It’s hard enough being an orphan, but it’s even harder over the holidays. Thankfully, there are a few non-profit agencies that work to match Ukrainian orphans with families in the US who want to share a real Christmas experience in a loving environment.
So, this holiday season we are hosting a Ukrainian orphan for 4 weeks, from mid-December to mid-January, through the "Ukrainian Resource Center" (http://www.ukrainianresourcecenter.com)!
When we first heard about this, we wondered, “Isn’t it harder on the kids to experience life with a family for a few weeks and then have to return to the orphanage?” But after learning more, we realized the answer is a definite, “No.” The agency has been doing this for many years now, and they’ve seen how the children return to Ukraine with increased confidence, better English language abilities (a huge aid to any Ukrainian), and most importantly, the knowledge that there are people in the world who value and love them, even if they aren’t always with them. Plus, the kids see this as a chance to take a trip to a place they’ve always heard (and perhaps dreamed) about but never thought they’d be able to visit. So, their attitude is, “why wouldn’t I go on an amazing vacation/trip?!”
But as we all know, charity isn’t free. In addition to covering all the expenses for the child while s/he’s here, we will need to spend at least $4200 in fees and expenses. This includes the Agency's fees of $2800, which covers the child's passport and visa fees, round trip plane ticket, emergency medical insurance etc. (you can see http://www.ukrainianresourcecenter.com/hosting for fee details, if interested). We are also required to do a Home Study Report ($600), background checks etc. for ourselves, and one of us will have to buy a round-trip ticket to meet the child at the arrival airport in the US (Dallas).
So, if you’d like to help us make this a reality for a child this holiday season, we’d love any size donation you might consider!
And if you’d be willing to share this with anyone else you know who might be interested in helping, please do! If you have any questions, or would like to learn more, or perhaps, potentially would like to become a Host Family too, please let us know!!
Alona, Joe, and Ben Harrison
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