The updates we provide every month for you to be informed of the progress in our projects brings both good news and challenging news. This month is no exception – maybe just that the challenges are of a different nature. We are at a point of needing to update some important aspects of our Family Care Project, as a result of team changes, as you will know from the other sections of our news this month.
I believe this is a good moment to remind ourselves why we do the Family Care Project and what are the results, not that you would not necessarily know such things…. But it is good to be reminded about the difference we have made in people’s lives along the many years since we started the programme.
Family Care is one of the most important projects of the Smiles Foundation. For many years it has been considered and referred to as the ‘cornerstone project’, because it was the first one to provide regular assistance to the people in need, in an official capacity – a commitment to families and individuals who needed a little extra help.
Since the charity was founded, our particular and specific purpose was to assist those who needed help, during their difficult times – and there were so many families and individuals who needed help! So, a “family care” structure made good sense and soon we needed to employ qualified personnel to make sure proper support was offered and the activities within the project achieved the best possible results in assisting the beneficiaries.
Without making too full a comprehensive history of the project, I just want to note that in the last 15 years or more, we have visited hundreds of families, helped with literally tons of food, clothing and medicine, provided assistance in various situations and overall, made a huge difference for many families living in need.
All our efforts were and are still aimed to ensure a consistent support in time of need and a motivation for moving on, for progress when it concerns our beneficiaries. We want them to have a more normal life and sometimes the process to get there can take many years… Of course we would like to solve the problems faster, move on to another case, solve it, move on… Achieve a lot in a short while.
But, sometimes it actually take years and years before the slightest sign of improvement can be seen. Sometimes the progress is simply not possible at all for various challenging reasons. There are many situations when we start the support for someone knowing very well they will never become independent, as they are not able to, perhaps due to physical or mental challenges – so they will continue to need attention, intervention and support. But they still need help and we couldn’t just turn away from them. They need us!
Over the time, we had many colleagues who were greatly committed to the project and they all did the best they could to assist those in need. There is a lot about running the Family Care Project and the number of families enrolled in the programme which changes over the years.
The number of people involved full time or part time also changed over the years. Yet, something that has not changed at any given point is that we tried to stay friends with those we assisted.
Besides the food and other things we helped the families with, there is a very significant amount of paperwork that is required by the law and so covering all of these aspects of the work is at times overwhelming. Nevertheless it does take time and energy and a lot of commitment to improve the situation of our many beneficiaries.
But what was never a factor, all those who worked for the project, for longer or shorter periods of time, were committed and devoted to see the progress of the work, because we know the greater good we are called to add in this world is above the pressures and fatigue of the day.
Family Care Programme will continue to bring hope to the people. We are sorry to see Nelu leaving, but we need to continue the work, as people continue to depend on us. While he managed the programme, he tried to achieve good results and many good things were done and we will continue to do even more, through God’s grace. Our desire to support those who cannot manage life’s difficulties by themselves is a higher calling and we all pursue this, even if things are challenging and inevitable changes happen. But we all know that we are still called to do it.
So, thank you for being part of our efforts in providing assistance through the Family Care Programme. Your involvement makes it possible. Your support is essential and we count on it, every single day when we go out and do something good for someone. Our calling is just what your calling is too – making a difference, for God’s glory, to the people around us. This is after all the progress we want to see in Family Care Project!
May God bless you and keep in touch!
Assistant Director of Smiles Foundation Romania
Family Care is part of the Smiles 200 Hope Club
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