"Some give by going to the missions.
Some go by giving to the missions.
Without both there are no missions."
Grandma (or Grandpa!) Mentoring Program
Help Orphans in Far-Eastern Russia Receive the Personal Love and Attention They Need.
Russian children are swaddled, and those in orphanages often suffer from detachment syndrome, because there aren't enough nurses to care for all of them. In “The Grandma Program” we send people to play and "love on" the orphans! This is a great program because it not only solves a very pressing problem for the children, but also gives parishioners some additional income. For $60 a month we can send a grandma or grandpa into an orphanage for 12 hours a week.
This program was suggested by Americans who have adopted children at orphanages in our area. They say that the kids, besides needing more and better food also need more socialization.
The program is now functioning at all three of “our” orphanages, Baby Hospital #3, Artyom, and Ussurysk. At the Children’s Hospital #3 five “grandmas” are currently working. During May of 2006 they worked with the kids 35 times for a total of 210 hours of contact. The grandmas are allowed to take the kids on excursions in the city. Some of them had never been off the property, had never seen the ocean, had rarely seen a dog! Some of the grandmas take their own grandchildren along to the orphanage, and everybody is happy! We could expand these programs further, if we have sponsors!
First “Grandmas” start work in Artyom.
“Grandma Tanya” giving a haircut.
Brian and his “grandkids” at Baby Hospital #3.
From “My Russian Immersion” from Vladivostok Sunrise #74
By Brian Roche
At the orphanage, I think my main service is to be a positive male role model for the young kids, most of whom are between the ages of 3 and 5. It’s a shame, but the children are starving for attention, mainly from men. It is not their fault, but the odds of succeeding in life are stacked heavily against them. It is my hope that the guidance and love from me can point them down the right track in life so that they do not become another statistic. Also, I hope that my daily visits teach them the importance of commitment. They love spending time out of doors exploring everything from parked cars to snowy hills or just what I happen to have in my pockets that day. They still get a kick out of the size of my gloves compared to theirs. I’m surprised at how well they respond when I quiz them on the days of the week, colors or numbers. When they switched from calling me “Papa” to “Brian” it touched me. When we first went inside the nurses didn’t have to show me around, the kids couldn’t wait to give me a tour. They were starting to feel more of a connection and a bond with me, which was essential to my goal. I was more than just the guy who brought them candy. I became a friend. I love seeing them bundle up in their little snowsuits, made up of mixed and matched coats and gloves. It’s amazing how cheerful and excited they always are. Perhaps they don’t fully understand their situation. Sometimes I fail to grasp it myself. Usually on the bus it’ll hit me that they don’t have a mother and a father to care for them. They don’t have a warm loving home like I did. It doesn’t always register. Sometimes I slip and ask them if they have brothers or sisters and they respond with blank stares. Above all they long for physical contact. Heading outside, it’s common to have ten different kids each grabbing onto one of my fingers. I have to be careful, however. Tanya loves to be picked up and carried, but once I do that, they all start screaming and waving their little arms in the air, aiming to get the same attention. At the end of the day I’m usually tired, hungry and dirty but I feel great!
The program works like this:
1. Your donation arrives in our office in St Paul, MN, and you receive the returned check and any needed IRS forms in return, acknowledging your contribution.
2. In Russia, we give the money to a Grandma (or Grandpa) who will then go to spend time every week with the children in an orphanage. This will also cover the costs of their transportation to and from the orphanage. $60.00 will pay for one Grandma to spend 12 hours a week and a total of 48 hours a month with a child.
In this way, worldwide donors can be sure that their donation is actually getting to the kids they want to help.
Won't you please donate to help these children?
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Copyright © 2007 Mary Mother of God Mission Society