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The Feathers' Story

The Ukraine Special Needs Orphanages Fund, Inc. began with a group of young people playing basketball to raise money to send therapy equipment to the Berizka orphanage in Kiev, Ukraine in February, 2002.

The request for this assistance came when we adopted our daughter with Down syndrome from the Berizka orphanage in October of 2001. We presented our reasons for wanting to find a sister to join four siblings, the youngest being Erin, who has Down syndrome. We related the special place Erin has in our lives and the lives of those in our immediate community of Fork Union. We described the therapy services Erin receives and those that would be provided for our new Ukrainian daughter, Diana, in America through early intervention programs and the public school system. Upon hearing our family’s story, the Berizka orphanage educational director asked me to return to Kiev with people who could train their staff in these therapy techniques.


The Berizka Basketball Bash was born as youth from our community pitched in to raise money to fund our first therapy trip to Kiev with equipment and experts. From this small beginning, with the support of many individuals and organizations, the work continues today, raising funds and fielding teams to Ukraine. Thank you for taking time to learn of our mission, and we hope you will consider offering your support in whatever way you can.