Old Folks' Homes: We regularly visit two "old folks homes."
Each is home to 125 older people who are without families to 'love on' them.
Some are incapacitated; some are very ambulatory. We visit the residents
frequently: talking with them, doing such activities as: singing to them,
giving them assorted treats & gifts that we either bring with us or
buy locally; giving them corsages & boutonnieres; presenting Polaroid
photo-badges to each person; placing colorful name tags at each bedside;
and taking time to touch them and hold their hand. One summer we decorated
one entire facility with permanent silk flower arrangements. We distribute
dolls and stuffed toys and handkerchiefs to each resident, and provide puzzles
and games for the facility. We have distributed reading glasses to many
of the old folks so they can see to crochet and read. They wait for our
visits, and always remember us it does all our hearts good!
Continue the Food Parcel program: Our 'care package' program
continues in central Romania, thanks primarily to cash contributions from
National Education Association's teachers. Food bundles containing cheese,
salami, dried milk, lard, flour, and some sweet treats and fun snacks are
distributed once a month for some of the most poor or disabled families
in the region. Salaries are so low & food is so expensive - our 'care
packages' provide welcome staples for hungry families and poor widows throughout
Eye Glasses for poor people. We work with a nonprofit group in
distributing free used eyeglasses and non-prescription reading glasses.
For those who cannot utilize our non-prescription glasses, we have sponsored
most of the cost of lens grinding and fitting in our used frames for qualified
recipients who present a recent lens prescription. Recipients for this program
are pensioners, unemployed, or students from large families. Every trip
we able to reach more elderly people in more rest homes. With our glasses
program, we are able to give them the gift of assisted sight. We can
always use non-prescription reading glasses.
Children & Orphans: We spend time at several different orphanages,
playing games with children, distributing gifts, making photo-badges and
balloon animals. Dave organizes group games for neighborhood children &
street kids. Sometimes we are able to assist at a camp for severely handicapped
children, and we occasionally do activities at a local children's hospital.
Opportunities are always available to pray with the children: many are eager
to know Jesus, and we give out many tracts and non-denominational brochures
Computer Classes: We have assisted with computer classes in public
schools in our region. The computer students are fast learners who are very
polite and astute. We placed copies of "Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing"
wherever we have had the opportunity. Romania has been slow to understand
the importance of typing skills, but increased computer use is forcing keyboarding
awareness, and students will become more anxious to learn to type properly.
The Romanians are fascinated by the American's easy-going manner in the
classrooms, and we know that one of our greatest gifts to her people is
our day-to-day modeling of a lifestyle of democracy and freedom.
School Projects: Various schools have put together projects to
touch students in Romania. Elementary students from Helix, Oregon, donated
$900 to help a Sibiu middle school purchase a much-needed TV-VCR to assist
with their English language program. The idea caught on, and the recipient
school collected enough money to purchase a modem and Internet connection
for their school. A Catholic school in Muncie, Indiana, donated and shipped
a hundred pairs of shoes and socks for village children. A junior high school
in Winslow, Maine purchased several cases of toothbrushes and toothpaste.
Ever creative, students are anxious to learn to extend a helping hand to
less prosperous students in eastern Europe. We are happy that we can facilitate
their efforts and concern.
Volunteers: Over the years, we have had many people come to work
alongside us in Romania. Every volunteer has a different reason for coming
to Romania, but we all have one thing in common: we love helping people!