Monday, June 18, 2012

Update on Orphans at Play's Helping Hands Humanitarian Aid Project

Orphans at Play is looking forward to announcing exciting new developments and fundraisers coming this Summer! For now, looking back on this past year and our current needs:

  • We have sent over a total of twenty suitcases and over 600 tubes of diaper cream.
  • $600 dollars was raised in New Zeland for two playpens given to the Artyem Baby Home in Vladivostok.
  • $5000 dollars was raised to place our four grandmothers in our baby hospitals for a total of one year.
  • We raised enough to fund Kirovsky Orphanage for a new television, computer and schools supplies.
  • Currently, we are hoping to Partner with a Shoe Relief Program to bring shoes to a desperate area in the world where children lay in cribs barefoot, walk in socks, walk on floors where there is dirt and often moldy areas or wear the wrong size shoes, which can often lead to difficulties in walking. Most recently shoes have been our highest needed request in the Primorsky Krai region in Eastern Russia where a decent quality shoe can cost as much as $200 dollars. One of our mother’s reported her son’s toes so curled from being placed in shoes too small. The staff would tell her to put the shoes back on his feet when she was visiting with him as he was continuously pulling them off and even she had a difficult time trying to force his feet into these little strappy tight shoes.

    We are also working towards partnering with Korean Air to take cargo to Vladivostok, Russia.

    We would like to Thank all of our supporters, adoptive families and incredibly generous donors who have given so much of their time volunteering and helping to fundraise.

    Our boys are adjusting well to being siblings. 7 months in and they are working things out a little easier. Alexei had a lot of transition time needed and so many changes to have to deal with as a 3 year old, however we could not be more proud of how well he has done.

    Alexei is busy in hockey, soccer and gymnastics this summer and Ewan has been busy watching his brother play hockey, however has tried to get on the ice a numerous amount of times. His feet are too small and his balance is very off at the moment until we get a few more things checked at the doctors.

    Ewan will be going into another round of PT/OT at a local Pediatrics Center that specializes in children's sensory and development issues. We cannot wait to see how he succeeds through these next couple of months.

    Thursday, June 7, 2012

    The Avengers have taken over my house! Both boys are so into the comics, the toys and the cartoons. Alexei went to his first movie ever in the theater and what was it? The AVENGERS!

    I have posted his photo here of his first movie experience. I cannot believe how happy he was and he was incredibly good through out the two and a half hour movie until we got to the credits when he decided to imitate the Hulk, rounded both shoulders and arms in a bent fashion yelling, "Hulk Smash!". The theater got a good laugh.

    Overall, it is a good thing both Michael and I are heavy into movies and comic books or most parents could feel overwhelmed hahahaha. Right now now I have Spider Man, Iron Man, Thor Hulk and Captain America propped up watching SpongeBob and then there are the lego versions of the Hulk and Captain America also watching television.

    Along our entire mantle are The Avengers small figures along with Michael's Xmen figures. Alexei has his Spider Man figures, however we are more reluctant to share with him since we saw Spider Man in half.

    Those are the Super Hero's, however the Super Villians have also taken a presence in the house. Venom runs the house rampant while Spider Man is watching his every move.

    Ewan is still running at 12- 15 months old right now developmentally. We are still working on his communication. Crazily, he is imitating the names of the super hero's over other words he should be working on. Thor being one of his favorites.

    Wednesday, June 6, 2012

    Our blog has been neglected the past 4 months or so, however due to being extremely busy with transitioning Ewan into our family and giving him the extra support he has needed to get where he is now. I have included some photos of our boys and how well they are doing together.

    Tuesday, June 5, 2012

    Orphans at Play is celebrating our 1 year anniversary as a non profit 501(c)3 organization!

    This past year has been quite successful with the following achieved:

  • Collected and Delivered 20 suitcases to Vladivostok orphanages and baby homes through our Winter Drive.
  • Donated minimum 600 tubes of diaper cream to various baby homes in need.
  • Our New Zealand friends raised $600 dollars for 2 new playpens delivered to Artyem Baby Home.
  • In our first six months we raised over $5000 dollars and placed 4 new grandmothers for one year.
  • Delivered new school supplies, television and computer to Kirovsky Orphanage.
  • Melissa Bridges and Kelley Knoll created an entire Curriculum plan to be implemented in Russia.
  • Shari Eischens has opened the door to future opportunities with the University of Minnesota.
  • We could not do this without the help of our incredible supporters, friends, family and our Orphans at Play team. When we began June 2011, we had no idea what to expect but we knew we had passion, drive and a desperate need to help those children we had to leave behind in the baby homes and orphanages who need basic supplies and support in physical development, sensory integration and socioemotional development.

    Our team at Orphans at Play: Sabrina Dickenson Turri: Founder/ Executive Director Heather Overstreet: Co-Founder/ Operations Director HunterAnn Booth: Co-Founder/ Marketing Director Jody Garber: Director of the Helping Hands Humanitarian Project Melissa Bridges: Director of Development Kelley Knoll: Research and Development Shari Eischens: Resource Development Specialist

    We also give a special thanks to our partner Vladmission in Russia who has helped us in many of our achievements.

    In the coming year we look forward to bringing together New Partnerships, introducing our Medical Board, Implementing our Curriculum into the Training Phase in Vladivostok, Placing more Grandmothers into new baby homes and orphanages, answering the request for much needed Shoes for the children and building a greater foundation for Orphans at Play.

    Your continued support gives so much to the children of Russia. Russia is in the top three countries Americans choose to adopt from with 1,079 adoptions in 2010. Of those adoptions 5% of the children are under 1 year old and 77% of the children are ages 1-4 years old. This is a small number given that there are an estimated 700,000 orphans in Russia.

    700,000 orphans. It is just the beginning in our Orphans at Play Journey.