• Doug Brendel

Saluting you!



Congratulations from the government of Belarus!


Our “Response of the Heart” team was officially launched as a Belarusian charity — “Otklik” in Russian — 30 years ago (the group was largely inactive before our team activated it) — and the 3-decade milestone was commemorated by high-level officials:

  • Igor Kudrevich, director of the Dept. of Humanitarian Affairs (in the necktie) and

  • his deputy Eugenia Kolodyazhnaya (at center).

They visited our “Response of the Heart” office and presented Certificates of Recognition, not only to our official chairperson Anatoly Malashuk (in the open collar), but to YOU!

(Also pictured are chief accountant Cheslava Luksha at left; our beloved Lydia Danielevna next to her; deputy chair Elena Pugachova second from right; and chair’s assistant Vera Malashuk at right.)

  • The officials offered “a lot of words of gratitude to you,” reports Elena, “and expressed their admiration of your dedication to Belarus over all these years.

  • They talked a lot about the work of Otklik and its importance to the country, about professionalism and efficiency that they see while collaborating with us.

  • There were many words that were clearly addressed to our beloved Ludmila Petrovna [whom we lovingly called “The Great Kozovaya”]. It was her achievement that Otklik has become what it is.”

Receiving the news of these honors (and photos by our dear friend Oleg Yarovenko), we can only celebrate the generosity and faithfulness of so many friends over the years.

Thank you to all who care so deeply for those in need in Belarus. Through our “Response of the Heart” team, you’re changing thousands of lives. More adventures to come! Thanks for journeying with us! Much love,


Doug Brendel

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New Thing is a 501c3 non-profit organization established by Doug and Kristina Brendel in 2002 to help people in need in the Republic of Belarus, in the former USSR.

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