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Ash Clements' Fundraiser:

Ash in Romania

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BENEFITING:

Ash Clements

THE STORY:

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”
― Mother Teresa

Passion is defined as a very strong feeling about a person or thing. Passion is an intense emotion, a compelling enthusiasm or desire for something. Since I was young, my passion—my intense and compelling desire— has been to help others, whether people or animals, in any way I can. I have been lucky enough to fuel this passion by getting an education to teach me how to help the world further and by working with amazing kids daily in my job at Boys & Girls Club. My passion has now led me to an orphanage in Brasov, Romania.

Why Romania? After the fall of the dictator Nicolae Ceausescu in 1989, the heart-breaking side of Romania was revealed to the world; Tens of thousands of abandoned children suffering abuse and neglect in Romania's orphanages were found confined to cribs, wallowing in their own filth and facing mental health issues (NPR.org). Now, nearly a quarter-century later, the situation has not improved significantly, with about 70,000 children in government care, with numbers even greater including children on the streets of Romania.

Firm Foundations Romania (FFR) is a non-profit organization located in Brasov, Romania. It began when Sarah and Steffi, the current president and vice-president of FFR, walked into a Romanian orphanage to find children lying wrapped in layers of rags for diapers that were dirtied with feces and urine. After gaining the trust of nurses, Sarah and Steffi began helping the orphans by buying fresh diapers and giving them around the clock care…and so started the Hospital Project.

The mission and goal of FFR is to “to provide aid in a practical way to the abandoned children of the Brasov Children's Hospital and the Roma community. [FFR’s] focus is loving the unloved and providing educational opportunities to the forgotten youth of this country” (firmfoundationsromania.org). As a volunteer at FFR, I will be helping in the nursery with infants as well as assisting in programs in the after-school care facility. The position is unpaid 8 hours a day, five days a week. This is where I need your help. Please read more about what exactly I will be doing as a volunteer at FFR by following this link: http://firmfoundationsromania.com/FirmFoundationsShortTermVolunteerOpportunities.php

I have wanted to volunteer in Romania for two years and have been saving as much as I can while currently working at a non-profit, after-school organization. I have been fortunate enough to be given a free living space for the entirety of my stay in Romania…but still need to be able to afford food and travel expenses. I have estimated about $3,500 for all traveling and living expenses during my stay of June-August.

I feel that strong urge…that calling that people talk about when they follow their heart to do something. The desire of my heart is to bring love to the unloved…to ease the breaking hearts and suffering of kids who can’t begin to understand why they are hurting so intensely. I know that I can’t save the world; I know that I can’t save Romania or all of the kids there. What I do know for sure, though, is that I can bring joy and hope and love to kids who may have never gotten to experience those things before. Although my contribution may be small, it may be the difference between life and death for one child. I want to show them that they may be “hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed (2 Corinthians 4:8-9).” I want to show these kids that they are not forgotten, that they are loved, and that they are priceless.

So now I ask you… Please help me get to Brasov, Romania. Whatever you can do will help and I will forever be grateful to you and the good work that YOU will be doing with your contribution. Thank you for taking the time to read my statement and I hope you will decide to help me change lives!

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Ash is working on selecting a charity so you can support Ash in Romania.