The Youth of Portland, OR Helps the Children of Ukrainian Orphanages

Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA – December 2015

This is the season of the year for us to reflect on God’s blessings and to be thankful for all that we have. In this grateful spirit, the children and teenagers of St. John the Baptist in Portland, Oregon have presented a check for $1,000 to His Grace Bishop Daniel to help support the children of the Znamyanka orphanage in Ukraine. They raised these funds by making and then selling handcrafted items at our church craft fair in November. This is just one opportunity for our children to give to the children of Znamyanka. But, they were happy to give even more.

They are able to actually give part of themselves by sharing who they are with the children and young adults of Znamyanka. Initially this was accomplished by producing a beautiful video showing our children writing pysanky, and with sharing photos of themselves. This fall, our teens took on still another video project. This time it focused on how they make handcrafted items – bright paracord bracelets for the boys and lovely hair bows for the girls, made by one of our Mothers – which they will send to the Znamyanka children with His Grace Bishop Daniel and the missionaries in December.

Our teens have been completely engaged in the video projects, from setting up props for the videographer to rehearsing with the younger children. They clearly enjoyed what they were doing but perhaps more importantly, it provided them with a great source of pride in their contributions to the projects.

Our adult parishioners also got into the spirit of giving, donating brand-new clothing that was shipped to the Znamyanka children in September. Another parishioner lent his videographer talents to film our videos and everyone generously supported the craft fair.

St John the Baptist Ukrainian Orthodox in Portland, Oregon is a small parish, but a parish with a big heart. Through the combined effort of all of us, we are able to reach out and connect with the children of Znamyanka.