Marina's Kids has been formed just three and a half years ago, but in this short time we have helped many orphans and other disadvantaged children of Ukraine. We now work in close to 30 location, effecting the lives of about 3,000 children. We have many programs, including hosting: a cultural exchange program where orphans from Ukraine come to US for Summer/ winter break. To see more of what we do please visit our website: www.marinaskids.org
This ministry started from a life long desire to help orphans. I was 14 when I got to know an orphan, girl in Riga, where I lived at the time. I knew then, helping kids like her was my calling in life. Over time I have worked in different capacities with different kids needing help. After my trip back to the country of my birth, Ukraine, in December of 2010, I realized that it was time for the next big step, our own organization. That would enables us to do so much more, help so many more orphans- make a difference in their lives. Through our organization we can also enable others to do the same. I am amazed at how much we have been able to accomplish so far, but it is still just scratching the surface. I would like to encourage you to join us on journey. See more of what we have done on our website and how you can help. www.marinaskids.org
We hosted with Marinas Kids twice and experienced great communication and support through our eventual adoption of our son. The volunteers work really hard to make hosting happen for the kids and their dedication shows. Our incredible son has blessed our life so much and we never would have known about him if it weren't for Marinas Kids who spent time knowing him. We truly love this organization!
We hosted a child through Marina's Kids twice and both times were exceptional. They are very well organized and communicate daily. They encouraged us to share stories and pictures of our hosting and were always there to help answer questions and concerns with clarity and kindness. We continue to see all the work they are doing to help orphans by regular emails and posts with photos and stories that bring tears. Marina and her entire staff of volunteers have hearts of Gold and we feel very blessed by them.
Sincerely, Courtney and Glenn Klugel
Words cannot express the gratitude and appreciation we have for this wonderful organization. Through Marina's Kids, we were blessed to be able to host a 16 year old young man for both the Winter 2013 and Summer 2014 hosting periods. It was an absolutely awesome experience! Now it is nearing time for the Winter 2014 hosting time, and we are planning on hosting again- this time "our child" as well as his 3 siblings- if everything works out. We could not have done any of this without the personal involvement of each and every person associated with Marina's Kids. What a difference they have made in our lives and in the lives of these precious children!
We are planning to host this Winter 2014 with this wonderful organization. We were unable to host last summer with them due to a complication out of the organizations control with our selected host child. Instead of having us put off hosting they initiated and worked with another host agency to ensure our funds, which were already paid and non refundable, were moved to another host agency so we could fund hosting a different child. That is how much each orphan child means to them. We have also given donations to the organization for their care work in Ukraine and feel that every penny has been used wisely and toward necessary clothing or school supplies for the children. A true gem of an organization! We proudly stand with Marina's Kids.
We hosted a 14 year old boy during Winter 2013-14 hosting. What a wonderful experience! The volunteers are fabulous and have their hearts in tune with the orphans' needs. We ended up adopting our host child in August 2014 and are currently pursuing the adoption of our friend's host child, as she has advocated for him. This organization not only brings families together, it helps aged-out orphans and young families that were part of the orphanages. The organization provides bed linens for hospitals, winter and summer clothes and shoes to orphans and most importantly, LOVE!
Marina's Kids is such an amazing organization! Not only do they help orphans experience the love of family through hosting, but they help nurture the relationship between orphans and families once the hosting period is complete. The volunteers are so helpful and knowledgeable and truly care about the beautiful children that they serve. Through numerous charitable projects, Marina and her amazing team of volunteers help improve orphanages through construction projects; donating school supplies, clothing, and hygiene products; and visits with the orphans to remind them all that they are special and loved. Marina's Kids goes the extra step beyond just hosting and touches so many precious lives.
The James family's compassion and empathy truly reflects in the actual work they do in the field at Marina's Kids.
My family met and eventually adopted two teens from Ukraine through a different non-profit several years ago. In the years since we've been home, we have worked with several organizations that seek to serve orphans from Ukraine. Marina's Kids is my favorite non-profit hands down. Founder, Marina James is a smart cookie and a good woman. Her heart is golden and she has a lot of common sense. She has used her knowledge of Ukrainian and American cultures, and her heart for serving all of God's children, to develop an organization that makes EXCELLENT PRACTICAL use of american dollars and service energy. Every dollar donated to this organization is used WELL. In addition to orphan hosting programs which expose orphans to loving families who can invest in their lives and futures, this organization also serves the masses of kids in Ukraine who will never set foot in America. They serve aged out orphans (who leave orphanages at 16 yrs and are on their own) through safe clubhouses where they can do laundry, be mentored, learn to cook healthy meals, etc. They hire aged out orphans to do fix-ups on the apartments of young single mothers, helping TWO sets of people with ONE donation! I could go on and on with more examples, but will stop and say simply that our family LOVES this organization!!! :-)
Our experience with Marina's Kids has been life changing. Marina's heart to serve the orphans of Ukraine is contagious. We will forever be challenged by the needs of orphans in the Ukraine now that we understand how we can make an impact. Marina's Kids is passionate about making a difference in the lives of Ukrainian orphans and we are excited to have linked arms with them in service.
We have worked with Marina's Kids over the last year. We are truly amazed at how much this organization has been able to do to help orphans in Ukraine. They have taken on numerous projects at various orphanages, all of which have improved the quality of life for these children. In addition, Marina's Kids has brought orphans to the US on several hosting trips so that they can experience the love of a family and a cultural exchange. Marina and her volunteers work very hard to help orphans in Ukraine and pour out a whoile lot of love to them. It's an amazing organization.
We hosted a boy this past summer of 2013 and we will be hosting the same boy this winter. When we found out about Marina's Kids, we did not know too much about what hosting would involve. We knew others who had hosted and fostered before, but we had never done so ourselves. Thankfully, everyone volunteering with Marina was very supportive, informative and patient! We had a wonderful experience and are so excited to be working with them again for the winter hosting! Our lives have been forever changed and my husband and I would highly recommend getting involved with Marina's Kids. It will not only impact the lives of orphans as they experience what unconditional love is but it will impact your life as well. Their whole team have such hearts for these children and are each genuine, incredible people wanting to make a difference! I am happy to say that we are in the process of adopting the sweet boy we hosted this summer. God is so awesome!
This organization is amazing. The amount of love that goes into all of the children is astonishing. As a professional social worker, I can say for certain that Marina's Kids meets all of the core values: service, social justice, dignity and worth of the person, importance of human relationship, integrity and competence. Marina and the rest of the volunteers do an amazing job to ensure that everything is in order. They are making a major difference in the lives of the children and their host families. I would highly recommend this organization. If you have any further questions please ask.
The personal conviction and heartfelt dedication which Marina and Sean operate from is astounding. The personal commitment to see orphaned siblings reunited and find loving homes is so inspiring! I'm moved to tears hearing the stories and knowing the tremendous lengths taken to see the lives of these kids changed for the good. This organization deserves all the support possible!
I am constantly astounded by the successes of Marina's Kids. Marina, Sean, and other volunteers are truly making a difference in the lives of Ukrainian children. I cannot stress enough the impact this organization has on those it serves. These communities (Ukrainian orphans) live in abject poverty and have little chance to escape their situations. Our dollars provide a profound change in their day-to-day lives - indoor toilets, schoolhouse accoutrements, and most recently, the ability for an orphan to have access and opportunity in America. With high efficiency rates and a hands on caring rarely seen, I cannot recommend Marina's Kids enough.
We were first introduced to Marina's Kids in January 2013, and I can say with certainty, that this organization will forever be a part of our lives. We went to our first meeting about orphan hosting without fully understanding what it entailed, and to be frank, with great hesitancy. My husband and I left that meeting changed people. When we learned about what Marina's Kids does for Ukrainian orphans....not just the orphans who get chosen to be hosted, but for all the orphans and the orphanages she works with...we knew that we had just taken part in a life changing event. We saw pictures of one of the orphanages she was trying to raise money to renovate, we saw pictures of boxes and boxes of shoes she had purchased, and then we saw the children. When we made the decision to host, Marina and her volunteers did an excellent job in helping to guide us to children who would fit best with our family. They were able to do this, because they actually take the time to get to know the children and develop relationships with them. Shortly after we chose a sibling group that we wanted to host, Marina happened to be visiting at their orphanage. She allowed us the opportunity to speak with them by phone while providing translation. We gave the oldest sibling our email address and we were able to exchange a number of emails before we even met! While the children were with us during the summer, Marina and her volunteers were always just a phone call away for any issues that arose. The day the kids had to fly back to Ukraine was a very sad day for all of us, however, Marina has been to visit the kids since then and we were able to send her money to buy some things for our host children and for the orphanage. Marina's Kids does everything they can to help foster a lasting relationship with the children you have hosted. I believe Marina's Kids goes far above and beyond what I have heard other hosting agencies do to help with continued contact after the children leave. The other aspect of this program that was so impressive to me was the level of education we were provided with prior to hosting. We received guidance about cultural differences, potential behavior issues, food and recipe suggestions, and advice about how to handle delicate issues such as the child's past. I can not speak highly enough about this organization, and especially Marina herself.
Marina and her organization have a heart for serving orphans! This ministry is close to the heart of God! Highly recommend hosting an orphan, giving them hope and showing them they are loved! Hosting thru this organization is encouraged!
I have always had a heart for children. For years I have looked for ways to be more involved, but could never seem to find an organization that had the "whole package". Then I was introduced to Marina's Kids. Right away it was clear to me that Marina was a special person. Her heart and passion for the children she helps is evident. We hosted through the program...but Marina's Kids has an impact far outreaching hosting. It includes providing medical care, orphanage renovations, shoes and clothing, and FUN for ALL of the orphans. Even after they "age out" she continues to maintain relationships and provide a safe place for these young people to land as they navigate the beginnings of their adult lives on their own. My husband appreciates their financial transparency as they can account for every dollar donated! I can't say enough about this organization or the wonderful woman behind it!
Marina is an awesome women running an awesome program. She loves and cares so much for these kids and helps make their lives better. she is amazing.
Marina's kids is a wonderful organization. It has been my joy and privilege to be a part of what they are doing to improve quality of life for orphans since November of 2012. In my time with the organization I have seen them do so many things to benefits the lives of these children growing up in orphanages from meeting basic necessities (like shoes) to providing funds to help with the children's self-esteem and confidence (i.e. help with graduations for the kids aging out). This organization is such a blessing to the children AND its volunteers!
Marina's Kids is a great organization that allows for orphans to come to the United States. It is an amazing organization that allows for change to happen to the orphanages these kids live. Some of the kids also have the opportunity to come to the US and see what having a family feels like. These families are able to keep communication with these kids after they return back to Ukraine and that is AMAZING. These kids need some mentoring in their lives.