UPDATE: Saint Nicholas Shoes – Winter Clothing Distribution

Sf Nicolae

For the past month Colegiul Sfantul Nicolae, Iasi, Romania (The St Nicholas School, Iasi) was the humble recipient of a generous donation from Saint Paraskeva Orthodox Charity in the amount of $2,000 that purchased 100 pairs of winter shoes for school children for the underserved areas of Iasi.

Today, after a local site visit  we realized that the real and urgent need for shoes are not just for 100 children but for 800 in total. The cost of a pair of shoes is $20, thus we’d like to raise an additional $14,000 to purchase shoes for the remaining 700 children. If you would like to help us please click here.

Another hardship encountered is at the local school in Piscu Rusului region, where they are in urgent need of replacing the windows to the school to ensure adequate protection and warm conditions for the students.

The cost of renovating and replacing the windows at the school is $2,500. For more information about this local initiative in Romania please click here.

With your kind and generous donation we are confident that we can help these children this winter. God bless everyone for opening their hearts this Christmas season to those near and far. Thank you!

Saint Nicholas Shoes

papucii sf nicolae

As a child back in Romania each one of us grew up with St Nicholas tradition, the first holiday of Christmas season. The evening of December 5th we would polish our shoes and set them at the door waiting for St Nicholas to fill the our shoes with some presents. It used to be a magical night, and we where barely getting any sleep –we would be so excited to see what we will find in our shoes in the morning.  For many children in Romania this magical dream night is not possible. Life is not easy for them — not only they are missing the bare necessities but many times even food its a rare treat. We, at Saint Paraskeva Orthodox Charity, are trying hard to bring a smile and a glimpse of happiness on these challenged children by providing some relief of their burden. This is how St Nicholas project started back in the fall of 2015. With a simple call for help, to the Romanian community from Chicago: the response was amazing! Donations of clothes and gently used shoes started to pour in! We were able to send over 2,600 pounds of goods to under served are of Rasca, (Suceava county) and Iasi during 2015.

During 2016 we continued this project and keept collecting clothes and shoes that people do not wear anymore. Given the generosity of our kind donors, we where able to ship again in 2016 in the under served areas of Iasi, Rasca, Cluj county and Maramures over 2,700 pounds of clothing and shoes. This is a beautiful example of how little does it take from us to bring great joy to others. It is a beautiful example of caring by giving love to human kind. Thank you for supporting our project. We share with you some testimonials and pictures from the recipients of these gifts that have been made possible through your generosity. Finally we would like to thank all volunteers, our donors and all charity coordinators that work so hard to see these donations shipped to destination.

You can read about the impact of last year donations in the letters that we received from Romania. Both are in Romanian and you can find them here (PDF) and here (PDF).

A brief update from a ongoing activity: Happy Children in Braila!

28 children from Braila Preschool project received during last week of September, 2016, a $500 worth value of school supply from our donors. We share with you the joy from their faces and some pictures that have been sent to us by Mrs. Perianu – the teacher that carries for these children with many social challenges like of her own. We also share a thank you note addressed to our charity by Mrs. Perianu on behalf of the children. We would like to thank all of our volunteers, donors and partners that by God’s grace enabled us to bring a sun-shine and some hope where is so much needed:

“Today I sent photos of happy children to Saint Paraskeva Charity. Since I have come to know the members of this organization (although only through e-mails) I had the most beautiful year of my life! The kids received this year through your help everything that they have dreamed about: clothing, food, shoes, backpack, toys and school supply. We have never been so happy! I believe that God has sent some angels in the world to help all those struggling with poverty! For us, those angels have been you. I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for EVERYTHING!”

Mrs. Perianu, preschool teacher, Braila, September 28, 2016

The blessing of Saint Onufrie Social Setlement

On Friday, February 19, 2016  His Eminence, Nicolae Condrea Archbishop of the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese in America and Canada has blessed the Saint Onufrie Social Setlement from Floresti, Cluj Napoca Romania during a local site trip. His Eminence has been impressed with project development and encouraged the Saint Onufrie staff to continue and finalize this wonderful work in progress.

Saint Paraskeva Orthodox Charity Youth Conference

Saturday April 9, 2016 at All Saints Antiochian Orthodox Church

4129 W Newport Ave, Chicago, IL 60641

By sharing inspiring stories and a video montage of ongoing projects of St. Paraskeva Orthodox Charity (SPOC), the youth community of Sts. Constantine and Helen Cathedral in Chicago with the support of their families will meet with other Orthodox youth and their families to connect, engage, and join their talents in becoming active participants by partnering to advocate for and support the charitable activities of this charity and other Orthodox charitable projects. You’re invited to our upcoming meet and greet session to exchange ideas and engage in dialogue on partnership opportunities pertaining to charitable exchanges in the Orthodox community.

Youth Conference Agenda

4:00 – 4:30 Meet and Greet

4:30 – 5:30 Presentation begins

5:30 – 6:00 Break for snacks and refreshments

6:00 – 6:45 Open discussion with Q&A

6:45 – 7:00 Closing remarks from Robert (Silouan) Hopper, Volunteer Coordinator with Saint Paraskeva Orthodox Charity

7:30 – 8:30 Great Vespers (all are invited to stay and worship with the All Saints Community)

Saint Paraskeva Orthodox Charity Spiritual Retreat

Saturday April 2, 2016 at Saint Constantine & Helen Orthodox Cathedral

Start time 1:30 – 2:00. Welcome Refreshments and Snacks

SPOC Spiritual Workshop Agenda
  • 2:00 Opening prayer – Fr. Silviu Buntaspcharity-logo
  • 2:05 Opening remarks and SPOC Volunteers Values – Mariana Cuceu
  • 2:10 – 3.30 Fr Silviu Bunta – “Our Vocation and our Charity
  • 3:30 – 4:00 Open discussion with Q&A
  • 4.00 – 4.30 Coffee Break and Light Dinner
  • 4:30 – 5.00 Fr Silviu Bunta – Embracing Spirituality in Our Charity Work
  • 5:00 – 5.30 Group Discussions: What keeps me motivated to continue to serve as a volunteer of Saint Paraskeva Orthodox Charity?
  • 5.30-6.00 Fr Silviu Bunta & Fr Atanasie – Closing Remarks

Our guest speaker, Fr. Silviu Bunta will integrate in a spiritual context the following themes of discussion:

  • Constructive Criticism and Vocation
  • Love as a language of communication
  • Standards in Volunteerism
  • Spiritual Challenges when engaged in doing good
  • Clothing and appearance – what is the message we are sending?
  • How do we spend our time outside of our charity – does that matter?

Father Silviu Bunta is well know speaker on numerous workshops and we are privileged to have him with us in this weekend.

Thank you for your time, participation and support of our volunteer work!