WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (WAVY) — Williamsburg-based Heart for Orphans has focused on aiding children in Ukraine for nearly two decades, long before Russia invaded.
They’re currently in the process of getting all of their children, and the adults who care for them, out of the war-torn country.
It’s proving to be a daunting task.
Founder Nancy Hathaway is currently in Eastern Europe, near the Ukraine border, aiding those who made it out safely. She’s also working tirelessly to get those still in Ukraine to safety.
Nancy and her husband Steve founded Heart for Orphans in the early 2000s. A question they often get asked is ‘Why Ukraine?’
The couple adopted their three daughters from Ukraine in the 1990s. They wanted to do more.
The nonprofit they founded raises funds to support four family-style group homes across Ukraine. In recent years they’ve expanded their work into Belarus and Kenya.
Each group home has house parents who take care
We spoke with Amber Linnekin, the director of donations for Heart for Orphans, about their efforts to get the children out of the country.
“To have these orphan kids going through all of this, it’s very difficult. The ones who have evacuated went through a lot to get out” explained Linnekin. “They drove for miles and miles for days some of them, one family had three kids on each lap.”
Twenty-nine are still in the country.
“So that’s what we’re trying to do now is get paperwork and get things set up so we can get them all across the border,” said Linnekin.
The plan is to get all 29 out this week.
“It is proving to be very expensive and we have no idea of knowing what’s going to happen and what’s coming next,” Linnekin said.
If you’d like to help the orphans, Linnekin says monetary donations are the best. That way they can buy the supplies they need overseas.