Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Biology Classroom

An Orphan Smiles is excited to see Valentina's newly refurbished Biology classroom at Mykolaivka Internat. Several hundred dollars were donated to help with new paint/wallpaper and classroom supplies.

Here is an excerpt from a letter we recently received from Valentina...

Hello dearest An Orphan Smiles group,

Thank you very much for the money that sponsors sent to make my new classroom beautiful and functional. I bought a lot of items: a plant stand, a set of posters of Plants and Animals of Ukraine, set of posters of Ukraine and "how big I am". I bought a lot of items for the biology classroom. Thank you!

On Saturday I will go and order curtains for the windows. I also bought posters on wild and tame animals, fruits and berries (tablets and posters). I will also purchase vegetable and fruit seeds to plant and show the children how the seeds make things grow.

Thank you all for your help and your care for the children.

With love,


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

An Orphan Smiles would like to thank Sharon and Pat for contributing a very large donation through "Blankets for Brian". "Blankets for Brian" is in memory of their son. His friends and family gathered a couple weeks ago and assembled 23 boxes to be shipped to Ukraine.

The boxes averaged approximately 30lbs each and are filled with individual bags containing a toothbrush, comb, crayons, gloves, scarf, candy, a stuffed animal and a blanket. There were also bags designed for teenagers and adults. Sixteen of these boxes are on their way to Tsurupinsk Children's Home and the rest are headed to Orphanage 12 where Bogdan will distribute to those who utilize the Graduate Support Center.

The boxes are in the process of being shipped and with any luck will arrive just in time for the Holidays. Now all the children at Mykolaivka, Orphanage 12, and Tsurupinsk Children's Home as well as the older students will receive something individually for the Holidays.

Thank you Sharon and Pat for your thoughtfulness and your very meaningful gifts.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Sending Birthday Wishes

The K-Kids (a service club) of East Pikeland Elementary School in Phoenixville, PA participated in the An Orphan Smiles Birthday Card Program. The 4th and 5th Graders made Birthday cards for 20 children who live at the Tsurupinsk Children's Home in Ukraine. Tsurupinsk Children's Home is home to 118 mentally and physically challenged orphans. They typically do not receive anything for their birthdays and receiving cards from others has been a big hit!
To participate in the card making, contact our Birthday card coordinator at Birthday@AnOrphanSmiles.org.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Zhenya's Case

For over two years, An Orphan Smiles has been advocating for a young man who has been falsely accused of murder mainly because of his orphan status. Last November, there was a major break through and he was released from prison. However, the charges had still not been dropped.

We have received a new report from our in-country supporter Bogdan on the latest development in Zhenya's case:

Today was the first hearing on Zhenya's case. Bad news: the prosecutors have changed Zhenya's charges from killing a person while defending himself (maximum 2 years of prison) to an assault that caused a person's death (minimum 7 years maximum 9 years of prison). We are back at the where we started 3 years ago...What a nightmare...

The good news is that the judge who is hearing the case seems to be much more professional and fair than the previous judge. But then again, this judge works in the same court house and in the same system...Both of our attorneys were at the court hearing today - Oleg Veremeenko (the young and fearless attorney who specializes on human rights cases - INCREDIBLE person) and Vladimir Grechanovsky (an older and very well-known attorney who consults us on the case and makes judges and prosecutors take us seriously). Those guys are really great. They make Zhenya feel really confident.

The next hearing will be on June 25th, at 9 a.m.

Friday, May 14, 2010

GAP Program Feedback

GAP is An Orphan Smiles program which assists teenagers aging out of the orphanage system in Ukraine generally at the age of 16. Sponsors are needed to be matched with these young adults to provide support after they leave the orphanage in June.

Koila pictured here is one of the lucky orphans who has a very caring sponsor family to cheer him on while he completes his vocational training. Koila is wearing a beautiful handknit sweater made for him by his sponsor.

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor for a deserving teenager who has very little or no support in the world outside the orphanage please visit our GAP program page on our website:

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Birthday Cards fo Tsurupinsk Orphans

Tsurupinsk Children’s Home consists of two orphanage buildings which are home to more than 125 mentally and physically disabled children. Sadly, these children do not receive anything for their Birthday. An Orphan Smiles provides Birthday Card greetings to each and every child at Tsurupinsk on their Birthday.

Here is a sampling of cards ready to be sent to Tsurupinsk for some of the summer birthdays.

If you or your group would like to participate in card making please contact our Birthday Card Coordinator at birthday@anorphansmiles.org.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Deaf Orphanage Receives Books

Through the generosity of several donors of An Orphan Smiles, the Bolgrad Orphanage for Deaf Children has received a large shipment of school books.

The children and teachers at the orphanage give great thanks and appreciation for this wonderful donation.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Thank You From Tsurupinsk Children's Home

An Orphan Smiles received a Thank you letter from Tsurupinsk Children's Home...Translated as follows:

Our sincere gratitude for the attention you are giving our pupils. Thanks to people like you, children do not feel lonely, but their problems are solvable.

We have received your parcel with supplies for painting - paints, brushes, paper. And we have the idea to create an art room. Now this circle works. We send you photos and children's drawings, which were presented at a big Christmas show.

Thank you very much for the ordinary gifts. Games - a very necessary means of education and upbringing of children.

Again, thank you for caring and parental care.

Best regards,
Alevtina V.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

New year at Orphanage 12

Father Frost made a special visit to the children at Orphanage 12 in Kiev celebrating the New Year! Each child received a box of chocolates from Father Frost and a personalized goodie bag from An Orphan Smiles. The caretakers at the orphanage cooked a special meal with many treats for the children.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Feed the soul trip for Tsurupinsk

From December 26 - 28, fifteen disabled orphans from the Tsurupinsk Children's Home in Kherson, Ukraine were treated to a special Holiday trip to the Capitol city of Kiev. An Orphan Smiles helped provide funding to allow the children to enjoy many special activities for the first time in their lives. They went to a Sea World type show, a movie theater, and an arcade. They also enjoyed sightseeing in a special bus, and meals out at McDonald's and Pizza!