“If you can’t hold children in your arms, please hold them in your heart.” — Mother Clara Hale
One August night in Odessa, in 2001, a grandmother appeared on the doorstep of the local synagogue with three young children in tow. Their mother had been murdered the day before. The grandmother simply did not have any means of providing for them.
The rabbi and his wife did not waver when she begged them to take the children. Immediately they created a safe haven for these orphans and others like them, a haven which became The Good Family Orphanage.
Today the orphanage is a warm, nurturing home to more than 50 children who live there 365 days a year. The orphanage provides shelter, nutritious meals, warm clean clothing, counseling and tutoring as needed, and love in abundance.
However, it is a financial reality that the orphanage is often hard-pressed to provide resources above and beyond these essentials. Extracurricular activities, recreational facilities, and even specialized medical services like optometric and dental care are not in the core budget.
Since 2006, KMR has partnered with the Jewish Business Network of Clark County to provide these orphans with a few of the amenities that more fortunate children take for granted. This assistance has provided the Good Family orphans with cherished benefits such as athletics and arts classes, holiday gifts, a recreational room, corrective surgery, a university scholarship, and visits from eye doctors and dentists.
When resources are limited, specialized care is often overlooked as a priority. But disadvantages like neglected teeth or compromised vision can be terribly damaging to a child’s education, personal development, self-esteem, social status and ultimately even his professional prospects. Which is why, in the recent words of a visiting physician, the benefits afforded by KMR are “more powerful than most people realize – a greater gift than we could possibly comprehend.”
2012 – Orphanage Outreach Program
- Winter wear for the children
- School supplies
- Air-hockey table
- Foosball table
2013 – Dental Mission
- All 55 children were seen by the dentist
- Most of the orphans had never seen a dentist
- 55 children are receiving ongoing dental care
2014 – Optical Care Mission
- All 55 children received optical testing
- Over 50% needed and received eyeglasses
- The orphanage staff received optical training so that they could assist during the testing and in the future