Saturday, November 14, 2015

Christmas for My Little Brother's Orphanage 2015!

We are so very lucky!! In past years, more than half of our budget has been spent on international overnight shipping because that was the only way to get things to the orphanage. Earlier this year, Thomas put out a call on Facebook for a contact inside Russia who could help us buy and ship things locally. Within 24 hours (naturally) his community responded. Nichole Willis connect us to Alina Vesalova and she will help make our purchases inside Russia!

This means that every dollar we raise will be used to purchase things for the children in the Krasny Bor Orphange!!!

Here's what Thomas is planning for this year:

He's wanted to send indoor trampolines for two years but the logistics of shipping made it impossible. With our new friend in Russia helping, he would like to send TWO indoor mini-trampolines:

These are $150 each and will provide exercise and stimulation for children who are indoors a lot and can be late walkers. These are easy to fold and store so the orphanage staff can use them easily.

He also wants to send big boxes of basics, ie blankets, diapers, wipes, toothpaste, tooth brushes, etc. and has set a budget of $400 for that.

And, since it is Christmas, he wants to finish of his delivery with books, games, puzzles and toys (and maybe a bit of candy!). His budget for that is $300.

So, his total goal is $1000 with 100% of that going to purchase the items above.

If you've done this before, you already know that e are not a 501 (c) 3.  If you're new here, now you know. :-) Thomas is just a boy with a big heart who wants to help.

Below is a drop down menu with several gift options. Thomas is so grateful for any and all gifts that make this project happen each year.

Christmas for the Orphans

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Winter Solstice!!

Thomas (and Thomas' mom)

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Christmas for My Little Brother's Orphanage 2014

12/1 UPDATE: HE DID IT!!!! Thank you everyone for your support!

12/15 UPDATE: $150 left to go AND a Secret Santa has stepped up to say if he raises $75, he'll match it!!

12/11 UPDATE: Just $250 left to go!!! 

12/3 UPDATE: He's raised $625!!! Just $375 left to go!!!

11/28 UPDATE: He's got $550 left to go!

(11/21 UPDATE: He's just over 25% of the way to his goal!!!)

It's that time of year again! Thomas is raising money to send Christmas to the orphans who live at the orphanage where his brother used to live. It's even more important now because Americans can no longer adopt these children. The orphans are at the mercy of political forces that have nothing to do with them. American adoptions provided much needed revenue to these orphanages so now they must do much more for more children with much much less.

Thomas set a goal of raising $1,000 to provide Christmas for the orphans. As always, shipping will eat up 50% of that goal (International Overnight is the only way anything can be shipped to this outlying area). He plans to purchase toys, and warm socks. If he has enough, he want to purchase fleece playsuits. The house the orphans live in is clapboard and does not have central heat. He worries about them being cold.

This project is not an official non profit endeavor, so Thomas can't send you a receipt to use for your tax return. He can, however, send you a heart full of gratitude. He is committed to this project and to these orphans as you can see in his video.

(Here's an outtake that will make you laugh!)

Every little bit helps in this campaign. In fact, every year he's made his goal because lots and lots of people made small contributions. That's why the giving options are so low. "So everyone can help," he says. :)

Other ways you can help him:

  • Check back for updates on his progress.  
  • Leave notes of encouragment in the comments ( he LOVES these!).
  • Spread the word about what he's doing.

Merry Christmas!

Christmas for the Orphans Options

Monday, November 18, 2013

Christmas for My Little Brother's Orphanage 2013

Fundraising Goal: $850

UPDATE 12/5 - He made Goal!!!!!! Thank you everyone for siupporting him! Next up - shopping and shopping videos. YAY!!!!!

UPDATE 11/20/2013 - He is halfway to his fundraising goal with just over $425 in donations. THANK YOU EVERYONE for helping his project be a success!!!

There are approximately 30 orphans living in this orphanage. Without the support of US adoptions (roughly 90% of all adoptions here), there is no money available for extras like educational toys or even new slippers to wear in the playroom.  Bringing smiles to the tiny faces of these children is really quite simple and inexpensive. We've outlined the process below.

Thomas will update this blog regularly to help you track his progress. :-)

**Thomas does not have non-profit status, so contributions to this effort are not tax-deductible
***The only way to ship anything to this remote part of Russia is via USPS International Overnight. Yes, we know it is the most expensive way to ship. We also know it is the only option available.

You can help with Christmas for the orphans in one of two ways:

1) You can purchas individual items (adjusted to cover the cost of international overnight shipping).


2) You can purchase then entire gift package for an orphan that includes two educational toys and a pair of slippers (again, adjusted to cover the cost of international overnight shipping).

Individual Items:

1 Educational Toy - $8.00

How many educational toys would you like to send?

Slippers - $12.00

How many pairs of slippers would you like to send?

Child's Gift Package: $28.00

1 Pair of Slippers
2 Educational Toys

How many gift packages would you like to send?

Monday, November 26, 2012

Christmas for My Little Brother's Orphanage

12/4 UPDATE: We've raised $200 so far in this campaign - only $800 more to go - yay! Also, Jeremie Miller interviewed Thomas for his Teen Tech Project. You can cath that here:

We've raised the $1000 we needed to be certain we could ship the gifts Thomas has picked out for the children at his brother's orphanage - yay!!

Now, it's time to raise the money he needs to buy the gifts. Because the children are stuck inside for so much of the winter, he's chosen three great additions to the orphanage play room:

2 institutional grade mini-trampolines that are specially designed for smaller children and to help with physical developmental delays


1 institutional grade tumbling mat. Many of the children at this orphanage aren't walking when they should. Having a tumbling mat will give them a soft surface to play on and a large space to develop leg strength.

So that each child has a present to open, Thomas would like to give each of the 40 children at the orphanage (who range in age from infant to 3 or 4) a pair of warm fleece pajamas and some warm slippers to wear for playtime. If we have any money left over, Thomas has his eye on some small toys to send to each child.

We've done the math and it's going to take $1000 to make Christmas happen for the orphans. It's a big goal and Thomas is a bit nervous because he just asked everyone to contribute to the shipping part of the project.  To make it super simple to support his Passion Project, we decided to set it up so that people can make small donations. He says, "Small donations will add up, Mom!"

As always, this project is not sponsored by a 501(c)3, so contributions aren't tax deductible.

Here are the ways you can help:

Choose what works best for you:

Monday, November 5, 2012

Christmas for the Orphans

(If you are new to Shoes for My Little Brother's Orphanage, start here.)

11/8 - HE DID IT!!!! Thomas has met and exceeded his $800 shipping goal. Now we'll re-group and create a new post about the PRESENTS!!!


11/8 - NEW UPDATE - The donor who issued her original challenge (see below) has upped the anti. If Thomas can hit his $800 goal by the end of this week, she will buy BOTH of the mini-trampolines he wants to send. ONLY $250 $150 $50 $0 TO GO!!!

11/7 - NEW UPDATE: Thomas raised $225 today. Only $275 to go!!

11/6 -UPDATE: Thomas raised $300 toward his goal of $800 in 8 hours yesterday. $500 to go!!!]

11/6 - [UPDATE: A donor has issued a challenge to Thomas. If he can raise the money for the shipping, she will buy one of the mini-trampolines he wants to send. He has accepted the challenge.]

Brace yourselves.

Thomas has an ambitious project in mind for the children who live at his brother's orphanage. Not only does he want to send each child fleece feetie pajamas and warm slippers for the playroom, he wants to add significant equipment to that playroom.

It's cold and snowy where the orphanage is. The children are stuck inside for months at a time without many ways to burn off excess energy. Though we didn't get to see the playroom, I'm guessing it's furnished in the same sparse way as the rooms we did get to see. 

Thomas want to fix that by sending the orphanage two mini-trampolines and a tumbling mat. The great thing is that when the weather warms up, these things can be brought outside. The challenging thing is, they weigh A LOT. Getting them to their destination is going to be very very expensive.

As we learned during the Shoes Project, the only way to get anything to that part of the world is by USPS International Express Mail. No other shipping services deliver there. After doing the math, shipping these heavy items will cost right around $800. We hope. 

This is a significant amount of money and Thomas knows it. But he isn't about to give up what he wants to do. So, he's looking for a shipping sponsor. He wants to secure the shipping before raising money for the clothes and the equipment. If we can ship them there, he'll have to re-think what he wants to do.

Below are two options for being a Shipping Sponsor for Christmas for the Orphans. 

(As most of you know, Thomas's project doesn't have 501(c)3 status, so no contributions qualify as tax-deductible.)

Option One: Fund the whole thing - $800
Your name, your logo, your link will be prominently displayed here and all of my social media channels.

Option 2: Fund part of the shipping. Choose an amount from the drop down menu that fits your budget.

Partial Shipping Sponsorship

Once we secure enough money to cover the shipping costs, we will launch our campaign to pay for the presents. :-)

Thank you for all of the support you give to this young man's dream project!

P.S. If you have a minute, leave him an encouraging comment. He LOVES reading those. :-)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Christmas Project

Thomas has decided that he would like to do a Christmas project for the orphanage. He's thinking about two small indoor trampolines, some musical instruments, some fleece sleepers and some slipper socks. He's also thinking that he would like to find a Shipping Sponsor so that 25% of his budget isn't spent at the Post Office. :-)

We'll be posting videos and updates (and of course his now-famous asks) very soon.

As always - thank you for supporting his Passion Project.

(Thomas's Mom)