A Romanian Christmas

Christmas – what does this season evoke in you? For many it is a time filled with expectancy – all over the globe children write their letters to Santa and wait in expectation for Christmas morning to see what has been delivered under the tree. For many, it’s a time for family, friends and festive joy – for me, it’s a celebration of my faith, my family, the food and time spent with friends. This year, my December took a slightly different route in the run up to December 25th when I had chance of joining Cry in the Dark on their Christmas trip in Romania for 6 days.

Cry in the Dark run three projects in Romania, the first, set up 16 years ago is Casa Lumina, a home for life for 22 young people, who the founder and CEO, Steve Cooper found on his first trip to the country. The second, Hospice Casa Albert provides palliative care to over 80 children and young adults and the third, Project Hopewhich is based in a local Roma community provides help to the people of this community to help themselves.

On my trip I got a taste of all three projects, allowing me to go on home visits to those children on the hospice programme that were too ill to join us for the Christmas party on the Sunday, we delivered shoeboxes brimming with beautiful gifts, a visit to Negustorului, the Roma community full of life and energy, and helped deliver 600 shoeboxes and celebrate Christmas with them, plus a visit to Ungereni, a state run adult institution for those with learning difficulties, a party at Casa Lumina as well as a Christmas service at a local school!

The days were jam packed with activity and were emotionally charged as we saw the delight that the shoeboxes brought yet sadness in the reality of the sickness and circumstances for many of these children. One thing is certain, the work of Cry in the Dark is priceless, the love that both Cry in the Dark have for the people of Romania and the love that is shown in return is evident that what they are doing is vital. It was an honour to volunteer with them and something I will remember for many years to come.

Recently, redPepper have started working with Cry in the Dark, offering marketing support in order to increase the profile of the charity. It was a beautiful thing to see these people give their time and energy to such a worthwhile cause and I would encourage anyone to either volunteer their time or donate to this work. As part of redPepper’s profit sharing scheme we give 10% of our profits away to selected charities and also offer marketing for charities at a discounted rate. This year we have been able to sponsor a wonderful child on the hospice programme called Alessandru, a 10 year old boy who, due to sickness and distance cannot make it to the day centre.

If you would like more information on Cry in the Dark you can reach their website here. To make a one-time donation you can get details you can do so here or you could join us in giving something a little different over this festive period and sponsor a child.

Much love over the festive period and Happy New Year to you all.