020 to have an incredible impact also.