You may have noticed that there’s been a few changes to Archway – not terribly big ones – but subtle and, we hope, to your liking, I have turned the operation over to Gica – with whom I’ve worked for the past 25 years. People come and go but, if one is lucky enough to find someone as capable, honest, and caring as he, then one has a chance to achieve the goals that one has set for him/herself. Our goal has always been and still is “to improve the quality of life of kids living in the streets and sewers of Bucharest, Romania”. In the beginning it did not seem like such a daunting task. My ignorance and naivety on that first trip to Bucharest was stunning but I was lucky enough to meet someone I could trust along the way who believed in the crazy goals I had set for myself. That person was Gica. Were it not for him, Archway would have disappeared from the international scene years ago. People in this very poor nation with its war-torn history and corrupt government had no time for kids who had been left on street corners by mothers who could not afford to feed them. But, rest assured, Gica and I will be there fighting the good fight for the sake of innocents and hoping you will be with us in spirit and love.
Over the years, our roles have become more solid and defined with Gica on the ground in Romania and me back in the States speaking to people about the conditions in which our kids are forced to live. We’ve, unfortunately, seen the population of homeless grow and the government in all its splendid bureaucracy continue to turn a blind eye. We thought, with the poverty we found, that surely big corporations and foundations would rush to our cause. Unfortunately, we had to take our place in line and our turn hasn’t come up yet. A friend asked if we were communicating with people who had initially expressed an interest in the abandoned children of Bucharest. The first newsletter brought in questions, encouragement, and donations and we were up and running. After initial grants from McDonalds, the Chatlos Foundation, some local charities and YOU, we’ve managed all these years later to continue to function, respond to the most critical needs of the children, and get support from everyday people on the ground and working folk who are beginning to see the children for the precious gifts they are.
On a recent walk-about in Bucharest we came across a young man sleeping in a three-sided shack. When I asked him what we could do to help him he said “Show me the way to a better life.” He was not asking for a handout and there wasn’t a trace of self-pity in his voice. He just wanted a door for his shack. We assured him we were trying.
No one knows what this winter will bring. When we talked last week, they had not had rain in three months. The little patches of ground on which the regular citizens grow their vegetables were arid and barren. Gica has identified ten separate encampments of people whom the police allow to squat in abandoned buildings for the winter. These buildings are made of concrete so every year we by huge sheets of plastic to cover the windows and holes in the walls and roof. Gica and the gang then provide groceries on a rotating basis and they cook right in the buildings on the concrete floors. The fires also serve to keep the kids warm. This year there will be fewer vegetables to distribute for CHORBA but with flour, cooking oil, some mystery meat, and bread they will be able to make due.
Another shortage for which we’ll have to account is blankets. We always had enough with the shipments coming from Iron Mountain, Utah, and other donors. Gica is scrambling but with the war next door in the Ukraine supplies have become harder to come by. We’ll keep hustling but as always suggestions are always welcome.
Global warming aside, we are hoping for a not-too-severe winter like some we’ve seen in the past. We’ll keep you posted and please keep the kids in your prayers.
Together with your help and trough God’s blessing we can accomplish this mission every year, to help kids who live on the streets and disadvantaged families to overcome these difficult moments from their lives.
If you want to get involved in the mission of helping needy children, you can make donations via PayPal, Bank Transfer (payment order from your bank to First Bank, Archway account) and Post Office box, and you can visit us on:
-Post Office Box:
P.O. Box 73
46 Water Street
Guilford, CT 06437
(if you can’t donate via PayPal or bank transfer, you can send checks to the Archway P.O. Box address)
ARCHWAY ROMANIA FOUNDATION
BIC CODE: PIRBROBU
Account: RO14 PIRB 4237 7470 5700 2000 ; Currency: USD
(payment order from your bank to First Bank, Archway account)