How to Help – Post Messages to Sara, 9 Year Old Sailor, Scuba Diver

Sara had just turned 9 years old the month before she was abducted and taken away from her family, friends, and life in Italy.

In the weeks before her abduction, Sara was at the seaside of Calabria with her father, taking a course on sailing and scuba diving.  She spent a week on a sailboat with her brother, Ezra. And she was in the process of earning her next level of sailing certification. Sara – certificato scuola vela 2011

It was the third summer in a row that she was learning how to sail, snorkel, scuba dive, and how to tie nautical knots. She had become an avid sailor and loved being in the water, and with her father had learned at the age of 7 to snorkel to depths of 6 meters (20 feet) without difficulty.

Sara was also helping her little brother learn to sail, just as she had helped him learn to ski during the family’s winter vacation in the Dolomites months before.

Sara has many many dear friends in Italy, especially at Carducci elementary school, who cannot wait to have her home.

Sara is especially close to her little cousin, Zoe, who absolutely adores Sara and cannot wait to see her again!

Zoe lives with Sara’s aunt and uncle in Pistoia, which is close to Florence, and Sara often stayed with them so she could be close to her little cousin.

In fact, Sara has been close to Zoe since the day she was born.  Zoe is now two and a half years old, but she has not forgotten her older cousin. Everytime Zoe sees a pink bicycle, like the one Sara used to ride in Florence, she shouts “a-Sara!”

Sara is also a writer.  In the two years before being abducted, Sara and her father were writing a series of stories that Sara had tentatively titled, “Lili and the Dragon”. These are short stories about a little girl (about Sara’s age) who plays chess (like Sara) and meets a dragon that does, too. “I didn’t know dragons could talks!” says Lili the first time they meet. “And I didn’t know little girls could play chess!” answers the dragon.

Lili and the Dragon become good friends.  The Dragon explains he will always be around so long as Lili still believes in him.

At left is a picture of the front entrance to Mahon, the institution where Sara now lives, operated by the Chabad-Lubavitch organization, in St. Petersburg, Russia. 

Please post your comments to Sara, or send them privately to the family. We will make every effort to have them delivered through the people who work there.

The father has asked to include a note that he has found kind and decent people within the institution where Sara is living who are working to help children in need.  It is not their fault that Sara has been placed where she does not belong, or put there for the wrong reasons (to isolate her from family). The father has seen the faces of compassionate people whom he believes understand the trauma being inflicted, and who may be able to help Sara get in touch with family, despite the mother’s instructions to keep her in isolation.  This contact has not yet occurred, but the father is hopeful that where there are good people who care about the emotional and psychological well-being of children, it is only a matter of time.

8 responses to “How to Help – Post Messages to Sara, 9 Year Old Sailor, Scuba Diver

  1. Dear Sara,
    You may not remember me, but I remember dancing with you at your Aunt Molly’s wedding. We had so much fun! I also remember your shoes covered in sparkles. They were fantastic! I’m looking forward to visiting Italy again and dancing with you, Zoe and your Aunt Molly. Maybe you could even help me learn some Italian.
    Sending a big hug for you,

  2. Jennifer Flanigan

    Hi Sara,
    Your dad and my husband are friends.
    I saw a photo of you holding your little cousin Zoe, and the love you feel for her was so clear. You and Zoe are so lucky to have the bond you do. My husband and I also have a little girl, who just turned 17 months old. She has wonderful big brothers, but no older sister and no girl cousins who live in the same country as we do. I hope you and Zoe will get to be together again soon.
    Wishing you all the best,

  3. Hello Sara! I used to work with your father when he lived in New York. I am also a sailor, and your father has regaled me with stories of your sailing accomplishments. He is so proud of how brave you are on the water, and how sailing brings out the best in you – all the reasons sailing is wonderful. I hope to see you back in your Optimist in your homes waters in Italy. And I hope one day we can sail together!

  4. Sara my niece,
    Just wanted to say hi to you and your brothers and let you all know that I miss you and am thinking of you. During my last visit to Italy it was a lot of fun playing basketball with you and Ezra in the house:>). We will have to do it again at your dads house. Oh and playing cards was a lot of fun too!!!
    I hope you are doing well and if you can, please write back to say hello and tell me how you are doing.

    Zio (your uncle) Kevin

  5. Hi Sara,
    I am a good friend of your Aunt Molly, and even though I’ve never met you, she told me quite a bit about you and your brothers.

    I see that, like me, you love the water and scuba diving! Isn’t it great? I was impressed by your skills at sailing and tying nautical knots. That’s awesome, and I do not know how to do that. But like you, I did spend some time on a sailing boat, just enjoying the water, the saline air and snorkeling and diving. That’s the best, right? So, I know that you are certainly looking forward to summer to get back to water fun. Summer is almost here! And I hope you are back just in time to enjoy it with your dad, brothers and family.

    Ciao Bella!

  6. Sara, Zoe wants to know where you are and keeps asking “Dov’e’ Sara?” We really miss you so much and just today I saw the man who we bought your new bike from who met you (remember when you picked it out and you knew exactly which bike you wanted as soon as you walked into the store!) and he wants to know where you are and how you are also like we do. He repaired my bike today for me. Remember when you would ride this last summer in Zoe’s bike seat on the back and how much we laughed about that as we rode around?! You’re the best niece ever!

    In the hopes someone will show you this message I’m sending you all my love and “baci” from Zoe and “abbracci” from Lorenzo.

    Love, Molly

  7. Sara you are such a creative writer! Can’t wait to find out more about the dragon and his adventures 🙂

  8. Bravissima Sara!!
    See you back in Florence, very soon! Everyone misses you so much! We hope you bring many good stories. And more about Lili and the Dragon, too!

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