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  • Doug Brendel

“My heart won’t allow me”


We don’t spend much time looking back —

We’re almost entirely focused on how to help people in Belarus today, and tomorrow

But once in a while, it’s good to take stock of where we’ve been.

We’ve received a lovely letter from Lydia Danielevna —

co-founder of our “Response of the Heart” team, along with the late “Great Kozovaya,” taken by covid in the first weeks of the pandemic.

Lydia Danielevna has managed requests for help — thousands and thousands of requests — for all these years.

She’s seen major changes over these two decades. (For example: Groups inside Belarus now step up to help, providing food, clothes, and more.)

More than perhaps anyone else, Lydia Danielevna sees the scope of the work that caring friends like you are empowering.

“Over 100,000 people in need received assistance this year,” she writes, “mostly large families and disabled individuals.

“I am in the office every day,” she says. “Citizens come, call, and many organizations write to us in the hope of continuing our work.” In May, Lydia Danielevna turned 84. “I was planning to retire,” she says, “but my heart won't allow me to leave everything that has been done for our people.” She reviewed the records. On top of the daily distribution of humanitarian aid, “Response of the Heart” has conducted 47 special projects — at schools, boarding houses, hospitals, and other facilities — entirely funded by a total of $390,000 in contributions from friends of New Thing. And she closes her letter with 3 Russian words: спасибо вам огромное Spasibo vam ogromnoe. It would have been enough to say “Spasibo vam” — thank you. But she had to add “ogromnoe”: HUGELY.

Lydia Danielevna is saying what I feel. I thank you HUGELY for opening your heart to be a part of this strange, wonderful adventure... helping people who can’t help themselves, in a place most Americans never think about. More adventures to come! Much love, Doug Brendel P.S. Here’s a brief video greeting from Lydia Danielevna herself (in Russian), recorded by our friend Oleg.

P.P.S. In our quest to provide enormous new sleeper-sofas for all 8 of the orphans’ homes at the Children’s Village in Kobryn...

6 more friends have given generously, to bring us within just $1724 of the goal of $8000.

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