Sunday, February 03, 2008

Half the Sky

I'm not sure if you have seen on the news or not about the weather in China. Half the Sky is an organization in China that helps the orphanages there. They are a wonderful organization. Maddie's orphanage, Chengdu is sponsered by them. Please take a moment to read this update from them and if you can, please donate to help them out.

The situation in China … more news
February 3rd, 2008
Dear, dear friends – Your response in answer to our appeal for the Little Mouse Emergency Fund is astounding. Everyone that we have spoken with today in China who is dealing with this crisis has asked us to pass on deepest thanks for your concern and love for the children.
And we at Half the Sky are simply overwhelmed by your generosity. I’ve spent much of today in tears just thinking about how much love there is out there for these children who so often seem forgotten. Clearly, you have remembered them! We expect to have a break in the weather tomorrow and then more storms moving in on Tuesday. We hope to use the brief window to get some direct relief to the orphanages that need it most desperately, especially in towns without power where no funds can be wire-transferred.
We will be receiving a list of orphanages with urgent needs by noon tomorrow (Monday here in China.) There are 20 in Hunan Province alone. We have made arrangements to wire funds directly wherever possible and promised anyone who’s using their personal funds right now to care for the children that they will be reimbursed promptly. All institutions receiving funds will provide us with receipts and photographs of items purchased. Here are a few updates. This list will grow substantially tomorrow. You can check our website for the very latest news and full details.
Changzhou, Jiangsu – UPDATE: The orphanage now reports they are running out of diapers and need 750 diapers per day for an estimated 10 days.
Chengdu, Sichuan – UPDATE: Chengdu repeats their request for a large heater and disposable diapers. They also request 80 warm quilts.
Chenzhou, Hunan – UPDATE: The largest hotel in Chenzhou is running on one emergency generator and townsfolk who’ve been without power for days have filled all rooms and lobbies. There are very few places in town with even emergency power now. Hopes are to get some electricity by next weekend. We are in daily touch with the orphanage. They know that everyone is thinking of them and determined to get them the help they need.
Chongqing – UPDATE: Temperatures continue to drop - request warm blankets and floor mats.
Chuzhou, Anhui - UPDATE: Reports that their industrial clothes dryer broke down two days ago. They’ve tried to repair but it is still not working and they have no way to dry clothes and diapers in the cold. They ask for purchase of a new dryer and for disposable diapers.
Guiyang, Guizhou – UPDATE: Power is intermittant. They repeat the request for diapers and now understand that HTS has okayed the purchase.
Hangzhou, Zhejiang - Because of snow, they’ve been unable to get vegetables for several days. They request a subsidy to purchase food at higher prices and also ask for disposable diapers.
Hefei, Anhui – UPDATE: The orphanage now realizes they will soon run out of disposable diapers. They ask for funds to purchase 7500 diapers.
Nanchang, Jiangxi – UPDATE: Their boiler for hot water supply has broken down. They ask for funds to purchase a new one.
Qingyuan, Guangdong – UPDATE: With HTS funds, they have purchased 110 sets of quilts and padded jackets but have been unable to find heaters anywhere in Qingyuan. They are going to try to send someone south to Guangzhou to find heaters.
Shaodian, Henan - HTS supports a Family Village here for children orphaned by AIDS. Due to the heavy snow and bitter cold, the children suffer from chilblains on their hands and feet. Water pipes have frozen and they are now able to get water only a few hours a day. Food costs are rising. Power supply is intermittant. They request heaters and cream for chilblains as well as a subsidy for food.
Xinyang, Henan – UPDATE: It seems first information on Xinyang did not come from director of institution. Today’s news is not so favorable. It has been snowing since January 10 and temperatures are the lowest in history. Some heaters are broken. The institution has gathered all of the children together in the largest HTS activity room to kep them warm. Due to the weight of ice, the roof has cracked and there are leaks into some of the HTS activity rooms as well as the nurseries. They are installing a “temporary” toilet on the same floor as the big activity room so children and caregivers don’t slip on the icy corridors and stairs. They ask for disposable diapers, winter clothes, cream for chilblains for the children’s hands and feet. HTS staff continues to walk to work through the snow and ice; there is no public transportation.
Yangchun, Guangdong - reports a need for space heaters and hot water bottles for 88 babies at two sites.
Please consider passing this message on to anyone you think might want to help.
On behalf of the many, many children whose lives you will touch, and possibly save, during this difficult time – THANK YOU!

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