Dear friends of the Holiday Heroes,
You may know it or not, but ever since 2012 we’ve been carrying out door-to-door charity campaigns. With the help of dozens of volunteers, we have visited thousands of families in need at home to lift up their spirits on Christmas and Easter with holiday boxes chock-full of food. We spoke with them, got to know them and had a chance to learn more about their daily worries and problems. Problems, to which some of our volunteers had the solution…
The Lyubov Case
We call it the Lyubov case (‘lyubov’ is the Bulgarian word for ‘love’), and it’s a striking metaphor. However, Lyubov (in this case!) is not a metaphor. Lyubov is a woman. And her case is evidence that love also means action.
On Easter in 2017 our goodwill ambassador, popular music performer Elena Brusarska, delivered a holiday box for Lyubov at her home. She learned on this occasion the shocking personal story of hardship of a woman who’s disabled, but had difficulty obtaining the necessary proof of disability rate from the local commission of medical experts, which she needed to get a right to a disability pension. Those money would sure help her towards a better life. Tearful Lyubov then shared she doubted the integrity of the medical commission and suspected one possible reason for their refusal to issue the document was her lack of knowledge on how to stand up for her rights. Deeply moved by Lyubov’s struggle, Elena promised to be by her side next time she tried to get the official statement declaring her disability by the body of medical professionals. The week after, the two ladies teamed up to appear before the commission, and they came out victorious. How they made it, is something only Lyubov, Elena and the doctors can tell, but one thing’s for sure – they simply triumphed! This success meant 150 levs more for Lyubov, every single month.
Boryana, the volunteer
We have another story about a person with a big heart, no less touching and humane. It’s Christmas Eve in 2016. Volunteer Boryana arrives at the home of an elderly woman to deliver a holiday box. The lady is disabled, bedridden. They talk, and she tells Boryana one of her great pains is she’s unable to take a proper bath. She lives alone and can’t move freely. People hardly ever visit. Then Boryana decides to help… and bathes her.
Have you ever come across a family with a child who wants to be a scientist, but the parents lack the education to assist this child in discovering a whole new world? Have you seen a child who wants to master arithmetic, but there is no one to teach him how to add and subtract even the simplest numbers? One of our volunteers visited one such home. The mother worked as a cleaner. The father was already living with another family. The child was playing an arithmetic game. It’s only that he thought 2 plus 2 equaled 2. That’s because mom never went to school and couldn’t read and write. Let alone add and subtract numbers… And the little guy wants to know things. But there’s no one to lend a helping hand… Except for our volunteer, who did teach the kid how to handle the numbers.
The bass guitar player
This is the story of Cyril, a young twenty-year-old man who looks after his mother, an amazing woman confined between the walls of her home, because both her legs have been amputated. He speaks two foreign languages – English and Japanese, but works for only 420 levs per month. Cyril’s home was visited by Yuli Tonkin – the best personal development coach in Bulgaria. As soon as the two met, Yuli found out about the young man’s passion – it’s playing the guitar. It turned out that despite his financial difficulties, Cyril had succeeded to set aside a small amount of money and buy a second-hand bass guitar. Then, he began a process of self-teaching, relying on the Internet. And on his heart. Yuli saw the spark in his eye and decided to help him make his dream come true – get professional guitar lessons. Cyril’s dream is meant to improve his life – by making him a happy person, why not even a renowned musician.
Do you find yourself moved by these stories?
We do! This is exactly the reason why we’re launching our new program in support of the families in need we’ve been helping. And the goal is to take solidarity to a whole new level. We seek to transform mutual aid from a one-off gesture of kindness into a sustainable, lasting process.
How the Mentor of a Family in Need program works
Any Holiday Heroes’ volunteer who delivers a gift box to a family can become a mentor. They just need to find out their unique way to be of use exactly to the family they’ve visited – it could be with know-how or connections, friendship or general assistance towards a better life. Are good with the bills? Great, then you can share with a family with limited finances your knowledge on how to optimize a budget. Or, let’s say, you can play the guitar, and you meet an aspiring young musician in that particular home – then teach that kid some music lessons.
There’re as many ways to help as there’re families living in destitution. There’s a catch though, dear friends, so please take note of it. It’s just that a better life for one person could mean the comfort of living in their own home, for another it could be the chance to even have a roof over their head, or – to get better education or a job, or simply – to make a dream come true and just be happy.
Yuli Tonkin will lead the way
The person to help our volunteers find out how they can improve the lives of the families they visit, will be none other than the best personal development coach in Bulgaria, Yuli Tonkin. He will train all volunteers who’ve registered to deliver holiday boxes. The first training, for the volunteers who’ll be carrying gift boxes to the families in need on December 15th and 16th, will take place on December 10th at the Vitosha Park Hotel.
Now you know how you can share a small part of your knowledge and experience for the benefit of another person and their family. And the more families succeed in the mission to transform their lives for the better, the better for our society as a whole.
If you want to be part of the Mentor of a Family in Need program – we want you (see here.)