It is an interesting story about how we got introduced to the Mishpacha Orphanage in Odessa. My cousin had gotten married and just moved there. On one of her visits back to the states, she was visiting me in my store on a day that I was figuring out what to do with past season merchandise. She asked what I did when there was last season merchandise, and suggested that we send it with her to Odessa to give out at the orphanage. I was happy to see it go to good use and thus began our friendship with the Mishpacha Orphanage.
Working with the orphanage made me feel so grateful for all that I have, as I got to know (through phone calls and pictures) the stories of these children. The simple joy that a new dress would give them was immense, it may have been the first time they received a new dress at all. Many of these children didn’t have a home, came from broken homes, or were missing a parent. The simple things in life were their light and we had so much that we could give them.
During a holiday in which we celebrate light over darkness and gift giving, we found it only fitting to continue sending them light. We decided to partner with our customers to give these children of Odessa a gift of Chanuka gelt. Their parents may not be around to give it to them, but this year, they will be getting Chanuka gelt from all of us.
For the entire Chanuka, Three Bows will be donating 10% of all sales made to the Children’s Orphanage of Odessa to distribute as Chanuka Gelt.
As we started to send clothing to the orphanage, we would receive pictures of the children smiling in their new outfits. Slowly, we began to hear their stories. There was Sasha who came from a broken home with an abusive mother, she came to the orphanage where she began to thrive. Through all the love and care they provided her with, she grew into a beautiful young girl. She met a boy in the orphanage and today they are married with a child.
Then there is Yula. When she arrived she couldn’t even talk. Her mother used to leave for work every day and lock her up in the house. Her mother sent her to the orphanage to wait while she prepared to make Aliyah. The Aliyah never panned out, and in the meantime Yula, under the care she has received in the orphanage, has just celebrated her Bas Mitzvah, and is a speaker of four languages; Russian, Ukrainian, Hebrew, and English.
Vlada came to the orphanage a very closed girl. They decided to send her to art therapy, and slowly, slowly she began to open up. Today she is loud and outgoing girl with lots of friends.
It’s all the small things that help them blossom and grow into the beautiful children that they are.
We received a text from C.W. shortly after they received a suitcase of dresses. She told us how that Shabbos the girls all went to shul so proud to show off their new dresses. While picking out dresses they kept exclaiming how much fun it was.
It taught us a lesson on how even the smallest things can make such a big difference to these children. It was this last conversation that inspired us to choose Odessa to give a gift to this Chanuka, so that these children will have just a little more light in their lives.