Update: Via Transilvanica


We have news from Transylvania!

Seven months after our fundraiser, Via Transilvanica is launching two brand new sections. Read more below.

The numbers

300 fresh kilometers have recently been finalized and two new trails (in Mures and Harghita counties) will be inaugurated on July 29th and 30th.

To a large extent, this was made possible by your donation: $106,378.85 was sent to Romania from RUF, which means that 100 km of Via Transilvanica (about 10%) are “coming” from Chicago.

Two years ago, when the Via Transilvanica founders took on this project they had hoped to see the finished road in about 30 years or so. As of now, VT is on pace to finish 700 km in total by the year’s end. At this speed, their 30-year dream might become a 3-year one.

Watch on Youtube


The iceberg

There’s so much more to Via Transilvanica than meets the eye: the milestones, the website, the map, the markers etc, are just the tip of the iceberg. The unseen part is the titanic work that goes into making the dream a reality. Thousands of volunteers, ambassadors, donors, hikers, communities are helping shape this vision of having a road that crosses the country from North-East to South-West.

Via Transilvanica is not just a hiking road: it’s a journey of (self) discovery, of pushing limits and boundaries, of asking questions and hopefully finding answers, of being in awe with the nature and its creations, of learning about people and what they have to offer, of listening. Just like with the iceberg metaphor from before, the trip will only be the tip of it, because the changes, the metamorphosis behind it will run much deeper. We’re not saying it. The ones who went on the journey do.

The group

On May 4th VT has created an official group. Join it and you will find out about other people’s experiences, ideas, tips that can be helpful if you are thinking of giving VT a try. And since we're bringing that up....

The road

Yes, VT will be open this summer, so if you were planning on walking its paths and enjoying the beautiful views, fear not. You can. And if you are still on the verge on making a decision, maybe pictures taken on the road on either the VT Facebook page or their official group will help make up your mind.

The stones

Remember how $1,100 would buy you one andesite milestone? If you bought one then you have already received a voucher that allowed you to select a hand-carved marker in a location of your choice.

Most vouchers have already been redeemed and therefore most milestones purchased through RUF have been claimed. If you haven’t chosen the andesite marker yet, please let us know. There are still some you can pick from.

When you purchased a milestone you also gained the right to have your name (and your friends’ names) included in the "Donor's Walk", near Piatra Fantanele (Parcul National Calimani), in Bistrita. Your names are also listed on the VT website application.


The VT story...to be continued. Thank you for your support!


Before you go: To keep our 100% promise (that 100% of donations go directly to our projects) and get stuff done, RUF needs you today.

Become a Member

  mihai@romanianunitedfund.org http://www.romanianunitedfund.org/

Immigration Webinar


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Immigration Restrictions and Opportunities


In the context of historic highs in unemployment due to Coronavirus and a strong White House anti-immigration stance, sweeping changes to the Immigration Law have recently been announced.

Yesterday we watched our charismatic and highly acclaimed guest speaker Dana Bucin explain the effects of the new law. We also briefly discussed the potential for future collaboration in support of bilateral Immigration Reform between diaspora communities in general and Romanian American organizations in particular.

Watch & Share

For your convenience, a recording of the conference has been uploaded to Facebook, please feel free to share in your network.

Provide Feedback

We hope you found the discussion informative and useful. Please help us improve by filling up this 1-minute google form.

Partner Up

Several Romanian American organizations and volunteers have recently started working together to create a map of our diaspora, establish a common agenda, and promote and further our community's interests.

Interested in getting involved? We would love to connect and learn more about you and your interests: briefly reply to this email and we'll be in touch.

Follow Us

Stay connected by following Dana Bucin, Romanian United Fund, and our gracious partners: General Consulate of Romania in Chicago, Honorary Consulate of Romania to Connecticut, Arca TV, HORA in Minnesota, Hora in America, Romanul SUA, Immigration Research Forum, ARCS Project, RomAmPro, Romanian America Business Network - Sillicon Valley, Romanian IT.

  mihai@romanianunitedfund.org http://www.romanianunitedfund.org/

June 2020


Welcome to our monthly newsletter!
We try to keep them nice and short
but we don't always succeed because
we have sooo much to share.
Please bear with us. ;)

News & Updates

June 1st

Din o-cea-nul Pa-ci-fic
A ie-sit un pes-te mic
Si pe coa-da lui scri-a
Iesi a-fa-ra dum-nea-ta!
From the Pacific Ocean
A tiny fish emerged
On its tail, it was written
<You are out>

As we celebrate International Children’s Day in June, these simple, silly nursery rhymes we grew up with remind us of who we are, and why we choose to get involved: the struggle, the frustration, the care, the fun, the children inside ourselves. Happy International Children's Day to all of us!

Drawing and Animation Class

Well, the online class started a few weeks ago was such a success that the initial 12-week session turned into a “still-going strong” one. The kids are having a blast and are working in teams to create games.


The "KirbyInvaders" team has created this little game writing a little over 1,000 lines of code. Pretty cool! Play our game here or watch our short video.

We are considering starting a new module soon, for up to 100 children. Interested in our next session?

Coronavirus Campaign

As of June 6th, Romanian United Fund in collaboration with our Community Partners has raised $787,438.58. With over 500 fundraisers and approximately 20,000 donors in more than 30 countries, RUF did pretty well. Or, as some like to say it: “not too shabby” for someone as young as us.

As of June 15, all the money raised via Facebook has been sent to our partners in Romania.


The money raised went towards the acquisition of face shields and other protective equipment for doctors, nurses, and ambulance workers in hospitals in over 50 cities in Romania, for Coronavirus tests and robots to clean hospitals.

Emergency Fund/Birthday Donations

In the last 3 months, several hundred people have donated directly to RUF ("Donate your Birthday" was the most popular fundraising technique). We thank you all. Due to your efforts, we were able to raise $67,509.71.

We issued a call for projects to all of our eleven Community Partners. A Grants Committee was established and 5 projects were selected to be financed out of 9 applications received. All the funds were wired by June 1st.


More information about the projects we financed can be found on our website.

Via Transilvanica

We go back to our very first big project. We want to make sure we follow up with news from Via Transilvanica and updates for you.

Update: All the milestones have been assigned. Starting June 5th the new website/app went online so you should be able to see your name on the milestone of your choice. Our volunteers contacted the lucky owners and most andesite stones have been claimed.


Yes, VT will be open this summer, so if you were planning on walking its paths and enjoying the beautiful views, fear not.

Other Updates

  • Because of the ongoing pandemic, two events we had planned for this spring have been canceled until further notice: Community Center & Cercul Donatorilor
  • Volunteering in a nonprofit organization is a learning experience for all involved. We strive to do our best then we have to be open to grasping and understanding new concepts. Our first formal “training” sessions took place at the end of May and our mentor was Kay Sprinkle, who shared with us her knowledge in philanthropy and in everything related to it, from current issues affecting donor development, fundraising, and outreach to message strategy and volunteerism.

Get Involved

Wondering what is the simplest way to get involved?

Like us | Volunteer | Become a Member

Have a birthday coming up?

We also have to say this: our volunteer department is amazing. If you want to meet a group of really cool, upbeat, and enthusiastic people:

Let's end with another little rhyme. There was a time when English and American soap operas were making their way into our culture and spongy brains were ready to assimilate a lot. It’s a silly one, don’t expect world-changing philosophy. It's a mix of Romanian and English languages. For our Romanian-speaking friends, it might hold some memories.

Oan, ciu, fri
Pa-mela vrea copii,
Bobi nu o lasa
Ca e prea frumoasa
One, two, three
Pamela wants children
Bobby won't allow her
Because she's too pretty


  mihai@romanianunitedfund.org http://www.romanianunitedfund.org/

May 2020

Welcome to our monthly newsletter. We try to keep them nice and short but we don't always succeed because we have sooo much to share. Please bear with us. ;)

Writing a beautiful newsletter email is scary and difficult, but I have a little secret: I enjoy it! I do, because growing up I’ve never been good at writing and it makes my brain bend into pretzels. The challenge of starting it every month makes me postpone it until it hurts, but the joy of getting it done is worth it.

Now, as every one of us is sitting at home, I’m going to challenge YOU to take up something NEW. Bend your own brain into a pretzel, get out of your comfort zone. Sometimes you need to take one step back to make two steps forward and this is one of those times: take up a computer programming class, learn photography, cooking or how to create a website. Be creative. Make the best out of this situation, which, quite frankly, has its benefits: it brought us closer together, our families and our communities.

PROGRAM: "Cercul de Informatica"

Since our Youth Center opening got postponed indefinitely, we’ve challenged 20 kids (10 to 14-year-olds) to learn Drawing and Animation in our first Computer Programming course. I wish I could say the kids love the class, but that would be an understatement. They have launched into it as if they were still back in 1986 and this was the first time they’d seen a keyboard. If they continue at this pace, Pixar beware! Check out what they’ve been able to do in less than 4 weeks. Believe me, nothing can stand in your way if you commit to it and give it a good shot.


In a 16 hour/day, 5 weeks marathon, our volunteers and donors helped raise more than $700,000 for face shields and other protective equipment, for Coronavirus tests and robots to clean hospitals so that doctors, nurses and ambulance workers in hospitals in over 50 cities in Romania can be protected while doing their work. With over 500 fundraisers and approximately 20,000 donors in more than 30 countries around the world, RUF has been leading the Facebook fundraising campaigns.

Five partner nonprofit organizations from Romania have been actively involved in the fight against Covid19, doing titanic work delivering protective equipment to hospitals and sending hundreds of food packages to isolated people.

The cherry on top? Over 400 people raised $60,000 on Facebook by donating their birthdays through RUF. This money will make up a grant for “Emergency funds” and in a few days an independent Committee will make a decision as to where the funds will go based on the applications received from our Community Partners.


On December 5th, 5 months ago, alongside more than 300 people, RUF raised $110,000 for a beloved project: Via Transilvanica. The application that allows you to see the milestones on a map and “adopt” one is up and running. If you made a donation and are a proud owner of one or more of those wonderful andesite milestones, then you should have received a call from us. If you are interested in acquiring one, there's still time. Check out their website.

During the event our guests were shown a video that was kept under wraps until recently. It was released to the public just a few days ago and on the second viewing it's still breathtaking. You can watch it here.

Other news / updates:
  • We are glad to formally announce our Board of Advisors . The Board acts as a consulting body, working with our Board of Directors and is formed out of experienced professionals and business people.  
  • We owe everything that was accomplished to our volunteers, beautiful people with big hearts. Here is our thanks to them.
  • Two events we had planned for this spring got postponed: Community Center & Cercul Donatorilor. We will keep you posted with the new dates.

of a time between newsletters? Follow / like our Facebook page to be kept in the loop and see updates and events when they happen.

Do you or someone you know need access to food, medicine, healthcare or transportation? RUF is here to help

Wondering what is the easiest way to get involved? Ask your friends to follow our page. Have more than a minute? Get involved