House of Angels Special Operations
Aside from providing monthly financial support for the daily operations at HoA we also, from time-to-time, do Special Operations to collect particular items or extra funding to either fulfill a specific need or provide something extra special for the kids just for fun. Here are some of the Operations we have launched over the years:
Operation "Ho Ho Ho" (2017)
Because of the outpouring of generosity during the 2017 holiday season we were able to purchase loads of underwear and leggings (and a few educational toys) for about 50 kids served by House of Angels. This was their most urgent need at that moment and we are grateful that we, together, were able to fill that need.
Operation "Back to School" (2017)
We collected some extra funding and were able to send over a little extra cash that month to help purchase school supplies for the kids at House of Angels. Yay!
Operation "Flip Flop" (2016)
In response to a need for slip on shoes, we collected a boat-load of donated new and gently used flip-flops to ship to Romania.
"High Fives for Heros" (2014)
Our dedicated monthly sponsors truly are Heros. As a thank-you to these amazing Attendant Spirits, the kids at HoA created a 'High Five' for their heros. They traced their hands, decorated them and wrote a thank you note inside the palm. Each Attendant Spirit received their 'High Five' in the mail.
Operation "OT" (2013)
We were very fortunate to have two local Occupational Therapists from Mooresville NC visit HoA in 2013. They used their skills to help train the HoA staff, to work with the children in need of therapy, and to assess the needs so that HoA might better serve the disabled children living at HoA, as well as those in surrounding the community. They returned with a list of needs. In response we launched Operation OT. We were thrilled to raise enough funding to purchase all the items on the wish list, which included many therapeutic toys and materials, 4 customizable wheel chairs and a bathing chair.
Operation "Attendant Spirit" (2011)
In December of 2011 we kicked off this ongoing Operation, in hopes of gaining monthly sponsors for each child served by HoA and making a nore personal connection between the child and the sponsor. We are always in search of, and in constant need of, new Attendant Spirits. If you are interested, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Operation "Bear" Necessities (2011)
In 2011, 21 children ranging in age from 3-15 came from an orphanage for the disabled to live at House of Angels. We collected some of the bare necessities needed for the new arrivals. To make it more personal, we had folks color a picture of a bear; write and note to a child at House of Angels; and purchase socks, underwear and/or a t-shirt for that child. Those who participated received a picture of a bear (colored & decorated by a kid at HoA) in return.
Operation "Keep Hope Alive!" (2010)
In 2010, House of Angels came very close to losing their building and having to cease operation due to a dramatic drop in donations. In response for the plea for help, AiN created Operation "Keep Hope Alive" in hopes of securing enough monthly donors to keep the doors open. Although we did not meet our goal, we were able to help substantially and are very grateful that for all the supporters who helped keep the hope alive. (Letter From Simona) (Update 1) (Update 2)
Operation Heart-to-Heart (2010)
In honor of Valentines Day, we announced Operation Heart-to-Heart in order to connect hearts across the ocean. Paper hearts were decorated which included personal notes of love and pictures, and then shipped over to the HoA kids. The children were absolutely thrilled to receive their special hearts addressed specifically to them. It gave them a sense of connection to all of the supporters who are making a difference in their lives. One child said, "Is it all mine? Can I take it home?" In addition, we raised extra funding and the each donor received a heart in return. The children worked extremely hard making their hearts... hearts that the donors would be proud of. Each day they worked and made changes so that their hearts would be perfect! This Operation truly connected the hearts of all participants. (Update)
Operation Lend-a-Hand (2009)
This Operation, similar to Operation Heart-to-Heart, raised almost $2,000 for House of Angels. In addition, the kids at HoA and AiN supporters swapped hands with personal notes, again making that personal connection. Always good to lend a hand!
Operation Santa (2008)
Christmas 2008 was a special one thanks to all who donated to Operation Santa. Santa showed up in the front yard and the kids couldn't be stopped running to the stairs to meet him. It was a fairytale Christmas for the kids at the House of Angels, as well as their families since food was sent home so the families could enjoy a traditional Romanian Christmas feast.
Operation Wheels of Hope (2008)
Focused on raising funds to help purchase a small van so that the disabled kids in the community surrounding House of Angels could be taken to HoA for much needed physical therapy, the wheels we helped provide in this Operation did indeed bring hope. As Simona, HoA Director said, "I would say that this van is a 'gold mine' for us, for the kids in need and their families and also for the volunteers who are going to come to HoA.
Operation Habitat (2008)
An Operation near and dear to our hearts. In March of 2008 we introduced you to Ionela and her brother George. Beautiful and sweet children, but the pictures of their home stunned us all and were not easily forgotten. George and Ionela lived with their parents who held extremely modest expectations of life. They hoped to one day have electricity in their home so that Ionela and George would no longer have to do their homework by candle light. They hoped to one day have money enough to replace the plastic in their windows with real glass. And they hoped to one day get over the daily fear that they may not have enough money to buy food for their children. The Sandu home was a one room make-shift shelter with a plastic roof and plastic windows. But they were in danger of loosing even this "home". The shelter that housed them belonged to the grandmother of the children who at one time moved out with her two 40 year old handicapped sons into a kind of tent made of pieces of wood, plastic and other things. They wanted their "house" back, which would leave the Sandu family will have NO place to stay. Under extremely difficult circumstances both parents worked hard to feed their children (the father digging graves and the mother sweeping the roads in Gaesti in front of the homes of the "wealthy" families) but they have never been able to afford even the smallest of houses. The mother worked hard to keep Ionela and George extremely clean and took very good care of them but if she lost the "house" they lived in, the kids would have been taken by child protection to a foster family. The mother said that if that happened "her life is worthless because she only lives for her children". So, Operation Habitat was all about helping raise funds to build this family a small, but new, log cabin.
Footnote: A few years later while visiting this new home, we were shocked to realize that the only thing that stood between this family having running water was a short pipe with a price tag of just $200. This family now has running water and the mother no longer carries buckets of water for their garden.
Operation Santa (2007)
We shipped stockings to Romania and collected over $2000 to help fill the stockings and ensure a big holiday celebration. And a BIG celebration it was!
Operation Happy Feet (2007)
The children were so happy when they received all the new shoes we collected and shipped over. Always fun for the kids to see a great big boxes coming into HoA. When they saw them they started making guesses about the content of the boxes. Then the kids said they had prepared something for the people who had sent the shoes. It was a little show, coordinated dances and acrobatic exercises. Once the boxes were opened, you couldn't hear anything because they all started screaming with joy, applauding and waving hands. Each child was matched with a pair of shoes and several pairs of socks. One four year old boy asked "Are these shoes mine forever?" And one boy asked if he could take his nap with his new shoes! The result was that all the younger kids took their nap with the new shoes!!"
Operation Build-a-Bear (2007)
We worked with the wonderful folks at Build-a-Bear (Stuffed with Hugs Campaign) to get 657 (yes, six hundred fifty seven!) donated teddy bears delivered to House of Angels. We were so blessed with teddy bears, that Simona was able to deliver some to the local hospital and the orphanage for disabled children next door. It was a big, BIG day!
Operation SoS (School Opens Soon) (2007)
Our very first Operation! We collected backpacks filled with school supplies for the HoA kids and shipped them to HoA. What a thrill to see picture of the kids when they arrived.