Letter from the Shirokolanovka Orphanage, February, 2001

Electronic mail letter of 8 February 2001 from Maria at the Shirokolanovka
Orphanage, Ukraine (former German village of Landau, Beresan District)

Dear Bettsy!

I'm truly grateful to you for your generosity and your tender heart. I'm thankful to the Lord for blessing us with joy of meeting you. I'm so happy there are so kind people like you, Bettsy. In this short period of time that we're acquainted, you've become so dear and precious to me. Now I've got another incentive to live and to work. Bettsy, you write about my hope. How can I lose hope when working with children? All people must come into this world for a happy life, for joy. Our pupils are nothing worse than other children, and it's not their fault that they have no parents or that their parents forgot their parental duties. I wish I could do everything possible for them to feel the joy of life and not misery. And also you have felt their misfortune and do everything to improve their life and spend so much efforts for this.

Bettsy, I want to account to you for how we have spent the money we' have received.

The first total was used to purchase 15 pairs of winter shoes, 295 pairs of socks, 178 tights for the girls, stationery (pens, copy-books, rulers), household goods (glass, washbowls, detergent powder, other soaps, and decorations for the New Year tree).

The second total was spent to buy 50 winter jackets for the younger children, little boys and girls.

Bettsy, we afforded ourselves (maybe an unwise) purchase. We have bought a camera for the orphanage for 175,90 UAH (about 33 USD). But we need it. We have to execute documents for the older children to arrange their life after they leave the orphanage. Thus, the photos are needed. The photos have been always a problem for us: where to find the photographer and where to get money for it.

All our expenses are proved by documents and registered in the account books and can be examined any time.

Now a few words about the life of our children. I've already informed you that this year things went better in terms of food as well as of clothes and shoes. Besides we're blessed with the Lord's aid: we have very warm winter this year. The frosts aren't so hard, and to a great pity of the children, there's no snow at all. Instead, it's warm in the classrooms and in the bedrooms, the children don't feel cold this year, and that's why we're very happy with this.

Our winter time is very rich in holidays, which are liked both by the children and by us adults. On December the 19th we celebrated St. Nicolas Day who is regarded as the patron saint of orphans in our country. Our sponsors came to our place from Mykolayiv (it is our region center), and brought presents for the children. The children prepared a show and a concert for them. This day is very well remembered by us. On the New Year's Day the puppet-show presented its performance for the children. 30 children went to Mykolayiv to the Mayer's New Year Tree where they had an entertainment program and received sweets.

We have organized a sweetmeats party for all the children in the orphanage. Owing to you, Bettsy, we have bought a banana, an orange and a tangerine for every child. (The majority of the children have never seen them not speaking of tasting them). What a splendid aroma of the holiday they had! (It's a pity we have bought the camera only later and could not take a picture of the party). It has been an unforgettable impression for the children.

At the New Year's Night it's traditional with us to send good wishes each other. We wished your family all the world's blessings. I'd like you to pass the words of gratitude and the best greetings from us to your mother Agatha. May she be blessed with health and a long life. And for you I wish creative success, personal happiness and strong health in the new year.

Affectionately yours



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