Monday, May 23, 2011


Whether we're rejoicing with those orphans who find their forever families, or hurting for those who do not, we at the Russian Orphan Lighthouse Project want to help as many children as possible. And some people who have God's heart for orphans are not able to adopt.

Tatyana, 14, has lived her entire life in an orphanage, but is not available for adoption. While she is talented and kind, she is at high risk to turn to prostitution within the next few years as she ages out of the orphanage, with few options to support herself. With training in a skill, she might be able to become a productive member of society outside the orphanage.

Slava, too old for a family
Slava, 16, pleaded with his orphanage director, “Please show me to them!” when we visited his orphanage. Though the director knew he was too old to be adopted, she could not bear to refuse his request. Statistics suggest a life of crime awaits Slava when he leaves the orphanage. On the street, his life expectancy will be measured in months, not years. But knowing a trade, he, too, could become productive.

Maria visited America and found her family through the Lighthouse Project when she was 11. Despite her new parents’ best efforts, it took them almost three years to raise the money for her adoption. She arrived home at age 14, after watching kids who’d been on later Lighthouse Project trips leave the orphanage sooner with their adoptive families.

Our new Russian Orphan Lighthouse Fund was birthed to help kids like Tatyana, Slava, and Maria. The Fund, which will receive tax-deductible donations, has two goals: providing apprenticeships, skills training, and equipment, like sewing machines, computers, and woodworking tools, for orphans for whom adoption will never be an option; and reducing our adoptable kids’ wait times by giving grants to their families for international travel.

The Russian Orphan Lighthouse Fund is a new project of Visions Made Viable (VMV), a California-based fiscal sponsor and 501(c)3 charity, which provides non-profit legal status to the Fund. Our relationship with VMV allows us to focus on our mission, ministering to Russia’s orphans, while VMV focuses on the legalities of running a non-profit. The Russian Orphan Lighthouse Fund reaps the benefits of being a non-profit entity, while avoiding the distraction of administering a full-fledged non-profit. Non-adoptable orphans and our struggling adoptive families are the beneficiaries of this arrangement.

Current Projects of the Fund

Children at this orphanage will benefit from a computer lab.

The A. Orphanage Computer Project  The A. Orphanage Computer Project will purchase one dozen computers for orphans to learn typing and computer skills useful in the job market. This project seeks to raise $10,000.

The S. Orphanage Sewing Project  The S. Orphanage Sewing Project will purchase twelve sewing machines and related sewing materials, and will prepare older girls to leave the orphanage with a marketable skill. This project will be fully funded at $6,000. 
Going home, at last
The Adoptive Family Travel Project  The Adoptive Family Travel Project is an ongoing project to provide airline tickets, lodging, train tickets, translation, and other travel-related items to Lighthouse Project families struggling with the costs of adoption. Frequent flier miles may also be donated. This will shorten the time children wait for their new adoptive families to take them home.

All gifts to VMV are 100% tax deductible, and regardless of amount, are acknowledged with a receipt. Gifts should note their designation toward the Russian Orphan Lighthouse Fund, and may be further designated toward any of the above projects. Non-designated gifts will be used in the area of greatest need. If a gift is designated to an already fully-funded project, the gift will be redirected where needed most.

While you may not be called to adopt an older child yourself, you can help another family adopt, or help teach an unadoptable orphan a skill or trade which could save them from a life, and death, on the streets. To contribute to the Russian Orphan Lighthouse Fund, please click here, or on the sidebar Donate Now button.

On behalf of our children and families, thank you very much!