In late April 2001, Michelle, a Small Stuff member who resides in South Carolina, posted to the digest that she and her family would be hosting an almost 9 year old girl named Olga from Belarus this summer. She is coming to the United States for six weeks of medical care. Belarus is a country between Poland and Russia and north of Ukraine, that was affected by the Chernobyl plant disaster. She lives near the border of Ukraine. Her area of the country was contaminated by the Chernobyl plant when the winds carried the contamination north over the border.
The ground, air and water were contaminated along with her parents. She was not born until after the accident, but the damage was already done. Olga is coming as a part of a group of thirty-two children and three chaperones/translators through an organization called the American Belarus Relief Organization and a local church. Sixteen of the children will go to North Carolina and sixteen will stay in the Upstate of South Carolina.
Local hospitals, doctors, dentists and optometrists have volunteered to take care of their medical needs and their "adopted" families have paid for their airline tickets to come. Local stores and local families are donating Russian language books, clothing, toiletries, prescriptions, etc. It truly is a community-wide effort.
As a group, Small Stuff decided we want to give this "adopted daughter" of Michelle something to take her mind off her troubles -- just for a little while -- as she enters a world of her imagination and creation, decorating and playing with a dollhouse.
Joy Perkins, a SS member in Canada, recommended the Moonbeam dollhouse, a 6-room wooden structure which easily comes apart and packs flat in a box. Pledges to help pay for it started to pour in immediately, and Joy volunteered to paint, wallpaper and finish the house before shipping it to South Carolina. The race is on, as Olga is due to arrive in June!
Meanwhile, members from all over the world are sending furniture, accessories, craft supplies for miniature-making, and little people for the dollhouse. Some are including photographs of themselves and postcards of where they live. There will be many gifts awaiting her arrival, showing Olga she is loved.
Watch this space for pictures of the house's progress to completion, and Small Stuff's "daughter" after she receives it.
Anne Gerdes Web Design