I think we all rested well the night of our culminating fund raising event, the 2nd annual “Students for Children” benefit concert. We rested well because we had put many late nights and long hours into raising funds and awareness; we rested well because we knew we were involved in a cause greater than ourselves; and we rested well knowing that we could now help out many orphans throughout Russia.
In this year, our journey took us to the heart of Russia, Siberia. You may associate Siberia with heaps of snow and harsh winters when the temperature rarely rises above freezing from October to March . Well, this is all true and so we were happy to deliver the goods to the orphanages in the summer time when the weather is actually quite nice. So nice that days are often full of sunshine and sometimes the sun doesn’t set until midnight.
Previous to the trip to Russia, our research team had done a great job of assessing orphanage needs in Siberia. Our ground team of Russians in Russia really did most of the investigative work. It was interesting to find out that not all orphanages in Russia are in equal need. Some orphanages needed some real basic items. Some orphanages had the basics, but lacked recreational items. Here’s a little peak into the journey!
Bikes and computer for an orphanage in Barnaul, Russia
Some orphanages like this one in Omsk, Russia really needed some basics like bunk beds and desks for school (On right: Jacob Rogers headed up the purchase and delivery in Omsk and Barnual).
It was interesting that the kids almost seemed more exited about the candy that we brought from America than the new toys and supplies. But, hey, who doesn’t love candy!
The cutest girls I’ve ever seen!
Here are two of the many helpers that did a lot of our ground work for us in Russia. They made it a lot easier to work with the orphanage directors and to ensure a smooth and successful trip to Russia.
All in all, a great experience for everyone who participated. I personally feel blessed for having been able to play a small part in bringing a little bit of joy and comfort to the Russian orphans.