Each year before Christmas, Children's Emergency Relief International (CERI) travels to Eastern Europe with teams of U.S. Volunteers who outfit children who are orphaned and deprived with brand new warm, winter boots, socks, hats, and scarves. This year will be no different. In December, teams will depart for Moldova to distribute boots among the poorest villages throughout the country.
Raising money to buy boots is a year-long endeavor, and your generosity makes all the difference in the world. Would you believe that gifts for Kids 'n Boots are already coming in? It's the dedication of donors like you who make the work CERI does day-after-day, year-after-year possible. Thank you again for your year-round support of CERI's worthwhile Kids 'n Boots project!
Wow, what a trip... THANK YOU for your gifts to Kids 'n Boots! Because of your generosity, the 2013 Kids 'n Boots Mission was a huge success. Over 3,000 boots were successfully delivered to children and youth in Romania AND Ukraine. In spite of some unexpected twists and turns, here's what happened:
Teams in Romania faced the challenge of getting boots through customs. But as with every mission, the Lord always provides. We received word from CERI Senior Missions Advisor Dr. Dearing Garner on Monday, December 9, that boots were released from customs just three minutes before customs offices closed! What's more, because our project was humanitarian aid, our shipment made it through customs without being taxed!
While teams in Romania were making up for lost time after the delay at customs, Ukraine teams were working vigorously to distribute boots around L'viv. This was not without its own challenges, however. The political situation in Ukraine has been rather precarious in recent weeks due to former Soviet pressures. As a result, citizens were expressing their ire through public demonstrations. Fortunately, CERI teams were safe and distributed boots in areas away from local protests.
Please join us in rejoicing this Christmas season over another successful Kids 'n Boots mission! We invite you to continue your support of this worthy mission by making an end-of-year donation to our Kids 'n Boots 2014 mission to Moldova. Thank you again!
For more than a decade, Children's Emergency Relief International (CERI) has led winter boot missions to Eastern Europe before Christmas. Each year CERI volunteers personally fit children who are orphaned and in need with brand new socks and winter boots. Historically, CERI alternated missions between Moldova and Transnistria. This year, CERI is excited to announce the expansion of its winter boot missions to Ukraine and Romania!
In cooperation with New Hope International in Ukraine and Project Ruth in Romania, CERI volunteers will outfit over 3,600 children with brand new warm, winter boots. Mission teams will travel to 27 orphanages in Ukraine around the city of L'viv and also distribute boots to severely impoverished Roma (Gypsy) communities in Bucharest, Romania. Boots will be purchased from the Zorile shoe factory in Moldova, stimulating one of Europe's poorest economies.
Children's Emergency Relief International (CERI) is excited to kick off another year of winter boot missions! We are pleased to unveil this year's Kids 'n Boots mission to Romania! In years past, CERI has alternated boot missions between Moldova and Transnistria. Moldova is a tiny country wedged between Ukraine and Romania (reportedly the poorest country in all of Europe) while Transnistria is the eastern edge of Moldova that declared "independence" over twenty years ago.This year, CERI is expanding its efforts to provide winter warmth to the Roma, an oppressed people group in Romania also known as "Gypsies." For the past year and a half, CERI has been in partnership with The Ruth Project, a group that has been ministering to the Roma people for the past twenty years. Because of the reputation of the "Gypsy" culture, the Roma are a highly discriminated people group in great need of social services, education, and social integration.To date, nearly 1,000 children have been identified who will receive a brand new pair of winter boots. CERI's Moldovan staff will continue the custom of facilitating the Kids 'n Boots mission by translating for U.S. missions teams who will deliver and outfit children with new boots. Boots will be purchased from the Zorile shoe factory located in Moldova, thereby stimulating the economy of Europe's poorest country.Will you join us in this worthy mission by purchasing boots for children?
The child pictured was an orphan in 1999 near Balti and became the inspiration for donors and volunteers to help with subsequent winter shoe missions to Moldova. Her pensive and sad countenance along with her tattered sweater and folded hands accurately portrayed the plight of many orphans hopelessly housed in institutions. Darrell Hancock captured the mood of a young girl who personified thousands of other children like her. They have all received winter shoes over the years helping to keep feet warm and protected.Last week a young girl testified: “CERI gave me winter shoes all of the nine years I have been at my orphan-age.” These comments and many others made all our efforts worth it. Volunteers from the US and Moldova delivered winter shoes made in Moldova at the Zorile Shoe Factory, and although most donations came from donors in theU.S. other donations came from Moldova! Delivering over 8,000 shoes and slippers became a joint project with our Moldovan friends and CERI national staff.It was one late evening when our team was wrapping up our stop at an orphan-age in the far north when I felt the arms of a small child wrapping around me in grateful thanksgiving for a few brief hours spent together at his home and of course a new pair of shoes! Those are moments I know will come but always catch me off guard. To hug a child back and catch a glimpse of his hope and happiness means everything to me. I know this was repeated over and over the two weeks of shoe distribution and every one of us will remember and forever be grateful for the opportunity God gave us to be His hands and feet in a place we have come to love.The young girl pictured is now a young lady living in Tiraspol and working in the open air market. I am grateful that our CERI programs are now equipping and pre-paring youth for a fulfilling and meaningful life. I am also thankful for our dedicated CERI national team who works tirelessly to guide and teach vulnerable youth. Our shoe missions became doors of opportunity for us to reach youth and help them to fulfill their hopes and dreams.
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Director of Development