Over the past few days Sweet Hope has been on my mind more than usual. It all started with a post I made on a Facebook page for adoptive moms. After the post I was contacted by another mom who is involved in a non-profit that works in Vladivostock. She happened to mention a man that recently moved to Khabarovsk to work with youth there.
I was then looking at another website of a non-profit that works in Khabarovsk. They happen to facilitate vacation bible schools in the krai, but they also provide services for the children in various orphanages in the region. I noticed on their website that one particular orphanage for older children is in desperate need of men to be role models to the children there.
Then I found information on yet another website of an organization that does work in Khabarovsk. They had a link to a website that this one particular orphanage created. It has information about the facility including profiles of all of the children that live there (there are only about 32 kids). The children want nothing more than to have parents. Now Sweet Hope is not an adoption agency. We never have been. But what struck me about these children is that each one of them had dreams of what they want to be when they grow up. (There were quotes from each of the children) The children wanted to be teachers, police officers, artists, chefs, carpenters and many other things. However the likelihood of these dreams coming true is slim.
Sweet Hope does not exist to make candy. We are not a candy company. Truffles and caramels are something we do as a fundraiser. Over the years we have developed a “brand” of the chocolate company. Our goal, going forward, is to shed this label.
My dream for Sweet Hope is to help children like these. I have always had 2 goals for Sweet Hope. The first is to help older children who are about to age out of the system. I would like to assist with technical training programs for these children so they have life skills and trade skills. I want to give them a chance to stay out of trouble. The other goal is the provide therapy for the younger children with disabilities. So many of the children have some kind of physical or emotional disability. With just a little bit of individualized attention a child’s life could change.
The hurdles we face when it comes to these ideas are ones of finances and distance. For the first time in 6 years we have the opportunity to jump those hurdles. As of this morning (October 3, 2012) fares to Khabarovsk are extremely cheap. Well… if you call $1700 cheap. Normally flights to Khabarovsk have been upwards of $3000. Sweet Hope happens to have a little bit of money saved. Our original intent with the funds was to purchase donor database software after the first of the year. It was never enough to purchase a plane ticket and visa to Russia. When I did the math this morning we are only $400 short of getting me on a plane.
I will say that I have not discussed this with any of our board members. However, I know that as a board we agreed for a goal of getting me to Khabarovsk. We all know how very important this trip is. Sweet Hope cannot move forward without this trip. We have lofty goals for this organization.
We cannot begin to create programs without knowing EXACTLY where the area of most need is. This is a very unique opportunity. I am asking, if you have the means, please consider making a tax deductible donation to Sweet Hope for this purpose. We are so close to helping the dreams of so many children (and me) come true.