I read recently that there are approximately 70 million orphans in the world, which is an overwhelming figure that is very difficult to fully comprehend and extremely disturbing. It’s obviously impossible to make a difference to the lives of this number of children and the more I thought about it the more hopeless I felt. Then I started to think afresh about this new charity and what it’s trying to achieve and it suddenly struck me that we can’t help all 70 million children, but as a charity, we can help 30 orphans and many poor Gypsy children in a small corner of Romania and thus do our part to help with the national crisis. We can have a positive effect on these children and really make a difference to their lives. We’ve heard the cries in this area of Romania and we are responding from our hearts with financial and practical support, but not only to children, but also to vulnerable and marginalised women who desperately need help. May God bless you all for hearing the cries and partnering with us to help make a difference. Thank you so very much.
Having spent over twenty years working with children as a gymnastics coach, teacher and nursery manager I have developed a real passion to see children given every opportunity to achieve their full potential in life. For the children I have worked with this has meant creating opportunities for learning, social and physical development, and supporting families to make wise decisions for their children. Ten years ago I travelled to Serbia to help distribute humanitarian aid to refugees in the surrounding areas of Belgrade. This trip really opened my eyes to the desperate need of children in other parts of Europe and since then I have sought ways to help, so in 2016 when Tish invited me to accompany her on a trip to Ocna Mures with Heart Response I jumped at the chance.
On this trip I witnessed the passion of the workers from the Good Samaritan Church as they worked with the children in Sanctuary Orphanage and the local Roma children giving them hope in what are quite desperate circumstances. On my return Tish asked me if I would consider taking on the role of secretary with Heart Response, my answer of course was yes. It is such a privilege to play a small role in this fantastic charity that seeks to show love and give hope to some of Europe's most marginalised people, creating opportunities for them to achieve their full potential in life.
Back in 2013 I spent some time in Cambodia on a mission trip where I volunteered at an orphanage and also helped out with a ministry called women at risk. When I returned home I had a burning desire to do more than settle back into my comfortable life and forget what I had seen or bury my head in the sand about the need around the world.
It can feel overwhelming with where to begin so when I had the opportunity to take part in a trip to Romania with Tish a couple of years ago to see what Heart Response does, I knew I wanted to catch the vision for this charity and see how I could help on a practical level. Tish's passion for what she does is infectious, and seeing the workers in Romania give so tireless to their ministries is an inspiration, so I am honoured to be a small cog in helping fundraise towards their work.
I first heard of ‘Heart Response’ when Tish Robberts gave a talk on an Orphanage she had visited in Romania as she spoke and had an obvious passion for this group of people I felt really stirred in my heart to go see for myself what had made her want to help them. I with a few others went out and I was so overcome with what I saw, I decide there and then to get involved. This one family and their church had put their lives into helping orphans when they saw how the state run orphanages were really struggling, they then went on to support local causes, but what impressed me the most was that they were so cheerful and fulfilled doing it even though they had nothing for themselves. It got me to thinking of all I had, how easy it was to live here in the UK and what was I doing to help others in need, I decided to become one of the team and help in whatever way I could.
It has been so overwhelming at times when you meet the people first hand and helping those dear children to grow in love and safety. It has been the best thing I have done and I look forward to seeing this wonderful charity grow so we can help in the more practical ways.
I have always felt Heart Response is a charity that anyone can become involved in, bringing together friend groups and the Dorset community to help those in need. I first felt compelled to help the charity in any way I could after the charity Chairman, Tish, had given a talk and video presentation about her first experience in Romania, volunteering at an orphanage. It was shocking to learn the history of Romania and the repercussions which are still apparent today. Tish is passionate about the charity and what I love most about the charity is that you can see the impact your donation is making in a personal way. For example, as part of the 'Back to School' Appeal I filled a backpack with school supplies and wrote a note to the individual child and to my surprise I received a lovely thank you note.
I have been a part of the Heart Response team since 2016 and have had the privilege of visiting the Good Samaritan Church Mission in Romania on numerous occasions. Each trip I am blown away by the incredible work the church does and it's a great honor to be able to support the mission from here in the UK. My desire is for Heart Response to be able to fund more vital projects in Romania, but also to sustain long lasting relationships with the team in Romania, along with all those we support.
A massive thank you to the committee for all their help and support thus far – You are all amazing and making a real difference to the orphans and widows we support in Romania