DOWNING — 11-year-old Natasha DeSmith is doing something quite amazing for a girl at her young age; she is raising money around the community that will bring two orphan girls to America for five weeks this summer.
The two teenage girls are currently residing in an orphanage in Eastern Europe near Russia. The girls were introduced to the DeSmith family by their 11-year-old brother.
The story begins over a year ago when the little boy was introduced to Chuckie and Cindy DeSmith through an adoption agency.
He was living in an orphanage over seas as well and through the help of “Project 143”, he was brought to America and to the outskirts of Downing when the DeSmiths sought him out to visit for a summer through the Project 143 organization.
Chuckie and Cindy have five children and he fit in perfectly with their family and gave “big brother” Hadin another boy to hang out with, as he has four sisters.
While staying here for a second time over Christmas, he shared that two of his sisters would like to visit America for the summer.
After that visit, one of the sisters started making communications with the DeSmith family via social media. That turned into hours of video chatting via Skype with Natasha and others in the family.
One night Natasha asked if her mom and dad could host the two girls, which it is beautiful thought, but an expensive one as well. So Natasha’s big heart leaped into action and she asked to start up her own fundraiser.
Natasha with the help of her mom, created a “razoo” account that is through Project 143 and she shared that on Facebook. In a weeks time, friends, family, and even people they didn’t know, generously donated over $3,500.
Their goal is $5,500, which will pay the Project 143 fees needed to bring the two girls from the orphanage to our little community for five weeks this coming summer.
Natasha has taken time each day to personally thank each and every donor for their generosity.
The website she is using is www.razoo.com/story/sisters-4-summer or through Facebook at Sisters-4-Summer.
Being here not only gives these children a chance to experience a new and different culture, but it also gives them the opportunity to experience a loving family environment in a two-parent home and know what it’s like to not go hungry.
Project 143 also encourages host families to provide host children with much needed attention by eye doctors and dentists during their visit.
Project 143 (www.projectonefortythree.org) is based in Georgia. Their goal is to serve the “143” million plus orphans in the world.
The orphans available for hosting are chosen by the organization’s interview team, who travel overseas to meet each child in person.
They run the Project 143 Orphan Host (HOPE) Program, which is to invite an orphan child into your home for four to eight weeks over the summer or winter holidays.
Hosting is a special way to also make a connection between an orphan and a potential forever family. However, a family does not have to be interested in adoption to participate as a host, but sometimes it is a by-product of the program. Some orphans are host only.