I have chosen the first recipient of the $5 project. It’s not an organization or an NGO. It’s a family, an ordinary American family doing something extraordinary. Let me give you a little background on how I came to hear about this cause. I went to college with a girl named Kim who writes this blog, “Whole Lotta Lovin.” My friend Kim is a nurse and she and her husband were foster parents for medically needy infants- special needs babies, babies born addicted to meth, that sort of thing. They are also involved with a website called “Reece’s Rainbow” that advocates for orphans with special needs. I have enough trouble raising my two healthy, “normal” kids, so for me people who adopt special needs kids are the salt of the earth. I can’t imagine the challenges they overcome and the sacrifices they make. Moving on with the story, my friend Kim and her husband are planning to move to Ukraine to work in an orphanage for special needs kids. It’s bad enough to be an orphan in Ukraine with delapidated facilities and very little funding, but it’s even worse for the special needs kids. Check out this blog post to see what I’m talking about. Please check it out. When you see the awful conditions these kids live in, you’ll understand why I picked this as my first donation.
Special needs kids in Ukraine are under-funded, under-fed and under-loved. If you want to have a conversation about the Biblical “least of these,” these kids would be a good place to start. Often they are confined to a crib for years, never held, never played with, never taken outside, never stimulated in any way. If they’re lucky, they may have one toy in their crib. Eventually as they grow (if they survive), they age out of the orphanage and are transferred to a mental institution for the rest of their lives. In other words, kids who have down syndrome or some other developmental delay are moved in with the criminally insane. These kids are not crazy and they’re not criminals, but the system in Ukraine has no other place for them. Once they’re transferred, they’re taken off the list of adoptable children and they are, in effect, lost.
Moving along with the story, my friend Kim uses her blog to advocate for these children. Her theory is that if she puts a kid’s picture on her blog, maybe a family will see him and not be able to resist adopting him. And that’s exactly what happened. She put a picture on her blog of a little boy in an orphanage in Ukraine and a couple saw him and have decided to adopt him! His name is Porter and he’s in a pink shirt because the orphanage workers aren’t concerned about dressing the kids just so.
A little special needs kid sitting in an orphanage in Ukraine is going to have a home because ONE person posted a picture and ONE person saw it and was moved to act. I donated $5 to help a couple bring this kid home. This is the blog for “Operation Rescue Porter.” They are raising money to pay for their trip to Ukraine and for legal help with all of the documentation and paperwork.
Porter is ONE kid who won’t eventually move into a mental institution. He will have a home, a family who loves him and a chance at a full life.
I don’t know about you, but that’s worth $5 to me!