November 2019 Newsletter

A Message From Our Team

Dearest SPOC Contributors,

It is through the intersessions of our beloved Saint Paraskeva and through Her revealed love into the hearts of all those that labored to bring us together, we come to you yet again with news from our children. The Saint Paraskeva Orthodox Charity volunteers continued to work diligently on your behalf, both NY and TX chapters and in Romania. Many projects progressed and in the following pages we are sharing with you some news from some of the sites. While we could not share all the beautiful day to day lives you help make better through your alms-giving, we hope the few lines you are about to read will encourage you to continue to contribute generously and consistently to our worthy cause.

Your Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The Creative team at SPOC

Update From Our Volunteers

St John Cassian Romanian Orthodox Church

Annual Festival was gracious enough to have a booth especially reserved for our beloved charity. Marta Aportu, one of our volunteers from our Texas chapter of SPOC, dedicated her time and effort by representing us at the event. The festivities were organized two days before the feast of St. Paraskeva, our patron saint, and Marta attributes the success of the fundraiser to her Akathist and intercessions, as in spite of a gloomy day, the event proved a success. She describes the experience of interacting with over 30 000 visitors. you can read it here.

Also, while you are visiting our website, please look for our new brochure and other updates from volunteers and initiatives.

President’s Travel Itinerary

Throughout the second part of the year, Mariana Cuceu, our SPOC President, traveled to various events to further build awareness of our charity and gain support towards our mission.

On August 17, she hosted a booth at the Romanian Corp Children Festival in Bethany, Connecticut. On August 18, she gave a presentation at Holy Brancoveni Church in Fairfield, Connecticut.

From August 23 to 27, Ms. Cuceu was in the San Francisco area. This trip was focused on three important aspects:

  1. promoting SPOC to the community of Holy Resurrection Romanian Orthodox Church, in Hayward, CA;
  2. exploring the possibility of collaborating with Mother Melania of Holy Assumption Monastery in Calistoga to write a children’s book about St. Paraskeva; and
  3. meeting with Simona Irime at Holy Virgin Russian Cathedral in San Francisco to evaluate the progress of translating a St Paraskeva Akathist into English.

From August 30 to September 3, Ms. Cuceu was in New York City, where she introduced SPOC to the community of Saint Mary Romanian Orthodox Church.

She also held meetings with the New York SPOC team from St Nicholas Romanian Church in preparation of the 9th Anniversary Dinner on October 12, which she also led.

Finally, President Mariana Cuceu represented SPOC at the OCAMPR Annual Conference in Chicago at Saints Peter and Paul Greek Orthodox Church. She hosted a booth at the Conference and presented the work of SPOC there.

News from the field

Giurgiu Center

Giurgiu’s disabled children are quick to offer a smile, but they are helpless, and can not take care of themselves. Their families struggle daily to meet the needs of the children which extend their financial, medical and social support system. The special care they need requires one of the parents to be around them full time, while the other is working to provide for the whole family. Please take a step back, think about their situation and provide a helping hand. Your donation can help them in their struggle. For a separate donation, please join our GoFundMe effort.

Marcus Monastery

Abbess Serafima from Marcus Monastery is raising 11 teen-aged girls, by the Grace of God, and with the help of the other nuns and auxiliary staff. All the girls are students of the Theological Seminary in Brasov, performing exemplary academically and learning to be good to each other and those around them.

They are provided with adequate living conditions and a well rounded education. Most importantly, they learn to help each other and around them, participate in the Holy Services and even sing in the church choir as well as learn how to paint Icons on glass.

Some of the expenses the abbes encounters are the cost of education, ever increasing with the age of the girls, medical expenses, heating and building maintenance, as well as clothing. An additional cost sister Serafima has, is a mini bus that transports the girls from the monastery to town, in Brasov, a distance of 40km.

The average monthly expenses for the orphanage just for wood are $830, which SPOC contributes to because of your unwavering generosity.


A fire occurred in Vladiceni, Iasi, Romania in 2019, April 1st resulting in 4 families left homeless, including four young children (Mihai – 3 years old, Stefan – 3 years old, Valentina – 4 years old, David – 5 years old and Mario – 7 years old).

To help these families, SPOC in association with Saint Nicholas College in Iasi, organized to collect and send funds.

Our charity sponsored the last phase of construction of this project, critical for its completion. The funds allocated included $2500 covering roofing construction materials, furniture and household devices. As of thoday, the house has been completely raised and the roof built. To follow, are the finishing touches and the mounting of the doors and windows.

“We thank you all for the given help! Seeing the house re-built, we realize now that, without St. Paraskeva’s help, it could have been unimaginable for these families in need to manage the situation on their own. May the Good Lord recompense the offered help! We congratulate the “Saint Paraskeva Association” from Chicago, America from the bottom of our heart! “ said Fr. Victor Achirei

9th Anniversary Fundraising Event

On the night of Oct 12, 2019 we had the SPOC 9th Anniversary Fundraising Event in Bayside, New York. You can read more about it here.