Once again Jim A. and friends will be heading out to Kazakhstan in June for what has become an annual trek to an orphanage there.  This delegation – the only American group to visit this particular orphange consists of 15 people from 3 states, 9 of whom are from the Portland area – and will include several who have made the trip a number of times now.  As Jim says, “The kids are like our kids now, as we have many returning team members year after year.”  If you’ve ever had the privilege of getting to see the photographic recap of one of their trips – you’ll agree – the obvious connection between team members and children is impossible to miss!  There is joy evident on all faces!

WE have the distinct privilege and honor of being allowed to craft some items for these children.  The orphanage typically houses about 200 children, ages 5 to 17.  The kids love receiving items for winter – which is extreme and very harsh – and the children are often out in the cold.

Jim and company will be leaving for their trip on the first half of June.  We’d like to collect all projects by June 7th.

You’re probably wondering – what should I make?  Here are some ideas:  hats (you know how to do those now!), scarves, socks, mittens.  I thought maybe some slippers would be fun, too.  Of course – anything – you want to craft and send will be gratefully accepted!

Jim mentions if we’d like to focus initially on the 5 to 7 year olds, that would be about 20 to 25 children.  I’ll start nosing about for some good children’s patterns and start bring your attention to them.  When we have that group adequately provisioned we’ll change our focus to another age range, okay?

Things to keep in mind:  a good quality, warm, washable wool would be a great material to work with.  Knitting and crocheting items for children is great fun!  Projects go fast and for the most part are quick and easy to do.  Keep colors fun and exciting.  Remember there are both boys and girls in our target group – so there are lots of opportunities for creativity to flourish!

Another insider tip:  this is a great time of year to watch for yarn sales!  A lot of places are getting ready to switch their focus over from winter weight materials to spring and summer weight materials – so watch local and online vendors for good deals!

If you have questions, need clarification, or help – just say the word!

Okay!  I’m excited!  What a great privilege to get to partner with this wonderful group of servant hearts who are heading out to love these kids in Kazakhstan.