Alone and scared, every year children aged 15 or 16 leave the orphanage to begin their lives away from the only home most have ever known. In Russian, they are called the orphanage leavers. We call them grads. Our generous knitters help make the transition easier for them by providing emotional and tangible support. They write letters of encouragement, send photos and give each child a hand knit sweater, hat, scarf, pair of mittens and two pairs of socks custom knit for that child.
Every January, after our Grandfather Frost trip, our knitters receive a photo of the child for whom they will knit. Knitters choose their children and begin work. Every item is knitted with thoughts of love for that child in every stitch. When the child puts on that sweater, she knows she is getting a hug from a faraway mama who cares about her.
Each spring, volunteers from the Motherless Child Foundation carry these warm hugs to Kazakhstan where they are presented to the grads in a party given in their honor. In the village, we purchase warm blankets, alarm clocks, small photo albums, toiletries, personal hygiene products and any other items needed by the children to take with them when they start their lives outside the orphanage.
The children are always excited to receive these gifts. They know they will keep them warm both day and night.
Every May, we carry hand knits for about 54 children who are aging our of our orphanages. That is 54 sweaters, 54 hats, 54 scarves, 108 mittens and 216 socks. That translates to a lot of excess baggage fees! In addition to paying excess baggage fees, we also purchase heavy blankets and many other needed gifts for the children. The total amount needed for excess baggage, healthy treats for graduation parties, blankets and other gifts is about $3000.
Please help us to give warm hugs to these children as they go out into the world alone.
Your donation is now tax deductible.