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From Luke, UK Development Ambassador, June 2021

Hello everyone,

Over the past year we have enjoyed the process of putting together and running many excellent online events. Occasions like the Smiles Open Houses, Prayer Meetings, Fundraisers like Countdown and Cooking classes and of course the Virtual Mission trips!

My hope is that our next one will be added to this list and that it will be a great opportunity for you to hear from Romania and to share the news you hear with family and friends.

The Smiles Youth Zoom will be held on July 10th and will be for anyone who is in full time education, aged 11 to 21. I know that we have amazing supporters from across the UK who are in this group and I have had the chance to meet many, and work with you, on a Mission trip. It would be amazing to see you again on Zoom!

We will have video updates from the projects, time for your questions about any aspects of the work here in Romania and chances to share favourite stories and memories from trips you have made … plus, much more! Here are a few things that young people who have visited Smiles and worked with us here have to say about their trip:

I would say that going on a mission trip is such a beautiful, amazing experience. It is so ‘eye opening’ to be able to help others, and to meet new people and to create connections with them. Smiles is such a welcoming environment and such a home for many people, they do so much good in Romania.” Macy

Smiles mission trips are a fantastic way to experience more of the harsh reality of the World, whilst also being a vessel to speak and breath God’s life, light, and love into those places. It’s an amazing time, seeing the enormous impact Smiles is having on those who need it.” Jack

Please, as a last point on this, invite someone you know as well. I friend or family member or maybe someone from your Church’s Youth ministry that can learn about Mission trips through this event.

My contact detail is at the bottom of this report for any questions or queries, and anything to do with this event please do not hesitate to use it!
To join the Smiles Youth Zoom, send your request to me and I’ll ensure the necessary details are sent to you.

To conclude this report, I am delighted to focus on a major positive. The Container Challenge 2021.

The containers that we have collected for and received, thanks to many volunteers and McBurney’s amazing commitment to driving them here to Romania from the UK, are a lifeline for all the work, but especially the residential projects.

Earlier containers

In the pictures above you can see how full they arrive to Cihei, literally no room for one more item. Crammed full of cleaning products, hygiene products, Pampers, hospital beds, medical equipment and specified furniture to name a small fraction of the list.

All of it collected by you, our fantastic Smiles family. These deliveries take such a massive burden off the projects as it replenishes our most used items without taking large amounts of the budget from them.

Soap, bleach and similar items soon add up in terms of cost when they are used across three residential centres, a nursery and after-school facilities.
That’s in normal times, never mind during a Pandemic!Supplies

Not having to pay for them means we can focus on providing the rest of the quality care and services we always aspire too.

Therefore, we are beyond delighted that in 2021 we can look to bring a Container. 2020 was impossible to have one, and the pressure of that has been keenly felt in all the projects.

Here is a link to the list of needs we would aim to fill the container with:

If you feel able to begin collecting items where you are, then that would be greatly appreciated. Maybe discuss with your Church to see if a Church wide challenge could be arranged. We have 3 months to fill a huge Container, so we need to start soon!

But be assured that this Container will be travelling as soon as possible which we expect to be September/October time, and if you can help us fill it, you will be blessing many people here at Smiles.

If you have any questions about this, how you can get involved and ideas for collecting events then please do not hesitate to contact myself or any of our Development Ambassadors that are close to you – Annette in England, Jean in Scotland and Adrian in Northern Ireland

We truly look forward to working with anyone who is interested in the work of Smiles, sharing our objectives and increasing the positive impact we can make in people’s lives.

Thank you and may God bless you all!

Luke Wathen
UK Development Ambassador

E-mail for Ambassadors concerning the Container Challenge:

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