The Romanian Aid Foundation
UK Registered Charity Nr 1060828
The Romanian Aid Foundation
Newsletter, January 2009
The first newsletter for 2009 has been prepared and printed copies sent out to those on our mailing list. If you would like to be added to the mailing list then please go to our 'Further Info' page using the link on the left. Below we reproduce the text of the newsletter for those who prefer this medium. The newsletter includes an update from the team in south Wales - there's a link at the bottom of this page.
2008 is over, with its memories of loaded lorries and an overflowing warehouse, of lean times in the summer yet returning to full health by the year’s end. In 2008 we managed to send 9 full loads out, in addition to several consignments (such as that from DATO - see below) delivered directly to Dorohoi. Thank you for all the hard work from all our many supporters who have packed and loaded their way through over 130 tonnes of aid. The aid consisted of some 53 tonnes of clothes and bedding, 200 mattresses, 40 tonnes of tinned food, 40 wheelchairs, 50 prams and pushchairs and 100 bicycles, plus of course, around 2,500 shoeboxes which arrived from many locations throughout the UK. All this adds up to our best achievement in a single year, and we finished the year with enough aid, ready to go, to fill another 2 lorry loads. All in all, another good year for RoAF and we praise God and give thanks to all those who contributed to what turned out to be another record year.
However, once again we have to report that is was not such a good year for the poor in Dorohoi. The cost of many basic living items like food and fuel have continued to increase. There is a greater sense of wealth and activity in Dorohoi now, but the gap between those who have and those who have not is growing. One family that received gift boxes on Christmas Eve had nothing to eat for the next day, another family was expecting to be evicted early in the new year. Thanks to RoAF supporters, we were able to address both these situations, but they are just two examples of a more widespread need.
RoAF is working with Asociatia Neemia, its Romanian partner, and other like-minded charities in the Dorohoi area to bring some relief to such people, by providing clothing, food and some limited help with fuel or medical costs. Reports from the team in Romania are encouraging, with the equivalent of 10 loads arriving during the year meaning that the amount of aid distributed has exceeded previous records. The receipts from the shop have allowed all the employment, property and distribution costs to be funded from locally generated income.
In this newsletter we are concentrating on the UK activities which allow this help to continue. Further details of Asociatia Neemia's achievements will be included in our Spring newsletter.
Making it possible
2008 was also a good year with our finances, although at times it was challenging. Total income was just over £28,500, of which around £23,600 came directly from gifts from our supporters, just over £2,000 from various fund raising events and the balance from gift aid refunds. A big thank you to all our supporters for making it all possible. We finished the year with a small balance and plan to send our first load of the new year out in mid February.
A special thank you to all the organisers and supporters of our fund raising events. Look out for the fund raising events planned for 2009, then put the dates in your diary and let your friends and neighbours know. These events are not just for fundraising, they give us an opportunity to meet many of our supporters and give them news firsthand. Another advantage is that these events can also attract corporate sponsorship, such as the £200 from ParcelForce following last year’s Duck Race.
So what are the challenges for the new year?
As with so many organisations, it looks as though money matters are going to dominate this year. However, unlike other organisations, we're not asking you to give any more than last year, but we would like you to give more efficiently. Only 20% of the donation income came from regular giving - the other 80% was from ad-hoc gifts. Regular giving allows us to plan the timing of the lorries more efficiently and helps to balance the stock levels in the warehouses. More significantly, only 10% was Gift Aided. What happened to the other £4,500? Of course, not all gifts qualify for the 28% refund but do you really trust the government to spend that money better than we can?
Many people have been helped and are able to move forward on their own, but there are others who will never achieve that degree of success. The poverty doesn't go away, so neither will we. Thank you all for your efforts and support during the last year, please carry on, let's try to make 2009 an even better year for those who come to us for help.
Deerbolt Aid To Orphans
DATO is an established charity based at the Deerbolt Young Offenders establishment in County Durham. They have been taking aid to various countries in eastern Europe for 17 years and we were delighted when they accepted an invitation to visit Dorohoi last September. They took 5 van loads of clothing, toys and bedding for Asociatia Neemia to distribute, hosted a party for the children at the Centre of Hope and visited some of the families that the two charities help.
We're delighted to report that the DATO team has agreed to return to Dorohoi again this year - many thanks from all those who will benefit from your effort and generosity.
DATO team photo
Financial Summary (UK Activities)
At £28,500 last year's income was over 20% more than the previous year's. Our expenditure in the year was just under £30,000, a little less than last year but still slightly more than we received. Of this around £5,700 went on UK costs, mainly the rent for our warehouse space, but also a bit for insurance, postage and publicity. All of the rest, some £24,000 in all, went on transport.
The figures for 2007 are taken from the audited accounts for that year, and may differ from the estimates given this time last year. The figures for 2008 are preliminary and are subject to confirmation.
Transport costs are linked to the costs of fuel and to the exchange rate between the pound and the euro. High fuel costs combined with a poor exchange rate resulted in a significant increase in transport charges during 2008. We do not anticipate a drop in transport costs during this coming year.
Extra storage costs during the transfer from Smallfield to Horley resulted in higher warehousing costs during 2007. Warehousing costs are expected to stabilise at about £5,400 during this coming year.
Publicity costs were lower this year due, in part, to stopping the answer-phone service and the donation in-kind of some stationery and publicity materials.
In 2006 we had the benefit of a legacy, and although we don't want to lose any of our supporters, please remember RoAF if you plan to rewrite your will; this could make so much difference to the work in some future year.
Many thanks to all those who have made donations of time, goods and money to help this work continue.
Practical ways to help ...
We are always in need of clothes, bedding and other items as shown on our priority items list. These can be brought along on Friday afternoons or Saturday mornings in Horley, or by arrangement with the team in Lampeter. Your financial support is vital, if you are a taxpayer please remember to make a gift-aid declaration which increases the value of your donation. Your prayers, especially for those working in Romania, are very much appreciated.
To those who live in the Horley area: We sort and pack at Horley Baptist Church every Friday afternoon starting around 2pm. Having moved into the Furnistore building on the Bridge Industrial Estate (beside the Balcombe Road railway bridge) we have the facilities to sort and pack on a Saturday morning as well. Please come along and help.
To those who live a short car journey from Horley or from Lampeter: Several supporters collect and pack on a small scale using their own garages as a store, and then bring a complete carload to Horley or Lampeter. It has become quite usual for clothes to arrive by the carload just as the lorries are being loaded.
Horley depot: Unit 10, Bridge Industrial Estate, Balcombe Road. RH6 7HU
South Wales centre: ‘Oaklea’, Temple Bar, Lampeter. SA48 8BQ
If you live in the north-east of England and would like to help the DATO team then please email our office and we'll put you in touch.
The roaf.org email address is for incoming messages only. It is checked on a daily basis and valid messages are passed to the relevant person, who will then reply directly using their own email address. Any messages purporting to come from the roaf.org address are spam and should be deleted without being opened.
Warehouse manager: Principally, to ensure that the Horley warehouse is open each Saturday, to act as a point of contact for the warehouse volunteers and to liaise as necessary with Furnistore management.
Mail co-ordinator: Principally, to take responsibility for incoming post, to distribute it to the appropriate recipient and to respond to general enquiries as necessary.
Joy in a Box, 2008
Some 2,500 boxes were distributed before Christmas, to needy families and individuals, and to children in schools, institutions and churches. The printed newsletter contains an insert showing some of the recipients of the Christmas gift boxes. This link will take you there - link to 2008 report
Forthcoming Events (as at mid Jan'09)
Jazz Concert with Dennis Hickman and friends,
31st January, 7:30pm, at Crawley Baptist Church.
Lorry 2009#01 - 2nd Saturday of February.
Lorry 2009#?? - mid April, from south Wales.
Lorry 2009#?? - Early Summer Lorry - first Saturday of May.
Launch of 'Joy in a Box' for 2009 in June.
Jazz Concert with Dennis Hickman, usually in May or June, at Oakwood School, Horley.
Duck Race - usually the third Saturday in June, River Mole, Horley.
Lorry 2009#?? - Target date for Christmas Boxes - first Saturday of October.
Harp Concert with Keziah Thomas, late November or early December, at St Francis's Church, Horley.
Lorry 2009#?? - Christmas Lorry - last Saturday of November.
Look out for details and updates
The Romanian Aid Foundation in south Wales
South Wales News, Jan’09
click the logo
This newsletter is published on behalf of the Romanian Aid Foundation and Asociatia Neemia. For further information or to be added to the newsletter mailing list please use our response page or write to us using the contact details below:
The Romanian Aid Foundation
179 Albert Road, Horley, Surrey RH6 7HS or Oaklea, Temple Bar, Lampeter, Ceredigion, SA48 8BQ
The Romanian Aid Foundation is UK Registered Charity No. 1060828.
Str Spiru Haret nr 9, Dorohoi, Botosani, Romania.
This newsletter is © Romanian Aid Foundation, January 2009.
RoAF can now accept on-line donations towards our work in Romania.
© The Romanian Aid Foundation, September, 2014.