A new bed for Christmas?

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A child snuggles into bed on Christmas Eve, wriggling with anticipation for the morning to come.
It’s one of the most pleasing things about Christmas … seeing how a child loves it.

But there’s something different happening in the Belarusian town of Gorodeya, 60 miles southwest of Minsk.

There’s a boarding school here, where 103 children live.
They’re disabled, physically or mentally or both.
12 of them are orphans.
Some of them have adequate beds.
But 20 of them don’t. Their beds are wretched. Decrepit. Uncomfortable.
Not good for snuggling!
Here’s my idea:
With a mattress and a mattress case for each and every one.
It only takes $94 to provide 1 bed, 1 mattress, and 1 mattress case for a child at Gorodzeya.
Maybe you could give a Christmas gift to provide one, or maybe more.
Or if you can’t go that high, maybe give $47 and let me combine your gift with someone else’s.
I honestly don’t think we can get new beds delivered by Christmas morning.
(Or even by Russian Orthodox Christmas, which is January 7th.)
But I would love to say to the director at Gorodeya,
“Tell the children, on Christmas Day, that friends in America will give them new beds!
And we’ll get the new beds there absolutely as quickly as possible.
As soon as I can, of course, I’ll get you photos of the children and the beds.
What do you think?
I hope to hear from you quickly.
Thanks for journeying with us!
Much love,
Doug Brendel

A “no matter what” kind of love

IMG_0890 copy.jpgOn this Thanksgiving Eve, I think you and I have a lot to be thankful for.
Many, many blessings in this country of ours.
Many I fail to take note of, most days.
But when I’m in Belarus, it hits home for me.
An old-fashioned word comes to mind:
We have bounty.
Compared to the rest of the world, we have lots and lots.
Tomorrow, I’m going to be grateful for our bounty.
And I will absolutely be grateful for friends like you, who share.
Because not everybody has bounty.
Here’s the final photo report from my November visit to Belarus.
I think the children and youth at Dzerzhinsk will make you smile!
Please widen your browser to enjoy the photos fully.
Thanks for journeying with us!
Happy Thanksgiving!
Much love,
Doug Brendel

Great news, and great kids!

img_0108-copyI’m delighted to report that generous friends of New Thing pulled together to make the goal of our first annual Thanksgiving Matching Challenge!

So the workers at the boarding school in Osipovichi will have meds for the whole year, for the profoundly disabled children in their care.
Thank you to all who gave!
Your gifts are being matched dollar-for-dollar, your impact literally doubled, thanks to the two friends who offered this matching challenge.
Meanwhile, I’m elsewhere in Belarus, and ready to introduce you to some beautiful kids at Vysokovsk.
Please widen your browser to the max to enjoy the photos fully.
Thanks for journeying with us!
Much love,
Doug Brendel

Update on meds for Thanksgiving

Just a quick note about our efforts to provide meds for disabled children at Osipovichi….
I depart for Belarus in a few hours, arriving on Sunday, and on Monday I’ll meet with our “Response of the Heart” team leaders, “The Great Kozovaya” and Lydia Danielevna.
I’d love to tell them we’ve met the matching challenge.
To date, friends have generously provided $1246.40.
If others will give a total of $574.66, we’ll make the goal — and the matching challenge will kick in:
Every dollar will be doubled, to meet the entire $3,642.12 need.
So if you’re able to take part in this today, I’ll be very grateful.
Thanks for journeying with us!
Much love,
Doug Brendel

Meds for Thanksgiving?

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“What about Thanksgiving?”
In our family, we start asking this around our house back in October.
It’s a casual question: What’s on the menu? Who’s coming over?
Whatever. No worries.
This year, I’m thinking more about a different “family.”
The profoundly disabled children at the boarding school in Osipovichi, Belarus, in the former USSR.
Their caregivers didn’t have basic meds for them.
But earlier this year, generous friends of New Thing provided 6 months’ worth of medicines for these kids.
Now, as their meds are running out again, I bring you an unusual invitation.
Let’s make it an annual Thanksgiving tradition … to give them a year’s worth of medicine … a total of $3,642.12.
Two dedicated friends have joined together to offer us this amazing opportunity:
They’ll give half, if we give the other half.
Whatever you give to New Thing between now and Thanksgiving, up to a total of $1,821.06, will be matched, dollar-for-dollar, if we make the goal.
If every friend of New Thing will give whatever they can, I know we can make it.
Maybe 10 friends can give $182.11 each. Or maybe 20 friends can give $91.06 each.
Maybe you can be 1 of 30 friends giving $60.70 each.
Whatever you can give, large or small, will be effectively doubled, if we make the challenge total.
If we go over the goal (thank God!), every penny will still go totally into Belarus, to care for people in need.
So I hope to hear from you soon.
And on Thanksgiving Day, as you celebrate with those you love, you’ll have the joy of knowing…
There are disabled children, in a far-off land, who have the meds they need … thanks to you.
I’ll keep you posted on our progress.
Thanks for journeying with us!
Much love,
Doug Brendel