Short, a psychology major and religion minor, traveled to Ukraine in the summer of 2006 with Sharing America's Resources Abroad (SARA), a nonprofit organization that distributes medical supplies, equipment and expertise throughout the world. That trip opened Short's eyes to the great need in the Transcarpathia region in western Ukraine.
"[The conditions] over there are very poor," Short said. "They don't have adequate care at all."
Short cited sub-par conditions in hospitals and mental institutions, as well as a lack of toys in orphanages, as conditions that struck her.
Short also is vice president of Wittenberg's Weaver Chapel Association (WCA), and she organized the fundraiser through the WCA from Nov. 28-Dec. 1, 2006. The initial goal for donations was $60, which would provide bread for an entire village for a month. However, Short's expectations were exceeded when $76 was raised, which made it possible for funds to benefit The Good Samaritan Children's Home in Nagydobrony, Ukraine as well.
"I specified that things should be bought just for the children," Short said. "I know the founder of SARA personally. The money goes straight there. I know how it's being used."
"This fundraiser not only raised dollars, it raised awareness and understanding as people asked about the cause," Tune said. "The very fact that our loose change can provide bread to a village for a month is a striking commentary on the disparity between our situation and theirs, and helps us to form a bond with them."
Short has long had an interest in mission work. The positive experiences with SARA and the WCA have only reinforced her desire to help people around the world.
"A year ago, I never would have thought that I'd be in Ukraine," she said. "It took me out of my comfort zone, but I felt a need to help. It's exciting to help fulfill that need."
Short plans to continue her philanthropic work in the future.
"I would be willing to go anywhere," she said, "especially anywhere connected to the people I met while in Ukraine."
Written By: Rachel Morgan '08
Photo By: Robbie Gantt
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