By Stacy Jacobson
GOOSE CREEK, S.C. (WCIV) -- Martha Lynn Gaskins said adopting changed her life, but in a pretty normal way.
"When it happened, I think it was a topic of conversation because we live in a small town, but she's just a regular little girl," she said.
She adopted her daughter Anna from the Ukraine in 2000. After 12 years, she said Anna is a normal preteen, with a diverse past.
"We now have friends all over the world that we thankfully can Facebook and email now. We have contacts with people that I hope my daughter will continue to keep," Gaskins said.
Gaskins participated in Love Gave Hope. Every year, Love Gave picks a Lowcountry cause to help during the holidays. The 2012 drive helps Lowcountry Orphan Relief, Carolina Youth Development Center, Windwood Farm Home and Eagle Harbor Ranch. All the groups help orphans.
"Kids are our future. If these kids are going without basic needs and without a loving environment, they don't have any hope. We're trying to show them there is hope," organizer Rick Payan said.
Love Gave will do a live webcast for three straight days -- 58 hours -- through 7 p.m. Saturday.
They asked for donations including toilet paper, blankets and toys. Donations can be dropped off at Walmart stores in Goose Creek and West Ashley or donated online.
The hours may be long, but Gaskins said helping an orphan is especially important during the holidays.
"It's scary and stressful and frightening and scary and beautiful. It's been the most wonderful thing we've ever done," she said.
Gaskins said her daughter found strength through adoption.
"Being Eastern European, that's a source of pride for her," she said.
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