"Do what gets in front of you."
Jan Thatcher Adams didn't set out to find volunteer work in Russian orphanages. But because of an encounter with a real life clown, that's where she invests much of her time, energy and creativity.
In 1994 Jan volunteered to join Dr. Patch Adams (yes, the Patch Adams on which a movie was based) on a clowning tour of Russian orphanages, hospitals, nursing homes and soup kitchens. Jan was particularly struck by the sight of developmentally challenged orphans without any access to art supplies or the ability to express themselves artistically.
Jan was inspired to start Maria's Children International.' The program uses art to improve the dreary outlook for Russia's 770,000 orphans. Maria's Children International develops ways for those children to focus on their dreams and aspirations. Jan helps with everything from collecting and shipping art supplies, to arranging gallery tours of the students' works.
"We are a global society. What happens there affects us here."
*Jan has designated $1100 to Maria's Children International