Become a pen pal, fill a backpack for a child in the care of social services in Romania!
Invite your friends, join the movement!
Romanian United Fund has partnered with Dr Loren Michaels Harris, Hope 4 Kids by Gaudiopolis and RUF Ambassador Corina Murariu Botez, to create a pen pal program between Romanian children who are in the care of social services in Romania and children born in Romanian families abroad.
The PenPal Project is a great example of how we can bring young Romanian people from different parts of the world together to share experiences through the power of the written word.
Your first letter will fill an empty backpack that your new friend from Romania will enjoy. Help us add to the letter and the backpack some things that can be of great use and highly appreciated by the new person who will become acquainted with you!
Together, we can make an impact in the lives of 200 kids from Romania and their pen pals around the world by building compassion, understanding and the spirit of giving that ignites us all.
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It’s so nice to have you on board! Thank you for participating in our PenPal project. It’s an amazing opportunity for all Romanian children who would like to connect with a fellow Romanian child born and/ or living abroad. It’s a great place to share our lives and experiences, our ups and downs, and weave a lifelong friendship.
How old are you? What city are you in? What are your hobbies? Tell us about your friends in Romania! Would love to hear about your day at home or at school. How do you feel today? What brought you joy or sorrow this week? We would love to hear it all or just what makes you feel comfortable sharing.
Write your letter by hand! Adds a personals touch! Add a cute drawing! Or two! Add a sticker or two! Glitter it up if you want! Maybe a picture of you! Get creative and most of all have fun with this!
Perfect, when you're done, simply scan/save your letter and upload it using our Google Form:
It costs an average of $25 to fill a backpack which makes a big impact on the kids who receive one. Given that approximately 41% of children in Romania are living in poverty, without a close family member or anyone else to care for them outside of the state system, the backpacks they receive along with the letters are huge.
Hygiene kit (shampoo, shower gel, deodorant)
Sweets (chocolate, candy. Cookies)
Fruits (apple, orange, banana)
Pencil box (with eraser, pen, pencil, ruler, colored pencils, markers)
Puzzle/ board games
Your donation will go to Hope 4 Kids by Gaudiopolis who will then purchase the items listed in the question above from Romania and fill the backpacks with them.
These are children between ages of 6 and 18 who are currently in the care of the Romanian state system. These children and teenagers have lost both or one of their parents and are still in the state system because they have not been adopted.
As part of the Power of We Symposium, Dr. Loren Michaels Harris chose Romania as his destination country for 2023. Legacy of Hope Tour is a movement in which institutionalized children are the focus: they will receive much needed attention from the USA crew who will visit them, listen to their stories, take them a warm meal and a backpack of goodies as well as a letter from a Romanian child from the US. There will also be a day of celebration, with dancing, theater, puppeteers, BBQ and some more fun activities for the children as a tribute to them.
As part of the event, the children involved are ages between 6-18 yo.
May 6th: Center for Victims of Domestic Violence.
May 7th: The General Direction of Social Assistance of the Bucharest Municipality.
May 8th: Ferentari Studios.
May 9th: Metropolis Foundation.
May 10th: Saint Sava General School.
200 Romanian children who are currently in the care of the Romanian state social services system will benefit from this event.
Romanian children who will receive the letters from their fellow American children, will then write a reply and send the letters back to the US. We aspire that with this PenPal project we will be able to create lifelong friendships between Romanian and Romanian-American children.
Diana is the Vice President of Hope 4 Kids by Gaudiopolis, a non-profit organization that, for years, has been working with Romanian families and children from disadvantaged backgrounds, marginalized or suffering from social exclusion. She lived in Dallas with her husband and 2 little boys until 2022 when she returned to Europe and focused her work on more ambitious projects that can bring systemic and systematic change in the lives of children in the care of the state system in Romania.
Dr. Loren Michaels Harris is an inspirational figure who has overcome many challenges in his life and has used his experiences to motivate and inspire others. As a former foster child, he has lived a unique and difficult life that has shaped his perspective on the world. His success as a motivational speaker and his appearances on major media outlets are a testament to his resilience and ability to make a positive impact on others. The PenPal project and its mission to connect children from different parts of the world are a testament to Dr. Loren's vision of a world where people come together to make a positive difference.
We are taking donations for the Legacy of Hope Tour and the children who will be visited during the month of May 2023. Your financial support will help us fill the backpack with the list of supplies we intend to give to the children.
If you are a child born in the US from Romanian or Romanian-American parents, chances are that English is your first language. If that is the case, you would want to work on your Romanian language proficiency. What better way to do that than to write in Romanian to another friend about your experiences, your day-to-day life while also building a lifelong friendships along with empathy and compassion. What better way that this to celebrate differences and discover new identities!