Friday, December 05, 2014

25 Days of Christmas - Day 5

At the boys' school the students have been collecting donations for a local orphanage.  Shepherd's Field takes in special needs orphans from 15 different orphanages across China.  They do excellent work caring for these children and our school has joined with them in the past for similar collection drives and other fundraising efforts.  The children brought their donations to their classrooms over the course of 2 weeks and then all the items were gathered together to be boxed and sent to the orphanage.  

To thank the children for their generosity, Santa Claus paid a visit to the collection site and brought each child a small treat.  The children were delighted.

The Parent Organization (of which I am a member) coordinated the project, so I was there when the boys came to see Santa.

We collected 68 boxes of food, diapers, formula, and winter clothes for the orphanage and then a few days later a group of students and parents
delivered the donations in person.

Students from Caleb's school came to meet the children at the orphanage and to help them with a craft project.  We met with 35 of the orphans, all those that are mobile and able to be around other people.  There are many more whose illnesses make it impossible for them to leave their living quarters.

We also decorated gingerbread cookies with the children during our visit.

 The orphanage was founded by an American who came to China and decided to adopt a child.  Through this process he became acquainted with the conditions of orphanages and in particular the services available to orphaned disabled children.  He was disheartened by what he saw and decided he needed to help.  He spent years building relationships with Chinese officials and orphanages and eventually Shepherd's Field was born.

The orphanage has been at its current site since 1994 and is constantly expanding.  Through the generosity of various organizations and the cooperation of the local government the facility is able to provide quality care and education to an increasing number of children.

 On the grounds of the orphanage is the hand print wall.  Each child that has been adopted since the founding has a tile on the wall recording their name and hand prints.  Some of the hand prints are impossibly tiny.

 Over 4000 special needs children have been adopted from Shepherd's Field since its founding.  This facility and especially the wall of hand prints were beautiful to see.  We so enjoyed meeting and interacting with the children.  They were so excited to see us and we look forward to our next visit.


Cecily said...

Best day of Christmas yet. Amazing.


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