From Two Sides: A Last Bell Anniversary Story
This story is part of our 10th Anniversary series; we met Nadia in 2010.
Over the last ten years, we’ve seen Last Bell grow from one program – the Shelter – into several. Today our core programs are meeting needs and helping young people thrive in many different ways!
We’re especially pleased with the way our programs work together to serve our young people holistically. Our Ukrainian staff are primarily assigned to one program or another, but often come to each others’ assistance, volunteering to babysit, cook, or spend time with a young person who was introduced through a different program.
Nadia, a young lady we met in 2010, is one beneficiary of this cross-pollination. She first came to Last Bell through our Haven day center, and got to know the staff members who were serving there.
Then, last year, the Educational Outreach staff began to visit the college where Nadia was studying. So, as our staff says, she was reached “from two sides.”
Nadia with staff member Luba Yaroshuk
When Nadia was little, her mother punched her and broke her nose. Social services stepped in, and Nadia went to Orphanage #4 in Zhytomyr, where she grew up. Her mother died in prison. This kind of cultural tragedy is all too common in the stories of our young people’s earliest years.
This year, Last Bell helped Nadia with an operation to fix her nose. She had been saving her money for some time, and Last Bell contributed the remaining funds she needed to have reconstructive surgery. In this way, your support of Last Bell helped mend what was broken by the abuse in Nadia’s past.
Nadia graduated from college this year, and she wants a good job. She struggles to find steady employment, as many of our young people do. She currently works as a dishwasher. Staff member Lena Voznyuk has been walking side-by-side with her in the pursuit of permanent, meaningful employment.
Please pray for Nadia and others like her. Nadia is a very private person; she doesn’t like talking about herself. But like all the orphanage graduates we meet, she needs love and support from adults she can trust. With your help, that’s what we offer to our youth – from as many sides as possible!