I'm helping to organize an activity at church to make pajamas for Russian orphans. A family from our area moved there a couple of years ago. The woman who gave us the information doesn't speak Russian but decided she could still help and has been actively involved in volunteer work for disabled orphans. As she explains it:
"There are about a thousand kids in orphanages in our region here. Most of them are not really orphans but are called social orphans or foster kids. They have one or two parents, but the parents have either had the children removed from the home because of drug or alcohol abuse or physical abuse or because they are in the prison system. Some have been abandoned for economic reasons. The state takes care of them until they are 16 years old and then gives them a small stipend to go to school or just work in the community. Most of the children who graduate at 16 have some serious issues within a few years of graduation. The orphans that would be receiving the pajamas are all disabled children. There are no facilities in Russia to accommodate the disabled in the community. They have no rights. There are no handicapped toilets or ramps anywhere. Most severely handicapped children are just turned over to the state. The facility we visit has 300 handicapped children. They are downs syndrome, blind, deaf, CP, etc... Most of them are learning disabled as well. The home is seriously in need of remodeling, underfunded and smells strongly of urine.
We need sizes 3 to 16. I could also use pajama tops, but I am most interested in the bottoms because that is what needs to be covered up the most. I would prefer they use a flannel or cotton material rather than fleece because I can fit more in a suitcase. The orphanages are usually very warm so there is no need for fleece. I thought it would be fun to give the pajamas as a Christmas present since they have never worn anything new. "
We are collecting fabric and sewing elastic waist pajama bottoms. If we get enough fabric we'll also make scrub type tops to go with them. Simple patterns. Sizes 4-12 are needed.
If you are reading this and would like to help, please do! Make just one pajama set or get a group involved, however suits you best. You are welcome to donate fabric or make pajamas and send them along. (I'm going to involve my children and have them each help me with one pair each. They'll learn a little about sewing and hopefully a lot about how blessed we are here.) If you donate fabric, please send it to me by November 15th. The pajamas are needed by December 10th when our friend will be town. We hope to stuff her suitcases full and then some.
Email me at italynw[at]gmail[dot]com for address information and other questions. God bless you!