Quarterly Newsletter, July 2019

Dearest SPOC Family,

We would like to welcome you to our inaugural issue of the Saint Paraskeva Orthodox Charity Quarterly newsletter. The goal for the publication is to keep you informed of our most recent projects, so you may know how your precious contributions truly are life changing. Every issue of the newsletter will share with you internal updates from our volunteers, to keep you updated on what keeps us going and growing as an organization.

Most importantly, we will let you know what the kids that we are supporting are up to! Who got shoes, who learned a poem, and who got to have a toothbrush for the first time all because of you and your generosity.

We sincerely appreciate your continued support and welcome your involvement and suggestions. Please do not hesitate to contact us.

Your Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The Creative team at SPOC

Volunteer News

In the first two quarters of 2019, our president, Mariana Cuceu has been busy traveling across the country, meeting with donors in San Francisco, organizing fund-raisers in San Antonio, and as well as introducing the charity mission during various events. Some of those events noteworthy to mention are SOPHIA conference at the Holy Archangels Monastery in Texas, as well as the Medicine and Religion Conference at Duke University in California.

We are happy to announce that in addition to fundraising, these trips were an opportunity to work towards the establishments of two new chapters of our organization: one in New York, NY and one in Houston, TX. May God bless their work and grant them wisdom in their new endeavors!

Discussions have also begun towards the establishment of a Canadian chapter and we will keep you posted to our progress, God willing.

As we fully engage in the year of 2019, the volunteers of SPOC have started a few new sub committees; one of them is focusing on media relations, with a target of supporting the charity’s media outreach, publications, audio-visual production etc. Their product result is our first newsletter that you are reading now.

Melita’s Gift

Alex Colban is the president of St. Paraskeva Orthodox Charity Youth Chapter. Alex sent with us a few encouraging words that we would like to share with you:

“Recently I received a precious gift: a plaque made by Melita. In the last quarter we’ve raised $1500 from two fund-raisers and from distributing flyers in Hinsdale and Clarendon Hills School Districts, Illinois.

It took a few hours of work, a few exchanges of ideas, a few rounds of emails and messages sent to friends, neighbors, volunteers; a few hours to raise enough money to help Melita pay for her medicine and bandages for almost 5 months. This is a very busy time for all of us, especially for those of us who are high school seniors, but we can all find a few minutes every day,a few hours every month to make a difference in someone’s

2018 Christmas Scholars’ Challenge

We are happy to share that we closed 2018 with strength and bring to you this heartwarming story of the generosity inspired by the young group of students at Varlaam School in Iasi for brightening the lives of 31 children suffering from different cancer aliments undergoing treatment at the local Saint Mary’s Hospital in Iasi.

In response to a letter written by 11 year old, Ava Sacarin, from the SPOC New York Youth Chapter we have raised a charitable donation of $850. These efforts match our overall charity accomplishments during 2018 for the Christmas season celebrations.

The talented and kind-hearted recipients of our scholarship program at Varlaam School gathered together to shop, organize and offer a gift to each of the 31 children currently combating cancer at the children’s hospital. Each child was offered a bag filled with a personal hygiene package, along with toys, sweets, coloring books and pencils, and a personalized gift. Our 2018 Christmas gifts have exceeded in grants allocated to the number of children granted in previous years: the total grants offered in 2018 where valued at $11,350 and the number of children benefiting from Christmas gifts where 642. Thank you!

March For Life

With great humility we would like to introduce the “March for Life” a new project for Saint Paraskeva Orthodox Charity, that in 2019 we were able to support . “March for Life” was organized this year in over 500 cities across Romania and Moldova. Romania struggles with one of the lowest birth rates in the world. During 1958 and 2008, 22 million Romanian babies were aborted. 22 million babies were killed. That is equal to the Romania’s entire population today. With such a disparaging situation, we are compelled to support this important project in an effort to build the next generations. Through our volunteers fund-raising efforts we where able to found $3000 towards the March’s cost.

Note from the President

“Break your bread for the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house. If you see a naked man, clothe him, nor shall you disregard your offerings in your own household. Then your light shall break forth as the morning, and your healing shall spring forth quickly. Your righteous shall go before you, and the glory of God shall cover you.”

Isaiah 58:7-8

Our Pentecost reflections draws us back over and over to the Resurrection service as it is the most central service around the liturgical calendar. Can we carry the Resurrection light into every day of the year? The Resurrection light, followed by the descent of the Holy Spirit by God’s will, represents a turning point in the world’s history. This event marks the beginning of no better opportunity for us to become the light in other people’s challenges. Offering a meal, a toothbrush, a pair of shoes, a back pack with school supplies, or an outfit for a freezing child could become the light we offer in a dark and silent world of poverty. How can we be the light in other peoples’ life? The answer is fairly simple: through prayer and good works.

Every contribution you make to Saint Paraskeva Orthodox Charity is your candle of light against the darkness of poverty that envelops our world. When you donate to Saint Paraskeva Orthodox Charity you help create bundles of candles, capable of lighting even the darkest corners for many children from our beloved Romania.

In closing, I would like to thank every volunteer and donor that is helping us accomplish our goals. We could not have done this without you. May God reward you abundantly.

Mariana Cuceu MD, MPH

With utmost gratitude we would like to acknowledge our media partners Umbrellas on the Beach and The Mail House for their longstanding support and media infrastructure offered to our charity along the years.

Please download the newsletter in PDF format, print it and spread it into your community.