August 24, 2018 – Orange Beach, AL (OBA®) – When Chris Litton was tasked with finding local businesses to help show a group of Ukrainian orphans a good time in Orange Beach, he had a long list drawn up in his mind of who to call.
He didn’t need it.
“I know there’s a lot of people out there who would have said yes if I had asked but I couldn’t get past the first five,” Litton, the city’s logistics coordinator, said. “Everyone that I spoke with and asked to help out with this, there wasn’t a moment’s hesitation. It was instantaneous before I could even finish asking. They were on board with what we were doing.”
Ginny Lane Bar and Grill in Orange Beach, Alabama.
The kids enjoyed lunch at Ginny Lane.
The 10 kids ranging from 6 to 15 in age had other activities fall through and Joe Savage, founder of Roads of Hope, called to see if the city could help out. His group rescues the kids from orphanages in Ukraine and brings them here with hopes of finding host families.
“Those plans got dropped,” Litton said. “Somebody stepped up and sponsored these kids to come into our area on short notice because they didn’t have anything planned out for them. We were asked if we could find some activities for them for a day to help out with their visit here.”
First up for the kids was the Sunny Lady dolphin boat at The Wharf with Capt. Jeremy Perry leading the cruise. It turns lots of people at The Wharf came together to make a memorable day for the kids.
“We went and had lunch at Ginny Lane’s where Ginny and Lane sponsored their lunch,” Litton said. “Christian Life Church stepped up and said they’d be glad to pay for expenses that weren’t donated or sponsored in. After that, we went to Southern Grind where they all got gelato ice cream. We went to the Ferris wheel at The Wharf where the rides were donated and putt-putt after that.”
On Aug. 24 the kids enjoyed a free trip to Alligator Alley in Summerdale.
According to the Roads of Hope website, the organization is “helping as many orphans as possible find safe and loving homes. We are going to accomplish this mission as rapidly as possible so that we can give life and hope to the orphans before they fall into the hands of darkness, despair, and death – traffickers, criminals and suicide.”
The children spoke very little English but that certainly didn’t dampen the fun any, Savage said.
“Love overcomes all language barriers,” Savage said. “I learned that a long time ago. Kids know when you really care for them or not.”
The trip will end for this group when they head back to the Ukraine on Aug. 29 with the hope they will be able to take back some memories.
“Where these kids come from it’s an absolute hole in the ground with horrible, horrible conditions there and they got to live like kings for a day here,” Litton said.