01 July 2006

Got Ink?

I've just heard about a group called Maria's Children. The following is from their website and a post from an adoption forum. While I don't have any firsthand experience with this group, I'm impressed by their website and mission statement. I place a high value on the arts as a way to learn many valuable lessons. Take a look at their website and see it for yourselves. The link is at the end. -Kate

"Maria's Children is a Moscow-based organization that provides arts therapy and training for Russian orphans. We offer an atmosphere in which children can recognize their creative potential, developing talents and self-esteem that will serve them in later life. By inviting these children into our homes, teaching them life skills, and exposing them to safe, loving family environments, we hope to improve their chances of successful integration into society." --Maria's Children website

And from an adoption forum: "They have programs in St. Petersburg, Dmitrov and now in Haiti, too, along with the U.S. based fund-raising organization. They raise funds in many ways, including selling items created with the artwork of the children. I bought Christmas cards last year, and they were beautiful.

One way they raise funds is by collecting used ink cartridges, for which they receive money. I know I have a bunch I always forget to bring back to Staples for the cash, and now I'll send them to Maria's Children instead. I thought some of you might want to do the same. It's a great and easy way to support this program - you don't even have to pay for the shipping. Here's the blurb verbatim from their newsletter.

'Gradually our income increases from the recycling project, but we could do so much more. I've estimated if each of you who receive this letter sent in just one box of used cartridges per year, we would realize about $30,000. Here's how to help. Save all your personal empty cartridges, and canvas your friends and family and even your place of business frequently for their empties, as well. Also for all used cell phones, and other small hi-tech stuff. Place a collection box at your church or service club, etc. When you have at least a small box full, call the toll-free number 1-888-628-3639 to request a free UPS mailing label. When you receive the label, put in on the box, put our return address in the space provided (Maria's Children International, 4321 West Highway 13, Savage, MN 55378), and take to your local UPS outlet or have UPS pick it up. There's no charge of any kind. About 3 weeks after you send the box, we get a check. If you'd like acknowledgement from us for your help, send us a copy of the mailing label before you send the box (or fax it to 952-736-8126). I cannot stress enough how much this can mean to us! Get passionate with this, and make a huge difference for the forgotten kids of the world!' "


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