When chilly winds blow and fluffy clouds bring heaps of snow, we scurry inside, thankful for the comfort of a warm house. Stacks of firewood outside or a reliable source of gas mean we don’t have to fear winter.
Meanwhile across the Atlantic, many families in Romania and Ukraine are distraught at the thought of a long, harsh winter looming ahead. This time of year presents the greatest hardships for poverty-stricken families living on a tight budget. Basic survival is a struggle, and then winter arrives, bringing a new set of expenses.
In Ukraine, gas prices have tripled in recent years. Many families lower their thermostats to just above freezing. Others cannot even afford that, and the government shuts them off entirely when they fall behind on their gas bills. People in the city are switching to wood or coal, causing a rapid increase in price.
In Romania, the government regulates cutting down trees for firewood and other wood products. There is great competition for the limited supply, which increases the price and makes it unaffordable for needy families. Many rural families can’t afford to heat their entire house.
Natural gas would often be a cheaper option, but unfortunately it’s only available to people living in cities and surrounding villages. In desperation to heat at least a few rooms in their home, some Romanians burn sunflower stalks and bundle up with several layers of clothing to stay warm.
Viorel is one of many Romanians facing these realities with winter around the corner. Job opportunities in his village are scarce and he struggles to provide for his wife and five children. He may make $12-$24 per day, which doesn’t go far with the high cost of living. Winter-related expenses are the hardest. With great thankfulness, Viorel and his wife received funds to purchase firewood to ward off the bitter cold.
CAM’s Warm-A-Family program is an answer to prayer for hundreds of families who struggle to make ends meet. It provides stoves, firewood, coal, or other heating fuel so families are able to stay warm through the long winter months. This offers great relief and allows them to use their limited money for other important needs.
Whether it’s for the elderly, widows, or needy families, Warm-A-Family presents a wonderful opportunity to share the love of Jesus with those going through hardships. Thank you for being a part of this effort.
To help keep families in Eastern Europe warm this winter, please click below to give a one-time gift or start a monthly sponsorship.