Russian Goodness

There may be a few of you out there wondering what happened to all of that money I sent to Russia.? Actually I never quite told you the remainder of the money story.? Here’s that part first.

I calculated and recalculated the amount that we received for Sweet Hope.? We paid back all of the money we used to purchase the supplies and were left with $1700 (almost to the penny).? I carefully read Galina’s email to make sure I knew how to send such a large amount to Russia.? Far East Siberia if you will recall.? The original plan was to seek the help of a woman at St. Martin’s University however she is no longer at the University.? Galina also did some checking with a woman who is the Vice-President of the Slavyanka Women’s Society (the group helping us) and she said the fastest, safest and easiest way to send $1700 to Russia is via Western Union.? Wha?? You want me to Western Union over a grand half way around the world?? Well, Western Union has been around for a long time.? I guess it will work.? I also figured that I could do it from the (dis)comfort of my own desk chair.? I set off to send the money only to find out that WU wanted to charge me over $100 for the transfer.? Also, all I needed was the person’s name and the country.? No city.? No phone number.? I was skeptical so I aborted my online transfer and opted for the face to face WU agent.

The 23rd of December I went to a local Safeway and talked to the WU agent.? She told me that I only needed a name and a country.? Now that is a scary proposition.? I trusted this woman and filled out my form.? The good news was that the fee was 1/2 of what I would have paid online.? I sent my money and did a little clenching until I could get to a computer to email Galina the control number.? Bye bye $1700.? It was nice knowing you.

On Christmas Day I received an email from Galina saying that Tatiana had received the money and that she was so excited she immediately went out and started purchasing things for their Christmas celebration.? She said that the children will get candy, chocolates and toys from Father Frost.? It was the best Christmas gift I have ever gotten.? She said that she also sent an article to the local paper about what we had done.? She would send me all of the information after their holidays were over (January 11th, they celebrate Christmas and New Years 1 week later than we do).

So I waited.? Nothing.? I was starting to lose hope.? I was set to email Galina this morning when I opened up Outlook to this…

Dear Lisa and Derek, hi! The christmas holidays have passed, the labour everyday lives have begun. Three local newspapers have printed about your help. I have made copies from these newspapers. I know, that “Baby House” have bought gifts from the grandfather of a frost (chocolate, candy and toy).? But taking into account, that money has acted(arrived) late, all money is not spent completely. I have called Tatjana and she has told me, that February 1 will be presented me by(with) the complete report on money and will transfer photos. So I shall send you all about of number 1-4 of February.
Transfer large hi everyone, who helped you.
With love, Galina

So sometime in the next few weeks I’ll get another update.? What I do know is that the children in Baby House #2 of Khabarovsk had a little Christmas celebration and it was all thanks to you.

Now, for some additional Russian Goodness…


Isn’t that just about the cutest thing you’ve ever seen?

12 Comment

  1. How wonderful!

  2. Angela says: Reply

    Great news about the donation and yes the boy is very cute. I can’t believe he can stand up with all that gear on him!

  3. MIL says: Reply

    Dad and I just celebrated Christmas all over again after reading your blog and Galina’s email to you! I couldn’t help tearing up as I read my dear, dear friend Galina’s post to you because I know, as well as you do, what a heart and passion she has for the children of Khabarovsk! It amazes me what just one person can do with such passion & heart – I include you & Derek as well as Galina when you all have made such a difference for these little ones with no one to advocate for them until someone steps forward to say “these children are important and need me AND I will be there for them in any way I can.” Did you ever imagine that our friendship with Galina would become so precious & productive, that our family would be so blessed by your passion for the children of Russia that we would receive the ultimate gift of wonder, your son & our grandson – so loved and cherished by all his extended family!! So, here’s to you, our wonderful daughter-in-law, for continuing to love those little ones still in Russia and for reminding the rest of us that each of us CAN make a huge difference in a child’s life, even one thousands of miles away!! ROCK ON!!
    Luv, MIL

  4. kim says: Reply

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for fixing the danm IE issue. The photo of the boy “in the net” is perfect. The news from Russia is heartwarming.

  5. Lauri says: Reply


  6. Wow. That’s fantastic news! And the boy is a cutie!

  7. Lee says: Reply

    Good job!!! Very proud of you and D. And yes, he is the cutest Russian thing!! Please email me the picture so I can get it printed for the fridge.

  8. mom says: Reply

    There are heroines that exist among us everyday, unsung. As your mom, I burst with pride at what you have done. Bettering the lives of people so desperately in need. Elle… you’re a hero to people whom most likely will never get the opportunity to thank you. Giving everything you had, heart and soul. Why? So the world will become a little bit better. Ah… not just for one child… but many. Hugs to my favorite heroine!

  9. Oleg looks adorable!

    And good job on your fundraiser. I enjoyed reading the email as much as I did eating your chocolates!

  10. rolise says: Reply

    Great job on the fundraiser and yes he is cute (almost as cute as my 7 1-/2 yr old-mommy prejudice). We do soccer and baseball here in NY though no hockey. Are they supposed to get over the oral thing? I have news. Mine no longer puts stuff in his mouth but he licks us. Yuk, I love him but….

  11. Shelly says: Reply

    Thanks Elle for helping make our little girl’s christmas a little brighter!

  12. Angie says: Reply

    OMG… so cute! Miss you!

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