Why I Decided to Help My Old Orphanage – Alex Gilbert
I wanted to talk about a few reason as to why I wanted to help out my old orphanage by sending gifts and supplies. I left my orphanage in Russia in August 1994.
I was only two years old. I don’t remember anything of course but it is where everything started for me. There was about 20 or so of us in the same group, my group. A few of them I have contact with now to this day.
The orphanage is situated just on the outskirts of the city. It’s not considered a big city but it does have a population of over 350,000 people. Another thing about Arkhangelsk (Ark Angels) is where it is. It’s incredibly far from everywhere else. It’s not a quick trip to get there. Take a look at the map below to see where exactly it is. Average winter temperature is -22 °C. It is a cold place.
After I told people that I wanted to help out my orphanage in Russia of course there were a few comments and messages here that were not so supportive. Just a few people understood incorrectly with what I am wanting to do. Here in New Zealand I had collected an entire box of gifts and supplies, no problems. It is toys with a bit of a New Zealand theme to take there. I wanted to help out in a small way. The children there are aged (4 months to 4 years old). There are only about 8 children in my group. That is where these are going.
In the 1990s my Mum here in New Zealand started a group called ‘Helping Hand’ which sent boxes and boxes of toys and supplies to all the orphanages across Russia. It was incredible. I remember just seeing boxes everywhere of things. This is different. This is just a one off thing for me. I have always wanted to do it.
I am almost there with planning out what to do next. I have gathered what I need to take. Janna who is also from the same orphanage helped out with collecting too. It’s a nice thing to do and I am sure they will appreciate us helping out.
I created a Give a Little page a few weeks ago which is going to help with us getting the gifts there. It’s not cheap to post and in fact it’s cheaper to take these gifts there personally. Cheaper if we take two boxes. It’s over $1000 to send one box by post. If you look on the world map, you can understand why.
You can follow all the updates on this project here below:
Thank you again to those people who have helped make this possible. I appreciate it! – Alex Gilbert