Walking with Orphans is a charity working in Eastern Europe, especially Russia, Romania, Moldova, Bulgaria, and Ukraine. I find myself drawn to this group because I have friends who currently live in Romania or have lived in Romania. Additionally I have friends who have lived in Bulgaria and the Ukraine as well as Russia. So to me this is personal and wonderful. :)
Walking with Orphans was founded 2010 under the name Eastern European and Russian Orphanages Project; 2012 began doing business as Walking With Orphans. Its mission: "Walking With Orphans exists to provide holistic relief aid to orphans and vulnerable children in Eastern Europe and Russia. We are committed to meeting children where they are at and providing for their physical, mental, educational, medical, and spiritual needs. We also work to educate the public on orphan care issues and to support former orphans and their adoptive families." http://walkingwithorphans.org/our-story/sample-page/ That is a very tall order but the great people who run the "EEROP" have a vision for the future!
I first came in contact with EEROP through Ravelry. (No surprise there :) ) It seemed like an inactive group but then I realized that the group's founder, Melissa Brown, was currently LIVING in Romania! This made it difficult for her to continue to update the group pages. But she continues to work her hardest for Walking with Orphans and she asks us to help HER by providing hats, scarves and socks for the orphans she is working with in Romania with Heart to Heart Ministries International. She still has goals for EEOP naturally there is a learning curve to working with the Eastern European block nations. While she is learning, growing, focusing her time on life in Romania she asks that those of us who are fiber artists send our hand work to
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Allow me to shift focus to Heart to Heart Ministries International very briefly. H2H as it is known is a charity serving Romanian orphans and has been a not for profit group since 1995. "H2H ministers in a number of ways to abandoned and orphaned children in the state operated orphanages. H2H also cares for abandoned infants and toddlers, provides education for school-aged children, and mentors and disciples older teens who have been institutionalized throughout their childhood." https://www.h2hint.org/index.php/h2h/about/
Now I know the plight of orphans living in the Eastern Europe and Russa through the friends that I know who currently live in Romania and those who have lived in Romania in the past. Bulgaria, Latvia, Moldova, and the Ukraine are also full of orphans needing attention. Groups like H2H do their very best for the children living in the state run orphanages which is not an easy task. H2H is a large organization which focuses the lion share of the financial support on the children. Very comforting that Melissa Brown is doing her best with this organization to gather winter warm items for the children. Melissa states that the majority of the children are between the ages of 6-16 years.
Heart to Heart Ministries International celebrated 20 years of working in Romania. The organization's US address is in Ramona, California. In January the Ramona Sentinel wrote this article celebrating the 20 year mark: http://www.ramonasentinel.com/news/2015/jan/15/heart-to-heart-celebrates-20-years/ This is a big anniversary! It also shows what happens when people have a passion for their work and stick to it through thick and thin. https://www.facebook.com/h2hinternational
My goal in this article is to share Melissa Brown's passion for the children of the Eastern European countries and Russia. To that end I will share the links to the places you can find information about her needs. But first a quote from Melissa via Ravelry: "I’m still collecting items and distribute them when I go home on furlough once a year. Right now hats, scarves, gloves/mittens, and socks are what are needed most. They will actually go towards our supply for next year (we have everything set for 2015). Each year we do a big donation to Children’s Emergency Relief International for their boot distribution and they like the hats and scarves. The kids here in Romania will be totally out of scarves next year and our sock and glove/mitten collection is pretty slim as well." http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/walking-with-orphans/3296725/1-25#7 Thank you to the moderators of EEOP group on Ravelry for keeping the vision alive. I encourage everyone who is a raveler to consider joining the Walk with Orphans group. Now to the links for information.
Statistics show that child abandonment is on the rise in Romania. Melissa Brown, Walking with Orphans, H2H are working every day to make sure that these abandoned children are shown some love. While the statistics appear to be overwhelming, fiber artists can assuage the feelings of loss, one scarf, one hat, one pair of socks at a time. I think that is a very worth while goal.
**Opinions expressed on blogs about which I write are the opinion of the blog authors and DO NOT necessarily reflect my own opinion.