Much has happened in Smiles since the last
report from the North East Region which was April of last year. I
feel privileged to be part of an ever-growing Charity which has always
tried to stay true to its roots of
‘changing the world for somebody’.
educationalists from the Redcar area had a wonderful experience on the
2011 Educational Challenge
– one of the participants returning again after being so moved on his
first trip in 2010. The Redcar ‘Smiles
Day’ at our home was very well supported
and raised £600
– light lunches and a wine and cheese evening. The weather was not
good, but the fellowship made up for it.
In July, a small
group of us from this region arrived at Cihei for a week’s Mission
Trip – we saw the progress being made with the
and the homeless project, yet realised that the many and varied needs
of the poor is a huge work in progress.
Before we had time to
consider a variety of fundraising projects, we found Regions 1, 2 and
3 being asked to focus on the Budget deficit at the Tileagd School and
Nursery. A very productive meeting of representatives from our three
regions with Stephen (Education Adviser) resulted in our main task
being to raise greater awareness of the importance of the school and
nursery and the need for extra fundraising in our three regions.
Without the wonderful work of our school staff and the achievements
made to date, the future for some of our young people would be grim.
We felt that we had to ensure that this excellent work continued!
John Chrystal and I made the first of 3
van trips, followed by one in November
and one in January, carrying goods for the retail outlets. On the
August trip we managed to visit the glasshouse, which was empty the
beginning of July, to see the crop of small cucumbers just coming to
fruition. John did the third trip on his own and managed to do some
useful practical work in the few days he spent in Romania.
A social event in Redcar – ‘Songs of the
North’ - was well supported and raised
£315 for Smiles. It was an enjoyable evening and we hope to do
something similar in 2012.
During the Autumn,
we tried to initiate some ideas in our area:
asking church and secular groups to be
Link Groups – groups which will commit to
raising £50 per year for the next 3 years;
and other groups to collect CDs/DVDs for us to collect and send away
for re-cycling – to date almost £400 has been raised.
Whale Hill Primary School in Eston, near Redcar,
donated about 350 CDs/DVDs in their first week of the campaign – Well
The quest for new
ideas goes on, but the above initiatives and visits to Schools
(assemblies and lessons), Church and Community Groups, organised
have taken place and more are planned for the coming months.
During the year, we
have made Smiles presentations in Baptist Churches (and an impressive
Tabernacle), Methodist Churches and various Mission Churches. We
have been privileged to take part in many of the services and have
shared in a variety of worship and music. We have sung, prayed and
read the Scriptures together and felt the power of the Holy Spirit
moving among us.
outside the Redcar and Leeds areas is proving difficult, but, with
God’s help, we hope to reach into Durham, Northumberland, North
Yorkshire and Humberside. Can you
help, even in some small way? –
please contact us as we would love to hear from you.
We are looking forward
‘Stories from the Heart’
presentation by Smiles Romanian staff in March. If you are available,
please come along.
With every good wish
and thank you to all who support Smiles.