Reaching Out to At-Risk Children in Romania
In the summer of 2014 I volunteered as an intern in Iasi, Romania, where I worked with institutionalized children in an orphanage as well as in a local hospital. This had a profound influence on my heart and world view. Since 2004, all international adoptions have been banned in Romania. While the European Union has encouraged foster care, the reality is that it is not meeting the needs of all institutionalized children. Those with serious physical and emotional needs are especially at-risk because they might not ever have the opportunity to be placed with a family. I hope the opportunity will one day come again for international adoption to be opened.
I have a lot of love and respect for the caregivers at the orphanage because of their support to those children in need, especially when they are faced with the overwhelming task of caring for each of the many children in the institution. Although the children in Iasi receive lots of love from the Romanian caregivers and American volunteers alike, there are unfortunately many other children throughout Romania who suffer from abandonment, abuse and a lack of basic necessities.
While living and working in Romania, I became aware of Bridge of Love, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Laurie and Scott Lundberg founded this humanitarian organization in 2001 after experiencing firsthand the heart-wrenching circumstances of many institutionalized Romanian children. They oversee and carry out various projects and endeavors dealing with children and youth in Romania, one of which is to provide diapers and wipes for children in the local hospital, orphanage, women’s shelter, and village babies in serious need.
This year, Rasmussen Farms, (my parents’ local produce business since 1976) is excited to announce a fundraising event to be held on Saturday, October 14, 2017, at 12244 South 900 East in Draper at our pumpkin patch from 4:00 p.m. until dark. Rasmussen Farms is donating a portion of proceeds that day to benefit the Bridge of Love Diaper Fund. The event will include treats, games, face-painting, Sammy the Clown with balloons, a free family photo, raffle prizes and of course, pumpkins! Any and all families and individuals are welcome to come! Everything donated goes to the children!
Those who are unable to attend but still interested in donating may still make a donation at Rasmussen Farms during the month of October, Monday-Saturday from noon until dark.
Although the world is full of chaos and angst, there are many kind and generous individuals in Draper and throughout our community. We each carry an obligation and stewardship individually and in our families, but we also have a responsibility to take care of each other as we can! This is a simple but significant way to give back and share our abundance.