Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Fund Drive Kicks Off!

It's quite amazing to look back at the events of this past year. Last year this time, we expressed to you the mission of ZKO and what we hoped to accomplish. You opened your hearts to that mission, and it's truly miraculous to see the good you have effected in one year's time. You already know from reading the newsletter, website, and blog how it has benefited the babies, so we won't go into that again (but if you could just see the grins on their faces...). Please know that it's all because of YOU caring about the ones left behind.

It's time to do it all again, this year with the hopes of reaching even more kids at Zhanjiang: the older ones who may never be adopted, and the kids with special needs who need therapy and specialized attention. We have been given such an opportunity by the Zhanjiang staff, and with your help we hope to take full advantage of that opportunity.

As you are "making your list" this holiday season, please consider adding the kids at Zhanjiang as recipients when you're "checking it twice." It's never been easier to give--we now have PayPal! Or if you prefer, you can fax or mail in your tax-deductible donation (the form can be easily printed off our site). http://zhanjiangkids.org/helping.htm Our fund drive will run through December 31st. Keep checking the website for updates!

Monday, November 5, 2007

ZKO News!

The Chinese symbol you see means "predestined relationship." It can translate to adoption, families, friendships, but it's so appropriate for what has been happening in the Zhanjiang community to which we all belong. We've watched as people all across the world have come together for a common cause: the children at Zhanjiang SWI. It's amazing to experience the common bond of having "SWI sisters and brothers" and how it has caused a wave of compassion and friendship to spill back into the children still living at Zhanjiang SWI.

Landmark events have been happening this month! We've received our official 501(c)(3) status, and your donation will no longer be funneled through FTIA. We are so very grateful for all their assistance until we could become our own non-profit entity. It has now become a cinch to donate directly to ZKO via PayPal on our website!

The newsletter is coming to fruition. Although we've had a few hiccups to delay production, we anticipate it going to the printers shortly and you will find it in your (snail)mailbox by Thanksgiving (for those of you not in the US, that's near the end of November). If you haven't yet signed up, please do so immediately. We can promise you that it's going to be a wonderful, heart-warming issue filled with photographs, interviews, and perspectives from both sides of the ocean. You do NOT want to miss this! The only way you'll be able to see it is if you contact us. If you haven't yet gotten on the mailing list, please contact Kimberley at kimberley@zhanjiangkids.com

We've just gotten our latest batch of quarterly reports, and they are encouraging as well. The babies and toddlers are thriving under their Aunties' care, and it is evident that these Aunties know their children intimately. Some of the following quotes have been taken from the latest reports of several different children:

"When playing alone, she will say "da, da." She prefers the colorful toys, and is curious about the toys which have sound. Whenever there are such toys in front of her, she will watch them for a while before taking them. She is very cute."

"She knows when her name is called. She likes to watch what the Aunties and kids do, and smiles at them. She is active and lovely."

"When the Auntie calls for her from a distance, she turns around at once and smiles. She will clap when Auntie sings to her."

"Whenever Auntie calls her, she waves her hands."

"She is afraid of strangers and wants to play with only her familiar Auntie."

(of an older child) "She is a little naughty. When the Auntie doesn't take her to the playroom on time, she sits on the edge of her crib. When the Auntie comes, she greets her with a hug and points to the playroom. She likes to play games with the Auntie and laughs loudly."

The common theme is that these precious children know their names, and they know their beloved and dedicated Aunties, depending on them for their emotional well-being. It doesn't get much better than that. Thanks for being a part of this incredible work.