Seriously. Please don't punt on this post w/o reading.
My pastor and his wife have a Down Syndrome daughter. Pastor's wife (Patti, who comments here once in a while) blogs regularly about the ups and downs of parenting a DS child. Over the course of her blogging she has encountered many others in the same situation and learned some disturbing things about how DS kids are treated in other parts of the world.
I was kind of surprised to hear these things from her. I thought that once the Berlin Wall fell and creeps like Ceauşescu got run out of town, that the horrible eastern-bloc "orphanages" were a thing of the past. Not so. Especially in Russia. DS kids there are considered undesirable and VERY OFTEN end up being abandoned to an orphanage. If the kid is not adopted by the age of 5, they are taken from the orphanage and sent to a mental institution. OK, this is Russia - what they call a "mental institution," we would call a "[bleeping] inhumane insane asylum like makes Cuckoo's Nest look like [bleeping] Sesame Street."
They take the little girl, shave her head, and throw her in a crib. Where she remains. Until she eventually dies of whatever it is that ends up killing her. Not kidding.
There is a charity called Reece's Rainbow that works to place these kids in a good home. But the Ruskies don't just hand these kids out like Halloween candy. It takes a LOT of money to work through their byzantine adoption process.
There are a couple ways you could help:
1. Go directly to the Reece's link above and donate. That's all you have to do. But you could also go one step further by going to Patti's blog and tell he that you've given. That'll enter you automatically in a giveaway. There is a web service she uses that randomly selects a winner, so there is no favoritism. I think they're giving away an iPad right now in the latest giveaway. They recently did this for a DS girl named Olga and raised over $12k by offering just an iPod Touch. They turned a stupid iPod into twelve thousand dollars and a HOME FOR A KID! So brew your own today instead of getting the double frappé mochaccino with extra carmel and send the $5 to Reece's. You'll help a kid and maybe get an iPad.
2. Alternatively, you can also go to a fundraiser hosted by a new company called Zip Deals. They are kind of like Groupons. They have agreed to donate $1 for each email address submitted. Click on "get daily alerts" then select "Eugene" for the city and put in your email address and put in 97401 for the zip code. You will then receive emails for stuff you probably don't want to buy. But that is OK because you can UNSUBSCRIBE at any time without affecting the donation. For the minor inconvenience of clicking the unsubscribe button after only one email, you can help a kid. Do it. Or I'll go through my address book and do it for ya! :)