Well, ladies and gentlemen.. it's time to start the Polish project again... We've got lots of great pictures from last year as well. So, enjoy looking at these as we update you on what's happening here in America as well as in Poland with these precious children and teenagers.From Rachael's sister Becky:
Rachael asked me to write up a bit about what happened last year and to show you some pictures.
First of all, let me say "thanks" to all of you who have helped us in the past. Your generosity has been fantastic and we appreciate your help.
We live in a part of Poland (just outside of Warsaw's city limits) where there are several children's homes. These kids are either orphans or they are from dysfunctional families and the parents cannot afford to keep the kids in food and shelter. Poland seems to have many families like this. Here is a visual record of some of what happened last year. THE PACKING!
Before we can start giving anything away, we have to first "pack it".
Here are a few pictures showing the kids packing and getting ready.
Here are a few kids packing up candy bags. We try to put really nice goodies in here that kids really like and not necessarily just what the stores try to sell as special "holiday chocolate", etc. We put in Snickers, Mars bars, chips, etc.
After the bags were finished, a couple of the younger boys (the one in red is my youngest son, Daniel) carried them upstairs where we stored them out of sight until we started giving them away (a few days later).
I called in some "bigger kids" to help actually wrap the presents. The smaller kids" usually do candy bags and the older ones and adults help with presents.
This home has primarily teens and handicapped kids or kids with special health problems.
Here's a group receiving presents in our church. (If we have enough money donated, we can provide presents to other people in our neighborhood as well as the children's homes.)
This one is a rather large home of over 100 kids. Here's my husband, Mike, speaking to the kids, telling them that we didn't PERSONALLY pay for all those presents!
It's a smaller children's home (about 20-30 kids), and they dived right into their presents!
At each of the parties (not really a wild party like you might think...it is more a short program and then we hand out the presents), our kids sing some carols, and quote Luke 2 where they retell the original Christmas story. THE PEOPLE
Pictures say it best!
She seems happy!
They're checking out what's in their boxes.
He dug right into the Snickers bar in his candy bag.
They seem quite pleased. Maybe even a bit overwhelmed with it all.
These guys are checking out what each other got, but quite content with what each one got!
Last year we were able to give away over 300 presents and candy bags. We all needed a while to recover from this effort!
This year the presents are $15 due to the devaluation of the dollar. Candy bags are still $5.
If you want to contribute to this effort, just put the Polish present or Polish candy bag in your cart and indicate how many you want to contribute! All of your money goes towards presents, as Rachael pays the fees and has given money towards the packaging so the price you give can all go towards presents or candy! We don't take out any for overhead like many charities do. You be assured that your money actually does go to buy gifts for these kids!
Thanks so much for caring and helping us!
Becky in Poland (Rachael's twin sis)