Katya showed up, with a child in tow. She had recently gotten engaged to the father, and was very proud to show off her little boy, Arkasha.(Yes, I know: not the most flattering photo of me, but I was jet lagged and had no access to a shower for two days...) We caught up, and she gave me a gift - a photo of her son, and asked me to be his godmother. She filled me in on all she knew about the other girls from the group. (There were many horrible stories, with one girl recently arrested for selling her child for drugs.)
But somehow Katya had defied the odds: She was alive, she was not drug-addicted, she was not involved in criminal activity or prostitution, and she was still the same smart, inquisitive girl I had met 6 years ago. No, life was not what she envisioned for herself, but she did count her blessings. She lived with her boyfriend in his parents' apartment. She had a roof over her head, which is more than most of her friends had.
I'm writing this post about Katya, because I know how important it is to put a name and a face on the numbers and statistics everyone reads about. How can people care about and want to help a statistic? But if I can tell others about Katya, her dreams, her hopes and -- more importantly right now -- her needs, then others can take action.
|I sent funds in September for Katya to buy Arkasha some|
winter clothing:) Here's the photo I just received!
I want to support and nurture the success that Katya has already created for herself -- staying alive and out of trouble. What if I could find families willing to send their gently use clothing, toys, bottles, etc to Katya? I asked her if she could receive packages and not have to pay a fee. As long as the customs form states that the items are worth less than $25, she can receive them at no cost to her. She will have to take a bus to town and go to the post office to pick them up, but I am sending her a small bit of money this week to help her pay for bus fare in and out of town.
If you are interested in sending gently used baby/toddler items to Katya, please let me know. This is her address. I hope she doesn't mind my posting it for a bit.
Menzhinskogo Ulitse 11-19
If you have never sent a package to Russia before, it is very simple. First, get a ready-post mailing carton like this:
|Most recent photo of Arkasha. Isn't he adorable?|