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Warm clothing helps counter bone-chilling winter temperatures in Romania

For the Kolonos family, mere survival during the winter months is a huge struggle. But the gift of donated jackets from World Vision is about to make a crucial difference in an otherwise grim situation.

December 2010



In a climate where winter temperatures often drop to near zero, the gift of warm coats can make a vital difference for families like the Kolonos.
In a climate where winter temperatures often drop to near zero, the gift of warm coats can make a vital difference for families like the Kolonos.
Photo ©2010 Laura Runcanu/World Vision
It’s a typical winter day in the village where the Kolonos family lives. Temperatures are hovering around 5 degrees above zero Fahrenheit, and the eight children of Mihai and Claudia Kolonos have taken refuge in their one-room mud hut.

Without warm clothing, they simply can’t go to school on a frigid day like this. Instead, they stay home and do chores like caring for the family livestock, chopping wood for the fire, and gathering water from a well.

But the hard work of these children can’t change the desperate circumstances they face. Their father, Mihai, must venture out into the village to search for work. The meager income he generates from odd jobs usually isn’t even enough to provide basics. The hut in which they live has no electricity or running water.

A cold, harsh reality

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“Today, I didn’t have a bread crust to give them [the children] for school,” admits Claudia, their mother, who is clearly embarrassed that she often can’t feed her family of 10.

Meanwhile, the family’s yard contains no arable land for growing vegetables. They own just a few hens and rabbits, which the children are tasked with caring for, but these animals provide little in the way of food.

And one of the biggest tragedies is seeing these curious, intelligent children being forced to skip school so often because of their circumstances. Their frequent absence from class has created a gap between their ages and grade levels because they’ve fallen behind — Lucian, 13, is only in fifth grade; Constantin, 12, is only in third grade; and Mihaela, 11, is just now in second grade.

But with nothing more than thin, worn-out jackets more suitable for autumn than for the depths of the Romanian winter, these children have little choice.

The gift of warmth

Two of the boys work outside, tending to the animals on this cold winter day. They are both severely underdressed for the freezing temperatures.
Two of the boys work outside, tending to the animals on this cold winter day. They are both severely underdressed for the freezing temperatures.
Photo ©2010 Laura Runcanu/World Vision
On this bleak winter day, however, a welcome surprise is in store for the Kolonos family. World Vision has arrived with brand-new winter coats for the children, which were donated by generous clothing manufacturers.

In an instant, their mood changes. The children run outside, smiling as they pet their animals and celebrate their new gifts. This is a significant moment for the entire family — not just because the children have found some relief from the frigid temperatures, but because tomorrow, they may actually be able to go to school.

After the delivery of the coats, Mihaela took time to express her gratitude by writing a thank-you letter on behalf of her siblings.

Words of appreciation

The thick coats these children now have will help them miss fewer days of school during the winter months.
The thick coats these children now have will help them miss fewer days of school during the winter months.
Photo ©2010 Laura Runcanu/World Vision
Thank you for the gifts we received this winter. I would like you to know that they made me and my brothers and sisters happy.

Right after we received the winter coats, we went out and played. We were really happy to play outside again.

Sometimes we have to stay inside because we do not have warm clothes and it is very cold outside. We almost cry when our hands and feet get frozen.

The new clothes are beautiful and fluffy. I want to thank you for helping us. Mihaela


Learn more


>> Read another story about a Romanian family who received assistance from World Vision to get through the harsh winter months.

Two ways you can help

>> Please pray for families living in poverty who struggle to stay warm in freezing climates like Romania during the winter months. Thank God for the generosity of our corporate partners, whose product donations enable us to provide assistance to those in greatest need.
>> Make a one-time gift to help provide warm clothing to children in need. Our corporate partners have donated millions of dollars worth of thick coats, warm pants and shirts, sweaters, hats, scarves, shoes, and more. Your gift will multiply 11 times in impact to help distribute these items to children who need them most.

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Learn more

Read another story about a Romanian family who received assistance from World Vision to get through the harsh winter months.

Two ways you can help

Please pray for families living in poverty who struggle to stay warm in freezing climates like Romania during the winter months. Thank God for the generosity of our corporate partners, whose product donations enable us to provide assistance to those in greatest need.
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Make a one-time gift to help provide warm clothing to children in need. Our corporate partners have donated millions of dollars worth of thick coats, warm pants and shirts, sweaters, hats, scarves, shoes, and more. Your gift will multiply 11 times in impact to help distribute these items to children who need them most.

 





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