Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Baikal Region Adoptive Family Fund

Today the Dark Destinations blog is going to be a little different than usual. My friend Jason is the web master of http://www.braff.org:The Baikal Region Adoptive Family Fund. After discussing the project that Jason is part of, Casey and I decided we would show support and spread the word about B.R.A.F.F.

The Baikal Region Adoptive Family Fund is set up to help orphans in Baikal region of both Russia and Mongolia. The fund assists potential parents seeking to adopt children from that region. It also provides programs to improve the welfare of the many orphaned children who will not find new families. The reasons for this need are summed up in this message on B.R.A.F.F.'s Internet site:

Political instability and a collapsed economy have put almost fifty percent of the
population in poverty. Seven hundred thousand children live in under-funded,
under-staffed orphanages in Russia, and many more in even worse conditions
in Mongolia.

After leaving their orphanages

60% will be homeless and without a job
50% will turn to crime or prostitution
40% will use drugs
10% will commit suicide

With budgets of only a few cents per day with which to feed, cloth and care for
these poor unfortunates, Siberian social service providers are struggling to
perform miracles. As you may know, things tend to get worse financially in the
hinterland, far from the public eye in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Despite
terrible shortages and wages that are far too low and behind schedule,
dedicated and loving workers are struggling daily to keep these children alive.
These efforts are often at great cost to their own families.

I'm spreading the word about the work this fund is doing in the hopes that our readers will in turn show some support. If you aren't able to make a donation (I know there are lot of folks who may not have it in their budget with the current recession going on), you could show support by spreading the word about this cause; blog it, bulletin it, email it, or if you happen to be one of our readers on MySpace you can add braff.org as a friend. The fund's MySpace URL is http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewProfile&friendID=439210283.

As a horror fan and dark traveler I used to certain people assuming that I'm some sort of psycho. I imagine that those of you who share similar interests as mine have also at times faced judgemental assumptions from people who just don't get what you are about. However, I've watched many horror fans show support for charitable causes and serve their community over the years; from the fans of the Saw movies conducting their blood drives to attendees at conventions raising money and awareness for groups like the A.S.P.C.A. I've also seen the Paranormal Community work together to raise money for victims of Hurricane Katrina. I also witness a lot of heart and compassion in some of the responses we've had through email or in comments to some our more tragic tales of dark history.

So, I open the floor to our readers. Please feel free to comment and share links to charities or causes you support.

Have a Happy Holiday!
-Tom G

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