If you know me, you know my heart and passion for orphans. Two and a half years ago I went on my very first mission trip to Russia with an awesome organization called Children's Hopechest.
We spent ten days falling in love with a bunch of unwanted kids - we put on a summer camp to teach them how much God wants them.
The orphanage was designated for special needs children, and many of them did have special needs - but by far, the majority of them were normal, smart, sweet, loving, needing-to-be-loved children.
When we arrived from our hotel each morning this is what we saw:
This is my little sponsored boy Vitya. None of the kids had ever even seen bubbles, much less blown them. Such simple delights.
We played ball, danced and let them "do" our hair.
We were VERY silly with them. This is Sergey and he was about to graduate from the orphanage we were at (which only went up to the fourth grade) and move to an orphanage with much older kids. He was so sweet and won everyone's heart.
I just heard of a great fundraiser by Elle and her site Sweet Hope. Go read about it and buy some chocolate. I ordered a bunch for Christmas gifts, but seeing that it all gets shipped December 12th, I doubt they'll make it until Christmas.
Go read about it now, and be sure to click the "order" tab. What I do know from my experience is that a little bit of love/money/effort can go a long way in an orphan's world.