Just ask Linus Van Pelt of Peanuts about the importance of having your very own cuddly blanket. Linus loves his blanket, carries it everywhere and really suffers when it is taken away to be washed … because he has nothing to hold on to! More than 7,000 children living in Bulgarian orphanages know how it feels to have nothing to hold on to. Most have lived in orphanages for a very long time, with little hope of being adopted – a plight the LSS international adoption specialists have been working hard to remedy.
LSS’ Bulgarian adoption program began in fall 2010, partnering with New Beginning Association, a foundation accredited by the Bulgarian government. To date, LSS has matched six Bulgarian children with forever families in the U.S.
Konnie Gregg, LSS’ director of international adoption, was contacted recently by Karen Antos of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Dallas. Karen, who belongs to one of their women’s groups that works throughout the year making blankets for orphans all over the world, asked if LSS could arrange for a donation of 25 homemade blankets to go to a Bulgarian orphanage. “Yes we can!” Konnie replied, and then contacted her Bulgarian representative Svetoslav Todorov Yordonov (Svet), president of New Beginning Association.
After overcoming a language barrier, Svet was able to coordinate the blanket delivery with the director of an orphanage in Lesichovo Village, Bulgaria. Karen and the orphanage’s director Tsvetanka Borisova both only spoke Russian, so they communicated primarily in Russian with added translation help from Svet.
The handmade blankets were packed up and sent on their way to Bulgaria, arriving just in time for Christmas. Svet delivered them directly to the orphanage himself — along with his own donation of a crate of oranges. Tsvetanka said the children really loved the blankets, which greatly contributed to having a wonderful holiday. The kids even put on a Christmas program for the staff and visitors.
Karen said they rarely receive responses from their blanket recipients, and were thrilled to have built a relationship with the orphanage and Tsvetanka – who issued the women’s group a special invitation to visit them in Bulgaria. The benefits of this warm and fuzzy project are proving to be boundless!