Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Help me do a good deed this holiday season

This is not about family history. But it is about family - about finding a beautiful little boy a family for the future.

I've recently become aware of a wonderful charity called Reece's Rainbow. A 501(c)3 non-profit, Reece's Rainbow raises grant money for the international adoption of children with Down Syndrome. Unfortunately, in many parts of the world, babies with any physical or mental disability are often abandoned to orphanages soon after birth. Facing almost no possibility of being adopted in their own countries, they are sent to mental institutions at age 4, 5, or 6. Conditions in these institutions are terrible (here is a Human Rights Watch report on Russian institutions; conditions are similar throughout Eastern Europe), and many children do not survive. Many of these children with special needs have only one chance for a long, healthy, and productive life - or any life at all - and that one chance is international adoption.

There are many, many families out there who would love to adopt one of these little children, but the high price tag of adoption - it can cost $20K or more - makes it impossible. This holiday season, I have signed up to raise money for one specific little boy on Reece's Rainbow - Colby. You can see his picture in the icon on the right sidebar. He is a beautiful blond-haired, four-year-old boy with Down Syndrome who, because of his age, is at significant risk of being transferred to an institution soon. Having a grant fund of any size significantly increases the chances that Colby will be adopted, and will not spend the rest of his life languishing in a mental institution.

I don't do things like this often, but this is important. Colby's life depends on it. This holiday season, can you find it in your heart to make a donation to his grant fund?

If you click on the icon in the sidebar, it will take you to the Reece's Rainbow site, where you can follow the "click here" link and scroll down to find Colby's name and picture. Click "add," and a donation to Colby's grant fund will be added to your cart, seen on the upper right side of the page. (The default donation is $35, but you should be able to increase or decrease this amount on the next page.) All donations are tax deductible.

"I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do."
~Helen Keller

Update: Because I have neither the experience nor the ability to convey the desperate need these children face, I'm linking to a post by a woman who recently adopted a son from an Eastern European institution. The heart-wrenching conditions she describes are what face these orphans if they are transferred out of the baby houses. May I suggest you read The Sad Reality by Julia at Micah Six Eight

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