Clifton Park woman wants to bring color to kids' world

Kathryn Comstock wants to bring a little color to the hard lives of some of Africa's orphans.

Comstock, 46, is collecting donated art supplies to send to the Village of Hope orphanage in Ghana. She first heard about the orphanage on Oprah last year, and was inspired to action.

Earlier this month, Comstock organized friends and family to put up posters seeking donations in her Fox Run community in Clifton Park. So far, the four or five donations that she has received fill up half of her kitchen table.

"I'm disabled, I don't have a job, but I can organize other people to do things," Comstock said. "I have that time and I'm able to do that because of what's going on in my life, and if I weren't to use that time like that, what would I be doing? I feel a sense of obligation."

The orphanage was built by Christian missionaries in 1989 and currently houses 235 children. The group runs residential, educational, spiritual, and agricultural programs, as well as the Andrea Browning Clinic, which was built in 2004.

Due to its limited capacity, only 62 of the children are able to stay on the main campus. Forty-nine others are with foster parents in several towns and villages throughout Ghana and are supported financially by the Village of Hope. The rest of the children are assisted through the orphanage's street program.

Adam Vinik, 21, got involved with Comstock's project when he started dating her daughter Amanda.

"Here we are sitting on a nice day enjoying ourselves, and that's what most Americans do," Vinik said. "Over there, what are they doing right now? Just sitting there, doing nothing, basically just trying to survive."

"Their world being so dark, you can bring some light into their lives by letting them enjoy themselves," Vinik added. "Bringing a smile to a kid's face: medicine can do wonders but being happy can have a great effect on your health and your body."

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