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!!! :-)
Marina James is the moving spirit behind Marina's Kids. In fact, she's just about the whole thing. A couple times a year she flies to Ukraine and by the time she leaves, orphaned children there are celebrating everything from new bathroom facilities to cell phones. The measure of their joy can easily be seen in photos showing smiling, adoring kids surrounding Mama Marina. She gives them things. She gives them love. She gives them hope for the future.