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When I was just a young baby, my dad told me he would take me to Menards to buy things for the house. But, as soon as I got there, I would run to the mop and bucket section.
I loved to collect mops and buckets. I would make my dad buy me mops and buckets as toys.
That may sound strange today, but back then, mops and buckets were the only things I knew of my life as an orphan in Ekaterinburg, Russia.
When I was born, I spent my first year in a hospital and the only people I saw were the nurses and the people who came in to clean the hospital linoleum room floor.
I would watch them mop every day.
When I went to the orphanage, they would always be mopping the floors there, too.
I think when I came to Chicago, I never forgot those mops and buckets. My dad said I had an obsession with mops and buckets. And I wanted different sized mops and different sized buckets. I even wanted different colored mop heads.
Well, over the years, my interests have changed a lot.
Today, I am as American as “mom, baseball and apple pie.”
I love baseball. I love mom. And, I love Apple Pie. But I also love Russia, where I was born.
Right now, there is probably a baby infant who is laying in his crib looking at the side and watching a maintenance worker mop the floor with a large water bucket. He probably watches them do that every day.
The hospital nursery is packed with babies, so many it is hard for the few nurses to spend a lot of time with them.
I don’t want them to forget about those mops and buckets. But I want them to find more in their lives.
That’s why I am hoping you will join me in helping the children of the Ekanterinburg orphanage by making a donation to buy them baby necessities like diapers, clothing, medicines and, most importantly, toys they can play with.
All we can do is help make their lives better until they are adopted by their future families.