We just received this email from our contact in Taraz. She had this to say about taking the orphans to the toy store:
“It went really well. We were able to take 72 children (almost exactly half) shopping. For the most part they really enjoyed it. One boy went through the whole store buying things that were about 100 Tenge or less (notebooks, rulers, markers, drawing paper, pens, etc). He probably ended up with about 40 items - we had to make up some extra labels for him. ☺
I got to take two little girls shopping. I walked with them through the clothes (which they said they wanted) to the stuffed animals (which they loved) and finally to the doll aisle. They both ended up choosing a 1 1/2 foot doll in a pink dress. They proudly carried their doll to the front of the store where we put a label on each one with their names and then they put their dolls in the cart after a few pictures. It was funny to watch how big their eyes got when they first saw the dolls. One of the two little girls had been at the orphanage for less than one week. This was her first experience doing anything with us and she was a bit scared at first. It was fun that she had something special happen during her first week at Ulan.
We have about 75 children left. Ten of these children are in the youngest children's group (preschool), so we will choose the gifts for them. About 15 were in the hospital. We will probably take one more trip to the store and then just purchase gifts for any children that are remaining. We are in the process now of getting the gifts wrapped so that we will be ready when it is time to give them out. Thanks so much (to you and your sponsors) for making this possible. The kids are having a great time. One of the girls said "so this is what it means to go shopping - I didn't know because I never went shopping before."
Isn't it amazing that giving a little provides a whole lot! Thank you once again to everyone who donated this year! You made it a success and brought many many smiles to those children who so desperately needed them!
We would also like to thank the following families for the donations we received this week:
Angie Frakes (WA)
The Reinoehl/Comporato Family (IL)
The Blackburn Family (AL)
The Kudwa Family (MI)
Remember that we are collecting underwear and cloth diapers for the month of December.