Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Operation Happy Face
In what can only be described as one of those wonderful miracles of love we are fortunate to get to watch unfold, LWB is excited to report that the XiaoXian orphanage in Anhui is receiving some real help for their children, thanks to some incredible donors.
One of our facilitators had visited this rural orphanage, which is on the border of the Henan and Anhui provinces, and he immediately contacted us to see if we could help. This orphanage's well had basically run dry, and so the only water they could use was muddy, and unfortunately because of this, many of the babies had fallen ill. They also did not have any air conditioners, even though the temperatures were very hot, and they had old wooden cribs that were unsafe. The orphanage's small kitchen area did not have a refrigerator to keep food cool, and they did not have a sterilizer for baby bottles. Also, their washer and dryer no longer worked, so the aunties had to clean diapers and then drape them over a coal stove to dry.
Our facilitator told us that the staff was SO very kind, and that the children were receiving love, but this rural town was very poor and so there just weren't enough funds to meet all of the orphanage's needs.
We immediately told him that we would get to work on this end, and news quickly spread that we needed help for these kids. Our phone started ringing non stop, and donations began coming in. One grandfather called and told us that his 6 year old grandson had offered to give up something special in his life if his grandfather would make a $30 donation to the babies in need.
Meanwhile, we asked our facilitator to make sure that any sick baby was moved to the hospital immediately for medical care. In all, six children were moved to Anhui Children's. The tiniest baby, little Chun, was very sick when she was moved but she is already rallying on antibiotics and good nutrition. I think everyone will agree that she is a beautiful little girl.
A plea went out for medical support, nutritional support, and donations for supplies, and we were humbled and so grateful when we were given enough funds to buy 5 air conditioners, a refrigerator, a washing machine, 40 new stainless steel cribs, and a sterilizer. We loved the photo we got of the washer being delivered, while an aunty looks on with a huge armful of diapers!
In addition, we are hiring college students to paint the orphanage walls with clean paint and murals, and we will soon be tiling the floors (which are now concrete) and adding some soft foam flooring so the babies can have tummy time. We have volunteers in Beijing shopping for Little Tikes toys and new clothing, and their first order of the best formula possible is on its way.
Most exciting, work has already begun on an 80 meter well that will provide them with safe drinking water. We have added XiaoXian as an orphanage that LWB is committed to helping and we are excited to partner with them to bring real and lasting improvements to the beautiful children who call the orphanage home.
THANK YOU to everyone who has shown once again that gifts given from the heart can TRULY change lives! The CHI waiting child group was just amazing and really spread the word. The head of their adoption program dubbed the project "Operation Happy Face", and we feel that is very fitting! We hope as you look at these beautiful faces, you will know that you made these essential gifts possible.
Posted by Anne at 1:12 PM