Kostia - Introductory Letter

Dear Friends and Family,

We have exciting news! Our family is looking forward to having a new child stay with us for the summer! For six weeks this July and August, we will be hosting a child from the Chernobyl area of Belarus, of the former Soviet Union. These children are being sponsored through a nonprofit group called Children of Chernobyl, Walla Walla. The six weeks they spend in our care will help recover their health from dangerous radiation exposure. Here’s a quick history of the situation:

An accident occurred in April, 1986 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Facility in the Ukraine, of the former Soviet Union. Fifty million curie of radioactive isotopes were delivered into the earths atmosphere – that’s 200 times the radiation released in Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined. A large portion, seventy percent, of the fallout settled on the country of Belarus. The political climate being what it is, and despite some relocations, almost 2.2 million people still live in contaminated areas… including 800,000 children.

Many of these children are suffering from the breakdown of their body’s immune system caused by the constant low-level bombardment of radiation. Most of these children grow food for their family in the contaminated soil around their houses, and often gather mushrooms and berries out of highly contaminate forests. Even the wind carries radiation and heavy metals into their daily lives, accumulating in their young bodies. Thyroid cancer near Chernobyl is 1000 times that of the world norm.

We are part of a world wide effort to provide health respite for these children…bringing them out of the danger zone to stay with host families for six weeks during the summer. They need 40-45 days for the accumulated radiation to dissipate from their young bodies. The ideal ingredients needed to restore these precious children to health: fresh air, pure water, sunshine, healthy food, and a peaceful, loving host family.

Our special guest is a 9-year-old boy named Kostia. He comes from a needy home in Gomel, Belarus. He likes cats and reading. With this letter is a picture of him with his mom.

Bringing a child over from the Chernobyl area will cost $1400. Medical screenings, dental care, some clothing, and a medical care package are already being donated. This is the only program of its kind available to Kostia. To help us fund the health respite for Kostia and be a part of this very special relief effort you may make an online donation at www.cofcww.org. Please be sure to indicate our name so the donation goes for our child. Or, you can mail us a donation directly at 570 Biscuit Ridge Road, Waitsburg, WA 99361. Please make checks payable to Children of Chernobyl, Walla Walla. All donations are tax deductible, as it is a 501©3 nonprofit humanitarian organization.

This has given us the chance to bring a mission opportunity into our own home. We look forward to sharing stories and pictures with you this summer, while Kostia is with us. We will post them on the Ash Clan website at http://www.ashclan.org/kostia Thank you very, very much.

John and Lana (John5, Andrew, & Lynae)