We’d like to start with our heartfelt Happy New Year wishes! We hope that the challenges of 2021 will remain in the past and the opportunities and joy will continue to grow and energize you through 2022.
At RUF, we are grateful to cross into the new year together and to have you on this journey, those of you who have been here from the beginning and those of you who have just joined us this past year.
As you know, we have BIG plans for 2022 and our team is dedicated and passionate to fulfill them! All is left to do is to dive in and continue to build a strong and connected Romanian diaspora that contributes to their communities around the world and to a well-developed Romania.
Let’s see how we’ve stepped into the new year!
Kids Books For Christmas
Gheorghe Muresan Ambassador
ROCO will Launch in March
The Learning Center
Kids Books for Christmas
In December, Santa surprised the children of the Romanian community in Chicago with books written in the Romanian language.
A ROCO initiative and with the help of our volunteers, Georgiana Merdariu, Dan Cosma, Cosmina Ungur, and Andreea Ciobotaru, around 300 books were distributed at the Christmas events held at Holy Nativity Romanian Orthodox Church under the guidance of Georgeta Ana Rusu, Lisa Ciharan and Father John Nemes, and to Saint Constantin and Helen Romanian Orthodox Cathedral thanks to Father Vasile Muresan and Archbishop Dr. Nicolae Condrea.
It was magical to see parents and children light up with joy holding the Romanian books as we advance the preservation of Romanian literacy in our community.
Gheorghe Muresan RUF Ambassador
It brings us great honor and we extend our gratitude to Gheorghe Muresan for accepting the RUF Ambassador role.
Born in Tritenii de Jos, Cluj County, Romania, and now residing in the suburbs of Washington DC, Gheorghe Muresan is known for his NBA career being active for seven seasons with the Washington Wizards and finishing with the New Jersey Jets. He has been and continues to be an icon for those following Romanian athletics abroad and aspiring to a sports career and we are humbled by his support.
In March ROCO will Launch!
We made a promise that we will open ROCO in March and with your support, our center is starting to take shape.
We have partnered with Perpetuum Designs, a Romanian interior design company based in Chicago, to give ROCO the right look for a Romanian Community Center.
It is so energizing to see our community grow organically and answer the early call to come together for something that just a few months ago was still just a dream. As of now, close to 300 families are financially supporting the center. If you haven’t joined us yet, you still can. If you have joined us already, you can also support us by spreading the word.
In December, Superior Financial generously sponsored a raffle for the “I’m In!” campaign to reward early engagement with an IPad. Congratulations Geneva Pinte for winning and thank you for your support! Thank you, Ligia and Eliza for helping us draw a winner, and congratulations Eliza for becoming a ROCO Ambassador.
The Learning Center
Our online math class teacher’s club is growing and we are thrilled to see the increasing interest to enroll your kids in classes.
As of today, The Learning Center offers 10 weekly classes (every day of the week including Saturday) made possible by the generosity of 8 Math teachers and 2 Computer Science teachers (teaching beginners and advanced courses) who are volunteering their time for children’s education.
We added two new classes this semester: 1st and 2nd grade taught by Mirela Birta, and 5th and 6th grade taught by Alex Turik.
As a child growing up in Romania, Mirela often accompanied her mother to help children with special needs at a local orphanage and neighborhood school. These experiences later influenced her to co-found Spera Foundation to help underprivileged children to continue their education. She grew up loving mathematics. Today she continues to provide opportunities to children to continue their education and achieve academic excellence, and ultimately make a positive impact in their communities.
Alex grew up with math. When he was a little kid his Dad, who is a mathematician himself, instead of reading him bedtime stories used to put him to sleep by reading him long probability and statistics problems. Alex loves sharing his passion for math with kids and bringing math to life by mixing math with real-life situations. He has 3 kids and he enjoys playing mental math games with them while they ride in a car.
Amazon Smile Campaign
Select RUF as your charity of choice on Amazon today.
If you use the Amazon app on your phone, you will have to turn on "Generating Donations" on every device you use (Settings > Amazon Smile > Turn ON Amazon Smile). When you purchase from your computer make sure you use smile.amazon.com (not simply amazon.com). Amazon doesn't make it easy on us :)
Check out and share our Amazon Smile video on YouTube (courtesy of Cody Barbu).