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Leeds, England registered UK Charity No.1087961
Kingsport, USA charitable non-profit # 86-0957704
Oradea, Romania registered Charity No.14839712

...making smiles in Romania

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May 2015

Firstly, I want to thank those of you who came along to the ‘Sharing Something Special Tour’. It was great to see so many, catch up together and welcome Kevin and our Romanian guests to the UK. I know we were all inspired & challenged by the presentations; some maybe looked at projects with fresh eyes, some maybe became aware of needs for the first time, some felt a tug at the ‘heart strings’ looking at a photograph or listening to a song, some openly shed tears as we worshiped our living God together.

Secondly, we have celebrated Easter. Many of us have reflected on the cross and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for ‘me’. It is a time of hope, it is a time of new and fresh hope, a time to celebrate. I trust you have had a peaceful and reflective Easter time.

Last time I mentioned the ‘100 Love Club’ ; Sharing Love to Children living with family difficulties. We also have the ‘200 Hope Club’ ; Giving Hope to families living in poverty. The word hope makes me think of a renewed confidence or a reason to do something. From my visits to Romania, I see many people with very little hope in their lives, very little reason to have confidence in life or the meaning of life, as they merely survive in desperate conditions with little food, clothing, love or support.

We should not just enjoy the confidence of our own understanding of hope for our lives, sit comfortably and smugly in our own security. We have a duty and an opportunity to restore ‘hope’ to the lives of others.......how can we do that?

Some can GIVE, some can GO, some can GIVE and GO, some can GO and GIVE OUT on someone else’s behalf.

Friends, it is the beginning of the Mission Trip season with Smiles; please, please consider taking up the challenge to GIVE or GO, or GIVE and GO! There are weeks set aside, there are people signed up, there are spaces available! You will not be alone, there are teams building, we are needed on the mission field to bring ‘hope’ to those living without hope in Romania.

I want you to meet Lindsay McKinlay, our young Ambassador in Scotland who has taken up the challenge, and shares her passion with us;

My involvement with the Smiles Foundation started in 2012, when I went on a summer Mission Trip. 3 years and 5 trips later, as a Smiles Ambassador, I have a real passion for the work being done in Romania. Every person on the staff is so completely dedicated to the work they do and the people they work with – I’m very proud to be even a small part of such an incredible organisation.

If you haven’t seen it first hand, it is impossible to understand the scale of the need in Romania. The photos and stories can be upsetting and difficult to comprehend, but meeting the people living day to day in unimaginable situations brings home the injustice and inspires me to do something to help. Every time I go on a trip I am hit by a new story which fuels my passion to do more to help. So my first piece of advice for anyone wanting to get involved is get yourself to Romania! If you can manage to go on a Mission Trip your eyes will be opened and your heart will be changed.

There are other ways to help too, if a Mission Trip is not practical for you at the moment. Monthly sponsorship is vital to keep the projects running and without people making these financial commitments, Smiles cannot budget for the future. Sponsoring a child or family is wonderful as you get updates from Smiles about their progress and if you do go on a trip, you will be able to meet them in real life. I’ve built up a wonderful relationship with the child I sponsor in Tileagd, and with her whole family. Sponsorship starts from just £5 a month – maybe people from your school, university, church, workplace, sports club etc would be interested in joining together to sponsor a project?

Fundraising is another vital source of income for Smiles – get some people involved and come up with a plan! Maybe your family would join you in a sponsored cycle? Make up a quiz sheet and sell them for £1 each with a £10 prize? Or could you organise a concert or ceilidh? Bake sales are always popular – or you could do something big like a marathon or bungee jump! I did a sponsored haircut and let two children cut 14 inches off my hair! No one person can meet the needs of the Smiles Foundation – but we can all support in whatever way we can and, just as importantly, encourage others to do the same.

I hope you are able to help in some way – and maybe one day I’ll see you in Romania! Lindsay McKinlay

Lindsay and her husband Calum are just back from a Mission Trip; here she is again with some more encouragement;

Post Script: Just back from my 6th mission trip and still recovering from a wonderful, emotional, challenging week! We had a fantastic team - couples, singles and a school trip - made up of a mix of ages from all over the UK and America. It was a wonderful chance to work alongside these people and serve with them. I was overjoyed to see progress in many of the projects including JFL and Rapa and hear some really positive updates from people in Tileagd who I care for deeply. It wasn’t all easy - I saw some of the worst living conditions and heard some truly heart-breaking stories - but it’s only fuelled my drive to keep working, praying and fundraising for Smiles. Again, I encourage all of you to get to Romania and experience a Mission Trip for yourselves!

We also had Wayne and Cathie Mulholland from Belfast visiting Romania on a whistle stop tour, let’s hear their story;

"We have just returned from a short trip to The Smiles Foundation in Romania. Our focus was the Tileagd Craft Group and the development of new skills for the ladies in the creation of new jewellery products to help form a sustainable business. In addition to this, we were advising on the development of an online presence to market and sell the products the group produces based on our own business experience. Wayne also had the opportunity to meet Pastor Vasile, whom our church supports through Smiles. The trip was a great success and we are excited for the potential going forward for the project! In particular, the impact it can have on the ladies in Tileagd, their families and the community as well as the development of an income stream to further support the great work of The Smiles Foundation in the area.

Although this was our first visit, we look forward to returning at some point in the future! We would highly recommend visiting Romania with The Smiles Foundation to see and take part in the amazing work they do alongside the great staff team based there. You will be changed forever!"
  Cathie & Wayne

Spring time is a wonderful time of year to get busy with Fundraising, I will be sharing lots events and photographs next month, so please come back for another read. I want to leave you with a very encouraging story of one of our supporters, and indeed an inspiring challenge to us all.

Gregg Allen runs a Ferry Business. He faced a major challenge this winter to restore his Ferry to a sea worthy state before the Easter season, an investment of £20,000. Gregg considers it miraculous that it was ready in time, and then the beautiful English weather provided him a bumper week. He and his wife Marilyn decided to tithe their Easter takings and sent Smiles a cheque for £750.00. What a blessing to us all!

Have another great month. Please write to me with your thoughts and activities. Whatever you are getting up to, we want to share it to encourage each other. I look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you and God Bless.


Barbara Morrison

Development Ambassador & Volunteer Coordinator
The Smiles Foundation

E-mail: barbaramorrison@thesmilesfoundation.org

Telephone: 0788 087 5845

Previous Reports
March 2015 - Welcome back
March 2015 - Welcome back
February 2015 - Introduction

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    Page last updated on 24/04/2015 05:16:37 PM
   by ADMIN1


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