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12376751_827223590733256_1405417529980687922_nThis was EQ’s ninth consecutive Christmas bazaar and like the preceding eight is provoked many public gestures of generosity and commitment to supporting children and families at risk.

Once again, Mall Rousse provided the venue and we were active between 20th and 23rd December with dynamic support from a broad variety of volunteers – students, foster parents, friends and colleagues.

Having taken over management of the small-group homes Hope and Love during the year, it was a very special experience to have the young adults in our care contribute to the design and layout of our 2015 Christmas card and wrapping paper.

Students from the School of Fashion and Design set up a mobile studio providing manicures, beauty treatment and hair styling. Some of their colleagues tried their hand as actors in a variety of sketches (modern moral parables) in our Shadow Theatre named “Generosity wins”. It explored concepts like forgiveness and repentance but with a very particular slant that linked the stories to EQ’s campaign on positive parenting.

The 2100 leva raised during the bazaar will actually be used to support the continuation of this campaign which focused on the children, parents and staff of two kindergartens during 2015 and will expand during 2016 and the following years.

Artist Ognian Balkanjiev – a good friend – was with us as always and his brainwave this year was the revival of our most valuable childhood memories of Christmas. He has created a gallery of images that will be displayed in the mall over the festive period and into the New Year. Each image – signed by the artist – will eventually reach its originator.

Children and adults were equally inventive and generous. A group of 4th-grade students from Ivan Vazov elementary school provided 80 leva that they’d raised from friends and family. Other school children provided cards and a selection of crafts to be sold for the benefit of less fortunate youngsters who are the clients of the Ruse complex.

Each year, the product range for the bazaar expands. This year, toys, books, clothing and crafts came from commercial companies and families in Ruse, Sofia, Gabrovo and elsewhere. Generous supporters also provided gifts for the children and young adults in our care (the Pink House, Love and Hope) and for foster children and other young clients of the complex.

The children of the small-group homes and those who attend the complex received wonderful Christmas trees from the GERB Party – Ruse.

The traditional children’s party at the complex was attended by over 60 children and parents and it was great to watch our all-singing-all-dancing Santa Claus distribute their presents and exchange words with each and every one. 

A family that recently adopted a child with our support donated 500 leva, especially for the young people with special needs that are in our care.

We take this opportunity to express our heartfelt thanks to all our friends and supporters. We wish all readers a very merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year.