Summer greetings!

Great news:
The government of Belarus bestowed a tremendous honor on our “Response of the Heart” team in Minsk, inviting “The Great Kozovaya” to an official ceremony celebrating the team’s many contributions to the life of the nation over the course of more than a decade.
It was really a celebration of YOU — because New Thing has the honor of providing 100% of the funding for Response of the Heart’s entire operation!
  1. If you’ve given to New Thing, you’ve helped completely renovate the shelter for abused and abandoned children at Zhodino: beds, furniture, paint, floors, the works — plus a whole new commercial kitchen and laundry.
  2. You’ve built the “Domik” (little house), an after-school center for at-risk children, designed to prevent child abuse and abandonment — the first of its kind in the entire nation — beautifully effective, and now a model for other cities and towns.
  3. You’ve built the “Zontik” (little umbrella) on the second floor of the Domik — where children can receive gentle care in the midst of emotionally overwhelming court cases involving violence and other traumatic events. Also here, at-risk moms and dads learn parenting skills, and teens at risk of suicide receive counseling.
  4. You helped lay a brand-new sidewalk around the Zhodino shelter facility.
  5. You’ve built a children’s playroom at the Ushachi Regional Hospital near the Russian border, and funded a massive renovation of the once-decrepit children’s wing, including windows, computers, televisions, furniture, bedding, kitchen equipment, air purifiers, and more.
  6. You responded to a true emergency by replacing the water pump at a boarding school for the blind at Shklov.
  7. You installed brand-new closets for all the sick children in the boarding school at Glusk.
  8. You’ve provided security equipment, a laptop, and furniture at the shelter for abused and abandoned children at Smolevichi.
  9. You’ve provided three huge freezers at the boarding school for children with respiratory ailments at Bogushevsk.
  10. You provided fuel and basic expenses so an Irish charity could ferry and truck in more than 8 tons of humanitarian aid.
  11. You’ve provided 18 months’ worth of medicines and medical products for disabled children at the boarding school at Osipovichi.
  12. You’ve enabled Response of the Heart to bring into the country 17 donated brand-new medical devices, including blood gas analyzers for resuscitation and hospital surgery departments.
  13. You’ve provided kitchen equipment and playground equipment (including a cool trampoline!) for the “Planet Camp” for children of Chernobyl and other youngsters from across the country.
  14. You’ve provided a “life starter kit” for the graduating class of 17-year-old orphans at Kobryn, near the Polish border.
Plus, right now, by supporting New Thing you’re helping more than 6,000 families a year, including foster families, as well as the poor, the elderly, the disabled — supplying humanitarian aid to 60+ institutions and groups across Belarus, as well as feeding and caring for the homeless face-to-face through our soup kitchen every day!
And there’s more. You may actually remember some other project that you gave toward at some point, that isn’t listed here.
Please know your generosity has made an impact!
If I listed everything you’ve helped our team do in Belarus, it would be a really, really long email!
So I’m celebrating your love … and I hope you’re celebrating too. You’re making a beautiful difference for children, families, and individuals in the former USSR.
Thank you! God bless you!
Much love,
Doug Brendel

Homeless, poor – but LOVED

IMG_8183 copy

I’m smiling!

I’ve been to our soup kitchen for the homeless and poor, in Minsk.
Here are a few photos.
They please me very much.
(Widen your browser to enjoy the photos fully.)
I am grateful to everyone who gives to New Thing and helps us do this good work!
Thanks for journeying with us!
Much love,
Doug Brendel

Launched with love!

Greetings from Belarus….

10 orphans are very, very happy today!

I’ve delivered the “college starter kits” provided through the generosity of friends like you!
Here’s a photo report (plus a lot of laughs in a brief video).
Widen your browser to enjoy the photos fully.
You’ll also meet little David (in the photo) and some other lovely kids.
Thanks for journeying with us!
Much love,
Doug Brendel

I am grateful


I am truly grateful for everyone who gave so generously to help us meet the need of children who must graduate from the foster system at Kobryn, Belarus.

Thanks to your compassionate response, we’ll be able to provide essentials for all of these young people, and launch them into adulthood.
I will leave for Belarus soon to visit the children before Graduation Day and give them the good news about your gifts!
Photos to come!
Thanks again for journeying with us!
Much love,
Doug Brendel

9 kids in trouble

These 9 orphans will leave the Kobryn, Belarus “children’s village” in days — they can’t stay, they’ve “aged out.”
They’ll leave with nothing — or we can help them.
Most will go to a dormitory-type setting, where they’ll have to fend for themselves.
It’s not like the U.S.
They’ll need bed linens, a pot and pan so they can cook for themselves, the basic necessities.
One of my interpreters remembers leaving the orphanage where she had spent virtually her whole life.
In the dorm, she had nothing to cook with, no blanket or pillow.
She wept tears of grief and terror.
By God’s grace, someone helped her. Today she’s a successful adult.
But many Belarusian orphans spin out.
They leave “the system” with nothing, and they descend into crime, drugs, prostitution, violence, anything to survive.
I don’t want to see that happen to these kids.
Especially after the workers at the “Children’s Village” at Kobryn have devoted years to caring for them, giving them a warm family environment to grow up in.
We need a total of $825.21 right away.
* A gift from you of $54.59 will provide a blanket, a pillow, and bed linens for one orphan.
* A gift of $91.69 will provide all that plus pots and pans.
If we receive more than the total we need, we’ll provide irons and tea kettles, too.
Whatever you can do immediately will be a real help.
Thanks for journeying with us!
Much love,
Doug Brendel

Heading out!


My daughter Lydia Charlotte is giving up her spring break to go to Belarus with me.

We’ll leave on the 14th of April.
Lydia Charlotte, now 15, has been visiting Belarus since she was 7 months old; this will be her 18th trip.
(She has been designated as an “ambassador to Belarus” by the Director of the Belarusian Dept. of Humanitarian Affairs.)
  • She’ll visit her godmother Lydia Danielevna (second in command with our “Response of the Heart” team).
  • She also hopes to visit her childhood friend Alina, whom she first played with a decade ago (that’s them in the photo) when Alina was at the Zhodino shelter for abused and abandoned children. (Today, Alina is a successful young woman, a testament to the beautiful value of your support for New Thing.)
  • We’ll visit our soup kitchen for the homeless — especially our friend Valentina, who carries a collection of Lydia Charlotte’s school photos from over the years.
  • And Lydia will present “an evening of music and laughter” as a gift to a number of our longtime friends.
Of course I’ll bring you all of these adventures in photo and video reports.
Lydia Charlotte’s air fare has been covered by a friend, but if you’d like to be part of this unusual journey personally, we still need support to provide care for children and adults in need all over Belarus — so please feel free to make a donation to New Thing before our departure.
Thanks for journeying with us!
Much love,
Doug Brendel