Apologies to all, but somehow an early, unedited draft was released earlier today. The corrected text is below:
As Covid-19 continues to ravage countries around the world, Romania has not been spared. It is still on the upswing in terms of new cases and deaths, and our dear colleagues at Pro Vita are right in the middle of the challenges facing a less-developed country trying to cope with this pandemic.
Pro Vita unfortunately finds itself in critical financial straits. Unfortunately they are not alone. Christmas and Orthodox Easter are the two primary giving periods for Romanians and Pro Vita counts on the in-country generosity to provide most of the money needed to cover the daily operating costs for its 500 beneficiaries. Covid-19 has shut down the majority of the Romanian economy, and with only limited social services support available at the best of times, Easter donations have tumbled to only 10% of previous years. AFPVO has encouraged the Directors to use whatever they need from the AFPVO account to get through the crisis, but Mihail Tanase is trying to “make do” and preserve our resources to fund planned building projects. He has joined with several other organizations to petition the Romanian government for money as well as give these organizations short-term relief from payroll taxes which comprise a significant portion of on-going expenses. In-kind donations of food, clothing, etc. have also declined sharply while food shortages have caused greatly increased prices. The monthly food costs for 3 meals a day for the 500 beneficiaries exceeds $35,000, much of which had been covered by donations from Danone, Lidl, and other commercial entities as well from individuals, food drives, etc. AFPVO could barely cover one month’s food costs even if we took our bank account to zero. This lack of both monetary and in-kind donations has significantly crippled Pro Vita. The residents have expanded the seasonal greenhouses and planted furiously to ensure vegetables in the summer. They are trying to protect the small amount of animal stock (cows, pigs, sheep, and chickens) but may have to slaughter some sooner than planned.
We recognize that many of you are also struggling during the pandemic. We try to avoid begging but believe that each of you could give at least a small amount to ensure that Pro Vita is able to continue to provide the safe, loving environment to its community – babies, children, abused adults, and the elderly. PayPal is easy but reduces your gift by 2.5%.
Alternatively, a check to: AFPVO
10005 Donal Lane
Vienna, VA 22181
ensures that 100% of your contribution goes to Pro Vita as the AFPVO Board covers all administrative costs.
We want to thank our most recent contributors: Dibby, St. Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church (Minneapolis), Wendell, Ashley, and Sean. Every dollar is going into the AFPVO U.S. bank account to support our dream of an “economic trampoline”.
The good news is that so far no one at Pro Vita has gotten Covid — a blessing, especially given the limited medical facilities outside of Bucharest. The loyal staff is committed to cook, clean, and love all the residents — even the housemothers whose school-age charges are with them 7/24! A new house for the elderly in Valea Plopului has opened and the four new houses between there and Valea Screzii have been completed and are now occupied.
If you have never donated – now’s the time. If you have, please consider another donation to relieve the financial crisis at Pro Vita. If you cannot now, perhaps in the future. All new donors will have their contributions matched by the Board on a 2 for 1 basis up to $5000.00.
Wishing you all good physical and mental health as we slowly re-open our country. Stay safe!
All the best,
Donna, Frank, and Fr. Sean