On Saturday I had the opportunity to be one of the speakers at a lovely Mother's Day Charity Brunch at Noah's in Linton. What a privilege it was to be be in the same room with people who have done so much for so many!
About 18 years ago these two valiant women Deborah Dushku Gardner and our good daughter Saren, served together as missionary companions in Bulgaria.
After spending time in the orphanages once a week for 18 months cuddling orphans and being horrified with the conditions under which they were living they decided that something must be done for help these beautiful children. Glyn Barker (below), a missionary at about the same time was heart-broken at the conditions she found in the orphanages and started sending supplies to twin boys in one of the orphanages after returning home.
From there she and Deborah realized in order to get the help they needed to rescue these children they would need to organize a foundation. Glyn, Deborah, Saren and others have been back many time to assess needs and figure out how to raise more funds. On one trip both Saren and Deborah were pregnant (Saren 7 months pregnant with twins) and they were delighted to see what had been done with the help of the foundation (broken windows that had allowed snow to fall on sleeping children and been replaced and crumbling plaster on walls had been repaired) but were still aghast at how much there was yet to be done.
To make a long story short this has evolved into a fabulous foundation called One Heart Bulgaria that now serves 27 orphanages and about 2500 orphan children in Bulgaria. Many other people with a love for these orphans began to get involved. Several interns are sent over every summer to work in the orphanages.
The highlight of the program on Saturday for me was hearing from an amazing young man named Yenko who had been adopted at age seven by the amazing woman below from one of those orphanages. What an inspiration it was to hear him speak at age 20 about what his parents have done for him. Watching the love between this mother and very special child was a bona fide tear jerker!
More help is needed to help these gorgeous children. To see how you can get involved go to http://oneheart-bg.org/
These adorable children range from happy and healthy to being in great physical need. For a terrific 3 minute video of Deborah which includes footage of the orphanage on You Tube click here.
A special thanks goes to Quinn Curtis who organized a wonderful morning complete with a delicious brunch and an electric atmosphere of the importance of motherhood for those of us who were present. To see more about Quinn and her dedication to mothers go to firstname.lastname@example.org.