Friday, November 16, 2007

A Time to Give

I may have written too many PR articles for the local Happenings guide, because these toy posts are starting to sound like ads to me. Here's something more refreshing.

Vic_and_kathy_2 Our good friends, Kathy and Vic, are living in the Republic of Georgia, a former Soviet state, and are providing an opportunity to give directly to some very needy children.

I believe everyone wants to give to others, regardless of how much or how little they have to give. The challenge is often finding an organization that you trust to use your gift well. Here's a chance to give something small that will mean a lot to a young child.

From Kathy's last email: If you are interested in helping very needy people with a Christmas project here's some suggestions. New or clean and in good repair used winter coats for children - any sizes and for girls or boys. Other warm clothes will work also, long underwear, sweaters, etc. A small backpack (book bag type) full of goodies such as socks, mittens, caps, pencils, pajamas, slippers, colors, band aids. etc.

Many children here come from desperately poor families, especially children in the villages where there is no employment. Houses are heated with wood and are poorly constructed, leaky, and not very warm. I'm working with an American woman who is a social psychologist and visits the villages on a regular basis. She will help me distribute them to truly needy children.

I'm going to be in the states for Christmas so I can bring things back with me after the holidays. If you want to ship them directly to Georgia, please do it immediately or I'll be gone when it arrives and they charge a fee at the post office to hold things there. My daughter's address is PO Box 1047,Pacific City, Oregon 97135. My address in Georgia is Kathy Starostka, Tbilisi Youth House, Gori Street 11, Tbilisi 0112, Republic of Georgia.


I'm so excited Kathy has found a way for us to give, without the huge challenge of shipping to Georgia (the shipping usually costs more than the contents!). If you can afford a winter coat or sweater, please mail it directly to the Oregon address before Christmas. I'm also inspired by AfricanKelli, who offered a similar opportunity last summer. She asked for people to put together a "Goody Bag" for a child.

I know I am more likely to do something with specifics, so here's what I'm asking people to contribute by Dec. 10th, and then we will ship a big (hopefully!) box to Kathy in Oregon:

Large Ziplock bag (or small backpack if you can) containing: Mittenswoolornamented

  • warm socks

  • mittens

  • hat

  • random goodies that you choose

  • a little note from you

Some ideas for the random goodies: pencils, soap, toothbrush, band aids, chapstick, hair ties, stickers, gum, art supplies, etc. Hotel-sized toiletries are perfect too. This will take some creativity considering the size of the goody bag.

Putting a bag together shouldn't cost much more than $20. So many American kids are encouraged to peruse toy catalogs and make 'wish lists' at this time of year; here's a chance to involve your children in giving to someone they've never met but who has so much less than them. Let them help you pick out the goodies and have them write the note or draw a picture.

Will you help? Email me if you have any questions. Thanks!

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