As winter approaches and our houses in the United States start to feel chilly, many of us simply walk to the thermostat and turn up the heat or add a few logs to the woodstove. But for people in Eastern Europe, it’s not that easy. The question of how to stay warm hangs heavily over many families.
This question is especially relevant in Ukraine, where the price of natural gas is eighteen times higher than it was two years ago! Also rising are the prices of gasoline, wood, coal, and electricity. If the breadwinner of the family is healthy, has a dependable job, and has no other major expenses, paying for heat isn’t as difficult. But for the elderly, disabled, and widows, facing the winter can feel overwhelming. Most of them receive small government pensions, but the pension amount hasn’t increased with the price of utilities. This forces them to borrow money for heating expenses, without knowing how they will repay their creditors.
Refugees from the war in Ukraine also suffer from cold during the winter months. Since the spring of 2014, over 1.4 million people in the war zones have fled to safer places. Many of them live in abandoned homes and buildings with poor heating systems. Because they left everything behind, including their jobs and businesses, most of them are without an income and, due to the poor economy, are not able to find new jobs. They dread the approaching winter.
This dread is eased for some by CAM’s Warm-A-Family program . Thanks to faithful supporters, we are able to provide fuel and stoves for some of the most vulnerable people in Ukraine. Olga Petrivna is one of those people. This 61-year-old widow is able to heat only one room of her house because of the expense of heating. “It is impossible to save enough money from my pension for firewood,” she said. “I trust the Lord and believe He will not let me live in a cold house.” After receiving firewood from CAM last winter, she thanked God and us for the aid
Thousands of others in Ukraine, Romania, and Moldova do not have the finances to adequately heat their homes for the winter. While we are able to help some of them, funds allow us to help only a small portion of those in need. Thank you for all you are doing to help those in need.