Dec 5, 2007

Food Bank




This year we had an annual Food Bank event on November 23rd - 24th. We were given a supermarket where our volunteers had leaflets to give out to the shoppers & invite them to buy food & donate it to us.
We managed to collect food worth some 2300 Lt (approx. 670 Euro). The food is going to be given out to the seniors.


Unfortunately, though we have our national economy growing rapidly for a successive year, but the gains of it are not shared equally by all. Those dependent on social system, especially the elderly, don’t see their income rise to at least keep pace with soaring prices for food & utilities (gas, electricity).
Because of this it is important for them to get some material support & the food collected comes in very useful.

Dec 4, 2007

Old Friends’ Home September-November 2007


As always we had birthday parties, sang, danced, talked, gave comfort & were comforted, smiled & laughed together, read the Bible, enjoyed concerts, went to theatre…

Though it is nothing new & may outwardly seem a bit dull or of lesser significance but I do believe that inwardly it gave hope & encouragement needed. Words of gratitude & happy faces that I & all volunteers get every time bear witness to its importance.

Nov 22, 2007

Orphanage events October-November in photos










Sep 14, 2007

Orphanage opening season party, Sept 12th

Upside- down worldview is better :)


Devout Lithuanian basketball team fans (during the European basketball championship in Spain)

'This is what we dream of'


Sep 7, 2007

SENIORS' opening autumn party: very proactive & fun, Sept 2nd

93-year-old lady's birthday























Simple human ties building up, volunteer Vaida & elderly woman


















Lecture of acupuncture massage- a health self-help to our seniors



















Dancing



















Dancing once again :)







Aug 20, 2007

Jonas Stašaitis, our elderly poet, reading poetry from his newly published book „Secrets of suffering“ („Kančios paslaptis“) during the seniors' evening, August 19th


Aug 6, 2007

We are proud of our volunteers being true servants!


Young & older helping together: mopping the floor after the seniors party, Aug 5th


Jul 25, 2007

Seniors Old Friends' Home: a place to get encouragement & support


Some photos of what we did during our party July 22nd


Dancing with volunters or just having a good time















Singing














Hearing the God's promise of hope preached & Bible read (by me :) )





















Being listened to & receiving attention of a volunter

Jul 14, 2007

Blood drive, July 5th

Vaida, our volunteer, somewhat tense & scared: it's her first time donating blood

Jul 10, 2007

Old Friends’ Home in May & June


There were many wonderful things we did in these two months: went to cinema, enjoyed a classical music concert, partied in a café, listened to a young boy’s piano & flute performance, danced, read poems, sang, celebrated birthdays, had diner together, read the Bible…


Beside to the mentioned on June 3rd we had huge amounts of second-hand clothing to hand out to our elderly. It was arranged by a catholic St. Vincent’s community.

Also we were giving food hand-outs (cereal, flour, sugar, vegetable oil, canned food stuffs, etc.) almost every meeting.


What gladdens my heart is to hear gratitude of our seniors every time. One of our elderly women said: “We’ve been coming to Old Friends Home for 5 years now. We truly feel like family.’ I myself come to realize the importance of a place to gather together for these elderly people. Most of them are in poverty; do not have close ties to society & experience loneliness at the sunset of their lives.


The seniors are not choosy; they thirst for mere attention & care. It’s truly wonderful to be able to approach them not simply with humanly consolation but primarily introduce divine hope available in God. I learnt a lesson of reaching out to them readily & sharing my convictions. & most of those I have talked to deeply respond positively. This is very inspiring for me to witness God’s help for the needy in flesh & soul. I do hope & pray that they say ‘yes’ to God’s calling.

Jun 8, 2007

Orphanage

May 31st we had a special party for the kids at the orphanage- next day, June the 1st, was International Children’s Day.

Aurelija, one of our volunteers, became very good friends with Jolita, an orphan girl aged 14.
With the permission of the orphanage staff Aurelija takes her out of orphanage for a day or so to spend time together. Being a teacher at school she once even took Jolita to a trip along with students from her class.
This kind of friendship between volunteers & orphans is very important for the kids not having any sound guidance in their lives.
I am looking forward to witnessing more & more relationships like this as we build up our ties with the children at the orphanage.

On May 31st we bade ‘good bye’ as the orphans would spend the whole summer camping elsewhere. We will meet again only in September.

May 20, 2007

Fun time at the orphange, May 15th























































May 8, 2007

Piano concert by a teen musician, May 5th

The elderly were delighted!



May 2, 2007

Helping the hopless


Natalija Selevic, formerly a professional dancer, now a poor lonely pensioner, has been coming to the Old Friends Home since its inception 5 years ago.

During last couple of years Natalija ran into big debts for utility services due to very small income. Subsequently all the debt administration was passed on to bailiffs who began deducting 50 % from her pension income every month to cover up the debts. This means she is left with a meager sum of 150 Litas (43 Euro) to scrape by for a month. Also, because of debt electricity supply was cut-off in her one-room dormitory- type flat.

A newspaper article about Old Friends’ Home & one of our seniors- Ms. Natalija Selevic (2004)
Poor Natalija suffers a lot emotionally because of her afflictions. Natalija does not have any relatives or friends to get help & support needed. & as she was absent from our club meetings for over a year without us knowing it due to worsened heart problems & long months in hospital we could not help earlier in the process.

Just a few months ago did she happen to show up at one of our parties. Having learned her difficult situation we began seeking ways to help. We went together with Natalija to bailiffs (there are two separate ones handling separate debts) to see what could be done, also to municipal social support centre.

Now she regularly receives food hand-outs from us. Furthermore, we agreed that she would be paid 50 Litas (14 Euro) each time she helps us serve other seniors during our parties. That is a more honorable & beneficial way of enabling her to feel important & useful & have money to pay out debts - “giving the fishing rod, not the fish.”

Furthermore, coming to our meetings she gets the emotional support so vital for her. More than that, it is only necessary to share the Good News of love & hope with Natalija.

It is great to be enabled to stretch out a helping hand to those in hopelessness.

Apr 24, 2007

Children folk dance & music band performance for our seniors, April 22nd



Mar 20, 2007

19.03.2007 - Hope Worldwide Vilnius organised a blood drive

Egidijus, our volunteer of the year 2006, donates blood, smiling. :)




18.03.2007 - Old Friends Home 5 year anniversary party!

Children's theatre "Sunshine" performance "The scarecrow" for our seniors.













Our 5-year-anniversary cake!











Us - seniors & volunteers - happy & smiling :)







Mar 9, 2007

Party at the Saltiniu orphanage, Mar 6th.

Played volleyball, painted, just had a great time kids & volunteers.


Mar 8, 2007

Photo from our Old Friends' Home lovely romance concert on Mar 4Th.
The seniors were thrilled!

Mar 2, 2007


Our elderly ballet dancer Mrs. Gelena Tumilaviciute Strumskiene gave us a solo performance entitled “Winter” on the 4th of February birthday party.
As always she was very eager & willing to dance at our seniors club.

The other party was to commemorate Lithuania’s Independence Day. Our club’s another devoted artist Ms. Romualda Pranskuniene threw a concert on the occasion.


Mrs. Gelena Tumilaviciute Strumskiene solo ballet performance.












Our seniors themselves.




Feb 5, 2007

January 2007 report

Orphanage

This month we had a party for kids on 23 January. As always we played games, sports & did arts. This time as well as before we taught some new games.

It’s good that I do not have to always be heading the games: having to manage 40 plus Screaming kids makes my throat sore in a matter of minutes.. )

But it is not that the children are bored, they feel so liberated to be with us, instead of having a tight rule of teachers imposed on them. (though I am not implying in any way that they are mistreated by their teachers!) As a matter of fact, one teacher said that the kids seemed very keen & interested in playing with us as opposed to being offered to play without us.

Nonetheless, believe me it is a fantastic time being with the orphans. I have not ever heard any one come to volunteer at our events & go out unmoved & disappointed.

After the games & drawing there were some snacks. Also we give birthday presents to kids born in January.

As most probably you have already noticed we take photos virtually every time we go to the orphanage or organise a party for the seniors. & apart from sending some of them to you or keeping for ourselves, we make numerous copies to distribute to the children/kids: they are so hungry for them!

I feel very inspired after every event for seniors or orphans: my heart is filled with gratitude seeing others being unselfishly & sacrificially involved in the noble cause & evidencing the impact these times have on the children or seniors & hearing their appreciation.

***

Seniors

The first month of this year was a theatre month for our seniors: we went to 2 performances in theatres & had 1 special performance by children. The elderly loved them all, especially one played by kids!

It is nice to see new people coming to our events. Now on average there’s about 55 seniors coming to our parties (less than half – to other events). & the volunteers’ attendance is on the rise as well: approx. 12 persons.

There’s still lots of food supplies left to be given away as food handouts. We distribute it to the seniors once a month.


Here’s our seniors’ event schedule for January:



  • January 7th – Seniors’ birthday party

  • January 13th – Outing to Russian Drama Theatre, play „Ana Karenina“

  • January 14th – Children’s musical theatre performance “Christmas night” + Seniors’ party

  • January 27th – Outing to National Drama Theatre, play „The Obedient woman“