Another month has passed but at least we are moving out of winter and towards warmer, brighter days. Plus, there seems to be more and more positive news regarding moving out of lockdown and back into the more usual way of living.
However, one thing that has remained constant throughout the winter and the tough times this year and last is the amazing support and generosity of everyone in the Smiles family!
From the day that the Outreach Pillar was launched as part of the new structure at Smiles the support, in prayer and finance, has been wonderfully provided. Through personal gifts, support for fundraisers and through prayer, in groups on Zoom and in private to, I’m sure.
Looking at the Fundraising side of things, January had the Countdown tournament that was a great success with many people joining in. Many of whom, despite having supported Smiles for years had never met which is a lovely bonus to the competition and fellowship. Our congratulations go to Eithne Smyth on being the winner of this first tournament!
Moreover, the format has been continued by Anna Clarke and people from her Church who have been competing this past weekend and in fact, the final is tomorrow so I wish the finalists all the very best! Thank you for your support of the Smiles Foundation.
February has continued with the Zoom Cookery presentations and they have been great fun as well as a learning experience. I have yet to make any Sarmale, that Meda taught us in the first class, but others have.
Well done to Edith Townsend for your efforts which, as you told us on the Saturday itself, were to be made in a ceramic pot that was a gift from Romania as well!
Moreover, the pancakes and gingerbread that Jean taught us in the second class have been instant hits with many people. Carol Lazar has been cooking along with the classes and has reported back that her family have enjoyed the results of these recipes as well as the Soda Farls and Fadge that Mitzi helped us learn in the third week!
For the fourth class we will be led by Joye Carson for Aero Chocolate Pudding with homemade ice cream and chocolate sauce! So, last but definitely not least, a very tasty finale to complete our February fund-raiser!
Perhaps next month, I will be able to update you with more photos of the delicious results. But for now I would like to emphasise how thankful we all are at Smiles, for your amazing support of these fundraisers. We greatly appreciate all you have done in making these special events, so successful!
These past months have shown how effective Zoom fundraisers can be, but I am looking forward to the time when we can operate fundraisers in person and involve our wider communities. So that we can meet up, catch up, laugh together and as always, share some great food too!
Perhaps you could think about a future fundraiser. I know we aren’t there in terms of openness of travel yet, where you could include the Sarmale recipe as part of the event. An authentic Romania meal alongside something else to raise money for the work of Smiles in Romania? Let me know if you have an idea, but be assured, we have some definite plans for this summer, when I believe we will all be more able to do things, as they use to be done, and that will be great.
Now you may ask what could that something else be, well maybe a quiz as they are always popular. But also this year we will have a lot of sporting events to watch in the later summer. Things like the European football Championships and the Olympics.
A Sarmale meal with a screening of a match or the Olympics opening ceremony could be a great opportunity for people to get together, after such a long time not being able to, they will enjoy raising money for Smiles. We also plan to relaunch our BBQ for Dezna which had to be shelved last year due to COVID restrictions. A great way to celebrate the summer freedom while supporting the Dezna project.
The Outreach Team is working now on plans for Summer Camps in Dezna, but the kids will need support to attend as many can’t afford even the subsidised rates of £90/$120 a week per child. More on that next month. You could start sponsoring kids for camp now, just designate your gift to ‘Dezna Camps’. The Smiles Foundation » Outreach through Dezna
This summer we will be able to do so much more, with family, friends and go to the places that have been off limits. But please let’s make this summer a season of fundraising, to both recover from the lost year and at the same time, bless our friends and Smiles Family in Romania!
Thank you all and may God bless you and keep you safe!
UK Development Ambassador