Archived Story

Group seeks help from community to host orphans

Published 8:19pm Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Manifold Mercies, a Kellyton-based organization is bringing seven orphans from the Ukraine this Christmas and is soliciting the community for help.

“All our support comes from private donations, individuals and corporate sponsorships,” said Michele Isbell, one of the organizations founders. “They will be here from Dec. 22 to Jan. 11.”

Isbell says Children’s Harbor has generously agreed to host the children throughout their stay. Airfare has been paid for and a few businesses have already donated services to help with the event. But Isbell said there are still needs to be met.

“Now, we are reaching out to the community to sponsor things such as groceries and food to eat while they are here, things like gasoline to take them to and from activities and sponsorships for those activities.”

Isbell said she and her husband first became interested in Ukraine after meeting some fellow missionaries in Bible college in Oklahoma.

“Sometimes in your life, you have a divine meeting,” Isbell said. “We just had a real connection with these people.”

In 2008, the Isbells journeyed to Ukraine to learn more about its culture and people. By 2010, Manifold Mercies had begun hosting orphan children during the holidays.

“We began to realize the need for help for the children in the orphanages over there – it is an extreme problem,” Isbell said. “You work where you can and you do what God calls you to do, and this is what we feel we are supposed to be doing.”

Isbell said her organization is also trying to collect gifts for the children.

“We want to make Christmas great for them – they have never had a Christmas,” Isbell said.

The group will be set up Dec. 14 in the Wal-Mart parking lot, from 12 – 3 p.m. behind Arby’s for the Fill the Sack event, which aims to collect gifts for the children.

Isbell recommends such gifts as Hot Wheels, balls, Nerf guns, action figures or Legos for the three boys, which are ages 14, 12 and 12. For the four girls, ages 16, 15, 15, and 12, Isbell recommended items such as jewelry, lotion, makeup, puzzles or stuffed animals.

Those wishing to donate money or services can email or call Isbell at 256-750-2118. For more information, visit